How many times have you cursed the Anime and Manga fans who clog up book shops, or rolled your eyes at people pretending to be Japanese?
As annoying it is, to see people looking at different cultures and favour them over there own, looking at different cuture to your own is intriguing. And as the Western world becomes more Americanised, you have to look further afield to look at a completely different culture. After America, the other country whose culture is a huge influence, especially to the younger generations, is Japan.
Japan seems like a different world, when compared to the UK. Of course, not even Japan is immune from Americanisation, what with KFC becoming THE Christmas meal in Japan and McDonald’s appearing in every major town. There are still enough differences, to make studying the culture interesting. The big interest in everything Japanese is thought to have started in the late 80s/early 90s, when Japanese companies Nintendo and Sega took the forefront of computer game technology, and each sold millions of consoles around the world. After people got a taste of the cute characters, people started to purchase into Anime and manga, so much so, that almost every book shop in the UK now stores a Manga section bigger than that of the more traditional superhero comics. Then thanks to the popularity of Pokemon, Hello Kitty and singers like Qwen Steffani mimicking Japanese style, more and more people have confessed to being ‘Japanophiles’.
Whilst, you may get the idea that I don’t like Japan, this is not the case. I still play Pokemon on a regular basis, and I have read my fair share of manga. And although they have a harder working schedule than us in the UK, they also seem to enjoy their life a lot more. So, it has been suggested, that people see this positive outlook and try to mimic what they see to try and improve their quality of life. There is truth in that, if you pick up a new hobby that you enjoy, it will improve your quality of life, because of the simple fact that it makes you happier. And, it doesn’t matter who you are, if something makes someone happy, and it’s not harming anyone else, they should be able to do whatever it is.
As a person who will admit that she likes looking at the differences between here and Japan, I am going to recommend Tofugu for people to have a look at. It is a blog which looks at various parts of Japanese Culture, and may answer some of the questions you may have in your head.