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Esper
April 30th, 2011, 10:53 AM
This is more of a discussion question and I'd stick it in OVP or wherever except this seems like the obvious place.

So every now and then I start to wonder: why are so many people interested in Japan? Is it the culture, history, media, all of that, none of that, something else? If you have thoughts or theories or personal stories I'd love to hear them.

jigglyppuff8
April 30th, 2011, 11:07 AM
The media. Video games, anime, manga, visual novels, fanart, etc., the amount that they churn out is probably unmatched by any other culture (name any other country that produces eroge regularly. Didn't think so). The interest in the rest of Japanese culture just happens to be a side effect due to all the cultural in-references. My theory anyway.

I'm not saying other countries are lazy with their media, it's just that their primary focuses happen to be elsewhere such as music, traditional novels, or live-action.

Weeaboo Name
April 30th, 2011, 11:15 AM
Also everything in Nippon is either cute or weird so its more interest on top of the media.

batmon
April 30th, 2011, 11:15 AM
The only things that I like from Japan are the cartoons and some of their video games

Everything else is pretty bad IMO

Misheard Whisper
April 30th, 2011, 03:52 PM
I actually can't be too sure. Mum and Dad ask me this all the time, but . . .

I've always had an interest in things from other cultures: their language, what they eat, the way they live and so on. But Japan specifically . . . well, I guess it's just so much more accessible. Have you ever seen Spanish cartoons on the internet? Or scanlations of French comic books? I'm sure they're out there, but they're much harder to find.

And it was Pokemon, really, that made the link. I'd been into it for a while, and eventually I made the connection as to where it came from. Then it was only natural to be curious as to what else came from this wonderful place that gave us Pikachu and Mewtwo and Dragonite.

QuilavaKing
April 30th, 2011, 04:17 PM
I couldn't say... I didn't know anything about Japan, before I stumbled across some anime on adult swim... and none of my friends really like it, so I wasn't influenced by anything but the anime itself. It's just that good, I guess.

Jude Mathis
April 30th, 2011, 05:25 PM
I would be lying if I said that anime wasn't part of what got me into it, but that's the keyword, 'part'. When I was really little, like 3 and 4, I met my friend Yulie. For some years after that we were best friends, and her family was really tied to their Japanese culture, and language, etc. Everything in their house was Asian, and they ate food typical of your everyday family living in Japan, they just happened to live in America. I was over there a lot, and while I was too young to fully appreciate it at the time, I just got used to it, and found it interesting.

She didn't tell me what Anime was until we were 10 or so, and that was due to the Pokemon anime releasing in Japan, and soon to be America at the time, as well. To be honest, her family and the way they lived is what got me into their language and culture. At this point, anime in Japan could be non-existent and I would still love Japan, and still want to visit. <3

tente2
April 30th, 2011, 05:56 PM
Also everything in Nippon is either cute or weird so its more interest on top of the media.

*High-fives*

The only things that I like from Japan are the cartoons and some of their video games

Everything else is pretty bad IMO

1. Anime 2. That's pretty insulting. I myself am I Chilean, and although I dislike Chilean culture, (Chile fans forgive me) I don't go publicly saying it. (Until now, but at least I specified it was my opinion.)


Anyway, I was too distracted to say this:
NIPPON IS MY FAVORITE COUNTRY!!!!!

*Nippon is sort-of Japanese of Japan. In other words, Nipponese for Nippon. At least that's what I've been told by a friend.

Although I'm the number 1 Anime, Manga and Nipponese Video Game fan you'll ever see, something that I also love about Nippon (which most people don't appreciate) is the rich culture. I am specifically enjoy the Youkai and folklore. If only I was born Nipponese...

...Also, when I first saw this topic I thought it was about the tsunami.

Rainy Day
April 30th, 2011, 06:33 PM
*High-fives*



1. Anime 2. That's pretty insulting. I myself am I Chilean, and although I dislike Chilean culture, (Chile fans forgive me) I don't go publicly saying it. (Until now, but at least I specified it was my opinion.)


Anyway, I was too distracted to say this:
NIPPON IS MY FAVORITE COUNTRY!!!!!

*Nippon is sort-of Japanese of Japan. In other words, Nipponese for Nippon. At least that's what I've been told by a friend.

Although I'm the number 1 Anime, Manga and Nipponese Video Game fan you'll ever see, something that I also love about Nippon (which most people don't appreciate) is the rich culture. I am specifically enjoy the Youkai and folklore. If only I was born Nipponese...

...Also, when I first saw this topic I thought it was about the tsunami.


Well, in Japan the language is Nihongo and the nationality is Nihon-jin.

But I personally think we should have a Swazi Entertainment thread... That would be awesome.

QuilavaKing
April 30th, 2011, 06:40 PM
*Nippon is sort-of Japanese of Japan. In other words, Nipponese for Nippon. At least that's what I've been told by a friend.

日本(Nihon/Nippon)=Japan
日本語(Nihongo/Nippongo)=Japanese

Shanghai Alice
April 30th, 2011, 07:42 PM
Accessibility, as others have said.

For example, I greatly admire German culture, but I... Well, I haven't seen any European cartoons /recently/.

Think about it. Japan is most likely the most Westernized country in the East. That puts them at an "exotic" status, but, because of American ideas spreading, they adapt things familiar to a Western audience to their own tastes, Whig are typically more over-the-top and entertaining. I mean, really. Look at all the shadowy religious orders. How many of them are conpletely Shinto-based? How many series completely lack Western influen r?

It's cultural exchange at work.

Also, America is big over there too. Ever seen an anime where someone has gone to study/play sports/vacation in America? And I doubt the love of English came from England, if the Brits will pardon me for being so "Amerrogant" (I love that word... xD).

And we occupied them. The occupying nation tends to influence the occupied one. Fortunately, they did not overthrow us with mechs...

batmon
April 30th, 2011, 09:55 PM
1. Anime 2. That's pretty insulting. I myself am I Chilean, and although I dislike Chilean culture, (Chile fans forgive me) I don't go publicly saying it. (Until now, but at least I specified it was my opinion.)
Anime = Japanese Cartoons

And I don't see how it's insulting to say that you don't like a lot of parts in Japanese culture in a thread which is asking why/how are so many others like it.

PlatinumDude
April 30th, 2011, 10:09 PM
I'm interested in Japan because of its culture. I'm also interested in its manga, anime (Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, FullMetal Alchemist, etc) and food (sushi and ramen in particular).

QuilavaKing
April 30th, 2011, 11:46 PM
Anime = Japanese Cartoons

And I don't see how it's insulting to say that you don't like a lot of parts in Japanese culture in a thread which is asking why/how are so many others like it.


Well, he said "everything else is pretty bad" which is a fairly offensive way of saying it.

Naruto Uzumaki
May 1st, 2011, 05:53 AM
Anime/Manga is probably the biggest reason why people like Japan so much. Then comes the music/media/other entertainment, and then the culture.

I myself began getting into Japan because the culture and history fascinated me, then I learned about anime/manga and that made me like it even more. Then I went to apply for a foreign exchange program so I can go there during my senior year, but due to the earthquake I'm unable to go. And because the family I was supposed to stay with died. R.I.P. Overall, the history, culture, traditions, entertainment are the biggest factors.

Esper
May 1st, 2011, 11:12 AM
So... easy access to media is what lots of us are saying? I guess it could be as simple as that. Of course there are still lots of people who see things from Japan and have zero interest in them so there's got to be something about us which makes us respond to all that media coming our way.

QuilavaKing
May 1st, 2011, 12:14 PM
Hmm... well, I've always liked cartoons better than real life anyway... I mean, I would watch cartoon network over mtv (or whatever normal teenagers like) any day.

That's definitely one of the reasons it appeals to me so much.

jigglyppuff8
May 1st, 2011, 06:43 PM
We are all hipsters.

Seriously, though. The obscurity and mystery of the Japanese, for English speaking countries, may play a role in why so [few] many are interested in Japan. Or maybe they just want to make a statement by showing how "different" and "edgy" they are.

Escapism is another reason, because life sucks for most people who can't fit properly into the hierarchy of the social pyramid. They can find solace in their cartoons that will never betray them.

Another theory I have is that a lot of people are reluctant to let go of their childhood. People find comfort in their childhood, and in this case, childhood was filled with Cartoons. As people got older, so did their cartoons (Pokemon and Sailor Moon to Adult Swim shows) and video games (Mario to Final Fantasy and other JRPGs), so they just followed suit.

In my case, it's probably a combination of the first and last theory since I find enjoyment in obscure things and that progression is kind of how I'm here today. In any case, I'm part of the subculture and I'm here to stay...NIPPON IS MY FAVORITE COUNTRY!!!!!

NO MATTER HOW MUCH I WANT TO LEAVE. orz

Cassino
May 5th, 2011, 08:54 AM
My interest specifically in Japan is historical, Sengoku Jidai and earlier.
For me it just so happens that the present-day country is also a major producer of entertainment. My thoughts regarding my preference for animation (often done in Japan) over live-action (often done elsewhere) are detailed somewhat here (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=248727). The 'lack of pretention toward realism' carries over to their video games and other media, too.

pokemongarnet
May 5th, 2011, 12:29 PM
I actually dislike when people assume that I like Japan and am trying to learn the language because of Anime/Manga. Because that isn't true in my case. I've always been interested in their culture and how greatly it's based on respect (there isn't enough of that in the states.). And all about it. Though I do enjoy anime and manga over other visual contemporary art forms, so that is a plus. But it's just an interesting place.

Demigod
May 5th, 2011, 01:23 PM
For the peoples outside of Asia it must be appealing because it's a distinct culture while maintaining a highly advanced society technologically that appeals to people who likes to explore cultures and places that are "out of this world". Also With cars, video games and TV shows, a lot of popular culture comes from there. In addition, much of the technology we use today originated in Japan.

Kea
May 7th, 2011, 12:31 PM
I'm sure most people are interested in Japan because of the media that comes from there. Anime, manga, video games, and those weird videos from Nico Nico Video that get posted on Youtube like 39匹のガチムチ達が吹っ切れた (look it up on YouTube, can't post links yet)

Personally I'm not that interested in Japan much, although I guess I used to be. They still make some good video games and shows. Sucks when people try to copy them, though... :'I Usually "Western anime" or manga seems to focus more on how it's supposedly like anime than making an entertaining show or whatever.

I wouldn't really say anime and Japan is obscure anymore. You might be able to get away with saying Korean media is obscure, but definitely not Japan.

Azure Revolver
May 7th, 2011, 12:40 PM
Because most anime and manga come from Japan, and a lot of Japan's culture is out-of-the-ordinary, so to speak.

Osha_say_wott?!
May 10th, 2011, 12:20 AM
What everyone else said, at least, for my reason to liking Japan. Anime? Manga? Food? Culture? Cosplay? Video games? Tech? Strangeness? Hecks yeah. :D I'm also quite fond of Japan for another great reason. Wrestling. Wrestling in Japan = Holy grounds. imo. Especially if you are a huge fan of wrestling, as am I.^^

Route 18
May 15th, 2011, 03:54 AM
I've always liked Asia in general, since it has such a rich culture and history, but I grew closer to Japan after my introduction to anime. I first started watching anime, then anime led to manga and the opening and ending themes of anime led to Japanese music, and Japanese music led me to take an interest in learning a language, something really strange since I normally dislike learning a second language (seeing as I was forced to for a long time). Learning the language followed on to learning about the culture and history of Japan, and it was late last year when I realised that I was in love with Japan. XD I really want to go there after I finish school. I wish I could live and study there, but I don't have a college fund, since university is paid for where I live right now. Still, when I get older and establish myself, I'll probably go to Japan to live and work there, hopefully.

Why Japan? Well the culture is so rich compared to Australian culture (non-existent) and my East African background whose culture I've pretty much grown bored of. The culture of Japan is new and exotic to me, and it's a fresh change from what I've been brought up with. It's so rich that I'll never get bored of it either.

I love Japan. <3

wonjoon0330
May 15th, 2011, 04:05 PM
Let's just say Japan has what most people want and you can't find it in United States! ;D

Moon Light
May 23rd, 2011, 06:39 PM
I've liked the food, history, places, media, especially the popular Cherry Blossom Tree! :D
Japan is very colorful too, so I like it, and for the Cherry Blossom, it's pink and I liked the flowers too.

Satoshi Ookami
May 23rd, 2011, 11:57 PM
Why do I Japan? That's pretty easy to answer, ANIME and MANGA =)
Then you start being interested in language and then it continues :D
Loving all those things really makes you interested in other aspects of Japan such as culture, history, work etc. :D
And you feel the pain when natural disasters occur in Japan...

Alakazam17
May 24th, 2011, 08:46 AM
Well, I'm interested in the whole world, not just Japan. But linguistically-speaking, I originally got interested in Japanese and Russian at the same time, because I was interested in the technological aspects of both nations, specifically in relation to the space program. Furthermore, I also liked Japan because that's where Pokémon came from, which is somewhat related to the technology aspect. XD

So, I'm one of those rare folks who got interested in anime & manga as a result of being interested in Japanese culture & language, rather than the other way around which is usually the case. ^_^

Gold warehouse
May 25th, 2011, 03:45 AM
Anyone who doesn't enjoy what their own country's media and culture have to offer can just look across the oceans and there lies Japan. I think a lot of the time it really is as simple as the fact it has a lot of accessible media that can just be an alternative option to the Americanisation that dominates the media and culture of most other countries. I can't really think of any other countries that have managed to achieve a similar sort of success in spreading their culture globally (apart from the obvious one, USA). Although there will be a few other reasons thrown in depending on the individual.

I'm not a huge fan of Japan or anime, but I still really enjoy some anime. It's like a bridging gap between shows aimed towards adults and children. I don't really want to 'act like a grown up' constantly and watch serious television shows and films all the time, but I'm still not really entertained much by cartoons (although, not gonna lie, I was watching Ed, Edd and Eddy last night). Anime retains the charm and fantasy that you can't get with live action, but often has themes that appeal to teenagers/young adults; they're willing to include a lot of controversial subjects that the west is still a little touchy about, a lot of anime will include violence, sexuality, abuse and/or other similar themes, as well as having a plot line that makes it somewhat more sophisticated than your typical cartoon for kids. That's it's main appeal to me anyway. It's like a fantasy story that's not as serious as reading through every Lord of the Rings book, and not as simple as watching Saturday morning children's TV.

As for the actual culture of Japan, I don't know very much. I would like to learn about many cultures though, so Japan isn't an exclusive member of that list. It's probably just due to my own laziness that I don't know much about it.

zoo3891
June 18th, 2011, 10:19 AM
When I was younger some friends introduced me to Pokemon, after a while I had learned where exactly this wonderful form of media had come from. Eventually I had noticed most things I played/watched had originated in Japan. It was sort of an interest that grew off of other Interests.

teddybeargun
July 7th, 2011, 01:00 PM
Well, for me it's anime/manga/light novels/video games. I never was particularly interested in Japan until I started really getting into manga/anime/video games(not just watching pokemon on tv or playing zelda or reading a couple chapters of Naruto). Japan consistently churns out good video games and manga making it a place people view as the place to go for media stuff, though most people would probably be just interested in game/manga and not the place it came from. My friends and I always say go to Japan if you want the latest in technology. Also a lot of people like Japanese music, Japan LOVES rock so there's like Gackt and Miyabi and stuff, also there's AKB48(not rock), they're really popular throughout asia. So basically most people gain interest in Japan through media.

As for Japanese culture, I never really liked the way the schools in Japan operate and some of the etiquette irks me, but my mom just tells me to suck it up haha. It's not an exclusive Japanese thing but I love onsen hot springs and Niigata prefecture has a really awesome hot spring if anyone is interested haha xD Oh yeah, and I like the fashion, asian fashion is always the best, except name brand clothes in Japan are really expensive.

Elite Overlord LeSabre™
July 8th, 2011, 01:37 PM
For me, it's anime, manga, video games and the whole culture surrounding them. What Japan offers in these areas is far suprtior to what the US has to offer - their animated TV shows and movies are better, their comics are better, etc. But more than that, Japan offers a level of cute that other countries simply don't have... and since i have a fondness for cuteness, it's only natural I gravitate toward what Japan has to offer in terms of entertainment.

Zet
July 8th, 2011, 06:59 PM
Let's just say Japan has what most people want and you can't find it in United States! ;D

Good tasting food!

Japan has a lot of interesting food and the culture is fascinating, plus people are a bit more polite.

leachim_paloyz15
July 8th, 2011, 08:56 PM
日本(Nihon/Nippon)=Japan
日本語(Nihongo/Nippongo)=Japanese

Japanese:
- The Language - "Nihongo/Nippongo"
- The People - "Nihon-jin"

~What I really like about Japan is their culture, the places, the food, the people, and everything else in between. ^^

wcdaily
July 8th, 2011, 09:19 PM
I don't mean to offend people, but it seems to me the people who make the most bias posts about japan are also the same people who over use fancy fonts and coloring, while the people with plain black posts seem to make more thought out posts. Anyway on topic: Yes, I'm interested in japan, and I don't just like it for anime, I think it's culture is interesting and their is a lot of other interesting things about the country. I don't have much to say about the food, the only thing I've technically eaten that is close to Japanese food is cupped noodles and Asian cafes, but even then it's technically American food. Also, japan might be a nice place to visit someday.

daigonite
July 23rd, 2011, 09:37 PM
I think some people like it because its different.

I personally don't hate Japan or Japanese material, but I only haunt this area of the forum; in terms of media I generally consider manga in the same league as non-newspaper comics and anime in the same league as cartoons/animation, since I've read comics and seen cartoons that really could have been produced in Japan in manga/anime form and be of the same quality.

I have a little weird peeve though. I absolutely HATE how everything and everything to people seems to be Tokyo, and Tokyo this and Tokyo that. I can understand how a lot of anime takes place there but if you say you claim interest in Japan and only have interest in Tokyo then you're just plain ignorant. And by the way, kiddies at school, HIROSHIMA STILL EXISTS, ITS A CITY WITH 1 MILLION PEOPLE. And no, you won't get radiation poisoning from living there for a year in the late 90's. Jeez people are STOOPID STOOPID STOOPID!

My opinion on Japan is that its a country with a different culture than mine. It's kinda weird living there, and some things are definitely better there than here (hello? Coffee in vending machines? I'M SO THERE.) but some things are certainly worse (hello? Got a nasty infection from a rather dirty cut and I still have the scar. Er, might want to watch myself). I still want to go back there because we have friends there and I think it'd be nice to say hi to them, but I wouldn't consider myself too interested in their culture or media. In a weird way it's kinda been haunting our family for my whole life and still reflects itself in everyday activities :0

Snivi
July 31st, 2011, 02:16 PM
For me it all started with liking Pokemon then a friend showed me the Japanese version and I liked it better then 1 things led to another and now I love all kinds of asian things.

Pokemon > Anime > JPOP > Jdramas > other asian dramas & music such as Kpop and Kdramas

Graceful
August 7th, 2011, 05:40 AM
It started when my older sister (who's now 21 and still loves anime!) got me into watching anime at the age of 10 when she got me interested in Sailor Moon and Pokemon (even though, I used to like Pokemon, but not as much as I do now!). Then I watched the Live-Action Sailor Moon J-drama and read the whole Sailor Moon manga in English.
I also had interest in Japanese music (again, from my sister) when she started to play songs by Utada Hikaru in her room. I just grabbed on and watched loads of her songs on YouTube, including her Japanese songs. Then I had become interested and had searched up names like Koda Kumi, misono, Rie fu, Judy and Mary, Aya Hirano, etc.
After searching up loads of anime series, I finally started to take the Japanese culture seriously and started to look up it's past, folklore, food and language.

I hope one day, I will be able to at least, visit Japan. A dream of mind would be to live there for a while and work as an English teacher.

日本が大好き!

GAOlivier
August 25th, 2011, 02:47 PM
Since a year now, I've been in love with Japan. I love the music, the language, the media, the history, the culture, the food (and the crowded trains lol).
I just love it. The language sounds so amazing, that I even started to learn it by myself. (I'm dutch)
The music is so much better than English music. Way better rythms etc.
favorite band: One Ok Rock
one of their most awesome songs: Yokubou ni michita seinendan.
another awesome song: Diver - nico touches the walls (L)