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Japanese Culture: Producing Japan in the World - Essay Example

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The paper will ultimately establish the difference that historical context makes in analyzing the process of creating hybrid cultural products. The Japanese people speak the Japanese language, follows the indigenous religious system, Shinto and Buddhism, which came from China…
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Japanese Culture: Producing Japan in the World
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Japanese Culture: Producing "Japan" in the World The Japanese people speak the Japanese language, follows the indigenous religious system, Shinto and Buddhism, which came from China (Lock 1). Notably there have been numerous Japanese emigrations to South America, US, and Canada, which significantly exposed Japanese Culture to western cultures and values (Lock 1). As such, Japanese Culture influences and equally draws effects from the western cultures thus affecting its identity. This paper seeks to discuss the appeal and impact of the idea of Japan in the west and of the west in Japan using Pokemon and Japanese Hip-Hop. More so, the paper will specify the ways in which Pokemon and Japanese Hip-Hop are part of the production of the idea of Japan. Additionally, the paper will also establish the elements of hybridity or cultural mixing in Pokemon and Japanese Hip-Hop as well as deriving the political and/or economic power relationships between Japan and the west. The paper will ultimately establish the difference that historical context makes in analyzing the process of creating hybrid cultural products. Notably, various indicators manifest Pokemon and Japanese Hip-Hop as part of the production of the idea of Japan. Both objects appeal and affect the idea of Japan in the west and of the west in Japan. Pokemon refers to a media franchise owned by Nintendo, which is a Japanese video game company (Allison 1). Today, Pokemon is the second-most successful and lucrative video game-based media franchise in the world (Yoda & Harootunian 331). On the other hand, Japanese hip-hop relates to old school hip-hop and Japanese dance culture. Ideally, western culture had immense effects on Japanese hip-hop as the Japanese sought to imitate the African-Americans rappers thus popularizing hip-hop in Japan. Indeed, the Japanese rappers and clubbers imitated the entire hip-hop culture from the west, which includes graffiti writing, darkening skin, loose-fitting clothes, styled hair, break dancing, and dreadlocked hair. Ideally, the Japanese subculture appreciates the African American culture. Additionally, Japanese hip-hop plays a major role in upholding Japanese cultural practices despite people wearing hip-hop outfits and singing hip-hop songs. For example, at the Kitchen Event after the New Year, clubbers still passed the New Year greetings and wishes (Condry 380) as adopted in the Japanese culture. Moreover, Japanese hip-hop rappers perform for local audiences using the Japanese language and Japanese subjects to establish a fan base (Condry 381). Notably, Japanese hip-hop is both domesticated and globalized as we can see others hip-hop rappers staging their shows in japan. More so, Japanese hip-hop has a constant moral message that urges the youth to speak out for themselves as well as deriving leisure, fashion, and consumer knowledge in the Japanese culture (Condry 383). Most assuredly, after the post war period, western music dominated the sales but after 1967, Japanese hip-hop surpassed western music sales (Condry 385). Ideally, Japan exports huge volumes of American popular culture and equally exports karaoke, Pokemon, Sony PlayStation video games, and mechanical pets to the western culture. With these exports, Pokemon is making American kinds more Japanese thus influencing the western culture (Condry 386). Pokemon video games are not passive consumption. Indeed, Pokemon seeks to make life easier for young kids thus motivating them to adopt the Japanese culture. More so, we have the Pokemon Capitalism, which encourages the production and consumption of Japanese culture as well as promoting global capitalism (Allison 2-8). Pokemon Capitalism enhances social and spiritual values that reminds parents of their spiritual culture and promotes brighter relations that are way behold self (Yoda & Harootunian 332-338). Indeed, there are elements of hybridity or cultural mixing in this context where Japanese hip-hop adopts aspects of the American popular culture in its music. In fact, Japanese teenagers of the 1990s have different social values and cultural attributes from those of their parents and grandparents. More so, we can see Japan exporting Pokemon video games and other objects that promote Japanese culture in the western countries (Allison 7-9). At the same time, there is evidence of the impact of political and/or economic power relationships between Japan and the west in the meanings associated with them. For instance, in the twenty-first century politics and economics depend on cultural forms. However, in the 16th century, economics defined the growth of the capitalist world and established the links between diverse cultural regions. On the other hand, in the 19th and 20th century, politics played a major role where countries devised an international relations policy that characterized the global links between different cultures (Condry 384) like that of Japan and the western region. Ultimately, historical context plays a significant role in analyzing the process of creating hybrid cultural products. This is because hybrid cultural products depend with time as there reaches a time when one culture becomes extinct. More so, historical context defines the origin of reference cultures and their time of exposure to other cultures, which leads to hybrid cultural products. At the same time, historical context defines the economics and politics that influenced cultural interactions, which equally defined hybrid cultural products. Works Cited Allison, Anne. The Cultural Politics of Pokemon Capitalism. Web. 12 June 2013. Condry, Ian. Japanese hip hop and the globalization of popular culture. 2001. Web. 12 June 2013. < http://web.mit.edu/condry/www/pubs/Condry_Japanese2.pdf > Lock, Margaret. Japanese. 1998. Web. 12 June 2013. Yoda, Tomiko., & Harootunian, Harry. Japan After Japan: Social and Cultural Life from the Recessionary 1990s to the Present. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006. Print. Read More
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