Japanese pop culture

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Japanese pop culture (Japanese popular culture) is a phrase that refers to the elements of "modern Japan" rather than the elements of "traditional Japan". Some of the elements of Japanese pop culture well known around the world include:

Japanese Pop Culture is a highly influential combination of film, television, manga, and pop music throughout the world. Dating back to the early manga and films of the 1950s, the Japanese pop culture movement has taken off since the 1980s and 90s around the world to become one of the most influential sources of entertainment in the world alongside the United States.



Modern Japanese pop culture is not exclusive to the contemporary as most of the themes and styles of production are drawn from artistic and literary traditions that date back as far as the Heian Period of Japanese history and the earliest representations of imagery and imperial romance recorded then. However, with the advent of western influence, the ethos of the second world war and the industrialization of the nation, pop culture took its current form.

Today, pop culture is used as an escape from the busyness and stress of everyday life with more than 90% of all Japanese men and women saying they spend at least 2 hours a day watching television and almost 20% saying they spend almost the same amount of time engaged in hobbies. Other factors in the development of pop culture was the strict working society aspect of Japanese life that sees many citizens seeking release as well as the time and sedentary nature of transportation on trains and subways that gives so many Japanese time to read Manga, use their mobile phone, or watch portable movies.

Forms of Pop Culture in Japan

The array of popular culture in Japan is as diverse and saturating as in any other country in the world, if not more so. The music industry, driven by the international successes of JPop artists, Visual Kei bands and various other Japanese sounds is more active than any recording industry besides India and the United States and in terms of production, most Japanese artists release more music than any other musicians in the world.

The manga industry is the largest comic industry in the world with dozens of weekly and monthly publications being released regularly and manga being read by everyone from 5 year old children to 80 year old retired fishermen. The film industry is grounded in genre films such as horror and Kaiju films along with manga and anime adaptations. Game centers and arcades along with the massive influence of companies like Nintendo and Sony and the dozens of game software producers is also greatly affective. Karaoke parlors and other popular hang outs such as those for individuals who play Shogi and Go are also very popular.

Otaku Pop Culture

Outside of Japan, the term Otaku has come to mean anyone who is interested in Japanese pop culture as a whole. However, in Japan the term refers to individuals who are wholly devoted to single hobbies beyond what is considered the social norm, usually with pop culture sources such as manga as a focal point. It is becoming more stylish outside Japan though for self-prescribed Otaku to declare themselves and act accordingly.

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