Crucial Minutia
it's the little things...
Ethan Todras-Whitehill
Why Japanese Culture Is So Weird
4 Comments | posted April 19th, 2007 at 04:56 pm by Ethan Todras-Whitehill

Hello Kitty FashionIf you’re anything like me, everytime you see Dragonball Z, Akira, Princess Mononoke, or any hentai you—ahem—accidentally come across, you wonder, “What is up with Japan? Why is their culture so weird?” In a feature in this month’s Atlantic Monthly about the popularity of anonymous group suicide in Japan (subscription required), the first plausible theory I’ve heard is offered:

“Japan lost the war to the Americans,” [Hideaki Anno, creator of the popular Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series] explains…Since that time, the education we received is not one that creates adults. Even for us, people in their 40s, and for the generation older than me, in their 50s and 60s, there’s no reasonable model of what an adult should be like.” The theory that Japan’s defeat stripped the country of its independence and led to the creation of a nation of permanent children, weaklings forced to live under the protection of the American Big Daddy, is widely shared by artists and intellectuals in Japan.

This is mentioned in the context of anonymous group suicide, but for me it goes a long way towards explaining Hello Kitty fanatics, large-iris manga contact lenses, and viral slapping videos. I mean, this stuff is weird!

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 19th, 2007 at 4:56 pm and is filed under Pop Culture, Politics, Random. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

There are currently 4 responses

  1. Don’t forget Peelander-Z. WTF?

    April 19th, 2007 | 6:47 pm
  2. Theo Gangi

    I agree– so weird. Remember when their PM dressed up like Elvis? And how they worship hip-hop? I think after the bomb, they psychologically became US culture’s kid brother.
    But Princess Mononoke is brilliant.

    April 19th, 2007 | 7:16 pm
  3. Marlene Fernandez

    Haha this so reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend about future-potential-roommates. She said something like “I hope I don’t get one of those crazy Asians that are into anime, they scare me.”

    April 19th, 2007 | 10:24 pm
  4. nahoko


    May 7th, 2007 | 2:14 pm

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