An image of great Japan
I visited my family in Japan a couple of months ago and saw a lot of foreigners in Osaka area..I don’t think I’d seen that many “gaikokujin” (“foreigners”) even in a large city..now I understand why. Japanese government has been trying to hard to reverse the country’s decade-long recession..
Universal Studio Japan opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was opened to boost annual visiters by 2 million..that is a huge initiative, and I was watching a news with my family back home, and learned about the government’s intent to boost an image of “Cool Japan” around the world.
It is a smart idea because people would buy more Japanese products if they think Japan is cool. Japan is known for its high quality products such as electronics, cars..Japan is actually so much more than these “products”..Tokyo is the center of anime and manga and Japan has to do something drastic to compete with China and South Korea..China surpassed Japan’s economy long ago, and South Korean economy is growing very fast.
Especially, South Korean dramas and dace music (PSY’s Gangnam Style) became worldwide hits, and Japan’s coolness needs to be recognized again. Japanese people are very creative, and I’ve met so many creative talented people back home, but I feel that Japan’s rigid marketing style has been adversely affecting the marketability of Japan..
I live in California but in all these mega retailers in the US such as Best Buy, Walmart, Target..seem to carry more Samsung TVs than Sony’s..To revive Japanese economy, Japan is trying to focus on the most fundamental aspect of Japanese creative industries..
I recently found “Doraemon” on my cable channel, and “doraemon” represents most Japanese peopel’s “childhood” so I was really happy to see that in the US. People in Asia know Doraemon but Doraemon deserves so much more attention on a commercial scale internationally. Comic convention is HUGE in the U.S., and I don’t even want to stay in San Diego when the annual comic convention is held each year..people are crazy about all these characters, video games, animations and we can’t talk about these without mentioning Japan.
So finally, Japanese government is trying to take the country’s creative industry very seriously because it might be the last hope to revive the Japanese economy..
Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is in the middle of spending over $800 million dollars to take Japan’s creative business to the global market. I see so many so called “Otaku” foreigners..”geeks” but so many foreigners are interested in that part of Japan and even learn the language, move to Japan for that purposes..
What foreigners find cool about Japan often conflict with what Japanese people think cool..Perhaps they need to pay more attentions to what makes international market become more interested in Japanese culture..not just reliable electronics and boring Honda and Toyota (I’m sorry..I drive “Prius” only because it is reliable, economical..) There is so much more Japan can offer to the world..