Sushi, the small rolled rice with fish and vegetables is a common food for many Americans nowadays. You can find it easily in supermarkets, in restaurants, in offices and in homes across the US. This traditional Japanese dish is famous in the US as a healthy alternative to heavier, fattier American fare. Although some sushi can be difficult to prepare, it is still a convenient option for countless office workers and families, no matter their lifestyle. It’s no surprise that there are many kinds of American-style sushi invented for Americans’ tastes.
Once a mysterious, remote oriental country, today’s Japan is one of the US’ closest friends. Japanese culture is becoming part of ordinary American people’s daily lives: They eat sushi, drink sake, study judo, watch Japanese cartoons, and study the Japanese language.
From my point of view, one of the reasons why Japanese culture is popular in the US is that Japanese has become fused with American pop culture, rather than being exhibited solely in museums or taught only in a classroom. Let me give an example. The flow of Japanese manga into the US has increased American awareness of Japanese animation. Unlike American superhero stories, Japanese cartoons are frequently fairly takes about magic, giving Americans a unique experience that they cannot find elsewhere.
Take Pikachu, a cute character popular among American kids and teenagers. Pikachu and other Pokemon appear frequently on T-shirts, TV shows, and websites, alongside traditional American icons like the Avengers, Batman and Superman. Americans live in a multicultural society. They have embraced Japanese food, cartoons and other cultural elements because these have attracted attention and enriched lives. An attractive culture is one that can be spread at a low cost, making a profit in today’s consumer society. With the help of mass media and marketing, Japanese food and animation is spreading throughout the US. Hundres of derivative products are then released, and the snowball only grows larger, gathering speed as it rolls on.
Another reason why Japanese culture is popular in the US is that Japanese language education is becoming an ecosystem, making it convenient for American students to understand and enjoy Japanese culture.
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