The Commodifying of Japanese Culture
Posted by Jack Stephens on April 12, 2007
And it was then, that it struck me – maybe the desire to learn is what separates someone who fetishizes a culture from those who merely wish to appreciate it. As I get deeper into anime and Japanese culture, I learned what causes some of the issues I see. I read about the rampant sexism in Japan, and their colonization of other Asian nations, which explained some of the more unkind images of Chinese and Koreans in manga illustrations. I learned that a social trend I thought was cool — the ability to pick up a part-time job for a day and be paid in cash as a student — was in some ways an outgrowth of Freeter culture which is becoming a bit of a trap for youth in Japan. The anime glitter was knocked out of my eyes, and I started to understand that Japan was… just Japan. Another country, with its own struggles and issues and cool parts of its society — not perfect, not horrific, just Japan.