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Western Influences in Japanese Culture

How the western world has affected Japanese Culture and how the same has been done to us.

Image by ivva via Flickr

When you think of Japan what do you happen to think of? You think of the land of the rising sun with Samurai and Ancient warriors from the past.  Maybe you think of something different like cyber punk culture, anime and video games?  Little do people know that even though Japan is one of the biggest countries for new innovations there is a lot of western influences in its culture.  Many things such as art, TV, music, and fashion have western world impacts on those just stated.  Let’s see how much of an impact we have on our eastern neighbors. 


Nowadays when you listen to music from Japan the song is mainly sung in Japanese of course, but more and more there’s a slight difference in music.  More artists are starting to add English words to their songs and even song titles in English rather than Kanji.  Earlier on you couldn’t even find a Japanese artists CD in a store, granted it’s still hard to find imported CD‘s but the demand is on a rise in America for Japanese music.  What could possibly have caused this surge in popularity in Japan?  Could it be the establishment of MTV in Japan back in 1992 or something that has happened even before that?  Several years’ back Japan was introduced to the brass band and in 1880’s western music was put into schools (qanda.encyclopedia).  In 1887 the Academy of Music was established in Tokyo which made western music a good part of life in Japan (qanda.encyclopedia).  Now with MTV of Japan up and running for good in the country more western music will be displayed to the Japanese giving a greater influence to them as a whole. 


Art: Anime


Animation is a very popular art in Japan as well as many other places in the world.  As being a multibillion dollar industry it has become quite popular here in America spawning anime clothes and games as well as Americas own form of anime.  So with all this coming into America there has to be some sort of influence going to Japan right?  The biggest influence would happen to be religion on anime.  Surprised?  Christianity in a lot of anime’s has a significant role seeing how a lot of characters are known as Kami which is god in Japanese. The anime Neon Genesis Evangelion is rattled with western religion aspects; it’s mainly based on religion and goes into detail about it.  In Chrono Crusade the story follows the bible closely with Mary and Jesus, as well as different demons from the bible. 

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