Japan is a country rich in pop culture that has started to gain recognition and popularity throughout the world. As popular culture changes quickly and drastically, we focus this lesson on the most recent pop culture.
- Japan boasts the second largest music industry in the world after the United States.
- Pop music is especially popular in Japan, although you can find all sorts of music in Japan done by Japanese artists-including rock, rap, hip-hop, reggae, and more.
- Recently, the popularity of domestic Japanese movies has been on the rise, with the annual box-office revenue for domestic movies hitting an all-time high in 2008.
- Of the top Japanese films of 2008, the highest-grossing title was the animation film Gake no
- Ue no Ponyo (”Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea̶
- Hayao Miyazaki directed this movie as well as other popular animated titles such as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away, which was the first anime film to win an Academy Award.
- Variety shows, true to their name, feature a variety of different content-cooking segments, comedy segments, skits, and quizzes are just some of what you’ll find on a typical Japanese variety show.
- Variety shows often feature a large panel of currently popular celebrities and sometimes a studio audience.
- Quiz shows that feature contestants (who are almost always celebrities) answering questions on numerous subjects, such as science, history, math, the Japanese language, pop culture, and so on, also enjoy great popularity.
- Japanese dramas are also very popular among Japanese people of all ages.
- Many current dramas’ running in Japan are adaptations of popular movies, comics, or animated shows.
Popular Foreigners in Japan
- Jero, is an African-American singer who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- He has gained popularity singing enka, a traditional type of pop music that is especially popular among older people.
Popular Japanese Men/Women Abroad
- Actor Ken Watanabe became a recognized name after appearing alongside Tom Cruise in the 2003 war film The Last Samurai.
- Issey Miyake is the most well-known Japanese designer in the world, and he is considered the first Asian designer to gain worldwide recognition.
Popular Sports Figures
- Ichiro Suzuki joined the Seattle Mariners in 2000, a move that many watched with great interest, as he was the first Japanese position player to play regularly for a Major League Baseball team.
- Shizuka Arakawa made headlines when she received a gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics, a first in the event for a Japanese skater.