Japanese Pop Culture


That whole add campaign for the Lupo is one of the things that disgusts me about Japan. It's the massive marketing of life−style. Buy this, wear this, drive this and you'll be cool. Of course we have that in America and lots of people follow along but still, here in Japan it's multiplied by 10!.

That and idol worship as in movie stars and TV celebrities. Did you know that on the majority of TV gameshows in Japan feature celebrities. There are no everyday people for contestants. You watch the game show and watch celebrities win prizes of $10k or $20k etc. How is that interesting? They are already stinking rich. They don't need the money. But, most of the Japanese TV poplulation just wants to watch the the cute / beautiful people.

Many celebrities are on 6 or more TV shows AND are the spokesperson for 5 or more brands of stuff. Here's one, Mr. Tokoro. He's on 6 TV shows, as well as spokesperson for Mister Donut, Kanebo, NEC Biglobe Internet service, Bridgestone, Mitsubishi Air Conditioners, The Japanese Lotto. Plus he's got an animated series about HIM!

Beat Takeshi is another one. He's on 7 TV programs and 6 products. Most Americans think of him as this cool Hollywood outsider making interesting independant movies but of course if those Americans saw him here they'd think nothing of the sort. Turn the TV on and you're bound to see him on stupid talkshows, gameshows, etc. He's about as far from an outsider as you can get.

Then there's Akashiya Sanma. He's similar to the others. At any time of the day or night it seems like your chances of turning on the TV and seeing one of those 3 faces is greater than 50%. Add about 4 more similar people and that chance would go up to 80%. It's crazy. If that's not evidence of an "old boys network" in Japanese TV I don't know what is.

Celebrity worship gets sickening at times. For example with Tomb Raider the movie coming out earlier this month they've been interviewing Angelina Jolie alot. In one interview the interviewer, a Japanese woman around 28, was literally acting like she was going to collapse from excitement. She was saying things like "I can't believe I'm in the same room with Angelina Jolie" and "can I please touch you to prove to myself this is real". Angelina Jolie was actually looking pretty nervous to be by this freak of a fan. As in like "chill out, I'm just another person like everybody else." I guess America used to do this in the 40s and 50s but we seemed to have grown out of it for the most part. Here it's still the norm.

It's the same with J−Pop, Japanese pop music. The fans idolize every one of them beyond obsession. Worse, 90% of them are all made, not talented. Imagine if every band in America was N−SYNC, Milli−Vanilli, Spice Girls and you'd have a good idea of the Japanese popular music seen. The funniest thing is watching them dance because they can't. It's not that Japanese people can't dance. I'm sure they can but you can't tell it from the lame music videos. Bounce a little, cut alot and anybody can look like a J−Pop idol.

Here it doesn't matter if you have any talent it matters that you are cute or hunky. In fact at lease a few Japanese I've met know their idols have no talent but that doesn't matter because "they're so cuuute!!".