Japan s popular culture participation and consumption
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Japan’s Popular Culture: participation and consumption. The basis of participation Mass consumption versus individual expression Mediums of homogenization Alternative culture. Bounce Ko Gals. What forms of individual expression do you see?

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Japan’s Popular Culture:participation and consumption

  • The basis of participation

  • Mass consumption versus individual expression

  • Mediums of homogenization

  • Alternative culture

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Bounce Ko Gals

  • What forms of individual expression do you see?

    • How would you categorize them in terms of participation and consumption?

  • What groups do you see?

    • How are they structured and what rules do they have?

  • Any sign of alternative cultures or sub-cultures?

  • What is this director saying about Japanese society?

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Japan’s Popular Culture:participation and consumption

  • Consider the capacity for individual expression within a mass culture society.

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Japan’s Popular Cultureparticipation and consumption

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The Basis of Participation

  • Shumi (tastes or hobbies)

  • Appreciation

  • Practice

  • Traditional & modern education systems

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Mass consumption versus individual expression

  • From labor saving machines to consumption as expression

  • The burdens of reciprocity

  • Time pressures of modern life

  • Emptiness of economic struggle

  • Escape to Manga, Pachinko, Karaoke

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Centralized mediums of homogenization

  • Education

  • Television

  • Newspapers and other publications

  • Industrialization of the arts

  • National organization in general

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Hamasaki Ayumi

Empress of J-Pop

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Alternative culture

  • Otaku, Lolitas, and other manga children

  • Street fashion, theatre, music

  • Environmental groups and communities

  • Political activism

  • Homosexual and bisexual communities

  • Deviant groups

  • New religions

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21st Century Alternatives

  • Freeters: 15 to 34; part-time or temporary employment; live as parasite singles with parents; difficult to start a family and career later in life; moratorium, dream-pursuing, and no alternative types; approx. 2 million.

  • NEETS: “NOT currently engaged in EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION or TRAINING,” dropped out the work force and with little desire to join; 850,000.

  • Otaku: obsessive fans, usually male, preoccupied with manga, anime and computer games; subculture, shunning mass-market anime films or commercially successful characters, but great influence on mass culture; fan service, dating simulation, role playing; 1.7 million.

  • Hikikomori: young men who isolates themselves from society and family in a single room for at period exceeding six months to decades; live in fantasy world of manga, anime, and computer games; reasons—social pressure to conform, lack of own tatemae and honne, affluence, amae between mother and son, recession, education system; 50,000 to 1 million.

  • Coplay: dressing as characters from manga, anime, and video games; also television shows, movies, or Jpop music bands.

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Market Impact of the real fanatic Otaku

Field Population (*1) Market Scale (*2)

Comics 350,000 ¥ 83 billion

Animation 110,000 ¥ 20 billion

Idols (*3) 280,000 ¥ 61 billion

Games 160,000 ¥ 21 billion

PC assembly 190,000 ¥ 36 billion

Audio-visual 60,000 ¥ 12 billion


Mobile IT 70,000 ¥ 8 billion


Autos 140,000 ¥ 54 billion

Travel 250,000 ¥ 81 billion

Fashion 40,000 ¥ 13 billion

Cameras 50,000 ¥ 18 billion

Railways 20,000 ¥ 4 billion

Total 1.72 million ¥ 411 billion HK 27,123,400,00

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Marketing to Otaku: the 3Cs

  • Collection : Promote continuous consumption by adding elements of collecting to products and services

  • Creativity : Introduce products that could be converted or for which there is room for reconstruction. Strengthen consumer attachment to a product by providing an outlet for creativity in consumer activities of the user.

  • Community : Promote consumer activities by providing a place to exchange/transmit information and demonstrate their own creative activities.

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Summing up

  • Can Japanese women express themselves and assert their equal rights in what has been a male dominated society.

  • Does the education system in enable equal opportunity and individual expression.

  • Does religion plays a significant role in shaping behavior and enriching life in Japan.

  • Is their room for individual expression within Japan’s mass culture society.