Orientalism is the style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological difference made between "the Orient" and "the Occident.". The East, which is the Orient, comprises of whatsoever that belongs to the Eastern world by tradition in relation to Europe. (Said, 2014). In the beginning this word -orient- was coined to designate Near east but later its meaning progressed and expanded, thus also designating middle east or far east.
Orientalism is the artefacts, traits or styles well-thought-out characteristics and cultures of Asian people. The Asian continent with a population of 4.54 billion people, is the largest on the planet earth with greater people diversity, accounting for 60 per cent of the earth's population. Anime is a style of Japanese television and film -hand or computer-generated- animation, which is intended for adults as well as the children.
Anime is one of the famous pop cultures in Asia, it has become essential parts of contemporary Japanese life and culture. Its influence cannot go unnoticed in every part of the country wherever you go. Without it, Japan would certainly not be the colourful and fascinating country as it is.
Years back when I was young I used to watch a lot of anime to pass time while travelling to home from school. It started with Shonen anime and later started watching varieties. The more I watched the more I noticed a difference in the characters and geographical locations. Some represented Japanese attributes so well which brought out well how they are really are. The scenes also portrayed the Japanese neighbourhood in their scenes.
Many others like Utau No prince sama, Yamada Kun 7 Nin No Majo where the characters do not resemble Japanese and made it seem like the teenage life is full of fun in Japan. I did not research much on Japan culture and its people. The attractiveness' of the characters and storyline made me watch anime. All the anime made me dream of going to Japan when I was still young, later when I did I realized I was so wrong almost about everything (Lu, 2008).
Funny as it seems, I know that people of Japan will never look like those in the anime because it is fictional, on the contrary, I assume that they will resemble the cosplay characters I view online. shortly as I alighted at Narita airport, my heart broke. It was winter and everything looked cold, as I took the nonstop train to Tokyo city, everything seemed grey and dull.
Most of the people were rushing and not cheerful, they did not have 'kawaii voice'. A number of years have passed since that occurrence and after going through this class I have grasped that this is the influence of orientalism. Orientalism is the imitation or portrayal of Middle Eastern and East Asian cultures by westerners (Said, 2014).
In the book Orientalism by Said, there is a general patronizing attitude by the westerns toward Asian, North African and Middle Eastern societies. Through this, the westerners view themselves as superior to others in comparison. in popular culture and animation, Japanese culture which is popular has been massively exported, promoted and consumed all over East and Southeast Asia for over two decades. A wide variety of merchandise is particularly accessible and apparent in expanse big cities.
Most of the Hong Kong's fashion journals in China, for example, are Japanese, either in Cantonese or original versions. The Japanese comic books regularly are being translated into other dialects of South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand, and it dominates the book market in East Asia's market. Characters which are animated like Hello Kitty, Pokemon and Ampan Man are present almost everywhere in the Asian typical city market (Edwards, Ho and Choi, 2002, pg 46)
The Japanese popular culture merchandise has quickly filled China's big cities local stores thus opening doors into china's country growing culture. Japanese popular culture success in Southeast Asia and East Asia in the past two decades has caused an overflow of academic writing, although the subject to some extent is still deserted in political science and international relations literature.
Economically and socially, the popular Japanese culture has been felt throughout east and west, economically affecting promotion and sales of various giant companies throughout the region, though I do perceive that there is a little bit of culture erosion concerning the same. There are lifestyles and ways of life which have been adopted by the Japanese from the west. The mode of dressing by the youths and eating lifestyles have changed an extent. The popular Hello Kitty Davos Cat Japans most visible pop icon takes country ambiguity of the Pada Pada advance, actually, kitty is not supposed to be Japanese. Kitty's first name is white as announced in the springtime of 2001 in Sanrio's magazine.
Sanrio's head of marketing in Asia illustrated the company's effort to market its product-clothes and other goodies- using Kitty's icon in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and it went disastrously. By then there was much colour difference, currently, there is no much difference and now they discern Kitty is from Japan, and that is why they love it. (Edwards, Ho and Choi, 2002, pg 49). The Japanese popular culture has really dominated the Asian market and is quickly spreading to the rest of the world dissemination its influences beyond the continents horizon. Japan anime and china's acrobatics in their films have greatly dominated the world market depicting the cultures and ways of life of their people. We always view them with admiration on the uniqueness of the geographical features and lifestyles of their people. With these products and ideas coined to be sold and consumed to a vast population around the world, it, therefore, offers opportunities for growth and advancement in technology, information and economics, usually impacting developed countries (Chen, 2018).
There is also the cross-border sharing of Japanese culture which in return leads to the unification of the people due to culture sharing. This fosters cohesion. Politically Japanese popular culture is being marketed across the globe, global cultural influence is on the verge of rising again (Edwards, Ho and Choi, 2002, pg 47). Starting with consumer electronics, fashion to architecture, art to food, Japan has by far greater political influence as it did in the 1980s.
The recent repeal of the act passed by the Japanese parliament which forbade Japanese military from participating in overseas operation after world war II has seen its troops joining peacekeeping missions worldwide. The lifestyles of the people of Japan have to some extent conform to the west, more so the American. The Japanese youths through their eating habits have a preference for American foodstuff and drinks, even though the company's sell them at exorbitant prices. They are seen queueing for this products in the major cities. Their dressing mode too has accommodated the western too. This too is visible in the production of the anime in Japan. They too have illustrated the western ways of life, the school uniforms in anime portray female students/pupils wearing pants and short dresses which are really not true. Female students do not wear pants in Japanese schools.
On the other perspective, migration of the different ethnicities across the Asian countries has greatly influenced and shaped out the cultures of the various ethnicities in the Asian region. The Chinese people, in particular, have migrated in large numbers to other countries in search of jobs and better living conditions. One million Chinese migrated to Singapore- a country with a population of four million. And as result, it brought out some Chinese migrants with fewer values and ways of life as compared to Chinese at the mainland. Also, the Singaporean's culture has been eroded too by the much influx of the Chinese migrant's presence in their country (Edwards, Ho and Choi, 2017).
Chen, L. (2018). Hong Kong, a city in love with Japan, flirts with a new Korean flame. [online] South China Morning Post. Available at: https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/community/article/2121253/hong-kong-city-love-japan-flirting-new-flame-Korean-culture [Accessed 23 Aug. 2018].
Edwards, D., Ho, L. and Choi, S. (2017). Media, Mobilities and Identity in East and Southeast Asia: Introduction. Cultural Studies Review, 23(1), p.60.
Lu, A. (2008). The Many Faces of Internationalization in Japanese Anime. [online] Google.com.https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=2ahUKEwiHibDOz4PdAhUGyKQKHcf3DO0QFjABegQICRAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.northeastern.edu%2Famylu%2Fpdf%2FLu%2520AS%2520Animation%25202008.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1AwBi4tUr4ZPYKGKkalBOD [Accessed 23 Aug. 2018].
McGray, D. (2002). Japan's Gross National Cool. Foreign Policy, (130), p.44.
Said, E. (2014). Orientalism. New York: Random House US.
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