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    I did a thorough search of National Public Radio’s recent soundscapes but could not locate the story that detailed the attraction and seductive lure that Japan had on the American imagination. Oh not all Americans. But, for the few, the few self-selected, Japan and Japanese culture had a compelling draw.

    It was a great story. The lured were American teenagers, and the pull of Japan was so strong that they were actually learning a foreign language (Americans, mind you!), and their entry into that world? Anime and Manga.

    American teenagers, fascinated with the idea that the place that made those comics and films existed…and that they could someday go there…and that if they learned the language they would get more meaning from the anime and manga…!

    Japnese is spoken in…Japan. Not really anywhere else. A country with an ageing, dwindling population, but an economy that is still (depends how ya count) second largest in the world, but is in recession, with a Yen that is appreciating…making Japan’s products more costly in the world. It’s fascinating, really! Clearly it would be best to learn Chinese. But no. Japanese it is. And it’s art that draws them!

    Not films. So, it’s not too surprising that there are few attendees at the Petit Palais exhibition of Kurosawa’s graphic work…Japanese film is not where it’s at, and Japanese film of the past-even less so where it’s at. (Just in case we thought we were cool).



    For teenagers, Japan does come off as a toy-land of sorts. Where else can you find 50 year-old business man, in a manga store, or reading one on a train? This wide-spread commonalty between adult and child, is entirely unseen in America. Along with the general acceptance of animated artwork being considered legitimate, versus the idea of it being a device for the outcast in America. This extend well past comic-book, and extends to all faucets of teenager curiosity and interest as well.

    I would agree the appeal of Japan in general is anime and manga, but equally as well, all forms of hentai and JAV, which I’m sure was omitted to give a sense of class to the report.

    But it is really I think, the extreme that exist in Japan that are of the great interest. Where a country of that rather conservative nature, and long traditions, contains large acceptance and abundance of youthful themed medias,outlets, adult and child(these has been toned down though the years, although it’s still rather shocking how far it goes) pornography. Whilst in America, what is largely consider a free-for-all society, and of little to no traditions, looks down upon and suppressed these very items, and would imprison people viewing some the magazines that are widely and openly sold in Japan.

    Now, I’m not say American teenagers are learning Japanese due to pornography, however what they are finding is a world that seemly opens itself up to a teenager mindset. And do believe it’s this perceived freedom of that exist in Japan, that really draws the American, and thus the desire to learn the language-which is indeed is largely for the better reading of the rather deeply and well written animes, and mangas.

    I suppose any proof to this, would be that in fact Japan is a country of old people, yet the contains the largest appeal from the youth.

    I do think, this only touches the surface, you could factor in the general spawning of technology, fashion, music and car cultures that bring in large deal interest from youth, although if speaking strictly about learning the language, then this do little to do so.

    To wonder off subject a bit, my theory of why Japan is full of old people and dwindling population:

    Men of all ages are scared of women.

    What I see is the young boys with the nature fear of girls, that instead of getting over this around puberty, dive instead into the hentai. Hentai by itself is not the problem. However with wide spread acceptance, the guys are grouping together with other guys of like interest.

    It’s this grouping of guys, and deep interest of hentai, that puts them further away from girls, and then girls finding them odd, or no interest or just “otaku”.

    Girls, however are entirely innocent, they in similar ways, dig deep into fashion, and although maintaining a desirability from the boys, they class themselves out of what the boys would deem obtainable. And they too, turn within themselves, however they present a clear desperation for male interacting in many case, just the male simply doesnt respond. And which this I think spawns the entirty of the Japanese fashion scene, the girls are continually trying to improve their looks to attract males, but go unaware, the more they do so, the more the males deem them unobtainable and thus never try.

    So you get these large separation of the boys and girls, and thus a fear in sense is built as interaction between them is limited. This last until adulthood, til the point the man and woman are of an age around their late 30’s to early 40’s. Now the man has a stable job, and the woman is ready for a family, and simply looking for a husband that can at least be dependable.

    So in which case the woman, often seeks the man, and rather willing to settle for any man that appears to be a good person, but not necessary, one she loves.

    Perhaps the awkwardness of all this, their age, and job loyalty, is what largely gives off only one child.

    This process repeats, and you start to get 2 people putting out 1 child, and all this done at a old age.

    So you get a country of old people, and little population, as well as a large desire for a pornography outlet to those no yet married, and even then.

    Granted this is being rather general, but when you see 30 year old guy on the subway, reading a pornographic magazine with no shame, he really should know his chances of attracting a girl goes down to zero. The girls simply find him weird, or if not, intimidated by image giving in Japanese pornography, even though they dont really have a problem with pornography in general.

    Now, I’m not saying hentai or pornography is bad, I’ve seen my fair share, but it has it’s place, and perhaps, if Japan wasnt so open about this, things would be different. I’m also not saying Japan’s porno scene is greatly different then America’s, it’s just more accepted in public view, and tends to draw a much deeper involvement and obsession, to the point where a want or the ability to get a real woman is reduced.

    I might know much about women, but I’m rather certain doing this isnt going to be much aid in attracting one.


    (I was looking for this photo, but couldnt find one that wasnt written)

    I do know these parties, aren’t entirely uncommon and again I’m not saying their is something wrong, but it is weird, and certainly not sexy 😉

    But, I dont know really, nearly everything in Japan, that although not original, is taken to the extremes. Japan is just crazy, so who the hell knows?



    “…Japan is a country of old people, yet the contains the largest appeal from the youth.”

    Good observation, Jeremy. And, a really interesting post! I am off to Mexico City, but look forward to hearing your ideas and something more of your travel (the sword-master story was really and adventure!) when I return. Happy Holidays and New Year to everyone!

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