Why Are Japanese Obsessed With American Culture?

Why Are The Japanese Obsessed With American Culture

Japan and the United States are separated by the vast Pacific Ocean, but their cultural connection runs deep. From Hollywood movies and music to fast food and fashion, American culture has captured the fascination of many Japanese people.

This phenomenon raises an intriguing question: Why are the Japanese so obsessed with American culture?

To uncover the roots of this cultural admiration, we delve into the historical, societal, and psychological factors that have shaped this enduring fascination.

Why Are The Japanese Obsessed With American Culture

Why Are The Japanese Obsessed With American Culture

Japanese Culture In Relation to America’s Culture

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If we were to compare Japanese culture to the culture in the United States, it’s pretty obvious that Japanese people have and follow more culture and a set of traditions in almost everything they do. 

A few examples of that would be in eating wherein the Japanese culture has a lot of things to keep in mind to be respectful and polite when eating. This also applies to drinking in a social setting and you have to follow a certain way to be respectful.

One of the major differences as well as how the Japanese converse with people of different ages or hierarchies. Japan uses a lot of honorifics to be respectful and polite to strangers, the elderly, or people of power.

American Interaction

If we compare these to the United States, these traditions or norms are very far off from how they live their daily lives. To begin with, there are really special and specific sets of rules to follow when eating or drinking in the United States.

Although it’s still a rule of thumb in American households to be respectful at all times in eating by not talking while chewing or by offering a drink to a visitor. They just don’t do what Japanese people are doing when it comes to eating and drinking.

There’s no hint of honorifics in the United States as well but that’s not because they’re disrespectful in any way. They just believe in respect in the form of seeing everyone as their equal, this is why they just call each other by their name despite their age or status in life.

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America As A Multicultural Society

What we mentioned above might be true as an overview of how American culture is, but it might not always be the case in every household or area since the United States is a multicultural society. 

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Often dubbed as the “Land of Opportunities”, the United States is home to a lot of nationalities and cultures from Asia, South America, Africa, Australia, and Europe. Because of this, some households follow a set of traditions of their own from their own ethnicities.

American Family

Specifically speaking, in Asian households, it’s common practice and a show of respect to leave shoes outside the house or to avoid using them inside the house. In some African households, it’s a must to honor guests and give them the best experience in their short visit to your home.

The point being made here is that given America’s diverse cultures and backgrounds, we could also say that some households follow a set of traditions or norms just like how the Japanese people.

Japan’s Media And America’s Portrayal

As allies for decades now, both Japan and the United States have promoted each other in their media outlets as dependable nations, always ready to help each other no matter the circumstance or situation.

This is seen through Japanese media and how they praise the United States for being a long-time ally and friend in almost all aspects may it be economic, political, or in their military. They perceive America as a helpful friend and they return the favor by being dependable as well.

America and Japan Alliance

Since the United States is Japan’s closest and longest ally, they show their appreciation in many ways and one of these is their portrayal in Japanese media and how they show all the amazing things there are in visiting the United States or being an American in general.

The United States does the same by continuously showing the American people how valuable and precious the bond that both countries have and how beneficial it has been for both parties since they started helping each other.

This portrayal of the Japanese media has made the locals appreciate the United States even more alongside the other topics that we will cover in the later parts of the article like America’s influence on food, film, and sports.

American Influence On Cuisine And Food

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Probably one of the most evident in terms of American influence, American food has become more and more popular in Japan, especially in Tokyo. If you roam around Japan, you’ll see either full American dishes or American dishes that are infused with Japanese cuisine.

Burgers and hotdogs became more popular in Japan due to America’s influence and this is pretty evident with all the restaurants and street foods in Japan that offer these types of dishes. There are also a lot of American dishes infused with Japanese cuisine like Kimchi Burgers and the like.

America has also introduced a number of other dishes into Japan that the Japanese people love. French fries and American-style steaks are a few examples and the locals truly love them because it’s a different taste from what they’re used to. 

Burger in Japan

Not only that but a surge of famous American fast-food chains also made their way into mainstream Japan. Wherever you go in Japan, you’ll see McDonald’s and other chains like Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, and Starbucks.

It’s also safe to say that Japan has done the same with how they influenced the United States with food. You’ll see a lot more Japanese restaurants in America compared to before and see traditional dishes like ramen, sushi, and udon all over the country.

American Influence On Arts And Film

America has influenced Japan a lot through arts than you’d normally expect. After the Second World War, the Japanese embraced and took in art styles from the Americans and developed their new styles around it.

A common pattern between the two in the arts is their ability to experiment more with the artworks in order to create something new and fresh to the eyes. Pioneers of this timeline were Tatsuo Ikeda, Jiro Yoshihara, Fujiko Nakaya, and many more great and influential artists. They are also more commonly known as avant-garde artists.

In terms of film, we all know that America has influenced not only Japan but many other countries as well with pop culture and Hollywood. But the thing is, Japan is also influencing the United States in its own way.

Japan returned the favor and influenced the United States a lot as well in terms of film in the form of manga, anime, and film inspiration for a lot of famous Hollywood movies like the Star Wars franchise and the Godzilla franchise.

American Influence On Sports And Entertainment

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It’s no secret that both basketball, American football, and baseball originated in the United States and sure enough, they play both of these in Japan and they don’t just play for fun, they have nationwide leagues for both that have top-notch professional players.

Baseball is arguably Japan’s most popular sport in terms of spectators and fans. It all started in Japan competitively back in the 1920s and it’s all thanks to the United States and its influence on Japan through sports and entertainment.

America has also widely influenced Japan in terms of sports and entertainment in a huge way and the X-League (American Football League in Japan) is one way to prove it. You won’t see a league setup this big outside of the United States but in Japan.

The X-League have different divisions as well based on the skill of the team and they have American players on the team as well. The league is nationwide and a lot of Japanese are aware of the sport and how it’s played.

X-League in Japan

For basketball, on the other hand, the B-League has different divisions as well depending on the skill of the team and they have American players as well in the teams. High-skilled basketball is in full display as well as the B-League Division 1 is considered one of the top basketball leagues in the world.

Why Are The Japanese Obsessed With American Culture

It’s no secret that the Japanese people are big fans of American culture and they show it in their own little ways. Wherever you go in Japan, especially in Tokyo, you’ll see hints of the influence of American culture all over the place.

This is no mystery as Japan and the United States have had a harmonious and democratic relationship for a very long time which involves ties in their economies, politics, and military which is why they’ve both influenced each other in their own ways.

We hope that this article has been helpful in determining why the Japanese people are obsessed with American culture.

What do you think?

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