Japan has become one of the biggest cultural superpowers as it has influenced people all over the world with it’s unique blend of ancient Japanese tradition and modern nuances from technology to the otaku subculture. A term has even been coined to describe it’s cultural power: Cool Japan.
So what symbolizes Cool Japan? Tokyo Polytechnic University has recently conducted a survey to answer this question.
They asked 1,000 men and women aged 15-49 years old from all over Japan for a period of six days from January 17-22, 2014.
People were asked which character do they think symbolizes “Cool Japan”. 55.6% said that it would be Dragon Ball’s main character, Son Goku. Doraemon meanwhile takes second place in the survey with 38.3% while Totoro takes third with 37.5%. Pokemon’s Pikachu and the other characters take in 37.4%
Japanese games are also making a huge splash all over the world so the university also asked its respondents what game series to they think symbolizes “Cool Japan”. It was very close at the top of their survey as Dragon Quest takes in 59.4% while Super Mario Brothers takes 59.3%. Talk about close. Final Fantasy, which is one of the biggest JRPG titles out there got 49.8%.
Cool Japan was first coined in 2002 as the country is slowly emerging as a cultural powerhouse within the world stage. The term has been adopted by the Japanese government to promote tourism and generate interest in the country. It’s scope does not only include anime, manga and video games but also J-pop, Japanese cuisine, architecture and many more.