Japan’s Empire of Cool
The Washington Post published what is essentially a review of Douglas McGray’s May 2002 article in Foreign Policy Magazine, “Japan’s Gross National Cool.” That article has created a wave of media surrounding the idea that Japan is exporting a lot of culture to the rest of the world after having voraciously imported foreign culture since the turn of the century.
washingtonpost.com: Japan’s Empire of Cool
While it is obvious that modern Japanese culture is increasingly popular around the world, I’m not sure how sustainable it is. If one was to investigate the creators of the most popular Japanese cultural exports, I would bet that few of them are graduates of Japan’s elite universities. I don’t think that the Japanese education system is equipped to graduate the kinds of artists and creative types who, in small numbers so far, have gone on to create globally popular brands and intellectual property.
Other major media on the bandwagon include Time Asia:
TIMEasia Magazine: What’s Right with Japan
TIME Asia Magazine SPECIAL REPORT: COOL JAPAN
Wired Magazine Issue 9.09 – Is Japan Still The Future?