Thursday, October 7, 2010

Japan you will not be America cause I said so.

It seems according to Iwabuchi that Japan's ability to create various globally successful "oderless" commodities such as consumer technologies, comics and cartoons and computer/ video games that we have consumed for decades are not to be considered even viable against the America "soft co-optic power"(pg416). That even though Japan has been able to change global perception of its culture from an "odor" to a "fragrance" that its economics will always overshadow its culture presence. If this is true, then what exactly is the value of Japan's contribution to the global market?

From Iwabuchi's stance it seems, that its Japan's place to be the globalizing force is only in Asia, with "its power-free perception of culture similarity and local intimacy" to its neigboring nations (pg 426-7). That it is only able to be a global force by buying into the American distribution channels and making stakes in American companies such as Hollywood studios and Manga Entertainment. But if that is true, then aren't we as America being used for a means to a economic end? And aren't we forgetting the huge amount of "odorless" goods we've consumed to no end?

Hence, if simply being covert is the issue then yes, Japan you lose the global influence power struggle. But what if being in the most economically lucrative industries without having to have the consumer recognize you or even relate to you or your country then what are you losing? Profits? Absolutely not, but recognition, yes. Iwabuchi's biggest strife seems to be that the culture of Japan, the Japanese "way of life" is not being promoted globally, and when it is abroad its consumption is artificial and only embodies the consumer culture (pg 417-8). Thus, Japan can not be America in Iwabuchi's eyes because it has not made its own culture the driving force in its global presence, and until it does Japanization can not be Americanization.

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