A regional gateway: Japanese popular culture in Hong Kong, 1990-2005

Nissim Otmazgin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In popular culture, Hong Kong is probably the most "Japanese city" outside Japan. It is home to a wide variety of Japanese popular cultural products and a regional base to many of the Japanese music and television companies who expanded their operations in the city in the early 1990s. Hong Kong's emerging middle class, especially the younger generation, has enthusiastically accepted Japanese contemporary culture and lifestyle, making the city one of the biggest destinations for Japan's cultural exports. Based on fieldwork surveys and interviews, this paper looks at the organizational aspect of popular culture during the heydays of Japanese popular culture in Hong Kong in the 1990s and early 2000s. The investigation focuses on the marketing strategies and promotional efforts used by agents of Japanese popular culture in Hong Kong and the role of popular culture piracy in this process. Beyond analyzing the Japanese case, the paper introduces a new framework to examine the transnational expansion of popular cultures across markets in East and Southeast Asia, highlighting the role of companies and promoters in this process.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)323-335
Number of pages13
JournalInter-Asia Cultural Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • East Asia
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • cultural industries
  • popular culture


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