Soft powering popular culture: Discourse and policy making in Japan's content industries

Nissim Otmazgin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Over the past two decades, Japanese popular culture has reached consumers of other countries in a variety and scale unseen before. As any lecturer in Japanese studies in any part of the work can testify, anime and manga is what brings students into class, and not the economy or Japanese managerial systems, as it used to be the 1980s. One of the interesting aspects of this unexpected aspect of Japan's internationalization is a growing discourse in Japan about the new opportunities created by the globalization of Japanese popular culture. While some emphasize the economic benefits of cultural exports as a new source for revenues and as a way to upgrade the economy, others point to the diplomatic advantages of popular culture as a way to boost the country's image abroad and attain "soft power". The Japanese government, for its part, has been increasingly interested in this sector and is gradually placing popular culture production and export on its agenda. In such context, this chapter examines the way the globalization of popular culture has been treated in domestic discourse in Japan and analyzes the way it is being bureaucratized and utilized by the state.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationSocial Commentary on State and Society in Modern Japan
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789811023958
ISBN (Print)9789811023941
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2016. All rights are reserved.


  • Anime boom
  • Cool Japan
  • Globalization
  • Popular culture
  • Soft power


Dive into the research topics of 'Soft powering popular culture: Discourse and policy making in Japan's content industries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this