Essay on Globalization: Japanese Culture

Submitted By jlongo4
Words: 1757
Pages: 8

Midterm Learning Protocol At the beginning of this course, I identified how I think. I was able to come up with a few different alterations of what seemed to be the same idea. I think in a very comparative manner, and I have done so for as long as I can remember. Coming into this course I did not even know that Them was a film. After learning that we were comparing two cultures, I felt very comfortable. Our first exercise had us explore culture without the help of resources or material. My gut feeling about culture was summed up by comparing it to a color wheel. The endless amount of “mixed colors” I referred to was a good start, but this course has began teaching me exactly how cultures mix and modify themselves. Culture and pop-culture are most definitely different, but the way pop-culture presents some things makes our understanding of mainstream culture more clear. For this reason, changes in culture can sometimes be easier identified by analyzing pop-culture mediums. Before any connections could be made, I needed a true grasp of culture. Humans being creatures of culture is what is suggested in “The Concept of Culture” by Larry W. Mayo (Mayo 3). The reasoning behind this phrase comes from peoples’ capacity for culture and the necessity it has in how we adapt to the world around us. Pop-culture on the other hand is the vernacular culture that prevails in a modern society (“Popular Culture”). This article also goes on to say that pop-culture gives rise to interesting and important questions. I would describe that idea as the fuel that lets this class operate. All of our material is analyzed and discussed amongst each other. This would not be possible if connecting culture to pop-culture did not raise questions and spark the need for better understanding. A math class says x equals ten, whereas this course does not provide clearcut answers and definitions. Therefore, I still probably cannot provide a solid definition of culture, but I am becoming better at being able to identify it. Recognizing culture can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Using pop-culture as a medium to understand culture seemed very silly at first. “When Godzilla Speaks” is the first chapter in the book In Godzilla’s Footsteps. Cultures infuse themselves into other cultures, and prior to the 1950s, Japanese culture had not entered American boarders. The creature Godzilla is a much smaller idea than what he represents, which is a start. One way to look at Godzilla is how he opened doors that had been forever closed. Things like anime and Hello Kitty would be foreign to us today if it were not for Godzilla. Susan Napier explores this idea into great depth and she had me wondering if mainstream culture can be transferred into other cultures (Napier 2006). Her chapter in this book clearly illustrates that pop-culture can be, and is, shared amongst different nations and continents. Gaining insight about culture from pop-culture is more helpful than I would have thought six weeks earlier. At the same time, I would have never guessed that discussions could be as in depth as they have been. Modernity is a main subject that comes up quite a bit when discussing Japan. The catalyst that is responsible for looking into modernity is the film Gojira. Modernization was not highly accepted in this movie, from Serizawa being an outcast to actually committing suicide to prevent a modern war possibility (Honda 1954). Godzilla: King of the Monsters on the other hand utilized modern technology quite a bit in how its main character communicated back and forth with the United States and things of that nature (Honda 1956). These opposing ideas of modernity are clearly seen in both of these movies. Interestingly, both countries felt the same exact way about becoming more modern nations in their real cultures. That is an example of how we can not only gain insight from pop-culture, but sometimes see very reliable connections to culture in general. The Pacific…