Bet you understood that. If you didn’t, then either you are 50 + years in age or have never watched a single Anime or read a Manga.
If you did understand the above mentioned, then you have come to the right place my friend. With this blog we shall be exploring the vast and creative land of Japan with the help of pop culture.
Also, those words are common Japanese greetings and mean:
- Moshi Moshi = Hello
- Konichiwa = Good Day
- Arigato = Thank You
- Irasshaimase = Welcome
Now that we have covered the basics, let’s get this show on the road!
With language as a barrier, japanese culture seemed almost mythical. With the advent of Manga (japanese comic books), video games and multilingual dubbing and translations along with subtitles, these gaps have seem to vanish. But be warned, Manga addicts take offence if their book is clubbed in the same category as a comic. So, we are going to stick to Manga.
Manga are illustrated books with realistic details of motion and help establish action within the story. They are traditionally black or white in colour. They are usually broken down in parts and the story continues on to the next issue.
The acceptance of manga was so massive in the east and the west, that it has sired an entire newform of animation commonly known as Anime. Japanese art which is depicted in either Anime or Manga is expressive and it’s characters have elongated limbs with a small nose and big, doe eyes. They are also painted with bright yellow/purple hair and always exceed our expectations with the powers they are depicted with.
Manga/Anime have mainstreamed and influenced many things in the west. Some of them are mentioned below.
- Cuisine : It should come as no surprise to see Japanese cuisine come on top of this list. Ramen, moon cakes and sushi are now integral part of our daily diet. Anime/Manga have realistically made us salivate when we see one of the characters slurping down a bowl of hot ramen. One of its most famous examples is ‘Oishinbo’ a Japanese manga about food, was written by Tetsu Kariya and drawn by Akira Hanasaki. It was first published in Japan in 1983, and has turned into an enormous bestseller.
- Clothing : The traditional clothing in Japan is Kimonos and Yakutas. Kimonos basically mean ‘something to wear’ but now have become synonymous as typical japanese wear. There are lightweight versions of these clothings easily available in the west. A japanese kimono has many traditions attached to it, but, a simplified, ready to wear versions with minimum layers are now available at the corner market store. Uka-no-Mitama-no-kami is probably the most famous kimono wearing Anime character. Her gentle soul and caring nature has endeared her to many.
- Artifacts : Katanas, Shurikens ( throwing stars) and japanese fans of different sizes are now hold mandatory fireplace placement in our homes. These items come with years of history and symbolise japan’s culture. They played an integral part in Anime/manga stories and have taken them and used them as a part of our everyday lives. ( thought the fan did get stretched so big that they now cover not our faces but our walls.) though not anime or manga, the Bride from ‘Kill Bill’ prefered a traditional katana for her battle against O-Ren Ishii. Quentin Tarantino is a huge Manga fan, and it shows.
- Style : Yes! Style. Japanese characters were traditionally painted with bright coloured hair. Yellow, blue, purple, red. It didn’t matter. The hair and body language of every character was unique. It was inevitable that anime/manga followers too started colouring their hair in the brightest of hues. It gave them the ability to express themselves and not be judged in turn. Roronoa zoro from the famous Anime/Manga ‘One Piece’ oozes style and charm. His green hair is often the source of light hearted teasing. His friend Sanji, teases him as moss head!
There are not enough words to encompass the vast history and tradition of japan and its people in one blog. This small attempt is our homage to the awesomeness thats Japan! May nature bless you and your people!