JAPANESE POP CULTURE
Nathan Spaugh
and
Amanda Collyer
WHAT IS POP CULTURE?
• Popular culture (commonly known as pop culture) is the
totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes,
images and other phenomena that are deemed
preferred per an informal consensus within the
mainstream of a given culture. Heavily influenced by
mass media, this collection of ideas permeates the
everyday lives of the society.
• Short version: Stuff people like.
J-Pop Culture in
MUSIC
SMAP
•
An idol group formed by Johnny & Associates.
•
Originally founded in 1991 with six members.
•
Has released over 40 singles and 20 albums.
•
Current Members:
•
•
Nakai Masahiro 中居正広
38
•
Kimura Takuya 木村拓哉
37
•
Kusanagi Tsuyoshi 草彅剛
36
•
Inagaki Goro 稲垣吾郎
36
•
Katori Shingo 香取慎吾
33
Former Members
•
Mori Katsuyuki 且行森
ARASHI
•
Arashi is a music group with most
members in their mid to late-20’s.
•
Formed by Johnny & Associates.
•
嵐 translated literally means “storm”
•
Members:
• Masaki Aiba
雅紀相葉 27
• Jun Matsumoto
潤松本 27
• Kazunari Ninomiya
• Satoshi Ohno
和也二宮 27
智大野 29
• Sho Sakurai 翔櫻井 28
•
Most famous songs: Love So Sweet,
GREEEEN
•
This fascinating and popular hiphop/alternative group has many record
topping singles but interestingly enough
has never done a concert.
•
The group consists of 4 members, all 4 of
which desire to become dentists. They
keep their identities secret to protect their
professional practices.
•
In 2009 the final member of Greeeen
finally passed the dentistry exam.
•
This explains their symbol, the band
name Greeeen in a smiley face. (big
ohhh moment for me)
•
Hits Include: Ai Uta (love song), kiseki
(miracle), and Haruka
•
Members: Hide, Navi, 92, and Soh
AKB48
•
This group is unique even in Japan.
•
Consists of 3 teams (A, K, & B teams), each
with 16 girls and a total of 48.
•
Is based out of a theatre in Akihabara, Tokyo
where they do a live performance 1-2 times per
day.
•
The oldest current member is 24, the average
member age is 18 with the youngest 3 members
being only 15.
•
Members regularly “graduate” or leave the
group and new members are added.
•
Every year fans vote their favorite in each group
and more popular members are moved to the
front of each performance, etc.
AKB-48
Bingo
PERFUME
•
A techno-pop artist originally from
Hiroshima, Japan.
•
One of the new evolutions of the J-pop
sound. A blend of techno and pop.
•
One of the few idol groups whose
members knew each other before hand.
•
Members
• Omoto Ayano 大本彩乃
• Kashino Yuka 樫野有香
• Nishiwaki Ayaka 西脇綾香
PERFUME – THE
VOICE
IKIMONO-GAKARI
•
Formed in 1999
•
Name refers to a group of children who
are responsible for looking after plants
and animals in a Japanese elementary
school
•
Many songs have been featured as
themes for anime and drama series
•
Members
• 吉岡 聖恵, Yoshioka Kiyoe (26)
• 水野 良樹, Mizuno Yoshiki (27)
• 山下 穂尊, Yamashita Hotaka (28)
MUSIC STATION
•
Long running music showcase
program. Began in 1986.
•
Fridays at 8 pm
•
Often features artists from around the
world (often during the Japan leg of
their world tours).
•
Features a weekly singles ranking and
a monthly album ranking
•
Celebrated their 1000 episode on
February 12 th, 2010
J-Pop Culture in
CELEBRITIES
AUDREY
•
Owarai Duo オードリー
•
Kasuga Toshiaki 春日 俊彰
•
Wakabayashi Masayasu 若林正恭
•
Met in junior high
•
Formed under the name Nice Middle
•
Changed name to Audrey from Audrey
Hepburn
•
Kasagu is known for his iconic pink
vest and white pants. Also known for
being a penny pincher.
KOJIMA YOSHIO
•
Comedian
•
Famous for appearing in nothing but a
small bathing suit in performances as
well as interviews
•
Known for his signature dance
•
Catchphrase:
• そんなの関係ねぇ
• Sonna no kankei nee
• "What does that matter?"
•
Went to high school with one of my
JTEs
MAO ASADA
•
Figure Skater
•
Silver medalist at the 2010 Winter
Olympics
•
Originally studied ballet
•
Best known for her triple axel jumps
• Holds the Guinness World Record
for most triple axels performed in
a competition (3)
•
Owns a miniature poodle named Aero
•
Her older sister Mai is also an ice
skater
ICHIRO
•
Full name: Ichiro Suzuki
•
Baseball player
•
Right Fielder
•
Currently plays for the Seattle
Mariners
•
Holds several batting records
• Single season base hits (262)
• Has 10 consecutive 200 hit
seasons
•
Known for his pre-swing pose
DAIGO
•
Singer and song writer, but way more
famous for being Daigo than for any of
his music.
•
His grandfather was once Prime
Minister of Japan
•
Did some solo work as Daigo Stardust
until 2006
•
Currently the main vocalist of the band
Breakerz.
•
Often wears fingerless gloves
•
Catchphrase (with gesture): Wish!
J-Pop Culture in
TV
Q10
•
Title pronounced キュート
•
Saturdays at 9:00
•
Stars a singer from AKB48 (Maeda
Atsuko) and a popular actor who once
stared on Kamen Rider (Sato Takeru )
•
Heita is an ordinary high school boy with
a kind heart but no real interest in
romance. His class is joined by a
transfer student named Q10 who looks
like a girl but is actually a robot.
Together, the two end up causing trouble
at school, and Heita even begins falling
for Q10.
•
A kiss scene between the two is
planned!
DASSHUTSU GAME DERO
•
Variety show where contestants have
to escape from locked rooms by
answering trivia questions and solving
brain teasers.
•
Wednesdays at 7 pm
•
Contestants are celebrities like
comedians and singers (AKB48).
•
Visual show, great for any Japanese
level and great for study.
PRESSURE STUDY Q-SAMA
•
Variety Quiz show
•
Monday 8 pm
•
Celebrity teams of 10
•
Contestants wear school uniforms and
answer questions in subjects like
Japanese, English, Social Studies,
and Arithmetic
TENSAI! SHIMURA DOUBUTSUEN
•
Educational animal variety show
•
Saturdays at 7 pm
•
Overload of cuteness
•
Features celebrities and baby animals
from puppies to lion cubs
•
Currently has an ongoing segment of
Daigo and a monkey named Sakura
travelling across Japan
REINORYOKUSHA
ODAGIRI KYOKO NO USO
•
霊能力者
•
Sunday nights at 11:00
•
Odagiri Kyoko is a flashy
clairvoyant TV personality who has
celebrities and politicians as
clients. Yet in reality she is just a
regular girl with no special power.
She conducts solid detective work
to solve mysteries, then passes off
the results as her psychic visions.
•
Kinda Hanna Montana meets
Psych (but in a good way)
小田霧響子の嘘
KAMEN RIDER AND SUPER SENTAI
•
Both run 52 episode seasons + movies
•
Sunday mornings at 7:30 and 8:00
•
Tensou Sentai Goseiger
• Nearing the end
• Usually features a team of 5
young heroes who transform into
Sentai Rangers and battle evil
with giant robots
•
Kamen Rider OOO
• Started recently
• Features at least one masked
hero who transforms with the use
of a mystic belt
POPULAR CHARACTERS
•
Doraemon
• Blue, earless cat from the future
• Helps his friend Nobita to learn
valuable life lessons
•
Anpanman
• Superhero for justice
• His head is made of Anpan
(bread)
•
Pikachu
• An electric rat Pokémon
• Is pretty much the main Pokémon
mascot
J-Pop Culture in
FILM
PONYO
•
Actual title “Ponyo on the Cliff by the
Sea” or 「崖の上のポニョ」
•
An anime film by the famed Miyazaki
Hayao (宮崎駿).
•
Released in Japan in 2008 and 2009
in the US.
•
To me, kind of a twist on the little
mermaid story.
UMIZARU (SEA MONKEY)
•
A three part film and television project
based upon a popular manga of the
same name.
•
Story centers around a Japan Coast
Guard rescue diver by the name of
Senzaki Daisuke.
•
Umizaru 3 is currently under
production and to be released soon.
J-Pop Culture in
MANGA / ANIME
BLEACH
•
A manga by Kubo Noriaki.
•
Main character is Kurosaki Ichigo
who through a twist of fate gains the
powers of a shinigami (death god).
•
The story then follows him and his
friends through their adventures in
the worlds of the living and the
dead.
•
A manga featured in the popular
Shogun Jump manga magazine.
•
Is still in publication and also has a
TV anime in production.
•
Is now published in English too.
ONE PIECE
•
A manga about a makeshift band of pirates, led by
their 17 year old captain named Luffy.
•
The band of pirates, named the “Straw Hats,”
searches the world for the ultimate treasure called
the “one piece.” By finding this ultimate treasure,
Luffy would become the next pirate king.
•
It is another series published by the popular
Shonen JUMP Comic magazine.
•
Each character has their own unique ability or
power.
•
Luffy apparently has Stretch Armstrong type of
abilities. He gains these super elastic abilities after
eating a mystical fruit.
DRAGON BALL
•
Long running manga by Akira Toriyama
•
Takes some inspiration from the
Chinese folk novel Journey to the
West
•
Follows the adventures of Son Goku
from his childhood through adulthood
as he trains in martial arts and
explores the world in search of the
seven mystical objects known as the
Dragon Balls, which can summon a
wish-granting dragon when gathered.
•
Was animated in the 80s/90s. Was
recently animated again as the more
streamlined DragonBall Kai.
•
Rumor has it that Toriyama will be
writing some new chapters for the
series.
MEITANTEI CONAN
•
Long running manga and animated series by
Gosho Aoyama
• Started in 1994, currently 69 volumes,
almost 600 episodes
•
Currently airs Saturday at 6 pm
•
Shinichi Kubo was a talented teen detective
until a mysterious crime syndicate tried to kill
him. The drug they game him shrunk him down
to the size of an elementary school student.
•
He takes the name Conan Edogawa and moves
in with his childhood friend/love interest and her
private detective father hoping to learn more
about the group who tried to kill him and reverse
the drugs effects.
•
Releases a movie every year during Golden
Week
J-Pop Culture in
GAMES
DRAGON QUEST
•
Series of role playing games from
Square Enix
•
Has 9 games on various systems in
the main series and various spin offs
•
Many games were released in America
as Dragon Warrior
•
Incredibly popular!
•
The series is known for being one of
the few long-running video game
series to have a stable key
development team.
•
Mascot: Slime
TAIKO NO TATSUJIN
•
Rhythm game that simulates playing a
Taiko drum from Namco
•
Game is available for the arcade, Wii,
DS, PS2, PSP, and mobile phones
•
Song list includes themes from anime,
current J-pop songs, video game
themes, and classical music
•
Easy to play!
•
Mascot: Don and Katsu (named after
the sound effects for hitting a taiko
drum)
MONSTER HUNTER
•
A fantasy series by Capcom
•
Player takes the role of a hunter in a
fantasy environment and completes
quests by seeking out monsters to
hunt or capture.
•
Available on many systems
•
Popular with junior high school
students
INAZUMA ELEVEN
•
A soccer role playing game from Level
5 for the DS
•
Series is on its third game
•
Has been made into an animated
series and has a movie coming out
•
Features an insane number of
characters
•
Makes soccer really badass!
•
Very popular with elementary school
boys
J-Pop Culture in
MISCELLANEOUS
PURIKURA
•
Try finding one of your students who
doesn’t have purikura.
•
This fad (while slightly weird to many
from the states) is all the rage in
Japan.
•
Basically you go into a photo booth,
take pictures, then draw all over
them and place cute
little…random..thingies.
•
Take your own! You never know
when it can start up a conversation!
KEITAI CHARMS
• That’s right, those little dangly
things on your cell phone.
• I don’t know about your country,
but if a grown man had one of
those on his cell in the
US….people may think he is
pretty awkward.
• In Japan this is perfectly normal.
• Students noticing your keitei
charm can start up a lot of
conversations.
USES FOR POP
CULTURE
AKA: WHY TO GIVE A FLYING FLUFFY
ABOUT IT
USES IN CLASS
• Pop culture can help bridge the
gap between students and
English.
• Helps to get and hold students'
attention. Compare:
• I think English is interesting.
• I think AKB48 is cool!
• Easily adaptable for almost any
topic.
• Great for listening practice!
WHAT’S YOUR NAME?
• Played with first and second
graders in elementary school
during a self introduction lesson.
• Students drew a card and
introduced themselves to each
other as the character on the
card.
• Target Grammar:
• What’s your name?
• I’m Pikachu!
OUTSIDE OF CLASS
•
Pop Culture can help you build
relationships.
•
Gives you a fun topic for
conversation, and gives you
somewhere to start
•
Makes you even more of a rock
star than you already are
•
Caution: Once you let your kids
know that you know and like even
one of the same things they like
you will likely be bombarded with
questions about what other things
you know and like!
SELF STUDY
•
Learning Japanese while doing
something fun and cool is way better
than just reading a textbook.
•
Learn Japanese the way many of your
kids use it.
•
Learn Japanese the textbooks won’t
teach you and when your kids use
poor language, you will know!
• It is worth it to see the look on
their face when they say “you
understood that!?”
•
When you go to karaoke for nijikai, you
might actually know the songs they are
singing!
FUN POTENTIAL
HOW TO MAKE POP CULTURE
WORK FOR YOU
• Talk to your kids!
• Turn on your TV.
• There is something out
there for everyone.
• Sample lots of stuff to
find things you like.
• Then share with others!
EIGO NOTO
•
Lesson 4: “I like blue.”
•
Introduction of clothes
•
You can introduce your clothes or the
ones you draw on the board, but that’s
still pretty boring.
•
Introduce a short guessing game:
• I have a black cap, white shirt,
white pants, black socks and
black shoes. Who am I?
• I have a yellow hat, a red shirt,
blue shorts, no socks, and brown
shoes. Who am I?
•
Use these examples for repetition
practice
JUNIOR HIGH
•
Textbook grammar point
• Carson is the scientist who wrote
Silent Spring.
•
My examples:
• Daigo is the man who says
“Wish.”
• AKB48 is the group who sings
“あいたかった.”
• Mao Asada is the woman who
won the silver medal.
•
THEN open the textbook and
understand the meaning.
LINKS
•
www.tokyohive.com great culture blog
•
www.d-addicts.com includes a J drama
wiki
•
www.jdorama.com another drama site
•
www.silentregrets.com another drama
site
•
www.dramacrazy.net to watch dramas
(with or without subs).
•
www.animecrazy.net to watch all your
favorite anime (w/subs or without).
•
www.spectrumnexus.com to help with
manga translations.
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Japanese pop culture