Japanese TV Shows’ Influence on Foreigners’ Images of Japan — 海外が持つ日本のイメージって?[テレビ番組から考えてみた]

japanese-2596879_1280(日本語は英語の下にあります。)When I first came to the US, I was surprised that many students around my age could name at least one favorite Japanese TV show. The same thing happened when I studied in Belgium too. Even though some people criticize that Japanese comics and anime do not represent the reality in Japanese society, at least, Japanese TV shows definitely have a strong influence on foreigners’ images of Japan. I listed four aspects of Japanese culture, which I think tend to be emphasized in Japanese TV shows:

1.  “Japanese Food Looks Great!!!”

There is a Japanese slang, “Meshi-Tero (飯テロ),” which became popular in social media a short while ago. The word can directly be translated as “food terrorism” although it does not mean anything harmful. When somebody uploads a really good picture of food on social media, people who saw that picture may start to crave food. In that context, the action of posting such picture of food is called “Meshi-Tero.” My college friends often tell me that any Japanese dishes appear in Japanese TV shows look so good and make them want to visit Japan to try the food there.There is a TV show called “Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories (深夜食堂)” on Netflix. That one is the most influential Japanese Meshi-Tero show according to my friends. (A link to the trailer is below.) I have watched one episode and it had a heartwarming good plot…besides dazzling pictures of Japanese food!Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories (深夜食堂)


2. Harajuku Fashion Everywhere??

My friend once asked me how liberal Japanese society is. After I explained to her that I think it is fairly conservative, she rolled her eyes and said, “But, I thought you guys can dye your hair with any crazy colors!! I thought Japan must be so liberal!!” I guess Harajuku culture, which media often focus, might have contributed her images of Japan.

3. School Uniforms are so “Kawaii.”

Media tend to exaggerate some aspects of the high school life to make it looks more interesting. Some of my female friends mention that they adore wearing school uniforms, which the secondary school students in Japan typically wear. Not all, but many of the schools in the US do not have school uniforms. Sometimes, it is true that school uniforms can be a huge deal for the female prospective students when they decide which high schools to apply. They would like to wear prettier uniforms for their own sake. pexels-photo-710743.jpeg

4. Became to Like How Japanese Sounds

Although watching the dubbed versions of foreign TV shows and movies are mediately popular in Japan, it is not often the case in other countries. In some countries, a subbed version of foreign shows is often the only available option. Or, many people even prefer watching subbed version for different reasons; some say that the dubbed voice does not match with the character in the Japanese show, which sometimes bothers them. Those people who watch Japanese shows in subs often start to associate positive feelings to the sound of Japanese. Some of them even become interested in learning Japanese.

On a Side Note…

It seems that there are some regional differences in which anime and comics win the most popularity. My friends from Zimbabwe said they enjoyed watching BLEACH, and guys from Brazil liked Hunter×Hunter… and so on. I do not have enough sample to collect data from, so I just speak from my general impression.
Anyways, as long as I have heard from my friends so far, NARUTO and DRAGON BALL seem to be ones the best knowns in foreign countries. pexels-photo-356269.jpeg アメリカに来て最初の頃に驚いたのが、私と同年代の学生たちの多くに、お気に入りの日本のテレビ番組があったこと。ベルギーに留学した時もそうでした。 アニメや漫画の描く世界は日本の現実とはかけ離れているから、海外の人にそのイメージばかりを売り込むのは良くないという意見も耳にしますが、少なくとも、日本のテレビメディアが、海外の方に強い影響力を持っていることは確かなようです。私が海外の友達と話していて、よく言われる日本のイメージが、以下の四つ。

1.  「日本食って、おいしそう!」

どの日本のメディアを見ても、日本のご飯は全て美味しそうに見える!といろんな方が言ってくれます。少し前に飯テロという言葉も流行りましたが、実際に現地で日本食を食べたことのない方にも有効みたいです。「深夜食堂」というNeflixから配信されているドラマがあるのですが、私の友達曰く、これが一番、日本に行って日本食を食べてみたい!と思わせる番組みたいです。下のリンクからNetflixのページで番組のトレーラーを見ることができます。Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories (深夜食堂)

2. どこでも原宿系ファッションが見られる?

「日本社会ってどのくらいリベラルなの?」と友人から聞かれたことがあります。私が「正直、けっこう保守的だと思う…」と自分の考えを伝えると、彼女は目を丸くして一言。「ええ、そうなんだ! 日本の若い人はいろんな色に髪を染めても許されてるから、とても自由な国なんだと思ってたよ!」彼女が目にする日本に関するメディアでは、原宿文化がよく取り上げられていたのかもしれません。確かにあれも日本文化の一部ではあるけど、日本全土があの文化というわけでははないからね…。 pexels-photo-427747.jpeg

3.  可愛い制服で登校するのに憧れる!


4. 日本語を耳にするのが好きになった!

また、吹替え版の声やセリフだと、キャラクターの印象が変わってしまうのが気になるという理由で、字幕版を好む方もいます。字幕で邦画や日本の番組を観る機会の多い人は、日本語の音に好意的な印象を持ちやすいみたいです。それがきっかけで日本語を勉強し始める人もいます。 mt-fuji-sea-of-clouds-sunrise-46253.jpeg


子供の頃に好きだった漫画やアニメの話しになると、人気になった作品にお国柄が出るのでは?と思う時があります。ジンバブエの兄弟はBLEACHが好きだったり、ブラジルの子達はHUNTER×HUNTERが好きだったり…。もちろん十分なデータが手元にあるわけではないので、話していて、なんとなく人気になった作品に地域差を感じる、というだけですが。(年代の差とか、どの作品がどの言語に訳されたか等のファクターもあるとは思いますし。)地域にかかわらず、いろんな人が挙げる作品はNARUTOとドラゴンボールなので、もし好きな方がいらしたら、海外で友人との話題に困った時、その話題を出したら意外と盛り上がるかもです。 Thank you for reading!にほんブログ村 海外生活ブログ 海外留学(アメリカ・カナダ)へ

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