#3 Influence that Japanese TV Shows Have on Foreigners’ Image of Japan — 海外が日本に持つイメージへの、テレビからの影響



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. Japan=Harajuku??

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. Idealized High School Life…and School Uniforms

The same thing can be said for American TV shows. Media tend to exaggerate some aspects of the high school life to make it looks more interesting. Some of my friends from the US 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.


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 seems to win the biggest favor in many countries.






1.  「日本食って、おいしそう!」



Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories (深夜食堂)


2. 日本=原宿?


「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!」



3.  高校生活と制服への憧れ




4. 日本語を耳にするのが好きになった!








Thank you for reading! See you soon.❤️

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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