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What do you think of when you hear the words "Cool Japan?"

63 Comments

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"Sugoi ?!"

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

'Dependence upon ephemeral images half-believed by some as reality,' he thought to himself as he ordered more anime and manga junks online as Christmas presents to send to a far-off land.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

made up word to promote a made up idea by a country which values face value over substance.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

The danger in using the word "cool" in hopes of promoting ones own "coolness" is that it usually has the opposite effect. The "cool Japan" slogan is overused.

Rather than the "cool" element, I think what generates the most buzz around Japan is the quirky and often downright bizarre stories the world hears about Japan.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The folks in Japan who need their ego's stroked. Japanese folks need reassuring that their culture is good (when in fact, there are lots of problems).

14 ( +19 / -5 )

It conjures up an image of 60-90 year old men, all wearing suits and raising their fists in the air.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

A country trying too hard when it doesn't need to.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

What do you think of when you hear the words "Cool Japan?"

"Cool Ranch" Doritos flavor.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Japan is a very cool country, but not in the way that these teenage-fantasy dreaming suit-wearing forty a day men think I think it is.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

An attempt to be cool by someone who doesn't understand irony.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Actually think Japan and J ppl in general are quintessentially uncool I.e awkward, ultra quirky etc. Japan has become (always been?) an Asperger society rather than a cool one imo.

But if social ineptitude and ultra quirkiness (love quirky women I have to say) is the new benchmark for cool then it is cool i guess.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Corruption and waste of my tax money.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Not so cool anymore ... all I can think!

5 ( +10 / -5 )

government ploy that attempts to make japanese people feel they are great, otherwise the suicide rate goes through the roof

5 ( +10 / -5 )

When I see the expression "Cool Japan" I think the same as twenty years ago, when "Cool Britannia" was being rammed down our throats.

A facile marketing slogan, desperate for suckers to fall for it as it might lead to a bit of cash to salve decades of misrule.

Except when Blair tried Cool Britannia, it was at least an original slogan, with a bit of something to back it up (Britpop, MoS, Hirst).

AKB, miserable commuters, and corrupt old men milking the Olympics do not coolness make, in my book.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

DG: Except when Blair tried Cool Britannia, it was at least an original slogan ...

1967 original? ... Tony Blair was 14 years old in 1967 ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_Britannia

The phrase "Cool Britannia" was first used in 1967 as a song title by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"Cool" part of Japan has nothing to do with government interference or, in this case, encouragement. It's always the efforts of each individuals living their lives trying to do what they feel most passionate about, and that has always been the coolest part about Japan, whether it be technology, visual arts, media, comedy, appearance, fashion, and numerous other categories I cannot mention in here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A tax-supported study conducted by 60-year-old Japanese men in suits, in which they ask other 60-year-old Japanese men in suits what would be considered cool by 30-year-old tourists from 180 others countries.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

I think of that picture of Steve Buscemi where he wears the skater clothes and says "Howdy do, fellow kids."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What do you think of when you hear the words "Cool Japan?"

Many aspects of Japan are achingly cool despite the gerontocrats' best efforts, but

'cool' is never self-ordained

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Autumn.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I think of an oyaji wearing ripped jeans dancing to AKB, shouting banzai. Not cool at all...

Hey Japan, here's the formula to be really COOL and there's no need for idols or catchy phases: Equal rights both men and women, less overtime, younger people in power, promotion based on hard-work and not on how many centuries you've been working in a company. Focus on quality and not on quantity, adaptation to the new rules and less desperation for attention.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

well, I started hearing it after coming to Japan... if was still in my teens dreaming about coming here I'd think "as I thought, what a wonderful place!", but when you actually live in Japan and watch these "Cool Japan" shows, specially from a translator's point of view, with all sorts of inaccurate captions, just to force people to say how "cool" Japan is, it has exactly the opposite effect with me... sometimes is like seeing somebody bragging about himself over and over and over.. so tacky and vulgar to say the least.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

The way the marketing people use the word 'cool' is really so out of date - to put it politely. There are many exceptional things about Japan - but I would not describe them as 'cool'; it's as if the marketing people are from the early 20th century.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Just adding to the sentiment already expressed: a country, too sensitive to outside perception, trying far too hard.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

UNcool!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

April May October November. Tarento's and Idoru.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The slogan on the JNTO promotional video "Where tradition meets the future" seems much more appropriate and applicable to what many of my friends say about the country when visiting.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Cool Japan... cringe. Whenever I hear "cool" though I also remember that line by Marge Simpson, "Cool? Do the kids still say cool?"

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Cool Britania and Tony Blair

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think that same thing when I hear someone says "I'm cool". Disdain, and then later, pity since apparently no one else says that person is cool.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think of something the Japanese government came up with for what they thought everyone else should think of them.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

i think absolutely nothing.

At my age, I don't care at all about coolness. That word is for people who are unsure about themselves.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Engrish.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Silly misguided government attempt to use soft power to draw tourism. I agree with the sentiment a lot of comments above express, except for the idea that the whole country thinks this way. Everyone I know, even the people into pop culture, thinks it's just a silly marketing ploy, which is exactly what it is.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If you need to point out how cool you are, you are not cool at all.

Dean Martin never said he was cool. James Bond never says he's cool. Other people notice it.

Another failed oyaji scheme.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

What is good (and 'cool') about Japan is certainly not anything to do with manga or anime. Or anything endorsed by former prime minister Aso. Plenty of real things to focus on instead.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

ダサい。If Japan is cool, then just say "Japan". this campaign is so ironic it reinforces the oft held assertion that Japanese don't get irony.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

In the 70,s I would think it meant, Japan resonates with popular appeal. Say it today, I think, yuki, dark suits and dark skies, a contrast of Monotones conforming in ordinance.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What's cool about living in a cramped space,getting on cramped trains and finding ones paycheck just about covers living expenses?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan is already pretty cool with foreigners. I m from Canada and whenever I tell people that I have visited Japan their eyes are immediately filled with fascination.

Saying, 'Cool Japan' kind of ruins Japan's uniqueness.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

autumn weather!? ah sorry "cool Japan" a cigarette brand!?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

vacuous idols conforming vacuously and aging "rock stars" climbing aboard in an attempt to keep their names in the public eye.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"oxymoron"

2 ( +6 / -4 )

...precisely my thought, Bob...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yup, instant turn-off.

Just as a restaurant menu might say 'delicious mouth-watering ramen'.

Just 'Ramen' is fine, thanks. I can make up my own mind about how it tastes. Grrr.....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Rather ironically I think of SMAP and AKB48.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hokkaido

3 ( +3 / -0 )

When I was in the US about 10 years ago, everyone was saying "narly", and 6 or 7 years ago it was "awesome". So how about "narly Japan" or "awesome Japan"?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Narcissism, especially collective narcissism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_narcissism#Characteristics

2 ( +3 / -1 )

ummm Global extension of "Cool Biz", but if PRed right it could be all that is hand made in Japan from swords & umbrellas to ultra high grade metal parts & space age carbon nanofiber materials.

A question to all. What handmade (Made in Japan) products really suck? What products do Japan really suck at making, If any....?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The middle-aged bureaucrats at METI who came up with the term. In other words, "uncool."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Where are all the cool people?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"oxymoron"

That. I get the image of a stuck up sarariman in dark suit forcing himself to carry around a Kittychan pink 'fur' backpack.

What handmade (Made in Japan) products really suck?

Except for the tea ceremony equipments, are there still handmade products in Japan ?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Nuclear radioactive slag that is still warm.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A thermometer reading below 18 degrees Celsius.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A country trying hard to be cool but doesn't know what the word really means.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Cool Britannia" rapidly morphed into "Cruel Britannia", so I expect we will soon see the true colors of "Uncool Japan" when stuff starts hitting the fan in a year or two.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Except for the tea ceremony equipments, are there still handmade products in Japan ?

Srsly? Japan has a wealth of handmade products.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

stiff, repressed people afraid not to conform who swallow whatever the govt tells them. the word "cool" does not readily come to mind.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

airconditioning ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think of cold, drafty houses in the winter with families huddled around the heated toilet seat to keep warm.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sapporo

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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