I see a surprising lack of discussion about 'games', and frankly I think this is related to maybe some kind of cultural stigma in Japan that perceives video games as not having the significance that they really have.
Face it, there is an entire contingent of 30-plus people who grew up with video games, by and largely an area where Japan had a very significant leadership position in, and there's a ton of goodwill towards Japan and Japanese culture because of this.
Why initiatives like this get stuck on anime shows and the like instead of focusing on the kind of 'mass media' that actually has resonated with a lot of western audiences is just beyond me.
Look at the reactions that reveals like Shenmue 3, FF7 and The Last Guardian had at last year's E3 to see what some of these games mean to a lot of people.
This might be Japan's only and last great cultural export that crosses language barriers yet there is almost no effort made by the Japanese government or initiatives like this to double down on it. In the past PS3/360 generation, a lot of ground was lost to western game developers who flooded the marketplace with a gluttony of war-based shooters. This generation, Japan is losing more and more interest in game consoles which leads to a reduced presence on these consoles, while the west still votes with their money when it comes to these game consoles.
The solution is very simple: "awesome or cool Japan" is nothing without video games. Pigeonhole them whatever you want, but westerners simply don't give a shit about anything else coming out of Japan. Best go with what you actually have and that actually might get you some results, because J-pop or anime sure isn't going to do it.
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