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November 11, 2011

[SSJ: 6946] Re: Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture Lecture announcement (Nov.29)

From: Earl H. Kinmonth
Date: 2011/11/11

> Japanese popular culture - including music, fashion,
but most notably
> anime and manga - has recently become a global
commodity capitalized
> upon by the government's "Cool Japan" policy.

I wonder if I am the only one who finds the term "Cool Japan" curious.
When Douglas McGray published his 2002 Foreign Policy article "Japan's Gross National Cool" and for some years subsequent, the term was Japan Cool not Cool Japan. I see a subtle but significant different in the terms.

Cool Japan suggests that the nation as a whole is cool and appealing.
Japan Cool suggests that cool things come out of Japan but says nothing about the nation as a whole. While pop culture and fashion created by individual Japanese may well be cool (depending on your taste or lack thereof), it is hard to imagine all that many people thinking of a policy such as "research whaling" that is explicitly associated with Japan the nation as something that is "cool." And, "research whaling"
is only one of a number of issues of explicit national policy present and historical that have repeatedly been the object of foreign criticism.

In any event (1) have others noted this shift and (2) does anyone know if recent government and NHK usage of "Cool Japan" instead of "Japan Cool" is deliberate or accidental?

EHK

Approved by ssjmod at November 11, 2011 04:05 PM