Introduction: From Tradition to Cool Japan

Tets Kimura, Jennifer Harris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


At the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games,
a presentation was delivered by the Japanese contingent to promote
the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Characters of Japanese anime and
manga such as Hello Kitty, Doraemon and Pacman appeared on the
main screen of the Maracanã Stadium, as well as the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who arrived dressed up as Mario of Nintendo’s Super Mario. The world of Cool Japan – the Japanese government endorsed creative sectors – was shown and broadcast to a global audience. According to Abe’s media releases, his intention in Brazil was to demonstrate Japan’s soft power ability with the assistance of famous Japanese fictional characters.1 His video recorded comment was also posted on his Facebook page within hours of the closing
ceremony.2 The reactions reported in the international media such as the BBC,3 CNN,4 as well as social media like Facebook and Twitter reveal that Abe’s mission was successful.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExporting Japanese Aesthetics
Subtitle of host publicationEvolution from Tradition to Cool Japan
EditorsTets Kimura, Jennifer Anne Harris
Place of PublicationEastbourne
PublisherSussex Academic Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781782846581
ISBN (Print)9781789760019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Publication series

NameSussex library of Asian and Asian American studies


  • Civilization, Modern -- Japanese influences
  • Japan -- Civilization
  • Aesthetics, Japanese


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