Thursday, October 13, 2011

Globalization: Influx and invitation of foreign culture


One part of globalization is the importation of foreign culture. You can see cultural symbols from all over the world in Japan, but particularly in the realms of familiar characters and langauges.



This is a poster that I found while wandering in a Kyoto subway station. It’s a sign for lost children, but it features a picture of Thomas the Tank Engine, a character from a British children’s show about trains. Here it has relevance, as this is the subway, but Thomas is from a different culture. Here his imagery has been adapted into the Japanese context of subways and trains, something that the two cultures share a liking of. This cross-cultural exchange is a striking example of globalization.



This picture was taken at the Hiroshima Station shinkansen tracks. The explanations of the reserved and non-reserved cars as well as the romanization of easy to read kana lettering is an effort to make it easier for tourists to travel to and from here. You can now see roman letters in many places where normally kana would suffice. This inclusion of both Western and Japanese writing shows the trend of opening Japan up to the world, inviting foreign cultures and people to come. You can even see roman letters in areas with fewer foreigners, such as Iwate Prefecture.

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