Japan’s worldwide influence on popular culture is no doubt one of the largest across the globe; from anime to fashion to sneaker culture and more, the unique island nation has managed to make a name for itself in experimenting with subcultures. But this is also a two-way street, the very mixing between local and global interaction, and the very glocalization of it — that is, how cultures from abroad are reworked and refitted to maintain local cultural standards. In a new mini-documentary by The New York Times, this concept is revisited in terms of Los Angeles’ Chicano culture, and the Japanese fans who respect it, interpret it, and practice it.
The new video titled Inside Japan’s Chicano Subculture aptly gives us a glimpse of the influence the LA-based subculture has had on a niche portion of the Japanese population. Visiting various artists and store owners, Walter Thompson-Hernández, a Chicano- and Chicana-influenced, Los Angeles-born journalist, seeks out what makes the unique subculture such a tantalizing set of values for Japanese society. Concepts surrounding appropriation and misappropriation are investigated, with values of authenticity exhibited in terms of practicing the unique lifestyle.
Take a look at the documentary above, and share your thoughts surrounding the cultural phenomenon below.
For more entertainment news, The Diplomats just dropped its Diplomatic Ties documentary.