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Introduction to Japan


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Howdy again all. Just thought I'd start another thread in hopes of prompting some conversation. So, what first introduced you to Japan? It could be a certain comic or anime series or maybe music or whatever. How'd you get interested in Japan or things associated with it? I'm sure everyone here has a story, so let's share them. ^_^

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For me, it first started back in high school where a friend introduced me to a game called "Touhou." Shortly after that, I found OSTs of it to listen on Youtube, and then started to listen to remakes of touhou music, and that just lead to me listening to most anything Japanese. However, I was pretty stubborn on not watching anime until last year when my brother showed me SAO. For me, Japanese culture wasn't something that I would have been interested in unless I knew someone that I could talk to about such things.

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For me, it first started back in high school where a friend introduced me to a game called "Touhou." Shortly after that, I found OSTs of it to listen on Youtube, and then started to listen to remakes of touhou music, and that just lead to me listening to most anything Japanese. However, I was pretty stubborn on not watching anime until last year when my brother showed me SAO. For me, Japanese culture wasn't something that I would have been interested in unless I knew someone that I could talk to about such things.
Nice story here, but out of curiosity, why were you so stubborn about watching Japanese anime? What was your opinion about it at the time?
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Nice story here, but out of curiosity, why were you so stubborn about watching Japanese anime? What was your opinion about it at the time?

I don't really remember, but it was probably because I didn't think it was worth my time. However, that was mainly because the only people I did know who watched anime, only watched long running Shounens. Seeing SAO for the first time showed me that anime can actually be interesting (funny thing is that it only has a 71/100 on my list right now, which is pretty much below average for me :P)

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So, what first introduced you to Japan?

Anime. When I was really young, American adapations of Pokémon, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Dragonball Z were being aired on FTA TV along with any other shows that were popular back then. Naturally over time this made me curious about other anime titles.

 

More recently though I became more interested in the culture of Japan due to my work, as there was a student exchange program going so I tagged along for the ride. Going there for work reasons allowed me to gain some very interesting insights within various Japanese schools.

 

I liked it so much I went there a second time for holiday in a more laid-back environment. I'm even considering a third visit maybe mid this year if I can improve my Japanese proficiency.

 

Akihabara Electronic Town in Tokyo is anime and tech gadget heaven. :yum: Oh and so is any Yodabashi store. xD

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I don't really remember, but it was probably because I didn't think it was worth my time. However, that was mainly because the only people I did know who watched anime, only watched long running Shounens. Seeing SAO for the first time showed me that anime can actually be interesting (funny thing is that it only has a 71/100 on my list right now, which is pretty much below average for me :P)

Back then though, the only other anime we've seen was the Sonic X dubbed... which SAO subbed is leagues above.

 

For me, shortly after Drill got into Touhou he gave me the 'House Set' remixes of Touhou 9 and 10.

Then I heard this song, which is the first song I heard with Japanese vocals (if you go to 2:00):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-y48wIW40g

 

After that, the next School year I joined the anime club and saw 'The World God Only Knows' in subtitles, which was a first for me. Then we watched SAO, Future Diaries, and Baccano. Then it seemed the the entire club was made out of perverts, so I left. Months later I showed Drill SAO and decided to finish the anime myself.

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I joined the anime club ... Then it seemed the the entire club was made out of perverts, so I left.

Same thing happened to me :P Don't join anime clubs in high school.

 

As for me, I got my first dose of anime when I was very young, and due to heavy localisation, I didn't even realise that stuff came from Japan. I only realised that during middle school, but I quit everything japanese during my entire middle school time because anime fans were socially being treated very badly. I only made the leap back to anime during high school, and I was relieved to find out that most people had much more open minds now. They weren't bothered by my tastes, even when I talked about them in public. Things went by, and I am now a hopeless anime fan who isn't the least bit productive. I've also taken a liking to japanese culture, and I'm now in the process of learning the language.

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I just realized I never did mention how I got interested in Japanese stuff. It's slightly different from some of yours, though.

 

It all happened back when I was either 4 or 5. Like usual, my father and I were watching VH-1.

 

During the 80s, both my parents watched MTV and VH-1 a lot, so I picked up on it as well. When it comes to those two particular stations, the 80s were great. They actually played music videos. I don't know what happened to those stations. They're both awful now, imo.

 

Anyway, my father and I were watching VH-1. A music video came on. I'd never heard of them before. The group was called Hiroshima. The name of the song was One Wish and it was new. I loved this music video!

 

The only thing I remembered about the video, before finding it again a few years ago, was a lady dancing with fans and the instruments. I assumed the dance was Odori style after all these years when trying to recall what I'd seen from a child, but as I was able to check it out and ask, I learned that it was Nihonbuyo. Anyway, for some odd reason, I was mesmerized by the simplistic dance and found it incredibly cool and interesting. I liked the kimono too, and the fans. The music was also very nice, and fit very well and I saw an instrument I'd never come across before (Koto or Japanese harp). My father told me the name of the music group, since I couldn't read it at the time.

 

So yeah, this is what got me interested in Japanese culture, but as a kid, I didn't have an outlet for it. No place did anything remotely Japanese around me. I didn't finally get an outlet until maybe 15 years ago when I first started using he Internet.

 

Anywho, here's the music video...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJEzRA_FbFo

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey all

I was introduced to Japanese culture by my mother who has a black belt in ninjutsu so the cultural influence was there from the day i was born but i only started to watch anime when i was about 9-10 years old back when it had a dedicated channel here in South Africa and a little before that when it was on a children's daytime slot on Mnet , i only got 'serious about anime when i was 13 thanks to my older step brother who had started watching Naruto , which i was instantly hooked on . Other than that my family is very multi-cultural and multi-racial we have dark chocolate to vanilla ice cream and everything in between so i was always exposed to the many cultures of the world but out of all of them i find the Japanese culture and language to be the most beautiful

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These are all pretty cool. I hope more people decide to post in this thread. I wish more people would post in the culture section.

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These are all pretty cool. I hope more people decide to post in this thread. I wish more people would post in the culture section.

 

 

I'm actually looking to move to japan in a few years (after i complete my teaching degree up to high school level [...aand get the money ]).

Teaching in south Africa pays next to nothing and depending on where you work , can be pretty dangerous . On top of that there's almost no leave >_<

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I'm actually looking to move to japan in a few years (after i complete my teaching degree up to high school level [...aand get the money ]).

Teaching in south Africa pays next to nothing and depending on where you work , can be pretty dangerous . On top of that there's almost no leave >_<

Wow, this is a nice aspiration. I hope you manage. What subjects are you interested in teaching? In my situation, I never did go back to finish my teaching degree. I only have the Bachelor's, I never continued on to the Graduate program. I'm doing English teaching here in Japan...but it can be easy to get trapped inside an English bubble, like I have since I work for an eikaiwa as opposed to a regular school (like my first time here where I always had to use Japanese).

 

Which part of Japan are you interested in living and working in?

 

Oh, and if you don't mind it, you could always try out for the government-sponsored JET Programme. It'll be ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) work, but if you can get into it, your flight is paid for. You'll probably only need cash to hold you over until you get your first paycheck. You can stay on the program for 1 - 5 years. What some people do, they join the program and then maybe before the year is up, they seek out employment elsewhere and it's easier for them because they're already in Japan.

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I have been looking into a few areas but am not quite sure yet and I plan to move in just over two years (currently saving for everything necessary , then I'm going over to secure a place to live and a job before i make the actual move a few months later) I am studying to be an English teacher but i would also like to teach Biology.

I have heard about the JET programme but have not given it proper research yet I was planning to look into it within the next month or so.

Thanks for the advice though I will definitely be coming to ask for some more help from you in the future . . . that is if you would be alright with that?

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I have been looking into a few areas but am not quite sure yet and I plan to move in just over two years (currently saving for everything necessary , then I'm going over to secure a place to live and a job before i make the actual move a few months later) I am studying to be an English teacher but i would also like to teach Biology.
So an international school would probably suit you. You'd be able to teach a wide array of subjects, but I think you'd need some experience to land such work. Personally, that was always my goal. To work in an international school in Japan....but, as I pointed out, I never finished my MA. I never even started it. The fact that it was required of me to take math and science over kind of deterred me as those were my most difficult subjects.
I have heard about the JET programme but have not given it proper research yet I was planning to look into it within the next month or so.
Well, for this year, it's probably too late for the application. They do interviews in like January and February. I tried applying about six years ago, but was rejected. I didn't even get an interview, but the second year I got over here by other means. I just went with another company....but it did have a bad reputation...but it did get my foot in the door, so to speak.
Thanks for the advice though I will definitely be coming to ask for some more help from you in the future . . . that is if you would be alright with that?
It's no problem at all. I just hope that any information I have can be helpful to you.
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Personally my next mid term goal is to move to Japan , even before I knew about anime and the food (ohh. . . the delicious food) , I have always held a great love for Japan as my mother had always taught me to respect Japan (most likely because of her history with Ninjutsu) and so ever since I was little(er) I have always wanted to go to Japan and only in my early teens did I realize that I want to live there. As for teaching I have always loved children and I have always loved helping people learn new things. I used to argue with my High school teachers all the time (especially about poetry as i have a great love for poetry [both in writing and in reading it] about how to teach certain sections as I always thought I had a better method [i was wrong.] .Eventually I learned my lesson and somehow became friends with many of the teachers (not a teachers pet but a friend , I still keep in contact with them from time to time) and they are the ones helping me with information on teaching Internationally and have advised me to make sure I have my masters before I get a move on out of Africa.

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Anime is what got me interested in Japan. Honestly, I wasn't big on anime until I found Mobile Suit Gundam, and then when I discovered more violent animes.....

My interest sparked.

Of course, one of the main reasons I want to go to Japan anyone here can guess.

 

When my friends say no one cares about Gundam, I ask them where's a life size statue of Prime?

No answer.

I want to see that Gundam statue in person. I want to climb on it and sit on the head. Then I want to blow half of my money on Gunpla.

 

Their culture also seems interesting, as they hold a certain respect.

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  • 2 months later...
Guest Jupiter

Anime such as DBZ and GTO, PlayStation, and games like Final Fantasy is what really introduced me to Japan. Had dreams of going over there at one point in time.

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  • 1 month later...

I was introduced to the Japanese culture at school. We mainly tackle the different cultures of some countries. So even without watching animes I would probably end up knowing a little about Japan.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think I didn't really register 'anime' as Japanese back then, because when they were broadcast on my cable/local channels around here, they were always in dub form, whether in English or Chinese dub. Not often the American dub either since Singapore does its own dub.

 

Anyway, I think my first encounter was one of those crazy game-shows. This one was focused on an obstacle course of sorts every episode. It always crept me out a little when I was a kid because the final part of the obstacle course had this eerie tunnel. Oh yeah, and there was also another game show where people compete with each other through comedy skits with ridiculous costumes. Can't remember the title but that was a lot of fun.

 

Well, at least I didn't know about the tentacles and the weirder side of Japan back then.

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  • 7 months later...

For me it was all my dad's fault (like I'm making it sound like it's a bad thing). I honestly cant remember if I had watched Pokemon or Dragon Ball Z before my dad showed me Inuyasha, Cowboy Bebop and Trigun (to name a few) or not but either way I still think it's was when my dad showed me those that I became interested in not only anime but Japanese culture too. I started watching Japanese movies when I would visit him for the summer and even tried to learn the language. Sadly I went to a small country like high school so we didn't have clubs to join or a lot of other people who liked any of that stuff either. So yeah to answer the question, it was pretty much because of the shows my dad introduced me to. :)

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I remember watching a lot of anime when I was a tiny little child, such as Pokemon, Digimon, One Piece, Sailor Moon, Shaman King, Hamtaro etc. Back then I had no idea they were japanese, but I was terribly in love with these shows (even though my mum didn't approve half of them for being ''violent'' xD). As I grew older, these shows stopped airing and were replaced by more and more childish, idiotic cartoons, most of which were causing my eyes to bleed (there are really good cartoons too, though).

 

In my early teen years, I started taking a liking to eastern culture (mostly Chinese) for reason that I don't know. It just seemed interesting to me. So, after re-discovering anime, it was easy for me to familiarise with Japanese culture. Still, the way I got to start watching anime is a bit weird (I never do anything normally anyway -_- ). Story time!

 

People like reading fanfiction of a show they've watched. I was reading fanfiction without knowing, though ._. You see, back when I was 13, I had just signed up in DeviantArt, not to upload art ofc (low confidence is low :P ) but to browse and add stuff in my favourites and the likes. *embarassing part begins* Ahem. the time, Hetalia fanfiction was apparently rather popular, since I stumbled upon it quite often. At first I was really confused with the whole thing, since I wasn't familiar with the charatcers or anything, but it was enjoyable and I was spending most of my free time reading....(confession: I am honestly so not proud of certain stuff I've read ._. but I was just 13 >.< ). Anyway, a few months later, I happened to read a comment mentioning the show and that's when I realised it was actually something you could watch. And so I did, thus entering the world of anime. On youtube xD (hey, I didn't know there were special websites you could watch anime on :P ). A classmate of mine in middle school was also into anime so she became my mentor and life became much more fun ^_^

 

Moving on to a more serious issue, watching anime has helped me quite a lot. I don't know about everyone else, but ever since I got into it, I noticed myself changing. Before anime I was an expessionless, cold and emotionless mass of hatred and anger, a hopeless, manipulative liar and generally, the most unfriendly and annoying bastard that loved to pick fights and hurt people (yes, I was that kind of person ._.). And all that, just to look 'cool' or something...I don't even know what I was thinking, I was like a tsundere. With anime, I learned to laugh. You can't imagine how important that was for me. It helped me losen up and stop being a jerk. I realised that being yourself is way cooler than pretending to be someone else. Even to this day, I get told that my expressions or reactions are sometimes a bit exaggerated....That's because I was copying anime, since I did not have expressons of my own, so I guess it kinda stuck xD.

 

So, yeah, I'm glad anime entered my life... <3

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Well I had always loved Pokemon since I was a kid, but I also loved Yugioh, Digimon, Beyblade, etc. I had always referred to these shows as cartoons, although I did know something was unique about them since they had the "cute googly eyes" so to speak.

It wasn't until high school that I officially knew the term of anime and there was that group of "no-life losers that watched anime". They were the outcasts of the school and were the socially awkward kind.

I had always thought that anime was for weird kids to be honest.

 

Fast forward to last year, a few weeks after my Advanced Individual Training(AIT) which I would say was around mid-October. I have had enough of real-life (keep in mind I'm also a big video gamer) and I was tired of all the reality crap and "real people shows" on TV.

So late one night I decided I'd give one Japanese anime a chance cause I was feeling adventurous that night. I turned on Netflix and went into the anime section. And the first Japanese anime I watched was Heavens Lost Property. The fan service that I quickly figured out what that was, was crazy. I loved nearly everything about it though. The humor, plot, jokes, Nymph, Tomoki and his neighbors relationship was funny especially with his whole "panty raiding problems". While I was watching it I was like "what have I gotten myself into" but then I realized from the reasons above that I had to finish it cause it was so addicting. And so began my anime binging of shows that I think I would like.

 

Not only that but ever since then I've started to love Japanese culture as well. Sadly, Japanese women aren't innocent little schoolgirls like you'd find them in anime. But I've still gained a huge attraction towards Japanese girls ever since watching anime now (I can't be the only one).

 

I notice myself also listening to anime themes a lot more now and I'm trying to get more into Japanese bands as well (I can't stand listening to the men sing for the most part). The only bands that I can actually say I like and listen to is Perfume and BabyMetal.

 

Also two of my best friends I figured out are Otakus as well so that makes it even better and they've watched a lot more anime than me!

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Well I had always loved Pokemon since I was a kid, but I also loved Yugioh, Digimon, Beyblade, etc. I had always referred to these shows as cartoons, although I did know something was unique about them since they had the "cute googly eyes" so to speak.

It wasn't until high school that I officially knew the term of anime and there was that group of "no-life losers that watched anime". They were the outcasts of the school and were the socially awkward kind.

I had always thought that anime was for weird kids to be honest.

 

Fast forward to last year, a few weeks after my Advanced Individual Training(AIT) which I would say was around mid-October. I have had enough of real-life (keep in mind I'm also a big video gamer) and I was tired of all the reality crap and "real people shows" on TV.

So late one night I decided I'd give one Japanese anime a chance cause I was feeling adventurous that night. I turned on Netflix and went into the anime section. And the first Japanese anime I watched was Heavens Lost Property. The fan service that I quickly figured out what that was, was crazy. I loved nearly everything about it though. The humor, plot, jokes, Nymph, Tomoki and his neighbors relationship was funny especially with his whole "panty raiding problems". While I was watching it I was like "what have I gotten myself into" but then I realized from the reasons above that I had to finish it cause it was so addicting. And so began my anime binging of shows that I think I would like.

 

Not only that but ever since then I've started to love Japanese culture as well. Sadly, Japanese women aren't innocent little schoolgirls like you'd find them in anime. But I've still gained a huge attraction towards Japanese girls ever since watching anime now (I can't be the only one).

 

I notice myself also listening to anime themes a lot more now and I'm trying to get more into Japanese bands as well (I can't stand listening to the men sing for the most part). The only bands that I can actually say I like and listen to is Perfume and BabyMetal.

 

Also two of my best friends I figured out are Otakus as well so that makes it even better and they've watched a lot more anime than me!

 

Out of curiosity I went ahead and looked up Perfume and Baby Metal and their pretty good. I like how you hear the band for Baby

Metal play on the guitar and drums then you hear the women sing and it just throws you off, it's not what I expected to hear haha. I still like it though but probably Perfume more. I've listened to Kanon Wakeshima (who sings two of the closing themes of Vampire Knight) and Yoko Kanno (who sings the opening and closing themes for Ghost in the Shell). Usually any of the bands I check out are because of an anime I've seen, so that's why I know about Kanon and Yoko. Thanks for pointing out those bands too by the way :)

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Out of curiosity I went ahead and looked up Perfume and Baby Metal and their pretty good. I like how you hear the band for Baby

Metal play on the guitar and drums then you hear the women sing and it just throws you off, it's not what I expected to hear haha. I still like it though but probably Perfume more. I've listened to Kanon Wakeshima (who sings two of the closing themes of Vampire Knight) and Yoko Kanno (who sings the opening and closing themes for Ghost in the Shell). Usually any of the bands I check out are because of an anime I've seen, so that's why I know about Kanon and Yoko. Thanks for pointing out those bands too by the way :)

My pleasure! But yeah it was so strange because I figured they out by watching "Youtubers React To BabyMetal" So I started watching it and this foreign music to me sounded so good! I love some metal and I had just begun the Japanese craze so to hear this band was amazing. I would of never thought that genre of music could even be made!

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