Follow TV Tropes


Japan Takes Over the World

Go To
All together now: BANZAI!!!

"Pearl Harbor didn't work out, so we got you with tape decks."
Mr. Takagi, Die Hard

In The '80s and early '90s, Americans pretty much expected that Japan would be their new overlords in a decade or two. While other nations were too busy worrying about the Cold War and trying to dominate the world militarily, Japan was quietly taking over the manufacturing and finance sectors with a never-ending stream of technological advances and high-quality consumer goods, supported by a seemingly-single-minded dedication to hard work, quality, innovation and efficient management. This also tied neatly into stereotypes of them being cold and work-obsessed. (Though some would say that the stereotype was caused by this scenario, as just a few decades before, Americans instead painted the Japanese as stupid scoundrels.) Sensationalistic newspapers and opportunistic politicians were all too happy to stoke people's financial and/or racist fears. There was concern that Japanese domination of the world economy was inevitable.

As a result, a lot of media created in the 1980s and 1990s, set 20 Minutes into the Future or later, had the U.S. being dominated by Japanese companies and culture. This trope was particularly prominent in Cyberpunk of the era.

Since the Japanese economic crash starting in the early 1990s, the trope has become discredited, as Japan has never returned to the same level of global prominence (see Analysis for more details). Today, the trope has been replaced in the Western world with a preoccupation over China doing the same thing, which hilariously has lead to some Western commentators arguing for a return of Japan as a strong regional power, including outright proposals of remilitarization.

This is a Western trope. Compare Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe, which is a Japanese trope about Creator Provincialism.

Sub-Trope of Take Over the World. See also Americasia, Yellow Peril, China Takes Over the World and America Takes Over the World.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Gunbuster: As may be expected from a series created by a Japanese studio in the halcyon days of the late '80s, Gunbuster paints a picture of a world dominated by Japan. It's governed by a Japanese Empire ruling from Tokyo, protected by a very Japanese Imperial Navy. According to the backstory, Japan bought Hawaii from a declining USA in a very different economy. 12 years later during World War III, the US attempts to take Hawaii back. However, America's continuing collapse allows a more militant Japan to confiscate its space program and technology, soon using it to force the rest of the world under its emperor.
  • One-Punch Man: As revealed by Amai Mask in Chapter 119 of the webcomic, originally, the world was made of many different nations, not unlike our own. The nations fought multiple world wars with each other over natural resources, and eventually, it got so bad and killed so many people that they all decided to make up and band together to preserve the future and prioritize the future generations by creating an One World Order; with said unified government, language, and culture suspiciously Japanese-related.

    Comic Books 
  • Crash (the Iron Man graphic novel by Saenz). And in Marvel 2099, Stark Industries has become Stark-Fujikawa. This was later toyed with in Present Day Iron Man, most notably with Love Interest Rumiko Fujikawa, whose father briefly owned Stark Industries while Tony was believed dead.
  • The Secret of The Swordfish (the first book of the Blake and Mortimer series) has the Yellow Empire as the antagonist. It is explicitly named to be Tibet, but is obviously an expy of Imperial Japan, with its red sun banner, soldiers wearing Japanese-like uniforms, and using German weapons. They even manage to conquer most of the world in the beginning of the story. A later book in the series mentions they had a non aggression treaty with Nazi Germany back in World War II.
  • In one chapter of The Sandman (1989), Dream has been given the key to Hell, and envoys from multiple pantheons approach him to obtain dominion over it. The Japanese envoy is Susano-o, who presents it as a corporate takeover (their pantheon apparently runs multiple hells, the Christian one would be a sizeable addition).
    • This was interestingly revisited in the Spin-Off series Lucifer, which ran during The 2000s instead of The '90s. The Japanese pantheon are still depicted as cunning and ambitious, but noticeably more pathetic, with their massive store of conquests portrayed more as a knickknack-stuffed garage than anything else.
  • Fellow Vertigo Comics flagship Hellblazer also referenced this in the "Damnation's Flame" arc, where the metaphorical image of America at its worst - Uncle Sam as a gun-toting, drug-dealing pimp who's conquered both Britannia and the Russian Bear and blown Vietnam's brains out for trying to resist him - is seen cringing in fear at the rising sun.
    "There's further West than you, you know."
  • Buck Danny: Many of the early albums are very pro-America and anti-Japan, though granted they were made just after World War II.
  • Being a product of the early 90s, Valiant Comics' original continuity had elements of this. Toyo Harada, the main antagonist of the Harbinger book, is a Japanese Corrupt Corporate Executive whose psiot powers were activated when he survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. In the 41st century, Japan has become technologically advanced and successful enough to transfer itself and its population into a huge space station.

    Fan Works 
  • The Code Geass fanfic I Heard the World is an inversion of the canon, where Imperial Japan colonized North America, conquered China and most of East Asia and the British Isles, named Britannia, where the events happen.
  • In the Death Note Cyberpunk AU Alternative Gods in keeping with the fic's whole Cyberpunk theme; lampshaded by Matt when Near tries to hack into the Japanese NPA's server for the SPK and is crushed by the superior skills of Kira and L:
    Matt: Yup. N went and fucked with Japan, you don't just go and fuck with Japan. I've been telling you, man. Nobody just goes and fucks with Japan.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alien: The un-named MegaCorp referred to as "the Company" is named "Weyland-Yutani," a fusion of a Western and an Eastern name. Apparently it was originally meant to be Leyland-Toyota, representing the merger of Britain's then-nationalized motor industry (British Leyland) with a Japanese giant. This was changed later on for trademark reasons.
  • In Back to the Future Part II, future Marty works for a man called Fujitsu and calls him "Fujitsu-san."note  The filmmakers state on the DVD that they based their vision of 2015 in part on the assumption that Japan would take over the world and heavily influence American culture. In the third film, 1950s Doc Brown is incredulous when Marty tells him "all the best stuff comes from Japan."
  • Ridley Scott's stylish but dubious 1989 action film Black Rain, in which a tough New York policeman is sent to Japan after capturing a rogue Yakuza in New York. The film includes an exchange in which a Japanese cop tells his US counterpart, played by Michael Douglas, that "We make the machines, we build the future, we won the peace." Douglas' character retorts "And if even one of you guys had an original idea, you'd be too up-tight to pull it out of your ass!"
  • Blade Runner, though it was a more general "Asia takes over the world." Noodle shops litter the street and gigantic animated Coca-Cola marquees feature smiling geishas. Word of God says that this was supposed to show that most of the more affluent (i.e. white) population of America had already left Earth for the offworld colonies, and a lot of poor Asians who had also been left behind had subsequently immigrated.
  • The corporation that is assaulted by terrorists/thieves in Die Hard is a Japanese corporation, Nakatomi Trading, instead of the American one of the book it's based on, Nothing Lasts Forever, reflecting the economical weather of the era the movie was made in. Mr. Takagi's joking about it is the page quote (although Gruber mentions in passing that Takagi was interned in Manzanar, so it may also be a "shoe in the other foot" joke).
  • In Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, the Japan of the 23rd Century is described as an economic monolith that not only buys out other countries, but also entire continents. The action of the film is driven by three time travellers who go to mid-Nineties Japan to erase Godzilla from history, put a more destructive monster in its place, and reduce Japan to a nuclear slag heap before it can rise.
  • Gung Ho, where Japanese businessmen are portrayed as cartoonishly repressed and professional, while Americans are cartoonishly undisciplined and ineffective. Michael Keaton makes a speech toward the end stating that Japan was "kicking America's butt," but the film ultimately pushes an Aesop of compromise and working together.
  • Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects is driven by the anxiety of this trope; in one of its main subplots a Japanese businessman is assigned to his corporation's Los Angeles office and starts off his stay in America by molesting the protagonist's teen daughter on a public bus. The cops, trying in vain to identify him, complain that there are 25000 Japanese businessmen in L.A. already.
  • In Other People's Money, Lawrence Garfield, head of Garfield Investments, said he was encouraging his employees to learn Japanese out of fear of the trope.
  • The film adaptation of Rising Sun has Sean Connery's character constantly talking about how Japanese culture is superior to the West, and a Japanese takeover of a large American corporation sits at the heart of the plot. The story also portrays powerful Japanese businessmen as shadowy, decadent and corrupt.
  • In The Santa Clause, Scott Calvin notices Japanese businessmen are occupying a table in the same Denny's restaurant he is dining in, making the all-American Denny's restaurant chain less than all-American.
  • In RoboCop 3, the Omni Consumer Products MegaCorp gets bought out by the Japanese Kanemitsu Corporation. It's unclear whether they are better or worse than the old OCP, morally speaking... but their CEO is certainly more polite than Dick Jones in the first film.
  • This trope was invoked while designing the USS Excelsior for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. The Excelsior was a brand-new bleeding-edge prototype that threatened to replace the Enterprise, her crew, and her Iowa-born and -bred American captain as Starfleet's finest. In order to give off this feeling, it was designed to look as if the Enterprise was designed by the Japanese.

  • Parodied in Dave Barry Slept Here, where the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was part of a "complex, long-term, and ultimately successful strategy to dominate the U.S. consumer-electronics market."
    • Dave Barry Does Japan from 1992 explores some aspects of the trope. Notably, Barry readily agrees that Americans could do with the politeness and work ethic the Japanese display (and maybe learn to make some good cars), but the Japanese could stand to loosen up, noting that the edgiest he ever saw Japanese youth were Japanese Delinquents dressed like it was The '50s.
  • Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor focuses on a war between Japan and the US, instigated by a Japanese corporate executive as part of a plan to dominate the Pacific region.
  • Michael Crichton:
    • Rising Sun is all about how Japanese culture is allowing them to outperform the West.
    • The book version of Sphere heavily implies a very heavy influence between the West and Japan in the time-lost spacecraft's own prior timeline, which would be the future for the world at present in the book.
  • Clive Cussler's Dragon from 1990 has a group of Japanese businessmen smuggle nuclear bombs into the United States in an attempt to blackmail the country into effectively becoming a Japanese puppet state. One of them even makes a holographic video call to the President of the United States, demanding that the USA secede both Hawaii and California to Japan.
  • Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle could be seen as both an Ur-Example of this and a combination with the Day of the Jackboot; instead of depicting a future of Japanese dominance it shows an alternate present (when the book was written) where the Axis won World War II and the world is split between Nazi Germany and Japan.
  • William Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy, beginning with Neuromancer. Japanese culture dominates the world, most of the biggest corporations are Japanese, and the Yakuza is a global player. Consequently, practically the entire subsequent genre of Cyberpunk has elements of this.
    • His subsequent Bridge Trilogy, set mostly in the earthquake-ravaged cities of San Francisco and Tokyo, the latter rebuilt using self-constructing nanotech materials, also had quite a bit of this (as well as the China variant), despite having been written during the 1990s. This is partly due to the Tokyo setting, though, and much less pronounced in the Bay Bridge scenes.
  • Ephraim Kishon wrote a satirical story about this. At the end he (the author Breaking the Fourth Wall) feared that they might write better satires than him.
  • Somewhat downplayed, but present in William Lind's Victoria, where Imperial Japan is more of a first-among-equals on the international scene than a truly hegemonic superpower—but still far more powerful in both relative and absolute terms than it ever was in real life, with the world's foremost navy and nuclear arsenal, a booming economy and major political influence in the UN and among the American successor states.
  • In Charles de Lint's Svaha, most of the few remaining cities After the End are run by the yakuza and the corporations that they own.
  • Eric Lustbader wrote numerous unrelated novels around this concept, including Black Blade and White Ninja.
  • Kim Newman's Dark Future for the Games Workshop setting invoke this in the form of the GenTech, a Japanese-Korean conglomerate headed by the mysterious Dr. Zarathustra and producing things for virtually every purpose from Paradise, its home appliances and decoration subsidiary through to BioDiv, their genetics and cybernetics research department who can give you bigger breasts, better highs, up to five new dentitions pre-implanted or augment your body to let it shrug off bullet wounds and tear open tanks.
  • In The Tojo Virus by John D. Randall, a hacker named David Kimura is the point man for a shadowy cabal of Japanese executives who intend to take out a thinly veiled expy of IBM and in doing so dominate the American economy and get revenge for the Japanese loss in World War II.
  • Part of the backstory of Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow is that Japan is the pre-eminent economic power in the world.
  • Averted in Kieran Shea's cyberpunk Koko series (a.k.a EBK book series). Yes, the Koko series has most of the usual dystopian cyberpunk traits such as evil corporations surpassing governments of different countries, pollution so bad most of the world is uninhabitable, mercenaries killing and torturing for corporate or gov't interests or sometimes for their own kinks, pervasive mind-deadening entertainment. What it doesn't have is Japan taking over the world. In the series (which takes place farther in the future than most cyberpunk stories), Japan is a failed state and so devastated by pollution that only Tokyo is livable and it's been depopulated to 9 million people.
  • Robert Silverberg's Hot Sky At Midnight, written in 1994. In a dystopian future where the Earth's climate has been damaged beyond all repair, two Japanese mega-corps have taken over the world economy and are battling for supremacy: Samurai Industries, based out of Tokyo, and Kyocera-Merck, based out of Kyoto. Most workers are stuck in their company, hoping for a job that has "slope" to a better grade (as in, pay grade). Positions within the company hierarchy are highly stratified, with one's level of clearance determined by position; asking questions beyond your grade is bad for your career health. These positions are known as "Salaryman X", with X being a number (a lower number means a higher rank). Interestingly, just having a "Japanese" name, or being part Japanese, does not guarantee any favorable position; only the "purest" and most dedicated are worthy to ascend the ranks.
  • In Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, a collapse of the world economy has made Japan (Nippon) a major player in a very fragmented, franchised world government.
  • In the Mecha Samurai Empire novels by Peter Tieryas has Japan as the winner of World War 2 and the US is a vassal state to Japan. But at least the United States of Japan has developed Mecha technology.
  • Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka's 1984 novel Warday has the United States and Soviet Union cripple each other in a limited nuclear war, leaving Japan and Britain as the new top dogs. The Japanese are allowed to send whaling ships to American waters with impunity, and they also dismantle the Los Alamos National Laboratory and move it to Japan. A fictional poll in the novel also has 26 per cent of respondees say Japan is the strongest country in the world as of 1993.
  • A major part of Kurt Vonnegut's novel ''Hocus Pocus,’’ (1990) which is set in the early 2000s, centers around a for-profit prison owned by a heartless Japanese corporation that has taken over everything and hollowed out the larger community.
    "[The warden of the prison] worked for Sony. He had always worked for Sony."

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the "Unforgettable" episode of Amen, Ernest begins flirting with the young environmentalist who's come to his door to raise money for her "Save The Earth" organization by jokingly asking her, "Our earth? Didn't a Japanese company already buy it?"
  • In Max Headroom, the Zik-Zak corporation, which more or less runs the world, is Japanese. Late in the series, its Board of Directors are revealed to be Yakuza.
  • A Bit of Fry and Laurie had a spoof news segment that "the British Government has apparently just been bought by Honda." This was likely an allusion to Honda's real-life "partnership" with the troubled Austin Rover Group.

  • In a sense, during The '80s, Japan pretty much ruled the synthesizer market for the most part, as many synthesizers used in European and American pop music during the decade (partially during The '70s and especially in The '90s with PCM modules) were Japanese, like the Yamaha DX 7, the Roland Juno-106, the Yamaha CS-80, and so on.
  • Ray Stevens, mocked this in the 1991 song "Workin' for the Japanese":
    We’re all working for the Japanese
    Little cars and color TV’s
    Sending all our money overseas
    To the Eastern sphere
    One day we’re gonna lose our roots
    Wear Oriental jeans and boots
    And drink nothing but Kawasaki sake, Honda wine, and Mitsubishi light beer
    Chrysler fights for survival
    So does General Motors
    Ford perseveres with better ideas
    And, everybody drives Toyotas
    Sony owns the Rockefeller Center
    And the Hawaiian archipelago
    We buy Seikos, walkmans, TV's, and minivans
    And wonder where the money all goes...
  • Vaporwave as a whole has this as an underlying motif, hand-in-hand with its heavy 1990s capitalist iconography. This manifests both as Gratuitous Japanese in the titles and frequent sampling of Japanese pop songs, especially in the subgenre of Future Funk.
  • The Capitol Steps made some songs on their albums that came out in the 80s that dealt with this topic, such as "Sushi and the M.C.A." and "Mommy's Spoiled Child" (in which a mother buying Japanese-made toys for her son for Christmas puts herself deeper and deeper into debt).

  • In Nineteen Ninety-Four, a parody of Nineteen Eighty-Four broadcast in 1988 on The BBC, the equivalent of Oceania is "AmJap", a WikiWord of "America-Japan". The cover of the sequel's Novelization shows the AmJap flag as a stars-and-stripes with a rising sun in the striped section.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Played with in BattleTech. Japan itself, like every other modern Earth nation, has become just a regional district on Terra. But one of the most powerful Great Houses of the Inner Sphere is the Japanese-descended House Kurita of the Draconis Combine. However said power comes from the nation's military, rather than economy, and culturally it's closer to feudal Japan than modern day Japan. Ultimately, the trope can be considered averted since the Combine was styled after feudal-era Japan by its leader in the 26th Century, due to his having been a fanboy of ancient Japan and wishing he could have been a real-life samurai. Thus the Combine is really The Theme Park Version of Shogunate Japan without any true ties to the nation itself beyond the ruling dynasty's lineage.
  • Cyberpunk 2020 plays with this. While Japanese Mega Corps are extremely prominent around the world, including the Arasaka corporation which is one of the two most powerful corps in the world and has a private army stronger than most countries... the far-and-away strongest entity is the European Economic Community, both in terms of economy and military. The EuroDollar has replaced USD as de facto global currency, and EEC also operates a giant rail gun on the moon, capable of annihilating any threat to them without the fear of Mutually Assured Destruction.
  • This was popular enough for a while that GURPS decided to play with it; one of the alternate earths in ''GURPS Alternate Earths I" was Shikaku-Mon, whose Japanese had taken over the world militarily rather than economically (after converting to Catholicism early and becoming a colonial power), but which still invoked many of the standard Cyberpunk tropes.
  • Due to the major influence of Cyberpunk, Shadowrun is set in a world where this is sometimes true. The "nuyen" has become a global currency, Japan reestablished its imperial family and expanded its territories by force (including the Philippines and a significant portion of the California Free State), and at any given time, Japan is home to a disproportionately large number of megacorporations, including the very first one. There are forces and setbacks keeping it from truly ruling the world though, like a rebellious general, a Great Dragon, natural disasters, and a megacorp moving its headquarters to Russia, but there are plenty who dream of global domination as a realistic possibility.
  • TORG dealt with multiple dimensions, each representing a different genre, invading different parts of modern-day Earth. Japan was invaded by the "Nippon Tech" realm, which conducted its invasion through economics and espionage rather than the military invasion conducted by some of the other realms. Basically, the Nippon Tech realm was a direct invocation of this trope, and was heavily influenced by movies such as Blade Runner and Black Sun.


    Video Games 
  • The Video Games industry can be seen as a microcosm of this trope, as Japan pretty much dominated the worldwide video game industry throughout the 1980s to 1990s up until the early 2000s. Even today, many of the most prominent video game franchises (Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Street Fighter, Final Fantasy, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pokémon) are Japanese, as are two of the three companies that still make video game consoles (Nintendo and Sony).
  • You can play as Japan in the Civilization series and literally take over the world by means of a Conquest or Domination victory. The game encourages you to do it, especially in V, where your soldiers attack at max strength even when damaged. Their Samurais are also a threat.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 has the Empire of the Rising Sun as one of three playable factions, and arms them with easily the most advanced and versatile, albeit expensive, technology and weapons among the three. They actually complete the trope in their campaign ending.
  • In Cyberpunk 2077, numerous characters and factions (such as Militech) treat the Arasaka MegaCorp as an extension of the Japanese state. Saburo Arasaka's worldview as a Japanese Imperialist and his desire to dominate what's left of the US through sheer financial might also touches on this trope.
    • In 'The Devil' ending, Arasaka is on the path to conquering the world; Project Mikoshi proves Arasaka's Body Backup Drive works, ensuring they can just buy off world leaders with immortality. This is considered the bad ending.
  • Subverted in Earth & Beyond. The Japanese took over Jupiter.
  • Played straight in Eiyuu Senki: The World Conquest as the player takes control of the Zipang/Japan army before embarking on the titular world conquest.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is a Period Piece set in The '80s and invokes this trope as a historical reference in an in-game commercial of a compact car called "Maibatsu Thunder" and then with another commercial telling people to buy true American muscle instead of Japanese compacts. On the other end of the scale is the "Maibatsu Monstrosity" in Grand Theft Auto III, which is apparently able to seat 12 people, as well as being amphibious and equipped to travel across arctic tundra. Similarly, in Grand Theft Auto 2, the largest of the various organizations the player can take missions from is Zaibatsu (presented as the name of a specific MegaCorp, not a generic noun).
  • In Japan Bashing, a Strategy Game for the PC-98, the player must prevent Japan from taking over the U.S. by deploying anti-Japanese propaganda. Since it's a Japanese game made by Japanese people for Japanese people, it's all Played for Laughs.
  • One of the two endings to Killer7 results in Japan leading the United Nations in a war against the U.S. Given that the game was made by Suda51 (and runs heavy with the theme of eternal and inevitable conflict between eastern and western cultures), we can safely presume this is not meant to be a "good" ending.
  • In Left To Survive by Games, the zombie outbreak that started in 2018 had reduced the US to 5 million people and the two major powers of the NER (New Earth Republic) there are in a state of civil war in the 2030s. In contrast the Hattori Syndicate, which is a major ally to the NER, had prevented significant deaths in Japan and the rest of East Asia. This allowed the Hattori Syndicate to completely dominate the US in the 2060s with the use of bionic zombies and a new breed of Super Soldiers.
  • The New Order Last Days Of Europe: Depending on how affairs in the Cold War play out, the United States can diminish in influence and Nazi Germany can collapse into a warlord state, leaving Dai-Nippon Teikoku as the sole remaining superpower in the world, barring possibly a reunified Russia.
  • Nintendo Wars has a Japanese-styled faction, who use WWII-looking vehicles that are no less effective than their modern versions (and in Kanbei's case, are more effective).
  • In The Orion Conspiracy, the One Nation Under Copyright that the main characters (who are mostly British, aside from the Irish protagonist) belong to/work for is called Kobayashi.
  • While it is a Japanese game developed by a Japanese team and written by a Japanese writer, the treatment of the Tokugawa Corporation in Policenauts is obviously supposed to resemble the way this trope was used in American action movies of the era, rather than Creator Provincialism. (The game is a pastiche of American buddy cop movies.) However, it makes a satirical point here: Japan has exported the worst parts of its economic system and cultural prejudices to Beyond Coast, and the social problems caused by this are some of the main obstacles the characters face. It's also ironically amusing that the protagonist is shown to be racist against the Japanese...
  • Red Flood: Downplayed. In this alternate history, Japan is (along with Germany) a major player in the Third Internationale, and it can cause the emergence of Japanese-influenced communist movements in Brazil and Italy.
  • Rise of Nations: You can accomplish this by playing as Japan in the basic campaign mode.
  • Starlancer is pretty much World War II meets Cold War in space, where Japan is a major space power and a member of the protagonist's military alliance.
    • Freelancer which is set 800 years later, features Kusari, a Japanese-inspired faction populated by descendents of Japanese space colonists.
  • The Mishima Zaibatsu in Tekken is so powerful that their military wing takes over the world under Jin Kazama's name.
  • The lingua franca of the X-Universe is a variation on Japanese (spoken with the words in reverse order for whatever reason). This is due to Japan leading scientific progress in the mid-21st century onward, making it the common tongue for Earth. The various alien species also adopt this "Neo-Japanese" from humanity as a trade language. Translation Convention makes the player hear them in whatever language the game is set to. Curiously enough, the game is not a Japanese product: the designers are German.
  • It is implied that at the very least, Japan will rise to a permanent seat in the Security Council of the UN in one of the endings of Devil Survivor. Justified, as demon power would imply a major power shift in global economics.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Prominent in many propaganda cartoons from World War II: Tokio Jokio, Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips, The Ducktators...
  • Family Guy: In "Road to the Multiverse", Brian and Stewie visit a universe where Japan dominated the world after World War II.
  • The Simpsons
    • In "Last Exit to Springfield," a worker from decades ago warns Burns' grandfather about the rise and fall of unionized America (the latter courtesy of Japan):
      Worker: One day, we'll form a union and get the fair and equitable treatment we deserve! Then we'll go too far, and get corrupt and shiftless, and the Japanese will eat us alive!
      Grandfather: The Japanese?! Those sandal-wearing goldfish-tenders? Bosh, flim-shaw!
    • There's this line from the episode "Colonel Homer," where Homer is approached by an agent from a Country Music label.
      Agent: I'm from Rebel Yell Records, a division of the Tokasagi Corporation.
    • The famous episode "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk" was originally going to be about Mr. Burns selling his power plant to a Japanese corporation, but the writers felt it would have been too obvious given how common transactions like that were at the time. They ended up going with a group of German businessmen instead. One of the German investors still looks Japanese, for some reason.
    • After Homer bankrupts Herb Powell's car company in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" it is taken over by Kumatsu Motors, who also made Homer's pickup truck in the later episode "Mr. Plow."
  • Zero from Challenge of the GoBots was likely meant to be an anti-Japanese sentiment. Not only does he transform into a Japanese WWII plane but he also ends his first appearance with "Operation Kamikaze". Although, oddly enough, GoBots was based on the Japanese Machine Robo franchise.
  • Hell in the Ugly Americans universe is owned by a Japanese Mega-Corp and run by businessmen.
  • South Park: This plot is used in the episode "Chinpokomon" where the titular Phony Mon franchise is just camouflage for Japan's real intention to take over the world by brainswashing all infants into becoming Nippophiles.note 


Video Example(s):


C&C: Red Alert 3

In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, the Soviets' meddling with the space-time continuum inadvertently gave rise to the Japan-based Empire of the Rising Sun, who joins in on the war with the Allies and the Soviets believing that they are destined to Take Over The World.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / JapanTakesOverTheWorld

Media sources: