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Useful Notes / Japan

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The Kaijus' favorite playground.

"Japan is an island by the sea filled with volcanoes, and it's b e a u t i f u l."

All the things you wanted to know about Japan (Japanese: 日本; Nippon or Nihon), an island country in East Asia, but were afraid to ask. Not to be confused with the band Japan, who were from England.

Settings and Useful Notes related to Japan

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     Culture and Customs 


Works and Tropes from Japan

Japan in popular culture

  • Most Manga, Anime, Japanese Literature and Kaiju works are set in Japan, obviously.
  • Samurai / Jidai Geki films, most of which are set in feudal Japan.
  • A lot of US war time cartoons ridicule the Japanese due to their affiliation with the Axis, including The Ducktators, Tokio Jokio and Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips.
    • American comics from the time did the same thing, as the Action Comics cover in Propaganda Machine can attest.
  • The Simpsons: In "30 Minutes Over Tokyo" the family travels to Japan where they reference about every Japanese stereotype and/or reference point possible.
  • South Park: The episode "Chinpokomon" has the makers of ''Pokémon" use the show to brainwash the youth so they can take over the world.
  • Deep Purple recorded their best known Live Album in Osaka: Made In Japan. Many other hard rock/metal bands afterwards have had live albums recorded in concerts in Japan, such as Scorpions (Tokyo Tapes) and Judas Priest (Unleashed in the East).
  • Sarah Vaughan also recorded a Live Album in Japan, though in her case in Tokyo: Live in Japan.
  • All but one of Mr. Big's live albums were recorded in Japan. (They were hugely popular over there but in their native America they're remembered as a One-Hit Wonder for "To Be With You".)
  • Some Western bands have also recorded music videos in Japan, like The Police's "So Lonely" and The Killers' "Read My Mind".
  • Lost in Translation, a Hollywood movie taking place entirely in Tokyo, where an American movie star does some Japandering to make a living and meets an American girl he likes.
  • In the first half of Kill Bill (i.e. the first of the two films), the Bride travels to Japan to act revenge on O-Ren Ishii.
  • Most of the action in The Wolverine is set in Japan, as a reference to Logan's backstory there (as told in his 80's comics phase).
  • The 1980 mini series Shogun with Richard Chamberlain and Toshiro Mifune is set in Japan.
  • Gilbert and Sullivan's operette The Mikado is set in feudal Japan.
  • Part of the James Bond film You Only Live Twice takes place in Japan.
  • Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini is an opera about a Japanese geisha and her love for an American lieutenant.
  • The song "The Japanese Sandman" is about a sandman who exchanges yesterdays for tomorrows.
  • history of japan (which can be viewed here) is a 2016 video that presents the entire history of Japan in exactly nine minutes. Due to the way it's presented, it's become famous as a Fountain of Memes on Tumblr and other sites.
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory brings Third Echelon agent Sam Fisher to Japan for several levels, including a private retreat in Hokkaido, a bathhouse in Tokyo and a fictional Ministry of Defense location, Kokubo Sosho, with an elaborate base under the Tokyo Bay. A fictional new Japanese counter-intelligence agency, Admiral Toshiro Otomo's ISDF, cooperates with Third Echelon. And turns out to be the real enemy.
  • Sayonara is a 1957 Hollywood film that takes place in Japan and was filmed on-location (although in Kyoto, when it's set in Kobe). The director was inspired to make it after visiting Japan and seeing various forms of performing arts (two major characters are theatre performers).
  • The Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh regions of Pokémon are all based on regions of Japan, specifically Kanto, Kansai, Kyushu and Hokkaido respectively.

The Japanese flag

Also known as the Hinomaru ("Disc of the Sun"), the red disc on a white field has long been a symbol of the nation since the feudal era, playing on the Alternate Character Reading of Japan's name (日本), which can mean "sun-origin" or "sunrise".

Alternative Title(s): Useful Notes On Japanese Culture


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