Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth Proudly Presents Japanese Pop Culture’s Response to COVID-19

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Join the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth on Thursday, March 18, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm (CDT), for an entertaining and informative conversation about the importance of pop culture for Japan’s current society, how cultural ambassadors are helping the country in this challenging time of Covid-19, and how trends during the pandemic might transform Japanese pop culture forever.

Japanese Pop Culture's Response to Covid-19

“Pop Culture’s Response to Covid-19 clearly demonstrates the impact and influence of Japanese pop culture, even in the midst of challenging times”, said JASDFW Executive Director Paul Pass.

The Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth is proud to announce a special program entitled Japanese Pop Culture’s Response to Covid-19, featuring speakers from among various disciplines of expertise on Japanese pop culture, representing the fields of academia, journalism and the arts. The program takes place March 18, 2021, from 7 pm to 8 pm CDT. Sign up is free of charge at https://jasdfw.org/event/online-event-japanese-pop-cultures-response-to-covid-19/.

Pop culture is one of Japan’s most valuable exports and an outlet for domestic consumption, both in terms of soft power and traditional economic gains. The financial side is evident from the success of the animated movie Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (劇場版「鬼滅の刃」無限列車編), which recently became Japan’s highest-grossing film ever, a feat that it achieved in less than three months. This performance is even more remarkable during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has limited access to theaters.

Although Japan has experienced a relatively low number of positive cases in terms of population percentage, the pandemic has still significantly altered everyday life in the country. The pop culture industry has also offered an important respite for Japanese wishing to escape from the pressures of the current COVID environment.

The line-up of influential speakers and their topics includes:

Roland Kelts - Writer, journalist, and scholar, author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S.

  • How pop culture has benefited from a focus on internet and online living
  • How Japan has sold anime and manga to a global audience
  • Anime "v-tubing" with avatars to share news stories, information during COVID-19
  • How Japanese pop culture has been interactive and increased these trends during COVID
  • Virtual tourism and anime tourism

Seio Nakajima - Professor of Sociology and Asian Studies, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University

  • How Dragon Slayer and anime became popular during COVID-19
  • Look at industrial context and social-cultural implications
  • How COVID-19 has seen reflections of general trends within pop culture industry

Aki Nakanishi - Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art, and Education, Portland Japanese Garden

  • The Cultural phenomenon of Japanese pop culture in a historical overview
  • How Japan has harnessed opportunities in anime, manga, pop culture
  • Compare and contrast high-brow culture with popular culture
  • Japanese gardens as access point for Japanese aesthetics during COVID-19

Bill Tsutsui - (moderator) – Edwin O. Reischauer Distinguished Professor of Japanese Studies, Harvard University and author of Godzilla on My Mind
Some of the questions Mr. Tsutsui will discuss with speakers include:

  • How have the Japanese addressed isolation and stress during COVID-19? What role does pop culture play in providing entertainment?
  • How has production and consumption of Japanese pop culture changed during COVID-19? Does Japan have an advantage in this area?
  • What is the long-term outlook for anime, manga, and the pop culture industry in Japan?

“Japanese Pop Culture’s Response to Covid-19 clearly demonstrates the impact and influence of Japanese pop culture, even in the midst of challenging times”, said JASDFW Executive Director Paul Pass. “During Covid-19 this cultural phenomenon continues to thrive and entertain people globally, providing pop culture fans an escape as they navigate a global pandemic.”

This event is part of the Japanese government’s “Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan” program.
The program is co-presented by Japan Society, and promotional support is provided from Japan-America Society of Oregon.

For more information about the Japanese Pop Culture’s Response to Covid-19 and sign up, learn more about the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth, and see upcoming JASDFW events and programs, please visit https://jasdfw.org/.

To schedule an interview with JASDFW Executive Director Paul Pass, please call publicist Tim Hewitt at 817-205-3898 or email him at tim.hewitt@circlehbranding.com.

About the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth
The Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth is a non-profit organization founded in 1970 to encourage friendship and mutual understanding between Japanese and Americans in North Texas through business, cultural, and educational programs. Find out more by visiting us at https://jasdfw.org/.

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Tim Hewitt

Tim Hewitt
@JASDFW
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