Symposium | 4 & 5 Sept | RCMC

Cool Japan

On 4 and 5 September 2017, the Research Center for Material Culture in Leiden, The Netherlands, will host the two-day symposium Cool Japan: Creation, Production, and Fabrication of the Cool.

Coinciding with the exhibition Cool Japan: Worldwide Fascination in Focus, currently on show at Museum Volkenkunde, this symposium brings together scholars and makers from across the world to explore comparative perspectives on the globalization of Japanese popular culture.

How are the diverse aspects of Cool Japan understood by different producers, consumers, and scholars of pop culture in Japan and in other parts of the world? How has the phenomenon of Cool Japan influenced the image of Japan held by people both in Japan and worldwide?

The term Cool Japan was coined in the early 2000s to describe the phenomenon of Japanese popular culture going global and the ‘soft power’ Japan gained from this cultural influence. Later, the term Cool Japan was adopted by the Japanese government as part of an attempt to actively promote Japanese (pop) culture abroad and benefit from the enhanced image of Japan worldwide - a form of ‘nation branding’.

This symposium will address the development and widely differing interpretations of Cool Japan, from the ‘(imagined) origins of the production of a unique type of popular culture’ to the reciprocal influence between Japanese and worldwide pop cultures. We will explore the extent to which the global reception of Japanese pop culture reveals how consumers see Japan, and the importance that fans worldwide give to experiencing an “authentic original Japan”.

Credit image: Photographer: Kevin MICHEL | Model: Sylyne Cosplay

Join the conversation

About the event

Monday, September 4, 2017 - 13:30 to Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 18:00
Steenstraat 1, Leiden, the Netherlands


Daan Kok
Curator Japan and Korea

Related events