Violence is another prominent feature of Japanese Manga and Anime. Besides the works whose main theme is violence itself, those for younger target depict violence with no restraint as well.
During the period under the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate rule, a profound change took place in Japanese culture.
The Kyoto nobility in the Heian period developed a society devoted to elegant aesthetic pursuits.
The introduction of Western cultural values led to a dichotomy in Japanese art, as well as in nearly every other aspect of culture, between traditional values and attempts to duplicate and assimilate a variety of clashing new ideas.
The Jōmon pottery were distinguished themselves form contemporaneous any other vessels in the world; an artistic interest of Jōmon Japanese overwhelmed a practical utility.
Japan has a unique food culture: various good fresh ingredients of sea and mountains, seasonings that adds to the dishes’ tastiness, Japanese sense of taste represented by umami and intense curiosity about savoring variety of foods.
The Japanese perhaps are the world's best connoisseur of food exhibiting great curiosity about gastronomy.
Tokyo is a rare city you can try various kinds of cuisine from all over the world. The diversity is not only found in their origins but also can be seen in menu or in atmosphere - store size and facilities.
Japanese have never been conservative about trying unforeknown foods or ingredients but incorporated imported food from across the world, and have historically adapted many to make them their own.
Enryakuji, the temple complex of Tendai became a sprawling center of power, attended not only by ascetic monks, but also by brigades warrior monks who fought in the temple's interest.
The Kamakura period saw the introduction of the two religious streams that had perhaps the greatest impact on the country.
Meiji rulers made Shintō the official religion, creating a form of Shintō known as State Shintō by merging Shrine, Folk, and Imperial Household Shinto.
Even after Empress Suiko openly encouraged the acceptance of Buddhism, the ancient belief had not be taken over by Buddhism but has survived for centuries to this day.
"The essence of Japanese Anime is in its taboo-free, in terms of violence, eroticism, and mechanical presentation." Sugiyama Tomoyuki
Okuno Takuji, a Japanese anthropologist suggests that the expressive techniques in Anime and Manga today derive from the traditional techniques.
In the Ghost in the Shell universe, "ghost" means soul, essence, being, mind that separates humans from robots and Ais. If a cyber-brain can generate its own ghost, then there is no particular importance to be placed on “the human.”
Among Japanese traditional art techniques, line drawing has fundamental impact on today's Manga and Anime. "Drawn only with outlines, Manga who inherits the characteristic of Japanese-style painting made up of lines seem three-dimensional.
“In certain contexts, Japanese culture can combine the auras of sexual energy and violence without creating an atmosphere of seedy perversity or provocation.” Roland Kelts
Young Haruki would often hear his parents discussing eighth-century poetry or medieval war takes at the dinner table. Haruki said, “Throughout my teens I became hate ‘Japanese literature’ and ‘teachers’.”
Hanshinkan, the area between Osaka and Kobe, was a comfy place to spend Haruki's boyhood to the adolescent period.
Haruki was permitted to buy books on credit at the local bookstore, as long as he avoided comic books or trashy weekly magazines, and he became a voracious reader.
Haruki would play Mahjongg almost every day, fool around with girls, spend hours in jazz cafés and cinemas, smoke, skip school, read novels during class, and so forth, but his grades were never terrible.
In his novels and essays, Murakami expressed his deep emotional attachment to the sea that was close to him throughout his adolescence years.
Of his middle-school years, Murakami has written that all he remembers is being beaten by his teachers. He didn't like them and they didn't like him because he wouldn't study.
What is Cool Japan?
The keywords, "Cool Japan," are flying all around the world.
From fashion, anime, games, and food, various cultures that the Japanese take for granted are being accepted as cool and trendy by foreigners.
"COOL JAPAN Discovering what makes Japan cool," uses the sense of foreigners to the fullest, to dig up and examine the appeal and secrets of these cool cultural aspects.
In a 2002 article in Foreign Policy entitled "Japan's Gross National Cool," Douglas McGray wrote of Japan "reinventing superpower" as its cultural influence expanded internationally despite the economic and political problems of the "lost decade."
Surveying youth culture and the role of manga, anime, fashion, film, consumer electronics, architecture, cuisine, J-pop, and phenomena of cuteness such as Hello Kitty, McGray highlighted Japan's considerable soft power, posing the question of what message the country might project.
He also argued that Japan's recession may even have boosted its national cool, due to the partial discrediting of erstwhile rigid social hierarchies and big-business career paths.