Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pokémon and Japanese culture in France

A while ago the French paper Le Monde made a big article about Japanese teenager culture in France. They wrote that people over 35 are unaware of this subculture. The French have always consumed a lot of comic strips, so maybe it’s no big surprise that mangas, the Japanese version, have made it big here. As an example, the series Dragon Ball have sold 350 million examples since the beginning. Compare that to a classic like Tintin which has sold a total of 241 millions and you start getting the picture!

But the Japanese influence is more than just mangas. Look at sushi, origami, futon… or trendy brands like Hello Kitty with a big shop next to Kenzo in Paris or the new shop Uniqlo with cheap Japanese clothes which is a huge success in Paris.

Personally I experience the Japanese influence every time I let the children watch the Pokémon series on TV. They love Pokémon with all these different creatures and their spectacular combats. Pikachu is the big favourite – so cute!


  1. Japanese culture is growning in the UK too. I love sushi!

  2. When the word sushi is mentioned I have to do my usual rant:
    The current craze about Sushi that's hitting the Western world is a huge problem for two main reasons:

    -A cultural one. Sadly most sushi restaurants in Europe are owned by non-Japanese people (Chinese or European) that don't really know much about sushi, and that sell products are almost an insult to real good Sushi. That and the lack of education that should come with it (a real chef will teach you about his cuisine, but those are not real sushi chefs) that make most Westerners misinformed about what is and what is not Japanese cuisine.

    -An environmental problem as the fact that Sushi consumption is skyrocketing all over the world is putting one of the last nails in the coffin of ocean fish all around the world, with the dire consequences that will imply all over the world (and not only in our plates).

    On a totally unrelated topic, I was wondering, is the picture in your title the town where you live? If yes, I'm jealous (I know the place, but as you don't really mention the name here, I assume you'd like to keep it this way).

  3. Hi David! I totally agree on what you say about sushi and its consequences for ocean fish, especially red tuna. I learned to love sushi in Brazil... Sâo Paulo has the biggest Japanese population outside Japan! But like you say, many Japanese restaurants are not very good.

    About my town, no, it's not Vieux Boucau, and no, I'm not especially hiding the name of my village... let me do a post about it! It's not a flashy place, but a good place to live all year and with children.


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