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Japanese Language Learning

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Japanese culture became popular all over the world in the past three decades. Manga and anime, two important components of Japanese culture, were accepted by people from different places, especially teenagers. The following researches showed how manga became so popular all over the world, the current situation faced by Japanese culture in the United States, and the influences that Japanese popular culture, such as manga and anime, exerted on teenagers outside Japan with their study of Japanese literacy and what teachers should do with these pop culture when they are teaching.

According to "Far out and mundane: The mammoth world of manga" which was written by John A Lent and published in Phi Kappa Phi Forum in the summer of 2004, manga, Japanese comics and printed cartoons, has reached a high rank of social position in Japanese culture and been warmly accepted all over the world while it constantly obtained considerable profits. Manga has very little in common with the comics of the United States and Europe. The cartoonists tended to tell readers stories in a typical manga and they would focus on presenting the growth of the characters. Manga included various kinds of genres. Many genres were created in Japan such as OL(Office lady), bishojo(pretty little girl), ect.

Manga was so popular in Japan that its fans covered all ages. All kinds of comic resources, including something violent or erotic, were easily available in Japan for anyone, even children. During 1960s and 1970s, some organizations of parents and teachers claimed that those kind of manga should be restricted but that made little effects on decreasing such kind of manga. Another protests were made in 1988 and 1989 after a man who was addicted to manga murdered three preschool children. As a consequence, in 1991, some of the most offensive manga were called back. However, the government could not insist on a certain policy towards this issue because it had to weigh the interests of both cartoonists and the public. Manga recently travels to the whole world from Japan. In United States, the biggest export market, several manga books became best sellers on the Internet or in the stores. In Europe, Canada and Australia, although the government took measures to protect the native comic industris, manga was still competitive in these markets. In East and Southeast Asia, manga offset the insufficience of comic books and Japanese subculture was formed in these regions. Based on the success of manga, artists from other countries came to Japan to learn professional techniques and traditional manufacture of manga. The reason why manga was so popular was that it obtained the best from the outside world and put Japanese elements into it. That made manga such a different and attractive medium.

In "West meets east: Teens covet Japanese culture, because it's so different from their own," which was written by Mary Meetan, Linda Niemi and Marcia Borucki and published in Chicago Tribune on March 29, 2005, the authors listed several popular elements of Japanese culture and gave the reasons why Japanese culture attracted so many teens in America. Japanese culture attracted teens in various areas: the Japanese pop singers, the Gothic Lolita style of dressing, Victorian fashion style, heavily makeup and overdress, the traditional Japanese food such as sushi, the music and the anime. Many teens in the United States started their first contact with Japanese culture from anime, the animation



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