Teachers often discover that their students are attuned to the latest trends in popular culture more than to their academic studies. By examining Japan’s popular culture, they can capitalize on this student interest, help their students to reflect on cultural concerns, and teach about contemporary Japan. Students will see that Japan has more than ninja, geisha, and samurai. There are also pop star idols, jazz musicians, and salariman. Although sumo, the tea ceremony, and cherry blossom viewing are alive and well, the Japanese devote more of their time to reading manga, watching “soaps,” singing karaoke, or listening to pop music.
Japan Pop! Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture