Monday, 2 December 2013

Even The Toughest Cars...

...can be cute, at least in Japan. Decorating one's car with favourite manga, anime or vocaloid characters is now more-or-less mainstream in Japan, and Toyota even offer an at-factory service, as this well-illustrated article tells us. The popularity of Miku is also covered, and comes as no great surprise to me.

It is perhaps the biggest cultural difference between our part of the world and that country, that the more natural Japanese outlook favours cuteness over fierceness. In the more feudal times, and even as recently as the Second World War, aspects of their society were effectively constrained by traditions and impositions that presented a very different face to the rest of the world. I suppose we might have gained a slanted impression, just as we did of Germans, Russians and others for not dissimilar reasons.

Let the true nature of many peoples shine through, though, and in at least some cases one finds a much softer, and one could even say cuddlier, society. Yes, as with all large groupings of people it will not be universal – but it is dominant, as a wander around such nations' towns and cities readily reveals to the observant.

The real key is in how the public in these places react to anything of this nature, whether it be decorated cars or an impromptu dance in a plaza (as I showed recently, from Taiwan, for one example). It's not a matter of becoming blasé as such: it's more a question of one's societal norms. In such matters the Far East are, in the main, way ahead of us, more cosmopolitan and with a cultural breadth and entrenchment that could teach us a few things, if we'd let it in to our lives as a nation...

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