Effects of JDrama on your opinions about Japan?

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nicha89
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Effects of JDrama on your opinions about Japan?

Post by nicha89 » Oct 29th, '07, 03:42

Hi, I'm doing a research on Jdrama for my senior project at school. There's a question that I have to answer: What are the effects of JDrama on non-Japanese people's opinions about Japan?

So, if you don't mind, could you tell me about the effects that Jdrama has on your views on Japan, please? I just need some general ideas. Like, how has the way you think of Japan changed after you start watching Jdrama, etc.

Thank you so much
Last edited by nicha89 on Feb 9th, '08, 21:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Gozen
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Post by Gozen » Oct 29th, '07, 09:04

The biggest surprise (and horror!) for me is the way hospitals are portrayed. Every dorama set in a hospital shows nothing but corruption, incompetence, politics are more important than patient care etc. How accurate is this? I have no way of knowing whether it's just to beef up the drama or whether Japanese hospitals really are that bad. But I know this much: I never want to get sick in Japan and find out! :pale:

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Post by pubbie » Oct 29th, '07, 11:28

My impression of Japan based solely on having watched twenty-ish JDramas is:
* Japanese men are really weak cowards. They are all the beta-male type that I used to beat up in high school.
* Women are annoying because being strong and independent is not Kawaii. Acting like a 13-year-old when you are ~25-years-old is , apparently, very Kawaii.
* The Japanese know nothing about non-japanese people.
* Japans comedy scene is filled crappy 2nd grade comedians who think word puns are hilarious.
Maybe the japanese people honestly enjoy these word puns, but I have seen some JDramas where the person making the word pun was laughed AT not WITH.
* The Japanese are very shy and indirect.
* They don't do physical contact while speaking as much as we do here in Europe.
* Holding hands is a huge deal ==> Hugs mean you are dating ==> Kisses mean you've practically gotten married.
* Belonging to a group or having society label you seems very important.
* There are plenty of perverts in Japan.

Wow, my impression of Japan is not good... Its all negative


I used to think Japan was a high-tech and very progressive society. I had no clue about Shinto etc.
Oh and Sumo wrestling: I just thought they wanted to watch fatties duke it out, but apparently is some religious crap.
The whole thing about women not being able to step into the ring is just ludicrous "Oh, a woman just tried to get into the ring.. she must be a lunatic!". Come on Japan, you're better than this...
I thought all Japanese people loved anime and ate sushi all day long. I did not expect the food-craziness, its all about the food in Japan! Lots of different foods.
Saw this clip on youtube on how to order Ramen, wtf? filling out forms (or using a special machine) specifying what type of ramen, how much oil you want etc. thats nuts and awesome at the same time!
I'm learning Japanese right now, I had no idea it was such a boring language... You can't express yourself the way you can in English. It's easier than I thought though.

Again, some negative stuff.. Japan needs a better PR agent.

Edit: I'm sorry my post turned out rant-ish.

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Post by seirin » Oct 29th, '07, 17:26

pubbie wrote: * Japanese men are really weak cowards. They are all the beta-male type that I used to beat up in high school.
They aren't really weak, but it's society that makes them conform. If you don't agree, you're not part of the group, you're alienated. I would elaborate more but it might end up being a rant.
* Japans comedy scene is filled crappy 2nd grade comedians who think word puns are hilarious.
I suppose you can say the same for British humour. They use a lot of puns and jokes on the English language.

* The Japanese are very shy and indirect.
* They don't do physical contact while speaking as much as we do here in Europe.
* Holding hands is a huge deal ==> Hugs mean you are dating ==> Kisses mean you've practically gotten married.
You have no idea how wrong you are in that department. If you watched dramas like "love generation", "friday's lovers" and many other dramas, you'll notice they're not so innocent as some may seem to be. This may have been true for the older generations, but not the past 15 yrs or so I think. A lot of stuff are just censored from tv cuz it's targeted for family viewing. What you see like sex in the city and stuff, they happen in Japan too.

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Post by pubbie » Oct 29th, '07, 19:14

seirin wrote: You have no idea how wrong you are in that department. If you watched dramas like "love generation", "friday's lovers" and many other dramas, you'll notice they're not so innocent as some may seem to be. This may have been true for the older generations, but not the past 15 yrs or so I think. A lot of stuff are just censored from tv cuz it's targeted for family viewing. What you see like sex in the city and stuff, they happen in Japan too.
I haven't seen "love generation" and "friday's lovers", thus my impression differs from yours...
The point of the thread is helping nicha89 with her senior project. It seems I bruised your ego seirin, or even worse offended you. It is pointless arguing whether another's personal opinions and impressions are "wrong". Personal opinions and impressions are never wrong, because they are PERSONAL. The worst thing you can say is "your impression is wrong" (which is what you did, reread the quoted block of text if you didn't notice it). It is illogical and in itself incorrect. Also I did state:
pubbie wrote: My impression of Japan based solely on having watched twenty-ish JDramas is:
nicha89, I am sorry to fill up this thread with noise irrelevant to your project, but I felt I had to defend myself since my post did in fact fulfill the criteria of showing my impression of Japan and how it has changed solely from watching JDramas.
seirin, you should PM me instead of replying to the thread to keep it noise-free.

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Post by nicha89 » Oct 29th, '07, 22:59

Thank you for your opinions.
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Post by Dan-O » Oct 30th, '07, 04:00

It's silly to judge the Japanese based on J-dramas, just like it would be silly to judge the US based on our daytime soap operas or Melrose Place. I wonder how many people think the Japanese are really like they are portrayed in J-dramas, then go to Japan and get a rude surprise.

I visited Japan in Spring 2007 and had a local 32 year old woman act as a tour guide around Tokyo. I asked her if she watched J-dramas and she said no, that they were ridiculous and completely unrealistic in comparison to how Japanese life really is. I didn't really need her to tell me that, but it's surprising some people do need to be told that.

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Post by groink » Oct 30th, '07, 04:17

Dan-O wrote:I visited Japan in Spring 2007 and had a local 32 year old woman act as a tour guide around Tokyo. I asked her if she watched J-dramas and she said no, that they were ridiculous and completely unrealistic in comparison to how Japanese life really is. I didn't really need her to tell me that, but it's surprising some people do need to be told that.
It is the same thing with Korean dramas. Every year at the SBS Open (LPGA tournament in Hawaii), I work as a walking scorer. I speak to the Korean golfers (they're women BTW) and they all tell me one way or another they don't watch them and that they don't represent common Korean life.

The only thing I have to comment about regarding this "paper" is that the majority of people watch television to escape from reality. So why would anyone in their right mind want to watch what they go through in their everyday lives? To serve as a reminder of the crap they live with every day????? In other words, entertainment is more likely a reciprocal of actual life in a given location. Seriously, unless you also believe that professional wrestling is real, Japanese dramas is by no means even close to real life there.

--- groink

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Post by doink-chan » Oct 30th, '07, 04:19

Dan-O wrote:It's silly to judge the Japanese based on J-dramas, just like it would be silly to judge the US based on our daytime soap operas or Melrose Place. I wonder how many people think the Japanese are really like they are portrayed in J-dramas, then go to Japan and get a rude surprise.

I visited Japan in Spring 2007 and had a local 32 year old woman act as a tour guide around Tokyo. I asked her if she watched J-dramas and she said no, that they were ridiculous and completely unrealistic in comparison to how Japanese life really is. I didn't really need her to tell me that, but it's surprising some people do need to be told that.
Yeah. Thinking J-dramas (and anime and manga, for that matter) are an accurate representation of Japan is like thinking America is accurately represented by Hollywood. I've heard that a lot of people outside the US get the idea that everyone there owns guns and that there are criminals on every corner from watching American dramas and movies. Of course, the real US isn't like this, and the dramas and movies are, of course, fictional. Likewise, though there is a long tradition of trendy dramas that tackle social issues/problems in Japan, they are also usually heavily dramatized, and thus can give a false impression of the extent of those problems to more naive viewers though sometimes there will be a grain of truth buried under the layers and layers of dramatization.
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Post by 4everU » Oct 30th, '07, 04:21

WOw I really never thought about this however, think what j dramas show is not exactly all the reall Japan, however many things are true, and no i don't think japanese hospitals are horrible, or why else would Japanese people be the the healiest people in the world, and it's the truth. There may be some however not all of them are like that...personally i believe Japan is an awsome country with quite intelligent people, and i know they have their criminals, perverts, and corrupt politicians, however it;s not as bad as what we have here in the U.s and probably other European countries...Jdramas do not justify the reall Japan, Japan like every other country has its ups and downs, so to judge or put your opinion about Japan based on jdramas we have seen , it just plain ignorant. I don't like to say things before knowing my facts, that's why i want to go to Japan and see it for my self, most people that have been there said it was awsome and that they would go there again anyday. I don't think u can judge until you see...so know one should really be judging Japan based on their Jdramas, it's just a part of their entertainment............and hell no, Japanese is not a boring language... i think it's one of the most fasinating language and it's very pretty, also no not all Japanese gusyare weak...heck! most of them can kick any guys ass over here in the u.s most of those guys know marshel arts, and the only way the guys here can beat them is by using weapons which japanese basically almost never use, also they don't usaully fight for useless things like we do here in U.S. even though they fight. Also just because you see guys not fighting does not mean they are weak......my point is jdrama is jdrama, and Japan is Japan.. know the difference! :D
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Post by Puppet Princess » Oct 30th, '07, 05:26

4everU wrote:why else would Japanese people be the the healiest people in the world, and it's the truth.
Actually no that's not true. They like things to be "clean" which lessens their chance of catching viruses and such but this also creates weaker immune systems so when they are exposed to germs they are more susceptible. Dirt and germs actually make you healthier. Plus it's a proven fact that the mixing of races strengthens the genetic structure making you less prone to contracted and hereditary illness. The Japanese like so many other isolated cultures in the world have had thousands of years of pure blood, thus they have weaker genetics as a whole. Biology is fun. :D


And to be on topic now.
If I were to base my conclusions of Japan on dramas it would lead me to think that Japanese people don't like anyone... even their own people. Almost every drama has people being incredibly mean and sometimes even violent to each other.
Though suicide rates are high they believe fences are enough to stop jumpers and continue to allow people onto rooftops.
And women love to have younger boyfriends.

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Post by sefilily » Oct 30th, '07, 07:21

Well, so far it seems that

* Japanese high school seems very eventful and there's many activities and the teachers are oblivious to the problems of their students and also are unable to help

* Being popular or looking good seems to be very important

* There's a lack of touching between men and women. And like hugging and kissing seems to be a big deal

* Japanese people seem to be very chaste

* Expensive, private schools are a big deal

* Girls go crazy for good looking and/or rich guys (like in Yamada Taro, HanaKimi, HYD)

That's all I can think of at the moment ...

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Post by melonyhappy » Oct 30th, '07, 07:27

being polite and saving face is very important - regardless if you hate the person's guts you still act proper towards them.
education's important
women - they don't hold high positions in the work force, many are secretary or temps, but i've never seen women CEO's. and anego made a comment that those women who reach up there are scary... they'll never marry
being single seems to be an undesirable state (lol like in all cultures)
girls really like those feminine looking guys (bishie?)
-cross dressers are awesome :lol

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Post by jess22 » Oct 30th, '07, 07:58

Dan-O wrote:I visited Japan in Spring 2007 and had a local 32 year old woman act as a tour guide around Tokyo. I asked her if she watched J-dramas and she said no, that they were ridiculous and completely unrealistic in comparison to how Japanese life really is. I didn't really need her to tell me that, but it's surprising some people do need to be told that.
groink wrote:It is the same thing with Korean dramas. Every year at the SBS Open (LPGA tournament in Hawaii), I work as a walking scorer. I speak to the Korean golfers (they're women BTW) and they all tell me one way or another they don't watch them and that they don't represent common Korean life.
I think they would be in the minority because all (and I literally mean all) of my Korean and Japanese friends watch their local dramas (as well as other Asian dramas). Or perhaps it's an age issue as most of my friends are all under 30.

I haven't watched too many j-dramas but what I've "learned" or at least observed is:

1. Japanese have very strict family protocols, especially when dealing with elders.

2. All the aggressive Japanese men are gangsters

3. Japanese people in general are extremely polite (which I've found to be very true. That's the one thing all my friends who've been to Japan say)

4. Chastity, Limited Touching, Light Hugs... basically what other's have said about this

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Post by PIgumon » Oct 30th, '07, 08:25

Well.... The thing about Hospitals is too true!

My friend is a doctor in japan, and all she does is complain to me how petty the nurses are, and how mean the other doctors are. so well in her case the dramas are true.

As for Pubbies response... most of what he says is true.. but why is that negative?
Just because they aren't jerk running around hitting each other?
Do you REALLY think aggressive, independent women are better??

I'm thinking you're not american, if you were and lived in this society, you'd go for japan anyday.

and sadly the other post is right too, in the past 15 years or so the japanese have become so stupidly american, they are ready to fail just like america has.

I hope they wise up soon.

At least J-Drama TRIES to uphold some old, BETTER, ways of life.

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Post by nicha89 » Oct 30th, '07, 14:39

Dan-O wrote:It's silly to judge the Japanese based on J-dramas, just like it would be silly to judge the US based on our daytime soap operas or Melrose Place. I wonder how many people think the Japanese are really like they are portrayed in J-dramas, then go to Japan and get a rude surprise.
again i'm not judging Japan based on dramas... well i guess u know the point of my topic already. i'm talking about how people think about Japan after watching them. thanks anyway :-)
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Post by groink » Oct 30th, '07, 18:18

nicha89 wrote:again i'm not judging Japan based on dramas... well i guess u know the point of my topic already. i'm talking about how people think about Japan after watching them.
nicha89 wrote:What are the effects of JDrama on non-Japanese people's opinions about Japan?
Based on your thesis, talking points would more likely be:

- What were your opinions of Japan prior to watching a Japanese drama?

- After watching a Japanese drama, did it change your opinion of Japan?

- What characteristics of the Japanese drama you watched is/are a contrast to your own culture/beliefs?

- Do you believe that Japanese dramas are written in-part for non-Japanese despite the fact that the TV networks do not actively market Jdramas outside of Japan? (lack of professional subtitles, region-2 only DVDs, etc.)

- Would you suggest to other non-Japanese people to watch Japanese dramas solely for the purpose of forming an accurate opinion of Japan?

That would allow the contributors to give more structured answers.

--- groink

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Post by Kanin » Oct 30th, '07, 19:38

pubbie wrote:My impression of Japan based solely on having watched twenty-ish JDramas is:
* Japanese men are really weak cowards. They are all the beta-male type that I used to beat up in high school.
* Women are annoying because being strong and independent is not Kawaii. Acting like a 13-year-old when you are ~25-years-old is , apparently, very Kawaii.
* The Japanese know nothing about non-japanese people.
* Japans comedy scene is filled crappy 2nd grade comedians who think word puns are hilarious.
Maybe the japanese people honestly enjoy these word puns, but I have seen some JDramas where the person making the word pun was laughed AT not WITH.
* The Japanese are very shy and indirect.
* They don't do physical contact while speaking as much as we do here in Europe.
* Holding hands is a huge deal ==> Hugs mean you are dating ==> Kisses mean you've practically gotten married.
* Belonging to a group or having society label you seems very important.
* There are plenty of perverts in Japan.

Wow, my impression of Japan is not good... Its all negative


I used to think Japan was a high-tech and very progressive society. I had no clue about Shinto etc.
Oh and Sumo wrestling: I just thought they wanted to watch fatties duke it out, but apparently is some religious crap.
The whole thing about women not being able to step into the ring is just ludicrous "Oh, a woman just tried to get into the ring.. she must be a lunatic!". Come on Japan, you're better than this...
I thought all Japanese people loved anime and ate sushi all day long. I did not expect the food-craziness, its all about the food in Japan! Lots of different foods.
Saw this clip on youtube on how to order Ramen, wtf? filling out forms (or using a special machine) specifying what type of ramen, how much oil you want etc. thats nuts and awesome at the same time!
I'm learning Japanese right now, I had no idea it was such a boring language... You can't express yourself the way you can in English. It's easier than I thought though.

Again, some negative stuff.. Japan needs a better PR agent.

Edit: I'm sorry my post turned out rant-ish.
Honestly you seem very immature for being 22 and coming from a high-tech and progressive country as Sweden. I guess Sweden could need better PR agents.

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Post by groink » Oct 30th, '07, 20:12

Kanin wrote:Honestly you seem very immature for being 22 and coming from a high-tech and progressive country as Sweden. I guess Sweden could need better PR agents.
LOL! Don't take it so personal (unless you're a Japanophile.) So far, his comments offer the best insights of an outsider I've seen yet.

--- groink

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Post by lomsie » Oct 31st, '07, 05:11

PIgumon wrote:I'm thinking you're not american, if you were and lived in this society, you'd go for japan anyday.

and sadly the other post is right too, in the past 15 years or so the japanese have become so stupidly american, they are ready to fail just like america has.

I hope they wise up soon.

At least J-Drama TRIES to uphold some old, BETTER, ways of life.
I don't necessarily think that Westerners would prefer Japan (over their own country). On the surface, Japan looks like a great place to live, but there are a LOT of problems there, just like there are here (in America).

I studied abroad there (Japan), and I'm not saying I'm an expert, but I really did not like how few opportunities women had in the workforce. Few Jdramas address this. Especially with those like the one with the 20 year old who want to marry her co-worker after knowing him for a few weeks, but her dad opposes it. She's 20 and acts like a 14 year old! No wonder her dad treats her like one. I wanted to put a gun to my head every time my host sister watched this.(I forgot the name, it was on this past Spring..something "to Papa" 「…とパパ」).

I don't think that one country is better than the other. Then there is the fact that many people in the West have no interest in Japan whatsoever.

But yeah, I think it's obvious that Jdramas are not an accurate depiction of Japanese life in general. Just like American soap operas, which I think many would agree that they definitely do not represent American culture well......at all.

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Post by azngirl911 » Oct 31st, '07, 05:48

i agree w/ some of the listed points of views. but i don't think they're becoming more american...they're still jap in their own unique way. most advanced cultures are advancing towards the same point..(in a way..every1's copying every1...w/e's popular in 1 place will be popular in another)

here are some of mine. kind of repetitive but..yea.
1. small space to live in...houses aren't big and comfy like here in the U.S. (on average), either that or it's old or it's lacks proper doors/windows (porch connected to inside of house in hotaru no hikari)
2. not very touchy..they tend to hide their feelings
3. women got the lower jobs :x
4. lot of perverts :crazy:
5. lot of geniuses
6. awesome technology (ehh..not sure about the comp. but the cell phones are pretty sweet)
7. strict parents...pretty hardcore...they don't really express their feelings
8. their thoughts are pretty open, quite straightforward (cept w/ feelings,they're not)
9. strong,determined traits..
10. uncomfy beds...or sleep on the floor.....life isn't that comfortable

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Post by Kanin » Oct 31st, '07, 16:37

groink wrote:
Kanin wrote:Honestly you seem very immature for being 22 and coming from a high-tech and progressive country as Sweden. I guess Sweden could need better PR agents.
LOL! Don't take it so personal (unless you're a Japanophile.) So far, his comments offer the best insights of an outsider I've seen yet.

--- groink
But the comments were really fantasy. And I don't even think the writer believes them, he just steretyped a few dramas he/she saw, which is hardly interesting. If that's what you really think then I guess a thing called script doesn't ring a bell. The only thing you might or should draw from a foreign drama is sure-things such as tradition or culture.

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Post by apartofmylife » Nov 3rd, '07, 02:31

pubbie wrote:I'm learning Japanese right now, I had no idea it was such a boring language... You can't express yourself the way you can in English. It's easier than I thought though.
Hope someday you can express yourself as well as you can in English :-)
But I think you can't do it the same way in English sometimes because Japanese is a diffrent language evolved in a different culture.
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Post by AboutDrama » Nov 3rd, '07, 10:35

For me:

1) They are refined, creative, hardworking, and passionate about they jobs. They take their job very seriously and job is part of they life and the measure of achivement.
2) They are very clean people. They keep their house clean and tidy.
3) They care about clothing and appearance. All the women are beautiful people, have nice skin and perfect body.
4) They don't express their feelings but express their thoughts in a subtle manner, usually in indirect approach. But it seems that women express their feelings more than men.
5) Some dramas seem to show that they have double life. During the day time or with their family, they are proper. But they have a wild side during at night (???).
6) Women have to get married by 30 years old. If they can't get someone, they have to consider "arrange marriage."
7) Not many women have no high position in companies (?).
8 ) Most dramas that I seen show that husband and wife don't communicate a lot. They are usually very quiet at home. Husband comes home and do his own thing and wife managing the household.
9) There is a trend that younger generations idolize a person (may be popular, rich, or handsome).
10) Still unable to get their jokes or their comedy (just a little childish sometimes).
11) Family tradition is important and children need to have filial piety.
12) Murder/horror story - sometimes a bit sick.

and others that are already mentioned.

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