The Japanese Version
The Japanese Version goes beyond the stereotypical images of Japan that are too often presented to Americans, and asks the questions: What happens to Western cultural ideas and objects when they are placed in a new setting? How have the Japanese navigated the flood of foreign influences that has been inundating their culture for a thousand years? With its series of entertaining yet revealing sequences, The Japanese Version is truly a cross-cultural surprise, as well as a warm and funny portrait of Japan today.
Here are some of the scenes included in The Japanese Version:
- An overview of how the Japanese have adapted foreign influences throughout their history
- A group of Tokyo businessmen who have reinterpreted the American cowboy myth to suit Japanese tastes: it's not about individualism, it's about working together to solve problems.
- How Japanese women are taught Western etiquette at a Tokyo "charm school", using the same techniques they use to learn the classic tea ceremony
- A young Japanese couple who decide to get married Christian style, even though they're not Christian
- A portrait of the remarkable phenomenon of the gaijin tarento well-paid Americans who have become TV stars in Japan be acting the part of "professional foreigners"
- A Japanese game show that comes to the U.S. and uses important American monuments as part of its elaborate quiz competitions
- Incisive commentary from eminent Japan observers like Donald Richie, Ian Buruma, and George Fields
The Japanese Version is an ideal teaching tool for both schools and businesses
- The perfect orientation program for Japan-bound executives, teachers, students, and general travelers
- Appropriate for Asian studies, anthropology, American studies, multicultural curricula, and for any audience that wants to understand more about contemporary Japan
- A valuable up-to-date complement to books and films dealing with classical Japanese culture
- An entertaining testimonial to the warmth and humor of Japanese popular culture
- A rewarding employee-education tool for US-based Japanese companies with American employees
Principal Advisors: David W. Plath, University of Illinois, Hidetoshi Kato, Japanese National Institute of Multi Media Education
The Japanese Version was supported by grants from the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, the Japan-U.S. Educational Commission, The Panasonic Foundation, The Japan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council for the Arts.