Isaac Meyer

Historian, teacher, podcaster

Episode 291 – What Goes Up, Part 2

This week, we’re going to talk about life in the bubble era by looking at three snapshots of that experience: a movie, a book, and a poem.

Sources

A partial translation of The Japan that Can Say No

Tanikawa’s “A Push of a Button” is available in Modern Japan: A History in Documents, edited by James Huffman

Images

From Tampopo. The junior fellow who shows everyone up is at left; the man at right is kicking him under the table.

From Tampopo. I know this is my foremost concern when I eat spaghetti.

A scene from A Taxing Woman’s Return where the bad guys plot over a literal pile of money.

Sony founder Morita Akio.

Ishihara Shintaro today.

Tanikawa Shuntaro.

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Episode 290 – What Goes Up, Part 1

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Episode 292 – What Goes Up, Part 3

1 Comment

  1. Jason

    What I find interesting is that there seemed to be a simultaneous reinterpretation of Japanese culture happening in the United States seemingly in parallel with each other. Despite the antagonism this is also the period of the NES, Pac-Man, and the emergence of (heavily Americanized) sushi on the American palate. There were also several Americanized spins on Japaneseness, take for example the Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi is a liminal figure in those movies. In addition there are countless satirical examples of the go-go American yuppie businessman who takes the Art of War way out of context and is scarfing down sushi because the Japanese do it so he does his own kind of copy-cat thing.

    This also got me thinking, the USA-China trade relationship is far larger today than the USA-Japan relationship was back in the 1980s yet it seems to me that Chinese mass culture has had less of an influence on the US than the Japanese. Do you agree? If you do, why you think that might be?

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