Theodore Bestor :: Just as Japanese popular culture is becoming more popular in the United States through anime, manga, video games, and so forth, theres also an awful lot of interest in Japan amongst Japanese teenagers for example in American popular culture. But oftentimes its an American popular culture of an earlier generation theres sort of a retro-boom. James Dean is wildly popular in Japan. Elvis is wildly popular in Japan. Dressing up as sort of teenagers of the 1950s in black leather jackets and slicked back hair is popular in Japan these days.
And theres a sense in which I think many Japanese regard America as, not the source of popular culture, but rather theres a global popular culture to which anybody is entitled to participate in, and so the icons of 1950s popular culture in the United States become the global icons of Japanese youth in the 1990s.