Japan, land of contrasts, between tradition and modernity… Here is a series of usual clichés on a country which collects them and which plays with them to the point of confusing the reading. We can find others, in abundance: cherry blossoms, samurai, manga, etc. What is the part of creation, interpretation, even ideology, in these constructions often made up of local elements, but also Western ones? In The Invention of Japan, Philippe Pelletier wonders about the mechanisms for building a national identity, which are also applicable to other countries.
Caught between these reductive conceptions, the complexity of the Land of the Rising Sun is locked into stereotypes and fantasies. It has even become the niche of sweet power Japanese: hadn’t the former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decreed a few years ago that popular culture and production (J-Pop, manga, anime, etc.) should count among the country’s main export products?