Hello again, everyone! The typhoon is over, now let’s talk about a fun topic.

Japanese music, movies and video games are famous around the world. But the Japanese things that are popular around the world are often not popular in Japan! In this post, I will look at some Japanese things that are well-known in America and Europe but not so famous in Japan.

Final Fantasy games

The Final Fantasy series is popular in Japan, but not as famous here as Dragon Quest. In America and Europe, though, Dragon Quest is not very popular but Final Fantasy is the most popular RPG series. European and American lists of the best games ever made always include many Final Fantasy titles, especially Final Fantasy VII (1997). People around the world love the music, the characters and the stories in the series. My first Final Fantasy game was Final Fantasy X (2001) on the Playstation 2, and I have loved the series ever since.

Japanese cinema

Maybe you know the directors Akira Kurosawa and Hayao Miyazaki. But do you know names like Kon Ichikawa, Shohei Imamura, Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu? The movies made by these people are often found on “best movies” lists around the world, and their names are very famous in Europe and America. Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story (東京物語 in Japanese) in particular is often called one of the greatest movies ever made. People around the world love these classic Japanese stories, and many Japanese directors are called the best in the world.

Noise music

Maybe you’re thinking, what is “noise music?” Well, it’s an interesting kind of loud music that is very different from normal music. It uses many kinds of instruments that you do not hear in rock or classical music. Noise music did not start in Japan, but the most famous noise musicians are Japanese. The first noise music was American musician Lou Reed’s album Metal Machine Music in the year 1975. Many Japanese musicians heard this album and were inspired by its unique sound. From the 1970s to the 1990s, Japanese bands and artists like Boredoms, Fushitsusha, Hair Stylistics, Hijokaidan and Merzbow made noise music that became famous all around the world. Back in May, I saw Fushitsusha perform in Shibuya. It was very good.

This has been the ALT Report, thank you for reading and come back next week for more.

-Devon (Kasachu ALT)