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Asian Migration and Global Cities

Anne Cong-Huyen, Jonathan Young Banfill, Katherine Herrera, Samantha Ching, Natalie Yip, Thania Lucero, Randy Mai, Candice Lau, Authors
Candice Lau: About Me, page 12 of 16

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Movies, Texts, and Culture of Tokyo

number9dream by David Mitchell is about a Japanese boy, Eiji Miyake, who moves to Tokyo to find his father who abandoned him1. Books and texts like number9dream explores Tokyo and the experiences that people have when living there.

After Dark by Haruki Murakami takes place in Tokyo in between midnight and dawn. The main characters are Mari and Eri who are sisters. Mari spends her night in Denny's. Mari meets an amateur jazz musician, a Chinese prostitute, and a love hotel manager (a love hotel is a hotel for short stay). The prostitute can imply that Tokyo does have secrets and is unsafe and dirty, especially since there are several bars and clubs in Tokyo. This book is another representation of Tokyo, especially Tokyo at night since it takes place during one night in Tokyo. Although I have not read After Dark, the setting of Tokyo shows that Tokyo has a night life. It also shows another representation of Tokyo as a mysterious and dark city with restaurants bars that are always open. According to the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, there is a lot of "weirdness" and the novel incorporates a dream that Eri has. This could represent Tokyo as a mysterious, weird, yet dreamy city. Maybe dreamy as in unrealistic or unusual. Tokyo is portrayed as a city that is always busy. It is full of restaurants, clubs, shops, and people. People are always going in and out of Tokyo.

Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was directed by Justin Lin and is an action film that takes place in Tokyo and Los Angeles. Although it appears to be all about racing and cars, it shows a lot of Tokyo and the Tokyo culture. It represents Tokyo as a modern, lively city, always full of people. Tokyo is a great city for Fast and the Furious to be filmed since Tokyo is known for cars, electronics, and modern technology. It is an action film which implies that there is a lot of action going on in Tokyo. Fast and the Furious also shows the part of Tokyo that is not so great. It represents Tokyo as a city with illegal activities going on underground. This film seems to be all about racing which is illegal and dangerous in most cities. The representation of Tokyo as illegal and dangerous is the complete opposite of other representations. Comparing the two representations shows that Tokyo is not a perfect city. It is often safe and clean but it has its flaws and just like any other city, there is still going to be danger.

The pop culture in Tokyo has become a huge and successful industry. It includes fashion and entertainment for all ages. The entertainment portion includes anime and video games6. As for fashion, the Harajuku style has become famous among teenagers. Harajuku style is a popular part of Tokyo fashion. This style comes from side streets with boutiques and trendy shops in Harajuku, Tokyo7

Yuruchara is a mascot that represents a prefecture in Japan. These mascots can be found in travel brochures, posters and websites. Tokyo's (Taito City) mascot is Taitokun. He is often found in festivals that are held in Taito City. He is the guardian god of Taito City, Tokyo6.

Pokemon has always been popular among children in Japan and overseas. Tokyo has two Pokemon Centers which are stores that have trading cards, toys, games, stationary, and anything related to Pokemon8.

Japan is known for otaku which are obsessions such as anime, action figures, cosplay, and manga. Tokyo has the best shops for people interested in otaku. Gojira-ya is one of Tokyo's oldest toy shops. Gojira-ya translates to "Godzilla Store." This stores has everything for otaku. There is even a Godzilla-themed bar! Visitors can eat and drink while "watching men in rubber suits pulverising miniature buildings on a big screen9." Otaku represents Tokyo as a city that revolves around TV and other forms of media since things like anime, Pokemon and action figures are often seen in books and on TV. It also shows that there is a huge and successful toy industry in Tokyo. People of all ages are welcome to visit Tokyo and these toy stores.

Tokyo's pop culture is a huge part of life in Tokyo. People spend a fortune on things like otaku and clothes. Businesses like boutiques (for the Harajuku style) and toy stores that sell everything for otaku have been very successful. People from all over the world find the pop culture and its industry fascinating and often visit these stores.
People in the United States look up to Hollywood stars while people in Tokyo and all over Japan look up to and obsess over animated characters. As mentioned in another page, cat cafes have become a huge sensation in Tokyo. People from all over the world find Tokyo's culture interesting and different since they love and look up to cats and animated characters (anime, action figures, Pokemon). There are people that even dress up like animated characters. Cosplay means "costume play" and even Harajuku style looks a bit animated with influence from different characters.

1. Good Reads. number9dream Web. 3 March 2014.

2. Good Reads. After Dark. Web. 3 March 2014.

3. IMBD. "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift." Web. 4 March 2014.

4. UniversalMovies. "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift." Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube. 13 April 2011. Web. 4 March 2014.

5. Amazon. "number9dream." Web. 4 March 2014

6. Japan Travel Info. "Pop Culture." Web. 11 March 2014

7. Harajuku Style. "Harajuku." Web. 11 March 2014

8. Japan Guide. "Tokyo Anime Guide." Web. 11 March 2014

9. Macias, Patrick. The Guardian. "Tokyo City Guide: 10 of the best otaku shops in Tokyo." Web. 12 March 2014
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