Waxing Lyrical about Japan and the Future

Pop Culture Influences Upon the Progress of Humanity

So I've been a YouTuber since late January. I have long been intrigued by vloggers and creating content for the internet, sharing ideas and interests with an adoring audience, but crippling anxiety kept me for many years from even sticking my toe into the pool. Luckily, circumstances came together and I was able to begin my online adventure. Since its birth, my channel has been a bit of a mixed bag. I was doing reactions, gameplay, challenges as well as vlogs talking about a range of different things (music production, my own life and so on). It's been a fun ride so far, but the whole thing has felt...unfocused. 

I started thinking, what could I do to better myself and what I'm creating? Other channels touched on a specific area; even when they were branching out and doing different things, they all had some sort of underlying theme. People want consistency and I wasn't feeling like I was meeting that criteria. After all, you put on The Walking Dead (for example) and expect to see zombies and gritty action packed drama. If you turned on one week and the survivors were playing basketball with the zombies for no reason, you'd be disappointed. Different mediums maybe, but the point still stands. The audience expects familiarity; sudden and unexpected change isn't appealing.

Then a sudden bolt of lightning went off in my brain and the clouds cleared.

The one constant I've had since my early years is Japan (we met over an accidental viewing of Dragon Ball Z at the age of six). That beautiful country where the sun rises first, where they see the future before the rest of us. 

Then the clouds cleared moreso and a beam of light shone down like a beacon of inspiration.

Why not talk about both their pop culture and the influence it has had on technology? Futurism is pretty cool, after all. As is cyberpunk. Japan's pop culture is some of the richest in the world and is easily some of the most recognised; practically everyone knows who Super Mario or Pikachu is. Japan's ability to weave intricate stories filled with references to folklore and spirituality transitioned well into science fiction—Ghost in the Shell (from hereon shall be referred to as GitS) being one of the benchmarkers. It being the film that got the Wachowskis the green light to film the Matrix series. GitS is loaded with future technologies which are gradually seeing the light of day; synthesised robotic bodies, cyberbrains, hacking of said cyberbrains, downloading data through ports connected to the spinal column...I could go on. Elsewhere you have shows like Sword Art Online and .hack touching on virtual reality gaming which of course, is the new in thing in computing circles.

In the real world, Japan is a world leader in creating consumer electronics, robotics, and next generation automobiles. A significant amount of electronics we take for granted today originated from there. For example, the world's best selling games console, the PlayStation 4, is made by Sony, a Japanese company. Japan takes scientific research very seriously, with the world's third largest budget for R&D at $130 billion USD and over 677,731 active researchers. Japanese engineering consistently makes news for pushing boundaries. Last month, it was reported that a Japanese engineer for farming equipment named Masaaki Nagumo had built an eight-metre high robot suit based off the anime, Mobile Suit Gundam. This robot suit being fully working with a fully equipped cockpit. Now if this is just a regular engineer who made this, think of what could be done with the backing of a military budget.

So with that, this video was created, and I hope anyone who visits will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it! This will be the start of a series discussing my experiences with Japan (as I've been twice now, but that's for another day). I'm hoping it becomes somewhat of a metamorphosis for my channel and I can focus more on Japan-centric content.

Now Reading
Waxing Lyrical about Japan and the Future
Read Next
For the Love of Star Wars