Manga, Pokémon or Sudoku, Anime and Karaoke – everyone knows the modern Japanese entertainment culture. Since the 1990s Japanese popular culture labelled as “Cool Japan” has been conquering the world. The exhibition “Cool Japan – Trend and tradition” at the Übersee-Museum is not limited to present time, but also takes a look at the historical roots of popular culture, which can already be found in the Edo period.
During that period (1600-1868) a prosperous bourgeois culture emerged in Japan: the theatre scene flourished, geisha and kabuki actors influenced fashion trends. Beauty ideals and the “traditional” Japanese cuisine evolved. Historical artifacts from the Edo period such as an armour of a samurai, sumptuous kimonos and coloured woodblock printings are accompanied by modern objects including street fashion, manga and anime figures, as well as humanoid robots.
“Cool Japan – Trend and tradition” shows that Japan impresses with design, fashion, literature, food, games, festivals and culture of living – then and now.
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