Weaboos — Japanese Propaganda Agents
I never shied away from my fondness of Japanese Anime, Manga, Music, Video Games, Pornos, and the whole pop culture. I prefer not to self-proclaim myself as a Weaboo or “Wibu” as we know it in my native language, as self-proclamation walks the thin line between truth and a poser, but it is a label that has bestowed upon me time and time again, and something I would not deny.
But what does it mean, being a Wibu? Here’s a wild answer:
It is, unwittingly, being a Japanese Propaganda Agent
In the wake of the WWII, Japan, destroyed, defeated, their economy went to shit, and their country image are at all-time low. Ever an ambitious nation, deficient of a military and economic might, Japan pivoted its strategy of world domination. With aggression no longer an option, they implemented a strategy to influence other nations through Soft Power, i.e. “the ability to indirectly influence behavior or interests through cultural or ideological means.”
Hence, spearhead by MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Kuru Japan or Cool Japan strategy was born. In the 80’s, with their economy booming in such a rapid rate, others would call it a miracle, Japan started to increase its effort to export their pop culture staples, through Oshin drama series, which distributed to foreign countries at zero-cost, and Hello Kitty. In particular, Hello Kitty was detriment in shaping the kawaii image of Japan.
And as slowly but surely, from Godzilla to Super Sentai & Kamen Rider, from Sailor Moon & Dragon Ball to Haikyuu, from Akira to Neon Genesis Evangelion to Spirited Away, from Mario Bros & Donkey Kong to Pokemon, Japanese Anime, Manga, Video Games and Music started to spread across the world, and Japanese Pop Culture infiltrating our everyday lives, shaping our interest and taste.
And like all other things in life, some are more susceptible than others. While others might find a level of interest in the Japanese Pop Culture, some dive in head first, shooting them up their veins, and snorting those sugoi & kawaii shit day and night. And like all other things in life, when you stray from the norms, society will have a nickname for you. In this case, they call you “Wibu.”
But aren’t Wibus just the byproduct of the Kuru Japan strategy? Some even didn’t have much choice. Some spent their childhood where Sunday Morning Cartoon means a marathon of Anime which started and ended with songs from popular Japanese Bands. Some went to book store, to find the affordable comic book selection only consisting of a vast variety of Manga, repackaged and translated to the local language. With such bombardment of J-Pop Culture from adolescent age, and with little access to the Internet back then, what choice do they have, but to devour what was presented, and unconsciously let it become a part, small or large, of their identity?
And with that, they unwittingly became an agent of a propaganda that is Kuru Japan. With burning passion and encyclopedic knowledge of J-Pop Culture, they live their lives, trying to influence others to watch the Anime and J-Drama that they watch, to listen to the music they listen, to read the Manga they read, to play the games that they play, more often that not, to the chagrin of others, all the while, what they really wanted, is just a fellow to talk to, someone with familiar taste and interest.
And isn’t that just one of life greatest joy? To find someone who shares your taste and interest?