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Pop Culture in Japan: Nihonjinron

Nihonjinron is a bizarre nationwide phenomenon in which the study of the specialness of Japan has been elevated to a high art. It has led to a host of ludicrous pronouncements that wouldn't be given the time of day anywhere else in the world, such as politicians justifying import bans for certain foods and skis because Japanese intestines and snow are, apparently, uniquely different.

The fad for books analysing Japan was sparked in the 1970s by a slim volume The Japanese and The Jews , written by a local scholar under the pseudonym Isaiah Ben Dassan. Since then, real gaijin experts have climbed on the bandwagon of telling the Japanese about themselves and some, who've taken the trouble to master the language, have made TV tarento careers out of it.

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