Question of the week #15

So many great questions sitting in the Formspring inbox for me.  I am looking forward to answering them all.  Due to the timing of just returning from Japan this particular question makes sense to answer first.

ImgresWhat do you think of
Japan's consumer culture? Do you think there are many Japanese products
or services that could be successful in the US?
I am an American who has lived in Asia for the past 4 years. I have
traveled to Japan twice and love it!

The culture in Japan is fascinating period.  That culture is tied to many things besides consumerism.  The population is older and it is apparent just walking the streets of Tokyo and Kyoto but my guess (just from what I have heard and read) is that is more obvious in more rural areas of Japan.  The constant of new products and the fashion fads that are pretty juvenile creates the consumerism but runs counter to the traditional society of Japan.  

There are not any services that I saw or used in Japan that I can come up with.  As for the products, most of the products they have there are already in the US except of course the plethora of hot seat toilets with electronic flushing.  I am a fan of those toilets and could totally see them working in the states.

The fashion products where teens and even young adults dress up as characters from movies, bands of comics in serious public displays that make the streets almost theater is just not something I see taking hold here.  It is their rebellion to their own culture and our rebellion is different.  

Japan is a fascinating place.  There is definitely a push/pull between the future and the past.  The US is much more mired in the moment and the future not so much the past.  We are such a young country and Japan is a very old country.  Our world might be flatter by the day but Japan is a society that we can connect with through business but there is quite a disconnect on many levels.   Of course, IMHO.