More Than Just an Appearance: Reasons Behind Japanese Youth’s Adoption of Hip Hop

Topics: Sociology, Culture of Japan, Hip hop Pages: 4 (1443 words) Published: October 12, 2008
Part One
In the article “The Hip Hop Impact on Japanese Youth Culture”, the author, Xuexing Liu, addresses the idea that hip hop has a global influence on youth culture and he portrays it by describing how hip hop has affected Japanese youth. Liu is an associate professor of Japanese which suggests that he might be quite knowledgeable with regards to Japanese society’s traditions and cultures. This is evident from the various in-depth examples that he has inserted into many parts of the article. Liu writes from the perspective of a sociologist who is trying to educate western readers on how hip hop has impacted Japanese society. He often dives into the social significance of the examples that he gives. Liu’s article is based on two main focus points. Firstly, Liu suggests that hip hop has had great influence on Japanese youths; and reasons this is true because of the adaptation of hip hop into ganguro by Japanese youths. This is reinforced in the fifth section of the article when an African-American, Tyson, agreed that he sees similarities between the hip hop culture in America and Japanese youths’ adaptation of it. Secondly, Liu claims that the practise of ganguro as an expression of self-identity is in direct conflict with Japanese traditions and cultures. This claim is based on the results of the survey in part five where more than half of all respondents agreed that individuals who practise ganguro depart from commonly accepted behaviours; and this is in conflict with Japanese culture and society. Part Two

After critical evaluation of Liu’s article, I feel that Liu is accurate in his explanation on the strong influence hip-hop has had on Japanese youth culture. I also agree with Liu that ganguro is an expression of self-identity that is in conflict with Japanese traditions and cultures. However, I find that Liu is not doing enough to address the fundamental reasons behind why youths adopt hip hop. Many Japanese youths are adopting hip hop because conformity...
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