Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Geography

Title

Cultural attraction, ‘soft power’ and proximity: The popularity of Japanese language in Hong Kong since the 1980s

Language

English

Abstract

This paper discusses the cultural attraction, 'soft power', and importance of cultural proximity to the popularity of the Japanese language in Hong Kong over the last three decades. Exploration of both primary and secondary sources constitutes the main research methodology employed. Email surveys and face-to-face interviews were undertaken to ascertain the nature and degree of the cultural attraction that stimulates local people's interest in learning Japanese language and culture. The paper concludes that Japan's 'soft power', i.e., popular culture and cultural products, are the most influential driving forces behind the popularity of Japanese language in Hong Kong. Also, the Japanese cultural proximity to the Chinese is another factor that excites local people's interest in learning Japanese as a foreign language. In the Hong Kong context, geopolitical and national identity factors do not seem to detract from the popularity of the Japanese language. © 2012 Copyright JCG Press, Oklahoma State University.

Keywords

cultural attraction, cultural products, cultural proximity, Hong Kong, Japanese language learning, popular culture

Publication Date

2012

Source Publication Title

Journal of Cultural Geography

Volume

29

Issue

3

Start Page

315

End Page

336

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

DOI

10.1080/08873631.2012.717414

ISSN (print)

08873631

ISSN (electronic)

19406320

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