Japanese Pop Culture’s Response to COVID-19

March 18, 2021
past event image
Live Webinar past event
Live Webinar

Thursday, March 18, 8—9 PM EDT   Calculate your local time

This event is co-presented by Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth and Japan Society (New York).

Pop culture is one of Japan’s most valuable exports and outlets for domestic consumption, both in terms of soft power and traditional economic gains. The financial side is evident from the success of Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (劇場版「鬼滅の刃」無限列車編), which recently became Japan’s highest-grossing film ever, a feat that it achieved in less than three months. This performance is even more remarkable during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has limited access to theaters. Although Japan has experienced a relatively low number of positive cases in terms of population percentage, the pandemic has still significantly altered everyday life in the country. The pop culture industry has also offered an important respite for Japanese wishing to escape from the pressures of our current COVID environment. Join us for a conversation on the importance of pop culture for Japan’s current society, how cultural ambassadors are helping the country in this challenging time, and how trends during the pandemic might transform Japanese pop culture forever.

This event is part of the Japanese government’s “Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan” program.

Roland Kelts, Writer, journalist, and scholar, author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S.
Seio Nakajima, Professor of Sociology and Asian Studies, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University
Aki Nakanishi, Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art, and Education, Portland Japanese Garden

Bill Tsutsui, Edwin O. Reischauer Distinguished Professor of Japanese Studies, Harvard University and author of Godzilla on My Mind

Please register via Zoom.

Co-presented by Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth.


  • Thursday, March 18, 2021
  • 8:00 pm