ICS Occasional Papers

Japanese Pop Culture’s Response to COVID-19: Embracing Digitalization and Hybridization.

Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the Japanese arts, cultural, and creative industries, leading to the closure of cultural institutions and the cancellation of cultural-related events and performances. In response, Japan made rigorous efforts to provide alternate and supplementary services remotely through online platforms, creating innovative digital production, distribution, and consumption patterns.

This paper offers an understanding of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Japanese pop culture sector and the response to the challenges they faced. It presents an empirical analysis to understand how Japanese pop culture's production, distribution, and consumption patterns have withstood the consequences of COVID-19. This study also provides a perspective on success in cultural marketplaces by identifying the roles of digital technology and successful partnerships with production houses in responding to the great global crisis.

COVID-19 has allowed the Japanese pop culture sector to boost its position by routing its segments towards digitalization and partnering with non-Japanese online streaming platforms such as Netflix and HBO Max to enhance their position in the global market. The central idea presented in this paper is that the pandemic did not reform Japanese pop culture, but it certainly boosted the trends that were in progress.


Visieno Kiso

Research Scholar, the Centre of East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

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