Cool Britannia

By Tenkaijapan - Last updated: 木曜日, 2月 8, 2007 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment
Japan Expo

Japan Expo

Do you know about Cool Britannia – the precursor to Cool Japan?
Cool Britannia was a pop culture phenomenon that blossomed from the world of art, movies and fashion in Britain in the latter half of the 1990s. The name is a pun on “Rule Britannia,” a patriotic British song.

Tony Blair

Tony Blair

It was Tony Blair who popularized Cool Britannia. When he assumed the premiership at the age of 44 in May 1997, he immediately implemented a national brand strategy as follows:

・The image of the national brand of Britain is Cool Britannia.

・Britain is a society that creates various cultures and ideas toward a future that is alive with young ambition and vigor.

・Support is provided for creators of culture and media, etc., and the creative industry is promoted for job creation in the future along with the staple industries of foreign currency acquisition and attracting tourists to Cool Britannia through brand formation.

・Innovative research is performed to develop a Britain with an up-to-date culture, a popular pop culture and a buzzing creative industry, and the image of Cool Britannia is made known to the world.

The Blair administration made efforts to support art, culture and pop culture, appointed excellent designers and architects to public works, and strengthened the provision of tourist information to the public in foreign countries.

A branch of YO SUSHI in London’s Heathrow Airport was also supported under the initiative.

However, Cool Britannia began to fade away with Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decline in popularity. Some also doubted the cost-effectiveness of the project.

Nevertheless, sightseeing culture grew with the Cool Britannia concept as a new tourist attraction for the country, and Britain’s presence in the world of art and pop culture also rose.

Cool Britannia changed Britain’s image from one of tradition to one where tradition and modern elements fuse together.

In contrast, no such start is found with Cool Japan.

cool bri3

In Japan, the economy has stagnated, social fragmentation is advanced and the political scene runs idle. The phenomenon of Cool Japan has happened spontaneously among young people overseas, regardless of Japan’s intention.

The background to Cool Japan is the overseas presence of Japanese anime and manga. These forms began to spread to foreign countries in the latter half of the 80’s, and those who enjoyed them as children are now young adults.

How should the Japanese use Cool Japan in a business sense? Perhaps businesspeople with a sharp eye and the power to move will take an active part. To start, it is important to increase amount of mutual information sharing in the field.

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