Producers of ‘japan’ in Israel: Cultural appropriation in a non-colonial context

Ofra Goldstein-Gidoni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is concerned with the appropriation and re-production of Japanese culture by Israelis in Israel. The paper argues that both studies that locate processes of cultural appropriation in the context of a clear colonial or post-colonial relationship and studies that emphasize the free ‘global cultural supermarket’ cannot fully explicate the processes of cultural appropriation. Since the 1980s there has been a growing popular interest in Japanese culture in Israel. This Japan craze is characterized by the high involvement of local Israelis in the promotion of Japanese culture and by the obvious absence of Japanese in the ‘Japanese’ cultural projects and displays. The study sees the local brokers as ‘global cosmopolitans’, who act as if this unique objectified culture is their own. The case presented enables us to see yet again that cultural globalization is more about cultural difference than about the creation of a ‘world culture’. The paper also emphasizes the role of the Other itself in its own Othering by highlighting the role of Japan in the construction of a particular ‘Japanese culture’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-390
Number of pages26
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Cultural supermarket
  • Japanese culture outside Japan
  • the Other


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