As an industry, marketing is huge in the west and is the foundation for which popular culture and products are built on. I’ve always been curious how it’s perceived in Japan and it was great to have all my questions answered by Johnny Pawlik.
Co-founder of Mantra Media, Pawlik have worked on many international marketing campaigns centred on Japan and infuses Japanese philosophy into his view of marketing.
Japanese culture has been popular in the west for years, with anime being woven into the fabric of pop culture. Westerners also visit Japan to learn about the country’s history and the samurai are an important part of it.
The traditional view of samurai are noble, honourable warriors who dedicated their lives to a singular cause. It’s no surprise that samurai have been featured in comics.
But how are they portrayed? Do mainstream comics like Marvel and DC remain faithful to what samurai stood for? Let’s take a closer look.
Throughout Japanese history, powerful women have been at the centre of the culture, constantly defying the odds and carving out a name to be remembered. From Tomoe Gozen to Masami Odate, Japanese women have picked up swords and thrown themselves into fights on their personal journeys to define who they are.
Not every woman has needed to pick up a weapon. In the case of Sei Shōnagon, she created a legacy by picking up the pen. A writer, philosopher and courtly woman of intrigue, Shōnagon’s story is a fascinating tale of how to appreciate the small things in life.
Everyone has their own way of coping with death, whether through carrying out their own personal rituals or spending time with loved ones. The passing of my grandad has made me think about the burial ceremonies from different cultures, with comics offering an insight into the various practices. After all, death is never constant in comics. But we still mourn characters if we’ve read about them for years.
Japanese funerals are some of the most elaborate, so it seemed appropriate that Wolverine’s death would be honoured through a culture that shaped his life.
During the Death of Wolverine arc, Logan’s son, Daken, carried out a traditional Shinto funeral for his father. Shinto funerals have twenty steps and I’m looking into each one as a way of seeing how grief is processed.
Practicing philosophy invites the opportunity to bring it into aspects of life that you may not have thought about initially. In my case, I’ve become interested in the philosophy of Stoicism and over the course of learning, it’s made me curious to see how it could be introduced into other topics I find intriguing.
It’s for that reason I’m exploring Stoicism through the lens of sake brewing and how the four Stoic principles of courage, wisdom, temperance and justice is embodied in the sake industry.