In the article on "Japanization" Iwabuchi asks us to reconsider cultural globalization and more specifically Japanese influence on global culture. However, while reading the article, I couldn't help but think of how dated it felt, even though it was written in 2002 (according to my Google search). While I don't know what kind of influence Japanese culture has on other parts of the world, it may have a far greater influence on countries in Asia, in the United States it seems that influence has seriously waned since the 1990's.
Starting in the 80's and into the 90's Japanese technology and culture seemed to be everywhere. There were anime cartoons, from Sailor Moon to Pokemon, tamagotchi pets, and walkmans followed by discmans (discmen?). Students were encouraged to learn Japanese because the country was a rising economic superpower.
Now there seems to be little talk of Japan's world economic and cultural influence. Japanese cultural exports have achieved "cult" status with gruesome horror movies, manga, and Gwen Stefani and her Harajuku girls. While they are widely known of, it seems that they only absorbed and put into practice or use by a small number of people. If so then what is Japan's contribution to global culture (if the situation in the US is similar to that of other regions)?
I'm not sure what led to this decline in Japanese influence on US culture. Maybe it was the continued "economic slump" in the country mentioned by Iwabuchi. Maybe it was the rise of China as a new world superpower (although China doesn't seem to have exported much culturally, at least not yet). Perhaps if Japan's economy rebounds with the rest of the world it's cultural exports will rebound as well and we'll be hit with a new wave of Japanese culture.
This of course leads to a larger question. Why has Japanese cultural influence waned whereas US cultural influence seems to hold steady across the globe? Is it because US culture is so ill-defined and mainly thought of on the basis of a consumer culture? If a culture of consumption is all the US exports it is possible that such a vague and broad influence would endure, whereas something more specific such as facets of Japanese culture might increase and decline over time depending on public interests. If the US had a more defined culture would its cultural influence wax and wane or would the control of the media by US conglomerates allow it to hold steady?