Popularity of Japanese culture in France

Manga section in a supermarket

As I wrote a blogpost last time about what you can find in France about Japanese culture (click here) I want to talk about why it’s so popular here. I did some research and I found a lot of reason why it could be so popular, but keep in mind I could totally be wrong!

The relationship between France and Japan goes back to early 1700 century. But that is a little bit too far for us. What we do know is that there was a president that was a Japanophile himself. He visited Japan around 40 times and was a Japan expert. He also started several promotion campagnes about Japan and started the exchange programme JET. Also in cuisine they have a close relationship, which Japan is heavily inspired by the France cuisine.

As for anime and manga, it’s also very popular here. But I think it’s because France has the longest history of animation. Which it makes it here more than normal to watch animated series and movies. Also a lot of animated series in the Netherlands come from France. And the manga also came here through France. Which are mostly further in their stories than like the offical English translations. If there is something populair in Japan, it will be promoted there in bookstores like FNAC.


Because of this populairity, they have several magazines about the otaku culture, anime, manga, Japanese culture and more. In Paris you have The Bastille district which is full of pop culture with toy, figure,book stores and you will find shops that sell Japanese lolita fashion (angelic pretty).  The Japanese culture is seeping into this district and now the locals are calling it ‘Otaku street’ or ‘Manga street’.

Because of the popularity of the Japan, South Korea and Kpop became also well known. But you will have to search for Korean products here.

As a foreigner and a Japan lover, I think it’s so awesome to find a lot of stuff. But the only thing which I think is a bit of a let down is that they don’t have a lot of the Japanese culture. I’m also an otaku, but I really would like to see more of the traditional side here.


Written by Charlotte


Korea & Japan Lover. Princess of the internetshops, waiting for a crown ( and prince charming)

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