44 From Nintendo to Hello Kitty, Chatting About Japanese Pop Culture w. Matt Alt


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On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, localizer and author Matt Alt stops by to discuss the influence Japanese pop culture has had on the world.

About Matt Alt

Matt Alt is a localizer of Japanese games and manga. Together with Hiroko Yoda he founded the localization company AltJapan and has authored multiple books on Japanese folklore and history. Matt's latest book was published in June of 2020 by Crown and is titled Pure Invention: How Japan's Pop Culture Conquered the World.Pure Invention: How Japan's Pop Culture Conquered the World.

Topics Discussed
  • Localization and how the industry has evolved over the past few decades
  • Matt Alt's experience learning Japanese in high school
  • How Matt almost got to meet Osamu Tezuka
  • Anime in the U.S. in the '70s, '80s, and '90s
  • The kawaii aesthetic of Super Mario and other classic video games from Japan
  • Visiting Sony's extensive archives
  • The popularity and influence of Sanrio's Hello Kitty
  • How it was that Matt came to work on his well-known book Yokai Attack!
  • The increasing adoption of the term yokai over the past couple decades
  • Using one's dissatisfaction with translations as motivation to learn Japanese
  • And much more!
Support on Patreon

If you enjoy Japan Station and want to ensure that we're able to produce more episodes, then please consider becoming a patron on Patreon.com. For a minimum pledge of $1 a month you'll get access to extra blog posts and additional input on future content. You'd also receive Tony's eternal, profound, and undrying gratitude.

Links, Videos, Etc.

You can purchase Pure Invention: How Japan's Pop Culture Conquered the World via the Amazon affiliate link below.

If you're interested in any of Matt Alt's other books, please consider using the affiliate links below in order to support Japan Station.

You can follow Matt Alt on Twitter.

To learn more about AltJapan, visit their website via the link below.

Here is Matt Alt's Tofugu.com interview article.

To listen to the latest episode of Ichimon Japan, use the link below.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi) To listen to more of Yunomi's music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Featured image: Courtesy of Matt Alt

Follow Japankyo on Social Media Full Show Notes

78 episodes