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Their economic power enabled Japanese to somehow pleasurably indulge themselves in nostalgia for a pre-modern innocence that Japan had lost. By the mid-1990’s, however, this nostalgia had become more related to the deterioration of the Japanese economy and society. It arose in the context of a prolonged economic recession and a series of gloomy social incidents, such as an increasing number of brutal murders by teenagers and the nerve gas attacks in the Tokyo railway system by the Aum Supreme sect. Nostalgia for Asia was no longer just a matter of pleasurable yearning for what Japan had lost; instead, it was now an attempt to regain the energy and vitality Japan had lost by identifying itself with the promising land of “Asia.” — Koichi Iwabuchi, Re-Centering Globalization: Popular Culture and Japanese Transnationalism

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