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Quiz: How much do you know about Japanese pop culture?

As the Olympics are set in the colourful, animated capital of Tokyo, let’s test your knowledge of Japan’s ‘soft’ cultural power.

Tokyo, Japan.
Tokyo, Japan.
Image: Shutterstock/ESB Professional

THE OPENING CEREMONY of the Tokyo Olympics featured a suite of theme music from famous video games composed by Japanese citizens, in a celebration of Japan’s cyber creativity and pop-culture influence. 

Despite its geographical size, Japan has a strong influence on pop culture around the world: from films to fashion, animation and pop music.

So – how much do you know about Japanese pop culture?

A phenomenon called 'Kawaii' one of Japan’s most popular culture aesthetics. What does it mean?
Cute
Cool

Calm
Craic
What are 10-year-old Chihiro’s parents turned into in the Academy Award-winning anime Spirited Away?
Clouds
Bunnies

Giant pigs
Horses
The famous television anime series Pokémon first aired in what year?
1994
1997

2001
2005
The origins of Manga, the famous Japanese comics, date back as far as the 10th century. It derives from a series of scrolls called 'Chōjū-giga'. What does this translate as:
Scrolls of Hungry Ghosts
Scrolls of Frolicking Animals

Scrolls of Brave Fishermen
Scrolls of Land Before Time
What is Japan’s national sport?
Handball
Swimming

Sumo wrestling
Table tennis
'Hello Kitty' is one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time. What was it worth in 2014, when it was 40 years old?
$2 billion
$8 billion
The samurai is still a prominent figure in Japanese pop culture. What is ronin?
A samurai without a sword
A samurai without a master

A samurai leader
Keanu Reeves
Which of these famous US movies is NOT based on a Japanese film:
Star Wars
The Magnificent Seven

Godzilla
Lord of the Rings
Which one of these famous video game theme tunes does not have a Japanese composer?
The Last of Us
Final Fantasy

Sonic the Hedgehog
Mario
And finally, the Japanese word 'Sayonara' is used in English to mean ‘goodbye’ - but what does it translate as?
May god be with you
Mercy

If that’s the way it is
This quiz is over
Answer all the questions to see your result!
Shutterstock
You scored out of !
A Bronze medal for you.
Share your result:
Shutterstock
You scored out of !
Silver medal. Fair play.
Share your result:
Shutterstock
You scored out of !
Gold medal! You are an *Otaku*
Share your result:

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