by Ewa Nowogorski
Japan has some really good home-made stuff, especially electronics and technology like cars, video games, and home electronic appliances. Even Japanese fashion and clothing is good. The quality of some of these products just can’t be beat anywhere else. However, Japan has a love for foreign brands. No matter how impractical or overlooked in the country they originated, people in Japan have a strange fascination with certain foreign brands, some of which go to extreme levels of obsession.
Obviously, there are the world famous brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tiffany and Co, etc. that people here are obsessed with, and a lot of people go out of their way to buy these steeply priced items even if they don’t have the money to afford them. This is most likely because outer appearances are very important in Japan, and it is definitely a status symbol to be seen with these kinds of brand name products.
Another brand people obsess over is Mercedes. It is a luxury car brand, and owning a Mercedes in this country that has ridiculous car taxes, oil prices, steep parking costs, and outrageous highway tolls, having a car in the first place is already a status or wealth. But owning a Benz is a sign that one has truly made it financially.
One of the weirdest obsessions Japanese people have is over Coca-Cola. It’s probably Japan’s favorite non-alcoholic drink after tea. People love being seen with the bottle, and some even go so far as to buy paraphernalia from this brand such as shirts, hats, and so on. I really don’t get this one. It’s just a drink to me.
Other memorable brands are: anything Disney, Peanuts (Snoopy), and foreign sports brands such as the North Face and Under Armour.