Do you think that English holds a certain appeal to Japanese people? If so, please explain.

Everyone interviewed was familiar with this phenomenon - that is, Americans being fond of wearing shirts emblazoned with kanji, oblivious as to its actual meaning. Or actually having it tattooed directly on their skin, with probably no greater authority than the tattoo artist present to assure them that they are not forever being branded with characters that mean "stupid American." For the most part, even the most serious-sounding of the respondents couldn't help but laugh at the phenomenon. They find it as funny as most Americans probably find "Japlish." Moreover, the majority of the respondents saw it as a parallel cultural phenomenon to Japanese-English: after all, both give a "sense of exoticism in a twisted way," both hold an appeal that has little if anything to do with literal meaning, and both appear rather humorous to individuals who are actually familiar with the meaning. Therefore, on at least this superficial level, the two phenomena are indeed extremely similar. There are, however, a couple of differences.

For one, the degree to which both cultural/fashion developments have flourished in their respective countries is separated by a rather wide gulf. While one can often find kanji on T-shirts and tattoos in America, that is more or less where its presence ends. English, on the other hand, literally cannot be avoided no matter where one should happen to go in Japan; even a blind man would perhaps pick up snippets of students practicing their English, or hear it used in commercials. Furthermore, while an American may put on a kanji T-shirt, or even consider a tattoo, it is not likely that he would feel enticed to buy a product because its advertisement contained Japanese characters. The language may seem fascinating and exotic, but with none of the "race envy" discussed earlier.
From half of a senior thesis on English as cultural capital in Japan.
randomWalks @randomWalks