Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Two cries and a packet of crisps, please

I came across this wonderful article thanks to the ever-vigilant Dan Ng.

It seems Japan has literally been wept away (forgive me) by a boom in tear-jerking novels, TV and film. People are clammering to experience poignant, sad and deeply affecting material and a small industry has sprung up to service the boom. No one knows why the Japanese are finding it so enjoyable to be sad - perhaps it's a journey of emotional self-discovery or maybe it's basic stress-release. But whatever the reason, crying is now one of the country's most popular pass-times.

"Typically, the stressed businessman will travel to a café, in which they rent out an intimate room by the hour and watch a Tear Movie. After a sob, they feel refreshed and emotionally cleansed. Some prefer to watch with company so that they can share their feelings afterwards."

And it's not just for stressed grown-ups. A leading animated series aimed at teenagers follows "a beautiful young girl who is dying of an incurable disease and explores her relationships with family and awe-inspiring outlook on life".
Lovely. And all I had as a teen was Hollyoaks and Byker Grove...

Surely this Crying Boom can't simply be a foible of Japanese culture? I wonder if it will ever spread to the West? And I would love to know if Japanese ads have gotten more weepy since the boom began... let me know if you come across any.

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