Consumption, popular culture, and cultural identity : Japan in post-colonial Hong Kong

Hau Nung, Annie CHAN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Cultural identity has become a preoccupation with writers on Hong Kong culture in recent years. This is not surprising given the unique socio political situation of Hong Kong in the late twentieth century. The return of sovereignty to China in 1997 was a deadline that had created much anxiety, ambiguity and confusion amongst Hongkongers. Given this dead line, "Hong Kong culture" has become an area of struggle and contest, in which the (re)discovery of a unique Hong Kong identity becomes a pre occupation. Cultural forms are not only consumed and practiced for the purpose of expressing, articulating, or even just groping for cultural identity; they are also consumed and practiced for pleasure, and are constitutive and reflective of aspects of social formation and social structure. This paper looks at recent trends in popular culture in Hong Kong, specifically the increasing influence of Japanese cultural forms, and discusses these in relation to issues of cultural identity in post-colonial Hong Kong. These trends are also examined in the context of the socio-structural characteristics of Hong Kong society, such as its dense urban environment, the relationship between Hong Kong and Japan, the perception of Japan in the eyes of Hongkongers, and the growing convergence between popular culture and consumer culture in both Japan and Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-55
Number of pages21
JournalStudies in Popular Culture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2000


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