Monday, June 04, 2007

Japan and Korea as centres of influence

Levels of mobile phone strap use. From the always interesting Jan Chipchase. His presentation 'where's the phone?' can be found in full here.

Mobile phone straps can range from the utilitarian, plain cord to hang the phone from wrist or neck, to the decorative ( see below, souvenir mobile phone decorative straps from Nikko, Japan)

Why are mobile straps so popular in Pacific Asia? (Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore aren't included in the study here but you'll also see plenty of phone straps in those countries as well). It's probably reflecting a relatively low crime rate, the extent phones are used as a status/fashion symbol and the Asian love of the minature or cute. But this chart is also an indication of centres of cool - phone straps appeared first in Japan and Korea, and have spread (as with other fashions, music and TV shows) to other Sino-Pacific Asian countries. Phone straps as a tracer for cultural influence, eh?

1 comment:

Richard Young said...

I'm sure my brother's talked in the past about the weird relationship between Japan and Korea - something about how they have this huge animosity (not least because of the Japanese invasion in the 1930s), but in fact Korea is seen as the kind of well-spring of the Japanese race. Kind of how the Nazis saw the Norwegians. Or something. (I should listen more closely to my brother's anthropological musings...) Anyway, that kind of gets me thinking about cultural adaptability between the two, despite most people's assumptions that they're very different.