When I first began to study Japanese language, history, and culture while residing in the United Kingdom in the late 1980s, “Japan” to most people meant cars and compact electronic devices such as the Sony Walkman portable cassette player, first marketed in 1979. For most people at this time, Japan was known as the world’s second largest economy, a major business hub, and a leader in innovative manufacturing practices. It was a common assumption that those learning Japanese were doing so for career purposes. Of course, this is distant history for today’s undergraduate students who were not born at the time. For young people encountering Japan now, the image is not of economic or business prowess but one of popular culture: manga, anime, computer games, fashion, and music.