What do you think about Japan? – Germany- Humpe&Humpe

June 29, 2013 Juju Kurihara Culture, Entertainment, Music Tags: 2 Comments

When I´m outside of Japan, the first thing people ask me is (if they are educated enough) "where are you from?". Then when I say that I´m from Japan, still many people say "ohh, I love Japan, SONY, TOYOTA, NINTENDO, you make great technology! And Japanese people are intelligent and hard workers."

I´ve realized at one point that perhaps Japanese people are lost in the world. I mean as human beings, Japanese people are not so revealed yet. When I arrived at Madrid five years ago and went to a friend´s house party, a woman came up to me and asked me if I had to buy western clothes before coming to Spain. She believed I wore Kimono as my daily clothes. 

Japanese people are hard workers, polite, intelligent, they wear Kimono and all Japanese women learn to be a Geisha. All these images, you may be able to call stereotypes. Then I´m curious abour how other nations think about Japan or how the media introduces Japan to their nation.

humpehumpeMy German friend remembered one song when Germany had a new music wave, Neue Deutsche Welle. Humpe&Humpe are pop singer sisters, Annette and Inga. The make up… very 80´s and the song, what can I say. It´s all about Japanese big enterprises. It´s amazing someone can make a song about Japan just putting company names and actually represents Japan a lot in a way. I´m sure the song stuck to many Germans´ head until now, like my friend. 

Yamaha, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Suzuki, Sony….. la la la lalalalala la la….


If you remember any songs about Japan in your country, please let me know. I love to hear them!


Humpe & Humpe Yama-Ha       


  1. James 7 years Reply

    Three years on and here’s a couple of tunes for you to check out.

    Going Japanese by The Vapors – An English band that released this new wave song in 1980 so similar in taste to the Humpe&Humpe song. I don’t really think it’s really anything to do with what people think of Japan but I thought you might like to hear it.
    Japanese Boy by Aneka – This was a song by Aneka, a Scottish singer who released this song in 1981. Reached No.1 in the UK Top 40 charts.

    Both songs can be found on YouTube.

  2. Suchi 10 years Reply

    That’s funny, I have never heard this before. It looks like it is in the 1980s when the Japanese economy was booming and Japanese companies were expanding throughout the world. I live in Australia and we have many Japanese businesses and people who live here. I think Australia probably has more exposure to Japanese society, culture and history than Europe so this stereotype is not seen in Australia. Europe has always seen Japan as a place far away in the orient with a culture that is very different to theirs. Australia however has developed in the same region as Japan, Korea and China so we have closer relationships than that of Europe.

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