>>15622>explanations for this quasi-Orientalism
It's probably largely due to this sentiment.
The factors that seem to contribute would be:
1. The alternative modernity that Japan represents to the people from more Western parts of the West, as opposed to the still quite culturally hegemonic— in the imperial core that the Western nations comprise— American ilk of modernity, has offered some sort of avenue of escapism that is exotic, convenient, and amassed as @Orikron aforementioned has said basically, yet not actually Other to the empire, as
Eurasian civilizations Russia, China, and Iran are; so as to go and step outside of the hegemony's boundaries.
2. To paraphrase someone, stagnation fuels novelty, and the popular culture industry and the subcultural niches in Japan, as other researchers have noted, have enormously flourished, while the Japanese society itself has suffered the malaises of the bust— this phenomenon is probably noticeable incidentally in the content of some anime; furthermore, Japan was also one of the first countries to venture into that postmodernity, into the sort of societal impasse that now afflicts numerous nations elsewhere in the West, too, with the failure of the old narratives and similar (go check out Utena also)
, and plus further Japan was one of the first countries in Asia to modernize, so the Orientalistic
stereotypes about the aesthetic of Asian modernity and the alterity of it took heavy influence likely from their course, the early impressions and later fetishization of Shibuya to raise one example.
3. The sovereignty of Japan is also as vassal state quite subjugated to the American empire, and many people in the imperial core likely consider the place to be their wacky, "thing, Japan" being sort of the demonstration of this mentality, tourist spot, and the Japanese govt. encourages this sort of almost self exoticization, because of geopolitical cuckoldry or glowie shit.