Discover Indonesia in Japanese Pop Culture (part 1)


Hello there! This is my very first post in this Japanesense ​ blog and starting from this post I’m going to cover about the Indonesian related things that we can find in the Japanese Pop Culture. What I mean by Japanese Pop Culture are the things like manga, anime, game, etc. Maybe most of us don’t realize that there are a lot of things that related to Indonesia that are used in the Japanese Pop Culture. However, if we look more into it, we can find a lot of those Indonesian related things. In this post, we are covering the Indonesian related things in a japanese manga, Dragon Ball. We will also cover the Indonesian related things in One Piece, Harlem Beat, The Strongest Disciple Kenichi and some of the Japanese games in the later posts. So, let’s check it out!!!

The first manga that we’ll look into is the all time favorite, Dragon Ball!!! This is the first manga that I’ve ever read, and maybe most of you are also the same. I guess I don’t have to explain more about this manga, do I. However I’ll give you a quick review about this manga. Dragon Ball is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. The story of Dragon Ball is about a boy named Son Goku, who travels around the world to look for dragon balls which can make your wish come true if you can gather the 7 balls. But, along the way Goku will face a lot of enemies, whether those who originated from the earth or those who’re from the other planets. Dragon Ball was first serialized in Shounen Jump magazine in 1984 and the serial continues until 1995. Dragon Ball was also adapted into anime series and in 1996 the story continues to Dragon Ball GT, even though it’s not Akira Toriyama who made the story.

So, what are the Indonesian aspects that used in Dragon Ball? It’s very obvious that it is the design of the Tenka-ichi budokai. Tenka Ichi-budokai is the name the world-wide fighting tournament in this manga. The Tenka ichi-Budokai appeared a lot of times in this manga and where Goku fought most of his enemies. Here’s a picture of it…

The design of the gates and building is taken from Bali. Bali itself is a name of an island in the Indonesia. Bali’s name is famous and well known in the world because of the beautiful beach and the relax atmosphere that we can find there. The picture below it shows the original gates that we can see in Bali. It’s similar isn’t it? However, that’s not the only thing that we can find in this manga. The other Indonesian related thing that we can find in this manga is the clothes worn by the Tenka-ichi Budokai’s officials. Here the picture of it..

Just take a look at the thing that looks like a scarf that’s worn the the official who’s talking on that picture. It’s similar with the scarfs that are worn by three peoples on the next picture, right? Maybe the only different thing is the way they wear it. Those scarf looking things are one of the Indonesian traditional clothing and the name is sarung. The hat that is worn by the official is an Indonesian traditional clothing as well, called peci. And here’s another picture of it..

The clothes that are worn by the official on the picture above is similar with clothes worn by those people. Those clothes are one of Bali traditional clothes. You will find a lot of Bali people wearing it if you come to Bali later.

The last Indonesian related thing that I got from Dragon Ball is the barong symbol which we can find on the wall beside the arena of the Tenka Ichi-budokai. Here’s the picture..

Barong is the symbol where we can see on the left of the upper picture, the one that’s on the wall. Barong itself is a lion-like character in the mythology of Bali. Actually, Barong is often used in many of the others Japanese pop culture as well.

I guess, that’s all of the Indonesian related things that we can find in Dragon Ball, but we can still find a lot of Indonesian related in things in other mangas. So, keep on following this blog to find other interesting articles!

Some of the data used are courtesy of : http://gabrielhans.wordpress.com/tag/bali/

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About Randy

My name is Albertus Randy, I'm 22 years old. I live in Bandung city, Indonesia. Now I'm still studying in Parahyangan University and my major is International Relation. I like almost everything about Japanese stuffs, like manga, anime, fashion, dorama, foods, etc. It is my biggest dream to be able to live in Japan and through this blog I would try to share my ever-lasting passion of Japan. よろしくおねがいします。。。

42 thoughts on “Discover Indonesia in Japanese Pop Culture (part 1)

    • Sama Niel, gw juga baca Dragon Ball uda dari jaman sd. Komik pertama yg gw baca malah. tapi sadarnya baru sekarang – sekarang ini.hahaha

  1. g jg baru sadar ran kl tournamentna di bali wkwk, ga main ke bandung ningan si gokuny wkwkwk, gtw yg nulis komiknya kurang ngeekspose balinya ato yg bacany ga teliti ato gara2 kita masih kecil jd ga peduli

    • Takut kayaknya dia ke Bandung.wkwkwk
      Emang Nik, seringnya kan cuma fokus sama ceritanya doang, saking ramenya kali ya.wkwkwk

  2. wahaaaaaa kereeeen xD
    baru tau ad ttg bali di dragon ball…jd igt dlu ad lg 1 manga yang ngomong ttg indonesia jg, tp lupa namany :B

    • thankk you sarah, credit goes to randy yang nulis ha6. Ini baru part 1 sar, masih banyak manga/anime/game yang melibatkan aspek indonesia dan akan dibahas di part2 selanjutnya. so keep following us yaa! +_-

      • Thank you Sarah.. iya betul kata Gili, masih banyak komik Jepang yang melibatkan Indonesia di dalamnya.hehehe Ntar kita bahas secara bertahap yah.. :)

  3. bener ini. jaman jamannya orang luar negeri kalo ditanya, “Ibukota negara Indonesia ada di mana?” bakal jawab, “Bali.” :DD
    ternyata mereka (Japs) masih “ngeliat” dan mau ngiklanin Indonesia walau pernah jajah.
    Nice analysis, guys.

    • Betul sekali bro. Dan sayangnya hal itu masih berlangsung sampai detik ini, orang Jepang lebih mengenal Bali daripada Indonesianya. Meskipun Bali sudah tidak dijadikan ibu kota lagi.hehe Anyway, thanks for the comment bro! We really appreciate it! :)

    • Same with me Jas! What I really knew before was just the great Kamehame-ha attack.hahaha Anyway, thanks for the comment Jas. We’ll keep on posting interesting and funny news about Japan. So be sure to follow us! Thanks for the support Jas! :)

  4. Good Article :) … Ga nyangka deh Dragon Ball bisa ada unsur balinya juga… Padahal srng nonton n main gamesnya dari SD… Hahaa… Good Job, Ren :))

  5. Very interesting to read, keep going randy! (Gue baru ngeh trnyata ada scene dragonball yg terinspirasi dari indonesia.)

  6. It was very nice observation bro! You also remind me to one of my favourite manga in my childhood. I wonder maybe that would be better if you also could explain the causes of the similarities itself. Perhaps the answer is lies beneath the history or in culture-religiion. Anyway, I’m waiting for another post and FAQ. Interesting and keep working! :)

    • Yeah, one of my reason choosing dragon ball as the first article because Dragon Ball is part of our childhood memories, isn’t it?
      Anyway, thanks for the comment Alvin! We really appreciate it :)
      We’ll keep going on!!!

  7. Same as you ran..
    Dragonball ia my first manga i read..
    I already notice that bali thing since i was in junior high..
    Maybe many people still out there don’t notice it.
    Haha..
    Wait for your next review bro.

    • Thanks Dre!
      To tell you the truth, when I was in junior high, I haven’t noticed it as well since I haven’t been to Bali at that time.. :D
      Yeah, I guess there’s still lots of people out there who haven’t noticed it yet. Therefore, that’s our job to make them notice about it through this blog. :)

  8. dulu gw baca nya pas kecil ran, jadi ga ngeh… sekarang baca lagi baru ngeh hahahaha

    btw tari kecak itu dari bali bukan? CMIIW. tari kecak sempet dingomongin sama member AKB48 loh, tari kecak itu dipakai semacam untuk wotagei (yang dimana kepanjangan kalo lu suruh gw jelasin disini hahaha).

    budaya indonesia emang sebenarnya keren2 beberapa. :D

    • Sama bro, gw juga waktu kecil tidak sadar.hahaha :D

      Iya bener, tari kecak emang dari Bali Van.
      Wah, makin seneng aja nih lu sama AKB48.hahaha
      Nanti wotagei itu nya dibahas atuh bro?hehe

    • Betul sekali, Indonesia itu sebenarnya sangat gaul, tetapi dalam hal budaya tradisional nya.hehe Karena itu kita ga boleh banget ngelupain budaya – budaya tradisional kita nih.. :)

    • Thanks Feb!
      Actually, this is just a beginning and there will be more great stuffs on this blog. Therefore, be sure to follow us! :)

    • Betul sekali bro! Namanya kalau tidak salah itu Elvy Hadhiyat.hahaha Tapi, biarpun dia orang Indonesia ternyata dia adalah pilot ACE nya Terra ya bro. :D
      Thanks for your comment bro! :)

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