Regular readers of this blog will know that (at least periodically) we try to take the pulse of YouTube, a portal which has the potential to supplant television given the apparent ossification of the latter medium; an excellent example of a channel which could hasten TV’s demise is that of Kanadajin3. Kanadajin3 (aka Mira, an amiable Canada-born resident of Tokyo) publishes videos about interesting facets of Japanese culture, from vending machine products to culinary tips; the formula is obviously a successful one, having garnered over 200,000 subscribers.
Until recently, we at Mediolana looked upon Kanadajin3 as merely a cute entertainment channel headed up by an unusually-talented twenty-something YouTuber. However, a brilliant video on the subject of the 2020 Summer Olympics – which is slated to be held in Tokyo – has got us thinking about this slice of the Internet in a whole new way. ANTI Tokyo olympics 2020 – 東京五輪 反対します (16th February 2016) sees Mira riffing on the reasons why she – like many who live and work in Japan’s largest city – believes that the Olympics is a net negative for her metropolis. Having watched this critique, we think that Kanadajin3 could be (with more than a nod to Tsugihara Ryuji and Hidaka Yoshiki) the First President of Japan, or at least someone with a very bright future in East Asian politics:
- Nationalist Edge. Mira makes an excellent observation about how large events run by distant, secretive and largely unaccountable organisations can end up flattening the local in the name of soulless homogeneity: she despairs of the proposal that Japan should ban the display of a traditional Buddhist symbol purely because of its superficial resemblance to the Nazi Hakenkreuz. Her views will resonate strongly with a Japanese public that is sensitive to cultural imperialism.
- Internationalist Vision. As a Canadian citizen with realistic aspirations to become a Japanese one, Mira has the potential to become an icon for a new, internationally-minded and increasingly open generation. She can also function as a bridge between two of the world’s largest economies: both Canada and Japan are members of the G7.
- Easy Charm. Most impressively of all, we were struck by how well Kanadajin3 communicated complex points. She exudes the easy charm of someone who can garner the support of a political machine purely by being herself – something her burgeoning YouTube subscriber base testifies to.