It’s fun to mark the Japan-related memes that come along over the years, like the rise — forgive the pun — of ichigo pantsu, underwear with strawberries printed on them, iconicized by the popular manga and anime Ichigo 100%, or the recent popularity of the cartooonish “boned meat” meme in Japanese pop culture. This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of an old friend of ours at J-List, Domo-kun, a popular brown monster created on December 22, 1998 to celebrate ten years of satellite broadcasting by NHK, Japan’s national broadcasting network. Domo is a “strange creature that hatched from an egg” whose name is a very polite word (seen in phrases like どうもありがとうございます domo arigatou gozaimasu, the most formal way to express thanks), and he exists in part to encourage Japanese children to speak to others more politely. Domo-kun exploded onto the Internet in 2002 when someone posted the now-famous “Every time you…God kills a kitten” Photoshop image to FARK.com, and suddenly anime conventions were filled with Domo-kun cosplayers chasing catgirls all over the place.
Some of my favorite memes from Japan.