From the Jedi Knights to the Kobayashi Maru to William Gibson’s inclusion of Black Black caffeine gum in his cyberpunk novels, Japan provides an endless stream of ideas for science fiction books and movies. Many classic concepts found in SF were inspired by Japan, such as the warlike Klingons, and I’m pretty sure the caste system in Planet of the Apes is based on the division of Japanese society into farmers, artisans, merchants and warriors from the Edo Period. (The writer was a prisoner of the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII.) George Lucas elevated mining Japan for ideas to an art form with Star Wars. The Jedi? They’re a stylized samurai who wield the Force instead of the life energy known as ki, and their name comes from jidai-geki, the period dramas that Lucas was a fan of. Vader gets his helmet and famous “Darth” prefix from feudal lord Date Masamune, and when Queen Amidala changes dresses in every scene of The Phantom Menace, she’s doing oiro-naoshi, a ceremonial changing of kimonos done at a Japanese wedding. Don’t even get me started on Kabuki. James Cameron isn’t above looking to Japan to find something mysterious to put in his movies, and in Avatar, the Na’vi utter a prayer of thanks before they kill an animal for food. This is essentially the same as the phrase itadakimasu, said before every meal, which originated as a Buddhist tradition of thanking the animal you were about to eat for dying.
Many ideas in science fiction get their inspiration from Japan.