See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

What Stereotypes Do Europeans Have of Japan? Google Autocomplete Offers a Clue

Google autocomplete suggestions for “Europe.”

Google autocomplete suggestions for “Europe.”

Nick Kapur is back with a new series of “stereotype maps” based on search engine autocomplete results. Notably, he has created a map showing “European stereotypes of Japan and the Japanese, based on each nation's search engine autocomplete results.”

Previously, Kapur, a United States-based professional historian specializing in Japan, made a map of Japanese stereotypes of European countries, based on Japanese Google autocomplete suggestions.

Here's Kapur's newer map of “European stereotypes” of Japan:

To create this map, Kapur says he used anonymized searches in the local language using localized versions of Google, as well as yandex.ru for Russia.

In terms of common European stereotypes about Japan, based on Google autocomplete results, Kapur notes:

The “European stereotype map of Japan” and the original “Japanese stereotype map of Europe” are not Kapur's only maps based on Google autocomplete suggestions. He also has a map of Japanese stereotypes of the United States:

He's also created a map that shows what Japanese people supposedly think of Latin America and the Caribbean (if you take Google's search autocomplete suggestions at face value):

There's a map of Japanese autocomplete suggestions for the Middle East and Central Asia too:

One of Kapur's latest maps is Japanese Google autocomplete suggestions for different regions of Asia:

Some Twitter users had questions about Kapur's methodology:

Kapur responded by saying:

Kapur is a professor of Japanese and East Asian History at Rutgers University in the United States, and has studied and taught at Harvard University and Stanford University.

  • Janek Lania

    Great stuff. Thanks for the laughs. A little sad that Canada was left out.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site