Society and culture are inherently intertwined, however they are not necessarily representative of each other. While customs and religious belief do affect social structure, and an education system derives in a certain way art is handled and promoted, the mere idea of counterculture --a concept paradoxical on itself, with these movements usually resulting in a new cultural paradigm or in assimilation-- exposes culture as more than a mere projection of society, sometimes serving as an idealistic escapade from the stiffness of the social conventions.
That is exactly why non japanese films about Japan tend to be extravagant circuses, since these part from a cultural perspective on Japan and only touch superficially the nuances of its society.
More often than not, Japanís culture is the extroverted side of its society. For every great artist it requires a person that rejects Japanís homogeneity.
Natural cultural center of the nation, Tokyo sets the pulse of Japan. For the vast array of japanese films set in Tokyo, there arenít many that are about Tokyo itself.
Adrift in Tokyo is not a romantic view of the city nor a critique of its status quo. It is a deconstruction through characters that obtain meaning through location. It is also a hilarious comedy. Most crucially, the film is profoundly japanese. Its dialogue, humour, music, acting, cinematography, all of it is something that could only be created in Tokyo, Japan.
Much like the Nihonjinron series did on society, we will focus only on the contemporary cultural paradigm of the Nippon world. More specifically, on the aspects that have propelled it to global transcendency; its immense entertainment industry.
Meet Tokyo through its architecture: