Japan in the Business of Black Talent

April 5, 2011  |  

(Network Journal) — Japan has been known to be a very insular country, but as of late Blacks–African Americans and Africans–have been making their mark on the country, despite lingering stereotypes. Blacks are finding that the Japanese are willing to do business with them as well as accept them as entertainers.  Take Dante Carver, for example. The 33-year-old African-American is the most popular television personality in Japan.  There is also a popular blog for blacks in the country – Sista in Sendai – that offers resources and an outlet for a growing number of blacks living in Japan.

There is a former professional wrestler and American footballer, Robert Malcolm “Bob” Sapp, who has made a major name for himself in Japan as a pitchman. Sapp currently has an MMA record of 11–6–1, mostly fighting in Japan. He is well-known in Japan, where he has appeared in countless commercials, television programs, and various other media, and has released a music CD, It’s Sapp Time.  And not long ago fitness guru Billy Blanks took his Tae Bo exercise phenomena to Japan with great results.

On top of this, the most popular enka singer (traditional Japanese music) is African-American. To say Jero White Jr. (who goes by just Jero) is hot in Japan is an understatement. He is a mega star in the country. It seems it was his grandmother who first exposed him to enka singing and loving the music so much he made it his mission to move to Japan and perform as an enka singer. Now the 25-year-old is considered one of the best in the country.

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