I have been watching this commercial for a few weeks now and getting increasingly uncomfortable. At first I could not understand what I felt was so wrong about it, it just seemed somehow incredibly inappropriate.
Last night upon viewing it again, I could not help but think, should we really be commodifying another culture in this manner to sell a car? A summo wrestler is a sex symbol, but they are also highly respected individuals. If this advertisement had contained Japanese women in this manner we would all be pointing out how sexist it was. This commercial is demeaning and it reduces Japanese culture to a caricature that can be played with for western entertainment.
To ensure that we are meant to be confused by these strange “others” they add an elderly white couple at the end to stare at the “playful” summo wrestlers. Look at what these people find attractive, they’re not like us, is the message this commercial sends.
I fully admit that I am still trying to work out my feelings on this commercial. I have become increasingly upset each time I see it and yet I cannot fully articulate why. I am very interested in your thoughts and ideas on this ad.