Rajinikanth’s popularity in Japan

Rajinikanth’s popularity in Japan is an interesting phenomenon.

Rajinikanth’s first movie dubbed in Japanese in 1998 “Muthu” became a super hit in Japan. The reasons are difficult to assess.

Probably the raw energy & simplicity of the protagonist appealed to the Japanese.

Rajinikanth has a great fan following in Japan since then. His movies are very popular. Japanese started visiting Tamil Nadu to experience the Tamil culture. A Japanese snack company, Tohato uses Rajinikanth’s face to sell its spicy Indian variety of snack.

Implications of Rajnikanth connection for India and Japan ties

  • The significance of Rajinikanth’s movies is so much in Indo-Japanese relationship that “Muthu” was quoted by the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh during his speech in National Diet of Japan on 14th December 2006.
  • The popularity of Rajnikanth’s movies in the Japanese market has created positive cultural and non-cultural exchanges between the two countries. The movies have been brilliant ambassadors of Indian generosity in the Japanese markets.


Indian troops had fought against the Japanese under Field Marshall Slim in World War II. Our captured prisoners had suffered atrocities at the hands of the Japanese. A very small number, but politically significant “INA” led by Subhash Chandra Bose had supported the Japanese against the Allied Forces in the same war. Our politico-economic ties can be improved. Both feel threatened by China. There is scope & need for improved defence cooperation.

Japan has large amount of funds which need to be profitably invested. In the recent past other than automobile and electronics giants like Toyota and Sony, respectively we have seen Uniqlo – apparel and Miniso – accessories enter the Indian market.

India has great need of FDI to build up our infrastructure.

Rajinikanth has provided a good base of cultural ties which can be built upon by the leadership of the two nations for mutual gain.

Here is a video substantiating Rajnikanth’s popularity amongst Japanese.

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