Back in the 1960s and '70s, the Japanese people were being raked over the coals from West Virginia to the Ruhr Valley and beyond for, chiefly, two things.

First, they were called "economic animals." Presumably this meant that Americans and Europeans believed the motivations and aspirations of Japanese people primarily emanated not from their hearts but from their wallets. "Obsessed by the acquisition of wealth" -- that's how the Western world was characterizing Japan.

Second, many in the West (and not a few older Japanese) decried what they saw as the country's wholesale Americanization. According to this view, young Japanese in particular were aping American customs and losing sight of their native traditions.