While living abroad, I become aware that our culture is really unique. The Western people seem to have difficulties in evaluating the nature of Japanese culture. The Japanese establishment tried to impress Westerners by presenting our traditional culture as something comparable with the Western high-culture. The difficulty to understand spirits of Zen, Noh or Tea-Ceremony was thereby underlined.
However, this appears suspicious. As far as I understand, Japan was dominated by popular culture, at latest since the middle of the Tokugawa Period. Kabuki, woodblock prints and Sumo are good examples. The so called "cool Japan" of today is exactly in line with this vulgar tradition and there are many areas where "otaku" people continuously create fascination.

You will see some of them on this site.