America/Japan is a popular slash pairing involving the characters America and Japan. It is commonly known as デコボコンビ (Dekobokonnbi), Crooked Combo, in the Japanese fandom. The term Ameripan (from America and Japan) is also popular among fans.
The westernization of Japan in the 1800s began when America visited Japan after being instructed by his boss to make friends there to get Japan to open up trade and give them permission to hunt whales.
Japan was initially extremely reluctant to even go outside to meet America, having been holed up in his house for at least 200 years, but was eventually compelled to interact with him when his claim that his people can only speak Dutch was foiled by America saying that he brought a Dutch translator with him. Even then, Japan remained wary and distrustful of America, telling him bluntly to go home after America says that he came to make friends with whales, and repeatedly wishing that he would leave him and his people alone. He seemed to warm up a bit to America's insistence that he should get to know the rest of the world more when America explained to him that there were many new and exciting places and things out there to explore daily, thinking that he might not be such a bad person after all, until America read off a huge list of demands and implicitly forced Japan to accept them.
This time period is also covered in a chapter of Volume 2 of the published manga, which is more focused on Japan's attempts to emulate parts of Western culture after deciding to open himself up to other countries' influences. America is shown introducing Japan to table turning, an alleged method of communicating with spirits to get answers to questions. While performing the table turning, Japan confided to America that ever since he opened up, he has been introduced to many wonderful things and people, but that he wanted to know if he could really get along with the other countries in the future. America, who had been secretly moving the table to answer Japan's questions, moved it to answer 'yes' to this one.
The War Years
America and Japan were on opposite sides during World War II, with America joining the Allies and Japan the Axis. They weren't shown together often during this time because of this, although there was one strip about America thinking up of various ways to attack Japan, including painting Mount Fuji red to lower his fighting spirit.
After the war, America and Japan became considerably friendlier with each other. Even though the two of them had very different cultures and personalities - differences that served as the main subject of more than one strip - America was shown to visit Japan regularly and invite him to his Halloween and Christmas parties.
Japan, in turn, despite often expressing bemusement at America's antics or his childish and energetic personality, usually ended up going along with his plans or appeasing him, most notably when he initially declined America's invitation to his Christmas party but changed his mind after America told him that he wanted him to come as a friend and that the party would be lonely without him. In fact, in the opening chapter of the published manga and first episode of the anime, Japan was established as always siding with America's opinions.
In one strip, America watched scary movies with Japan who found his "scary movies" to not be frightening at all. When Japan loaned America some of his own horror games, the reverse occurred with America thinking that the creatures in Japan's games were cute, much to Japan's bewilderment.
Japan also helped America successfully scare England during Halloween and invited him to his place to see the sakura trees bloom in the spring.
In the strip about America's birthday, Japan gave America a new game console, which America commented on as a great birthday present.
Even though America and Japan's interactions are shown to have started as far back as the 1800s, Japan appears to not have thought of him as a friend at first, at least in the webcomic where he's noticeably off-put by America's demands of his people in the westernization strips and is shown to be writing negative things about him in the strip about the Anglo-Japanese alliance from 1902 to 1921, not to mention the main WWII storyline where he and America are official enemies.
A great deal of speculation surrounds the state of relations between the two countries immediately following WWII, due to the historical bombing of the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki by US forces that ended the war. Most fanworks set during this time make their relationship an angsty one with Japan being bitter at America about the atomic bombings. However, the depiction of them in the modern-day strips as being much closer to each other than they were ever shown at any point prior to WWII appears to indicate that neither one of them harbors any ill will about the war.
In general, America and Japan are seen to have a classic "opposites attract" dynamic; America's cheerful and energetic personality helps draw Japan out of his shell, while Japan's calm and mature personality helps temper America's impulsive and immature behavior somewhat.
Now-a-days, the president of the U.S. and the prime minister of Japan are very close. In general, America was thinking of becoming neutral (like some of the other countries in the world), but since the alliance between the two countries are so close, "breaking up" with them would be like starting a war. America is way too associated with Japan; over 47,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Japan and they are very close trade partners. Since they are so close these days, the couple of America/Japan comes to be very popular.
Webcomic: Main Storyline
- Japan and the Footsteps of Westernization (Axis Powers Hetalia Volume 2)
Webcomic: Extra Stories
- Black Ships Have Come
- Traits of Japanese People that Americans Have Noticed
- Japan-kun and America-kun
- America and Christmas
- Supersize You!
- America's Situation with Ghosts
- Merry Halloween
- You Might Be Mine
- Why Americans Love Spring
- Happy Birthday
Webcomic: Comic Diaries
- Comic Diary 8