The misconception that the Fire Nation is mainly based on Japan, and that Fire Nation Japanese elements make up the majority of the Fire Nation culture, has been around for a while. Since I get asked about this topic several times a week, I have decided to make this a feature. Please note that this post is not about what you do in you fanfic or fanart, which is your own choice, but about what we see in the show.
We are going to take a closer look at the Fire Nation’s language, clothing and armor, geography, political system, architecture, food, hairstyles, names, festivals, traditions, weapons and last, but not least, real world parallels.
The landscape of the Fire Nation is composed from elements from several different regions/countries: Iceland, South East Asia, Mesoamerica and Japan.
Iceland Ever wondered why the Fire Nation doesn’t look lush and tropical?
Iceland was also the model for most of the Fire Nation’s volcanic landscape:
BRYAN: … I wanted to go somewhere that would serve as a model for designing the Fire Nation’s volcanic landscape. I ended up fulfilling a lifelong dream and visited Iceland … the landscape was raw, rugged, and violent, with a terrible beauty that perfectly encapsulated what I had in mind for Zuko’s turbulent homeland. I shot thousands of photos and edited them down for the background designers and painters … all these efforts helped us to give the Fire Nation a distinct geological flavor separate from every other locale we had seen in the Avatar world. (Art Book, page 132)
Thailand and South East Asia
There are a few times when the Fire Nation appears tropical. Mainly on Ember Island and the Sun Warriors’ Island.
Ember Island’s landscape and architecture, especially the beach (minus the black sand) is strongly influenced by Thailand.
Socialism: You have 2 cows and you give one to your neighbor. Communism: You have 2 cows; the Government takes both and gives you some milk. Fascism: You have 2 cows; the Government takes both and sells you some milk. Nazism: You have 2 cows; the Government takes both and shoots you. Bureaucratism: You have 2 cows; the Government takes both, shoots one, milks the other and throws the milk away.. Traditional Capitalism: You have 2 cows. You sell one and buy a bull. You herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income. An American Corporation: You have 2 cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow dropped dead. A French Corporation: You have 2 cows. You go on strike because you want three cows. Japanese Corporation: You have 2 cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called Cowkimon and market them Worldwide. An Italian Corporation: You have 2 cows, but you don’t know where they are. You break for lunch. A Swiss Corporation: You have 5000 cows. None of which belong to you. You charge others for storing them. Chinese Corporation: You have 2 cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported the numbers. An Iraqi Corporation: Everyone thinks you have lots of cows. You tell them that you have none. No one believes you and they bomb your arse. You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of a Democracy……. Counter Culture: ‘Wow, dig it, like there’s these 2 cows, man, grazing in the hemp field. You gotta have some of this milk!' Surrealism: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons. Apathyologism: You have 2 cows. You do not care. Fatalist: You have 2 doomed cows… Atheism: You have 2 cows. There is no God. A West-Country Corporation: You have 2 cows. That one on the left is kinda cute. A Brazilian Corporation: You have 2 cows. You pay taxes for 6 cows. You have to sell one cow in order to pay the taxes. Your remaining cow gets sick and dies while waiting for availability in the public vet hospital. Russia: You have two cows. Since they are both female, if you happen to keep them in the same stable you will pay a 5,000 rouble fine for homosexual propaganda. PETA: You have two cows. You kill them both. You then use naked women to convince other people that killing cows is wrong. Moffat: You have two cows. Both of them are your daughters time traveling from the past where they had a brief love affair with Da Vinci making you the rightful Queen of England. As you assume the throne, you throw them off a building. Hussie: You have 2 cows. You ask for another one. Instead of getting just 1 cow, you get 2,485,506 cows. Romney: You have 2 cows. You are not the president of the united states. Once-ler: You have 1 cow. Everyone decides to make 5 different versions of that cow. Old Spice: You have 2 cows. The cows are now diamonds. I’m on a horse. An Irish Corporation: You have a million cows because they’re everywhere Tumblr: You have 2 cows. You ship them together and make GIF posts screaming about how much you love your cows, but they should stop existing because they are so perfect. Also Tumblr: I give you a hamburger. Night Vale: You do NOT have two cows. Cows do not exist. What’s a cow? Show me a cow! That’s not a cow! Who let you in here? Cows: The shit you go through. This post: Started off as a post that explained different goverments but then everything changed when the fire nation attacked