It's what I love about Japan. Having been there three times, I can understand why culturally, quality and popularity don't have to be at odds. As the population in the west becomes dumbed down, (in my opinion, through a lowering of academic standards in order to appease parents who want their kids to have lots of self-esteem, even if they can't read or write!), cultures in Asia are ramping up. With high academic standards, India, China, Japan and other Asian nations have a populace that's growing smarter. (Not that any of these countries are perfect, but on academics and education, they run rings around the public education system of Ontario, and probably the rest of Canada.
It's a dilemma for artists attempting to use popular culture, like TV to reach audiences. Kurasawa was a living national treasure in Japan, (which is a honorific bestowed upon that nation's greatest artists.) Ours are lucky to get a star on Blue Jay's Way, and really it's only those who've LEFT Canada and become famous in the Hollywood system that gets those stars.