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I'm sorry for the weird title. English is not my first language and I'm not sure how to put it... I wanted to say something among the lines "How Americans imagine Japan to be/What is Japan like, according to Americans" - the nuance being that I'm talking about Americans who have never been to Japan. I was thinking of using 印象, but I think 印象 is more about looking at something and getting an impression of what is it like, so it might not really be the best choice of words. Is there a nice, simple way of stating it?

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So if you want to simply say "an image of Japan, you can use イメージ:

日本のイメージ
日本に対するイメージ

It doesn't determine if someone had or had not direct experience with Japan. The image might change when getting more exposure.

To emphasize imaginative aspect you might decide for: "Japan as imagined by Americans"

アメリカ人が想像する日本
アメリカ人の想像する日本

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