The SAGE Handbook of Modern Japanese Studies

Handbooks

Edited by: James D. Babb

  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Text Size

  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: LAND, HISTORY AND CULTURE  

    Part II: SOCIETY  

    Part III: MEDICINE AND HEALTH CARE  

    Part IV: POLITICS AND FOREIGN RELATIONS  

    Part V: ECONOMY  

  • Copyright

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    Notes on the Editor and Contributors

    The Editor

    James Babb is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He holds an MA in East Asian Studies and PhD in Political Science from Stanford University. He is also currently the Newcastle University representative for the Japan Foundation Endowment Committee (UK) and a member of the international advisory board for the British Association of Japanese Studies journal Japan Forum. He has published a number of journal articles on Japan and is the author of Tanaka and the Making of Post-war Japan (Longman, 2000), Business and Politics in Japan (Manchester University Press, 2001) and co-author of Empirical Political Analysis (Longman, 2012), a textbook of political science methodology.

    The Contributors

    Robert W. Aspinall is Professor in the Faculty of Economics, Shiga University. He was a secondary school history teacher in England before coming to Japan on the JET programme. After completing a DPhil doctoral degree at St Antony's, College, Oxford he worked at Nagoya University as a visiting lecturer before taking up his present position. He is the author of Teachers’ Unions and the Politics of Education in Japan (SUNY Press, 2001) and International Education Policy in Japan in an Age of Globalisation and Risk (Global Oriental, 2013) as well as numerous articles on Japanese educational politics and policy.

    Andrew Cobbing received his first degree in History from the University of Bristol before completing his Masters at Kyushu University and PhD at SOAS, University of London. He then spent several years working at Kyushu University and is now an Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of, among other works, The Japanese Discovery of Victorian Britain (Routledge, 1998) and Kyushu: Gateway to Japan (Global Oriental Ltd., 2009). He has also been involved in some major translation projects including Volume Three in Kume Kunitake's official account of the Iwakura Embassy (The Japan Documents, 2002) and, most recently, the last volume of Shiba Ryōtarō’s Clouds Above the Hill (Routledge, 2014).

    Hugo Dobson is Professor of Japan's International Relations at the National Institute of Japanese Studies and School of East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield, UK. His research interests focus on global governance, especially the G8 and G20 and Japan's role therein, as well as the role of images in shaping our understanding of international relations. He is the author of various books and articles including Japan and the G7/G8, 1975–2002 (Routledge, 2004), The Group of 7/8 (Routledge, 2007) and Japan's International Relations: Politics, Economics and Security (Routledge, 2012, 3rd ed.).

    Lucia Dolce is Numata Reader in Japanese Buddhism at SOAS, University of London, where she also directs the Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions. Her research has explored hermeneutical and ritual practices of religion in Japan, including Buddhist traditions, from the Tendai and Nichiren schools to Tantric Buddhism, combinatory cults, ritual iconography and ritual performance. Among her recent publications are Shinbutsu shÛgō saikō [Rethinking Syncretism in Japanese Religion] (Bensei shuppan, 2013, co-editor); Japanese Religions, 4 vols. (SAGE, 2012, editor); Girei no chikara–chÛsei shÛkyō no jissen sekai [The Power of Ritual: The World of Religious Practice in Medieval Japan] (Hôzôkan, 2010, co-editor).

    Michael D. Fetters (MD, MPH, MA) is Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His undergraduate degree in Japanese studies was followed by his medical degree at Ohio State University. His academic interests focus on US–Japan comparisons in medical ethics, medical education, family medicine and on the influence of culture on medical decision making. Bilingual in Japanese and English, he founded and directs the University of Michigan Japanese Family Health Program. He has authored over 150 scholarly articles, chapters and editorials and serves as Associate Editor, Journal of Mixed Methods Research.

    Joyce Gelb is Professor Emerita of Political Science at City College and the Graduate Center, City University of NY. She has been a visiting professor in recent years at Yale University, Doshisha and Tokyo Universities in Japan, Queens University in Belfast in Northern Ireland, Stockholm University in Sweden, Shanghai University in China, and National Taiwan University and Tsinghua University in Taiwan. Her research and publications deal primarily with comparative politics and policy on women's issues. She is the author of Women and Public Policies: Reassessing Gender Politics (Princeton, 1987; University of Virginia Press, 1996, 2nd ed., with Marian Palley) and Gender Policies in Japan and the United States: Comparing Women's Movements, Rights and Politics (St Martin's Press, 2003) as well as numerous articles in edited volumes and journals. Recent publications include an article on the anti-feminist backlash in Japan and the USA published in Grey and Sawyer, Women's Movements Worldwide (2008), Women and Politics Around the World, co-edited with Marian Palley (ABC-CLIO, 2009) and ‘Women and politics in Japan and Taiwan’ in O'Connor ed. Gender and Women's Leadership (SAGE, 2010).

    Aurelia George Mulgan is Professor of Politics at the University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia. She is the author of six books on Japanese politics and political economy including Ozawa Ichiro and Japanese Politics: Old Versus New (Routledge, 2014), Japan's Interventionist State: The Role of the MAFF (Routledge, 2005), Power and Pork: A Japanese Political Life (ANU Press, 2006) and Japan's Failed Revolution: Koizumi and the Politics of Economic Reform (ANU Press, 2002). In 2001 she won an Ohira Memorial Prize for The Politics of Agriculture in Japan (Routledge, 2000) and in 2010 the Toshiba Prize from the British Association of Japanese Studies.

    Parissa Haghirian is Professor of International Management at the Faculty of Liberal Arts at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. She obtained her MA in Japanese studies from Vienna University (1998). She was awarded an MA (2000) and PhD in International Management (2003) by Vienna University of Business, Austria. Since joining Sophia University Parissa has taught undergraduate, graduate and MBA-level classes on the subject of Japanese management and researched and consulted on numerous aspects of Japanese business practices with Western and native Japanese companies in Tokyo. She has published several books and articles on the topic and is the author of Understanding Japanese Management Practices (Business Expert Press, 2010) and the editor of Innovation and Change in Japanese Management (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and Japanese Consumer Dynamics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

    Peter Hill received his PhD in 2000 from the Scottish Centre for Japanese Studies at the University of Stirling for his research on the effect of the Bôryokudan countermeasures law on Japanese crime syndicates. From 2000 to 2003 he was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology at the University of Oxford. During his fieldwork he was a visiting researcher at the Institute of Social Science at the University of Tokyo. His publications include The Japanese Mafia: Yakuza, Law and the State (Oxford University Press, 2003) and ‘Kamikaze 1943–5’ in Gambetta ed. Making Sense of Suicide Missions (Oxford University Press, 2005).

    Christopher W. Hughes (BA Oxford University; MA Rochester University; PhD Sheffield University) is Professor of International Politics and Japanese Studies, Chair of the Department of Politics and International Studies and Chair of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Warwick, UK. He was formerly Research Associate, University of Hiroshima; Asahi Shimbun Visiting Professor of Mass Media and Politics, University of Tokyo; and Edwin O. Reischauer Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies, Department of Government, Harvard University. He holds adjunct/associate positions at Hiroshima, Waseda and Harvard universities. His most recent book publications include Japan's Remilitarisation (Routledge, 2009) and Japan's Reemergence as a ‘Normal’ Military Power (Oxford University Press, 2004). He is Joint Editor of The Pacific Review. He was President of the British Association of Japanese Studies from 2009 to 2013.

    David T. Johnson is Professor of Sociology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a former co-editor of Law and Society Review. He is the author of The Japanese Way of Justice: Prosecuting Crime in Japan (Oxford University Press, 2002), co-author of The Next Frontier: National Development, Political Change, and the Death Penalty in Asia (Oxford University Press, 2009, with Franklin Zimring), and co-author of Koritsu Suru Nihon no Shikei [Japan's Isolated Death Penalty] (Gendai Jinbunsha, 2012, with Maiko Tagusari).

    Yuko Kawato (PhD University of Washington, 2010) is Research Fellow at the Asia Centre, a think-tank in Paris, France. Her expertise is on Japan’s civil society and foreign policy. Her publications include a book chapter on civil society in Kingston (ed.) Natural Disaster and Nuclear Crisis in Japan: Response and Recovery after 3/11 (Routledge, 2012, with Robert J. Pekkanen and Yutaka Tsujinaka), an article about the politics of nuclear energy in Outre-Terre Revue Européenne de Géopolitique (2013) and articles on Japan's foreign policy in Asia Centre's Japan Analysis. Her book Protests against U.S. Military Base Policy in Asia: Persuasion and Its Limits in Base Politics is forthcoming from Stanford University Press in 2015.

    Alexandru P. Luta is a policy analyst and campaigner for the Sandbag Climate Campaign, an advocacy group lobbying for a stronger EU climate-mitigation policy. He is finalizing his PhD on comparative renewable-energy policy at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. In the past he has been a researcher on Japanese climate and energy policy for the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, and the Tokyo representative of Enersense International, a resource management company for energy construction projects.

    Vera Mackie is Senior Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Wollongong. Her publications include Creating Socialist Women in Japan: Gender, Labour and Activism, 1900–1937 (Cambridge, 1997); Feminism in Modern Japan: Citizenship, Embodiment and Sexuality (Cambridge, 2003); Gurōbaruka to Jendā Hyōshō [Globalisation and Representations of Gender] (Ochanomizu Shobō, 2003); The Routledge Handbook of Sexuality Studies in East Asia (Routledge, 2015, co-edited with Mark McLelland); Gender, Nation and State in Modern Japan (Routledge, 2014, co-edited with Andrea Germer and Ulrike Wöhr); and Human Rights and Gender Politics: Asia–Pacific Perspectives (Routledge, 2000, co-edited with Anne-Marie Hilsdon, Martha Macintyre and Maila Stivens).

    Sherry Martin Murphy is Foreign Affairs Research Analyst in the US Department of State. She was Associate Professor at Cornell University holding a joint appointment in both the Government Department and the Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her research has been published in the Social Science Japan Journal and the Journal of Women, Politics and Policy, and she has published the monograph Popular Democracy in Japan: How Gender and Community are Changing Modern Electoral Politics (Cornell University Press, 2011) and Democratic Reform in Japan: Assessing the Impact (Lynne Rienner, 2008, co-edited with Gill Steel). Her undergraduate degree in Politics is from Princeton University and her PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

    Mary McDonald is Director of the Center for Japanese Studies (2012–2015) and Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. She holds a BA from Oberlin College and MA and PhD from University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include industrial change in Japan's rural regions, farm labor, farmland, rice improvement, food trade, tourism and trans-Pacific economic linkages. She served on the editorial board of The Geographical Review of Japan. She led a student year abroad at Kōnan University in Kōbe. Her research hosts in Japan have included Tōhoku University and Kyōto University.

    Kenneth Mori McElwain is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research focuses on institutional design, including the manipulation of electoral rules, the democratization of political parties and the evolution of national constitutions. He received his PhD in Political Science from Stanford University, and an AB in Public Policy and International Affairs from Princeton University. He is a co-editor of Political Change in Japan (Stanford APARC, 2009), and his research has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of East Asian Studies, Journal of Social Science and in numerous edited volumes.

    Mark McLelland is Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Wollongong and a former Toyota Visiting Professor of Japanese at the University of Michigan. He has written extensively on the cultural history of sex and sexuality in Japan, most recently in Love, Sex and Democracy in Japan during the American Occupation (Palgrave, 2012) and in The Routledge Handbook of Sexuality Studies in East Asia (Routledge, 2014, co-edited with Vera Mackie).

    Paul Midford is Professor and Director of the Japan Program at the Norwegian University for Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. Midford received his PhD in Political Science from Columbia University in 2001. His research interests include Japanese foreign and defense policies, the impact of public opinion on policy, renewable energy and energy security and East Asian security multilateralism. He has published in International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Security Studies, Pacific Review, Asian Survey, Japan Forum and International Relations of the Asia-Pacific. Midford is the author of Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion and Security: From Pacifism to Realism? (Stanford University Press, 2011).

    Noriaki Nishiyama received his Doctor of Engineering from Kyoto University Graduate School of Engineering and was Professor at Kyushu Institute of Design, Kyushu University. He assumed his current position as Director of the Center for Advanced Tourism Studies at Hokkaido University in 2014. His areas of specialization are in architecture, urban planning, tourism, and cultural heritage management. He is Expert Advisor for the Culture Advisory Committee of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Advisor for the Tourism Development Sector, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Deputy Chief of the Japan Society of Urban Planning Hokkaido Branch and President of the Shirakawa Village Landscape Committee. One of his major publications is Building a Sustainable Relationship between Cultural Heritage Management and Tourism (National Museum of Ethnology, 2006, editor).

    Robert J. Pekkanen (PhD Harvard, 2002) is Professor at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington. He has published articles in journals including The American Political Science Review, The British Journal of Political Science and Comparative Political Studies. He has authored, co-authored or co-edited six books on topics of Japanese civil society, American nonprofit advocacy and Japanese elections and political parties. His first book, Japan's Dual Civil Society: Members without Advocates (Stanford University Press, 2006), won the Masayoshi Ohira Prize in 2008 and also an award from the Japanese Nonprofit Research Association (JANPORA).

    Anthony Rausch is Professor at Hirosaki University, Japan. His research interests focus on rural Japan and he is the author of A Year With the Local Newspaper: Understanding the Times in Aomori, Japan (University Press of America, 2001), Cultural Commodities in Japanese Rural Revitalization: Tsugaru Nuri Lacquerware and Tsugaru Shamisen (Brill, 2010) and Japan's Local Newspapers: Chihoshi and Revitalization Journalism (Routledge, 2012) and co-author of Japan's Shrinking Regions in the 21st Century: Contemporary Responses to Depopulation and Socioeconomic Decline (Cambria Press, 2011).

    Marcus Rebick is a former Nissan Lecturer in the Japanese Economy at Oxford University and fellow of St Antony's College. He has taught at the Industrial and Labor Relations School at Cornell University and been a visiting researcher at Tokyo, Nagoya and Gakushuin Universities in Japan as well as several Japanese government institutions. He is a labor economist who has written numerous articles on Japan’s labour market and institutions. He received his doctorate in Economics from Harvard in 1990.

    Jonathan ‘Jack’ Rodnick (MD) earned his undergraduate degree at Yale University and medical degree at the University of California, Los Angeles. He died unexpectedly on 26 January 2008 while vacationing in Hawaii. Under his 14-year tenure as Chair, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, he led a student-run homeless clinic, the national HIV ‘Warmline', the Center on Social Disparities in Health and the Family and Community Medicine Collaborative Research Network. His research focused on global development of family-medicine and primary-care education and clinical programs, particularly in health systems in African and Asian countries.

    Caroline Rose is Professor of Sino-Japanese Relations in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Leeds, Executive Director of the White Rose East Asia Centre and President of the British Association of Japanese Studies. Her teaching and research focus on Sino-Japanese relations, with a particular interest in the history problem and reconciliation, and history and citizenship education in China and Japan. She has published two monographs on Sino-Japanese relations (both with Routledge) in addition to various articles and chapters on such issues as Japan's relations with Latin America, Japan and China in Africa, Japanese nationalism and changing representations of Japan in Chinese school textbooks. She is currently working on a monograph on educational reforms in China and Japan and their implications for China-Japan relations.

    Denise St Arnault has studied the cultural variables that influence illness and help-seeking for over 20 years using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods including photo-elicitation, card sorts, lifelines, event calendars, body maps, structured and semi-structured interviewing, fieldwork, participant observation, grounded theory and clinical ethnography. She has carried out research in India, Japan, Korea and Ireland, and has worked with African Americans, Native Americans and East Asian immigrants. She is an Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) Japan scholar, has been a consultant on several grants in Japan and has received federal funding for her research on Japanese immigrant women.

    Carolyn S. Stevens is Professor of Japanese Studies and Director of the Japanese Studies Centre at Monash University. Trained as an anthropologist, she teaches and conducts research on Japanese popular culture as well as social problems in Japan. Recent major publications include Disability in Japan (Routledge, 2013) and the co-edited volumes Sound, Space and Sociality in Modern Japan (Routledge, 2014) and Internationalising Japan: Discourse and Practice (Routledge, 2014).

    Akira Suzuki is Professor at the Ohara Institute for Social Research, Hosei University. His major research interests include social-movement unionism and the historical analysis of union involvement in environmental issues. He has edited volumes on social-movement unionism and recent trends in Japanese labor movements, most recently Cross-National Comparisons of Social Movement Unionism: Diversities of Labour Movement Revitalization in Japan, Korea and the United States (Peter Lang, 2012).

    Katja Valaskivi is Senior Research Fellow and Reader (Docent) at the University of Tampere, School of Communication, Media and Theatre. Her first speciality back in the 1990s was Japanese media and popular culture, television drama in particular. Her current research interests include the social construction of knowledge and belief, media and promotional culture. She is writing a book for Routledge on nation branding and the concept of ‘Cool'. She has worked as a visiting researcher at Goldsmiths College, University of London, as well as Sophia University, Tokyo and the National Institute of Informatics, Tokyo. Between 2002 and 2005 she headed the Finnish Institute in Japan, Tokyo. Her recent publications in English include ‘A brand new future? Cool Japan and social imaginary of the branded nation’ in Japan Forum (2013).

    Gabriele Vogt is Professor of Japanese Politics at the University of Hamburg. Her previous appointments include positions at Chūō University, Sophia University and the German Institute for Japanese Studies (all in Tokyo), the University of the Ryūkyūs in Okinawa and Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Her research interest lies with Japan's demographic change and international migration to Japan. She is co-editor of The Demographic Challenge: A Handbook about Japan (Brill, 2008) and Migration and Integration. Japan in Comparative Perspective (iudicium, 2011). She also served as a guest editor to Contemporary Japan and ASIEN, The German Journal on Contemporary Asia.

    Hidehiro Yamamoto is Associate Professor of Yamagata University. He received his PhD in sociology from Tohoku University. His research interests are in civil society, social movement and interest-group politics. He is co-author of Neighborhood Associations and Local Governance in Japan (Routledge, 2014).

    Izumi Yokoyama obtained her PhD in economics from the University of Michigan in 2013 and is currently Assistant Professor at Hitotsubashi University teaching applied econometrics and micro-economics. Her research interests include wage inequalities and impacts on public policies related to labor markets, such as spousal exemptions and standard hours’ effects on wages and work hours. Her current research focuses on evaluating policies using empirical methodologies. She is the author of ‘Wage distribution in Japan: 1989–2003’ in Canadian Journal of Economics (2008, with Daiji Kawaguchi and Ryo Kambayashi).

    Acknowledgements

    It has taken a long time to bring this volume to publication but the wait was worth it because it has resulted in a major contribution to Japanese studies including chapters that are unique and insightful.

    Funding from the Jitsukōkai Foundation supported Mike Fetters’ and Izumi Yokoyama's research and writing of Chapters 14 to 17, and they would like to thank Susan O. Long, Akira Akabayashi, John C. Campbell, and Robert B. Leflar for helpful comments, corrections and embellishments on earlier drafts of their chapters. Some of the research for Denise Saint Arnault's chapter was funded by the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health and the National Institute of Mental Health (MH071307). Aurelia George Mulgan's research was made possible in part by the Australian Research Council. Vera Mackie would like to acknowledge Australian Research Council grants DP0450753 and FT0992328. Carolyn Stevens gratefully acknowledges feedback on early drafts from Laura Miller and research assistance provided by Anika Ervin-Ward. Alexandru Luta and Paul Midford would like to acknowledge Paul J. Scalise for reading over a draft of their energy chapter. Paul Midford would also like to thank Professor Koji Murata and the Faculty of Law at Doshisha University who hosted him during his writing of Japan–US chapter.

    The chapter on Religion was originally published as the introductory essay to the 2012 SAGE major work, Japanese Religions (Volumes I – IV), edited by Lucia Dolce. This was chosen based on the advice of Louella Matsunaga who sacrificed her perfectly acceptable chapter on Religion in Japan in deference to this one because she thought it would better cover all aspects of the topic. Thanks to Lucia Dolce and SAGE for agreeing to republish the chapter with amendments here and to Louella for the suggestion.

    My particular thanks go to those contributors who persevered. Special thanks are due to the contributors who were patient throughout this process, especially those, such as Robert Aspinall and Caroline Rose, who were consistently supportive and kind. Others, such as Andrew Cobbing, Paul Midford and Mike Fetters, who went beyond the call of duty to offer excellent chapters at relatively short notice also need to be acknowledged.

    Martine Jonsrud, formerly of SAGE, was only an editor a short time but did the most to get the project back on track. The sympathetic and professional assistance of Delia Martinez-Alfonso and Colette Wilson helped to move the project seamlessly through final production.

    I should also thank my wife who will hopefully never have to hear me talk about this project again.

    James Babb

    Historical Timeline of Modern Japan

    Meiji Era (1868–1912)

    1868

    Meiji Restoration

    1873

    Military Conscription

    1874–89

    Freedom and Popular Rights Movement

    1881

    Matsukata Deflation Begins

    1889

    The Constitution of the Empire of Japan Promulgated

    1894–95

    First Sino–Japanese War

    1898

    Meiji Civil Code Implemented

    1904–05

    Russo–Japanese War

    1910

    Korea Annexed by Japan

    Taisho Era (1912–1926)

    1914–18

    World War I (Japan Allied with USA and UK)

    1918

    First ‘Commoner’ Prime Minister Hara

    1922

    Japanese Communist Party Formed

    1923

    Great Kantō Earthquake

    Showa Era: Pre-war and Wartime (1926–1945)

    1925

    Universal [Manhood] Suffrage and Peace Preservation Laws Passed

    1928

    First Election after passing of Universal [Manhood] Suffrage Law

    1931

    Manchurian Incident (Japan Occupies Manchuria)

    1932

    Assassination of Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi

    1936

    Attempted Military Coup d’État

    1937

    Second Sino–Japanese War Begins

    1940

    Tripartite Pact (Japan Allies with Germany and Italy)

    1941

    Pacific War Begins (World War II)

    Showa Era: Postwar (1945–1989)

    1945

    End of World War II: Allied Occupation of Japan Begins

    1952

    Allied Occupation of Japan Ends

    1955

    Formation of the Liberal Democratic Party

    1960

    Renewal of the US–Japan Mutual Security Treaty

    1964

    Tokyo Olympics

    1971

    Nixon ‘Dollar’ Shock

    1973

    First Oil Crisis

    1976

    Former LDP Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei Arrested for Bribery

    1979

    Second Oil Crisis

    1982–87

    LDP President Nakasone Yasuhiro Prime Minister

    Heisei Era (1989–present)

    1989

    Peak of the Economic Bubble (Nikkei 225 Index at Nearly 39,000)

    1993

    LDP Loses Power Temporarily

    1994

    Political Reform Laws Pass Parliament

    1995

    Kobe Earthquake/Sarin Gas Terrorist Attack in Tokyo

    2001–06

    LDP President Koizumi Jun'ichirō Prime Minister

    2009

    LDP Loses Power Completely

    2011

    North East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

    2012

    LDP Back in Power

    Introduction

    Japanese studies is an important interdisciplinary field with relevance to scholars in many countries. The field covers the exciting and sometimes provocative combination of modern and traditional Japanese approaches to the world. It is informed by and has an impact on the range of disciplines, particularly in the social sciences. This Handbook is intended to serve as a major reference work and a seminal text, both rigorous and accessible, in assisting students and scholars in understanding one of the major nations of the world.

    After over 100 years of interaction with the West, Japan continues to be an important comparator for advanced and developing nations alike. Despite the growth of China, the Japanese economy is still important to the global economy and China is still dependent on foreign technology, much of which has been developed in Japan. Indeed, Japan is competing with other advanced industrial countries at the cutting edge of research, outpacing her East Asian neighbors. More importantly, the Japanese experience is likely to inform the future of both Western industrialized countries and the new industrial countries in Asia. Japan is interesting precisely because its experience speaks both to the developed and the developing alike. It has already experienced the rapid economic growth that is spreading through Asia and is the aim of many other countries. It has the same problems and prospects as other advanced industrial countries but it has often sought its own solutions with dramatic results.

    There is a close connection between economic development and environmental problems, rapid social change, political innovation, and the marketing of ‘culture'. Most of the major pollution-related illnesses were discovered in Japan and its anti-pollution technology and energy-saving devices are going to be important to the future of the economies of many nations as concern over the global environment spreads. Rapid social change has produced an ageing society and a low birth rate, both of which defy easy solutions due to issues related to gender and lifestyle. The politics of Japan shares much with Western democracies but also contains features similar to one-party regimes in Asia and elsewhere. Finally, modern Japanese culture is not only growing in popularity in the West but is already a dominant force in the markets of East Asia and beyond. This modern Japanese culture reflects an embracing of new technology, traditional values, and often complex identity issues in a powerful combination attractive to many.

    In order to secure the background necessary to understand Japan, this volume provides an authoritative overview of the field of Japanese studies. Japanese studies has grown dramatically over the past 30 years and has spread throughout the globe with all major universities employing Japan specialists both in East Asian studies and discipline-specific academic departments. The origins of the field are in Oriental studies but in the aftermath of World War II a large number of those formerly involved in the Allied Occupation of Japan (1945–1952) in a social-science capacity took up academic posts, especially in the US. When economic friction between Japan and its major trading partners intensified in the 1980s a new cohort of academic specialists were trained and funded by the Japanese and other governments. It is primarily those scholars trained in the 1980s and 1990s, often themselves students of the Occupation generation, who occupy the numerous posts in Japanese studies at academic institutions around the world. This volume aims to help meet the needs of these scholars and their students.

    This volume focuses on what has traditionally been called the social sciences. It provides an overview of classic and current research in each of the major disciplines and an examination of the major issues facing Japan today. In addition, experts in all areas have been sought out so as to uncover those disciplines and issues that have less prominence but have continuing or future importance, especially in relation to other disciplines. It aims to be a comprehensive treatment of the major work in the social sciences.

    The chapters have been written by the experts in each area who have conducted research and published substantial work on the subjects. The contributors have the knowledge and authority recognized by others in the same field. A conscious attempt was made to solicit contributions from across the globe but the priority was to secure the best expert possible for each chapter. As is obvious from the list of contributors, the diversity and level of expertise of the chapter authors is impressive.

    This Handbook has the academic rigor and depth required for advanced research without losing accessibility for an educated readership. Most handbooks of this type expect to be read only by researchers, professors, and advanced students, but this Handbook can also be an important resource for undergraduates at all levels, as well as for interested members of the general public. Given the nature of the field, there is less need for technical jargon, and chapters have been written clearly to be attractive to a wide audience. It provides a useful background to each of the relevant fields of study and adjacent subject areas. It will help students at the beginning of their studies, facilitate access to the research and deepen understanding.

    In the past few years, there have been similar volumes on Japanese studies but they have tended to be narrower in focus. For example, The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society (2011) focuses primarily on sociology and anthropology, and The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Politics (2011) is focused only on politics. This SAGE Handbook covers the key topics raised in the Routledge volumes but also contains many unique contributions found nowhere else. In addition, this Handbook is more up-to-date because it reflects the dramatic changes in Japan in recent years as a result of events such as the fall of the Liberal Democratic Party after almost 55 years in power and the disasters which followed the massive earthquake in the north-east of Japan in 2011. Overall, this volume is more well rounded and at the cutting edge of developments than any other handbook.

    Organization of the Handbook

    The slightly archaic title of the first section, Land, History and Culture, is a light-hearted reference to travel guides to exotic locations which began to be popular in the late nineteenth century. The need to include the ‘Land’ is occasioned by the chapter on the geography of Japan, which is a contribution unique to this type of handbook. As might be expected from a geographer, the chapter is largely organized by geographic location of scholars, though there are a large number of resources on geography, such as links to maps and data, to be found in the chapter as well. The chapter on Regionalism and the Local reinforces this theme and is an important issue in Japanese studies in its own right. The chapter on Religion is more typical of this genre but a valuable overview of the field in its own right. Heritage management, in contrast, is a new area of research and this volume is privileged to have a chapter by one of the pioneering scholars in this field. A number of other chapters could have been added to this section but as the Handbook is primarily focused on social science it had to be limited in focus. The chapter on the mass media covers some of this ground as an excellent overview of a range of topics from newspapers to film. From the social science point of view, the key chapter in the section is the one on anthropology, which makes clear that the role of culture in Japan is not as straightforward as commonly thought. This is reinforced throughout this work.

    The second section, Society, explores the most important issues in Japanese society today. The educational system in Japan is still considered to be successful by many policy makers in the West a good model to emulate; but as the chapter on the subject shows there are problems and challenges in Japan which suggest it is not the best model for imitation. The next three chapters look at sexuality, gender equality, and feminism. It might be curious to some that there are three closely related chapters but this is an area of Japan and Japanese studies with profound importance. A colleague once joked that at conferences in the United States conversations on the state of US society always ended in a discussion of race; in the United Kingdom conversations on the state of UK society ended in a discussion of social class; but in Japan conversations on the state of Japanese society ended in a discussion of gender. There is some truth to this statement even though it was said in jest. The chapter on Japanese organized crime, or the yakuza, is also in the Society section but could have easily been part of a discussion of culture or even the Japanese economy. Here it is paired with an important chapter on policing in modern Japan.

    The third section, devoted to Medicine and Health Care in Japan, is an encyclopedic overview of the topic which has no parallel in English and is full of useful facts and insights. There are five chapters in this section. The first examines the historical background of Japanese medicine. The second gives an overview of medical education, including its historical roots, key figures in the development of the system and medical-education reforms. The third chapter looks more comprehensively at Japan's health-care system as a whole, specifically the lessons that other countries can learn from its technologically similar but culturally very different society. The fourth chapter provides a background to and discussion of biomedical ethics and related legal issues in Japan.

    The final chapter covers mental health in Japan.

    The fourth section of this Handbook, Politics and Foreign Relations, focuses on key areas of Japanese politics. The introductory chapter to the section provides a crucial overview of the development of political studies, both in Japan and elsewhere, to put current research in context. This is followed by three chapters focusing on areas of politics which are most important to understanding Japanese politics today. First there is the role of parties and elections, which has become the dominant focus of scholarship on Japanese politics in the past two decades. Then, there is an overview of the implications of the changes in Japanese politics in recent years for the state of democracy in Japan. Finally, there is an important chapter covers the role of civil society and raises a wide range of issues about the organization of political society in Japan. The chapters on Japan's international relations include two overviews, one on international relations themselves and the other on globalization. There is also one chapter each on Japan's relations with two major countries, the USA and China, which seem set to determine the fate of Japan for the foreseeable future.

    The fifth and final section on the Economy contains outstanding contributions on key areas of concern. There is an excellent overview of the significance of the Japanese economic experience and the relevance of Japan to the study of economics. There are useful chapters on both Japanese business and Japanese consumerism as well as chapters on labor, the labor movement in Japan and the issue of foreign workers. A key sector of the economy, Agriculture, has a chapter dedicated to it because it has an influence on Japanese political economy and international economic relations far out of proportion to its role in the economy in terms of simple numbers employed or the value of its output. The final chapter on Energy is also an important one because it is intimately related to Japan's future. In the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster Japan has been forced to radically reassess its energy supply and needs. Energy supply is essential to the Japanese economy but innovation in energy saving and production could also benefit Japanese industry and the economy.

    As can be seen from the chapters summarized above this is an up-to-date and comprehensive Handbook of Modern Japanese Studies which will serve the needs of scholars for many years. It has taken considerable time and effort to compile but on behalf of the contributors I am certain you will find this to be a rewarding study.

    10.4135/9781473909908.n1

    • Loading...
Back to Top

Copy and paste the following HTML into your website