Description : Japanese animation, video games, and manga have attracted fans around the world. The characters, the stories, and the sensibilities that come out of these cultural products are together called Japan Cool. This is not a sudden fad, but is rooted in manga—Japanese comics—which since the mid-1940s have developed in an exponential way. In spite of a gradual decline in readership, manga still commands over a third of the publishing output. The volume of manga works that is being produced and has been through history is enormous. There are manga publications that attract readers of all ages and genders. The diversity in content attracts readers well into adulthood. Surveys on reading practices have found that almost all Japanese people read manga or have done so at some point in their lives. The skills of reading manga are learned by readers themselves, but learned in the context of other readers and in tandem with school learning. Manga reading practices are sustained by the practices of other readers, and manga content therefore serves as a topic of conversation for both families and friends. Moreover, manga is one of the largest sources of content for media production in film, television, and video games. Manga literacy, the practices of the readers, the diversity of titles, and the sheer number of works provide the basis for the movement recognized as Japan Cool. Reading Japan Cool is directed at an audience of students of Japanese studies, discourse analysts, educators, parents, and manga readers.
Description : Today’s convergent media environment offers unprecedented opportunities for sourcing and disseminating previously obscure popular culture material from Japan. However, this presents concerns regarding copyright, ratings and exposure to potentially illegal content which are serious problems for those teaching and researching about Japan. Despite young people’s enthusiasm for Japanese popular culture, these concerns spark debate about whether it can be judged harmful for youth audiences and could therefore herald the end of ‘cool Japan’. This collection brings together Japan specialists in order to identify key challenges in using Japanese popular culture materials in research and teaching. It addresses issues such as the availability of unofficially translated and distributed Japanese material; the emphasis on adult-themes, violence, sexual scenes and under-age characters; and the discrepancies in legislation and ratings systems across the world. Considering how these issues affect researchers, teachers, students and fans in the US, Canada, Australia, China, Japan and elsewhere in Asia, the contributors discuss the different ways in which academic and fan practices are challenged by local regulations. Illustrating from personal experience the sometimes fraught nature of teaching about ‘cool Japan’, they suggest ways in which Japanese Studies as a discipline needs to develop clearer guidelines for teaching and research, especially for new scholars entering the field. As the first collection to identify some of the real problems faced by teachers and researchers of Japanese popular culture as well as the students over whom they have a duty of care, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of Japanese Studies and Cultural Studies.
Description : Now in its fourth edition, An Introduction to Japanese Society remains essential reading for students of Japanese society. Internationally renowned scholar Yoshio Sugimoto uses both English and Japanese sources to update and expand upon his original narrative in this sophisticated yet highly readable text. This book explores the breadth and diversity of Japanese society, with chapters covering class, geographical and generational variation, work, education, gender, minorities, popular culture and the establishment. Updates include an exploration of the 'Cool Japan' phenomenon and the explosion of Japanese culture overseas. This edition also features the latest research into Japanese society, updated statistical data and coverage of recent events including the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the change in government. Written in a clear and engaging style, An Introduction to Japanese Society provides an insight into all aspects of a diverse and ever-evolving contemporary Japan.
Description : From 1993 to 2003, exports of Japan’s cartoon arts tripled in value, to $12.5 billion. Fan phenomena around the world – in U.S. malls, teen girls flock to purchase the latest Fruits Basket graphic novel; in Hungary, young people gather for a summer «cosplay» (costume dress-up) event – illustrate the global popularity of manga and anime. Drawing on extensive research and more than 100 original interviews, Anne Cooper-Chen explains how and why the un-Disney has penetrated nearly every corner of the planet. This book uses concepts such as cultural proximity, uses and gratifications, and cultural variability to explain cross-cultural adaptations in a broad international approach. It emphasizes that overseas acceptance has surprised the Japanese, who create manga and anime primarily for a domestic audience. Including some sobering facts about the future of the industry, the book highlights how overseas enthusiasm could actually save a domestic industry that may decline in the contracting and graying country of its birth. Designed for courses covering international mass media, media and globalization and introduction to Japanese culture, the book is written primarily for undergraduates, and includes many student-friendly features such as a glossary, timeline and source list.
Description : Gender, Nation and State in Modern Japan makes a unique contribution to the international literature on the formation of modern nation–states in its focus on the gendering of the modern Japanese nation-state from the late nineteenth century to the present. References to gender relations are deeply embedded in the historical concepts of nation and nationalism, and in the related symbols, metaphors and arguments. Moreover, the development of the binary opposition between masculinity and femininity and the development of the modern nation-state are processes which occurred simultaneously. They were the product of a shift from a stratified, hereditary class society to a functionally-differentiated social body. This volume includes the work of an international group of scholars from Japan, the United States, Australia and Germany, which in many cases appears in English for the first time. It provides an interdisciplinary perspective on the formation of the modern Japanese nation–state, including comparative perspectives from research on the formation of the modern nation–state in Europe, thus bringing research on Japan into a transnational dialogue. This volume will be of interest in the fields of modern Japanese history, gender studies, political science and comparative studies of nationalism.
Description : With Flags of Our Fathers (2006) and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), Clint Eastwood made a unique contribution to film history, being the first director to make two films about the same event. Eastwood's films examine the battle over Iwo Jima from two nations' perspectives, in two languages, and embody a passionate view on conflict, enemies, and heroes. Together these works tell the story behind one of history’s most famous photographs, Leo Rosenthal’s "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima." In this volume, international scholars in political science and film, literary, and cultural studies undertake multifaceted investigations into how Eastwood's diptych reflects war today. Fifteen essays explore the intersection among war films, American history, and Japanese patriotism. They present global attitudes toward war memories, icons, and heroism while offering new perspectives on cinema, photography, journalism, ethics, propaganda, war strategy, leadership, and the war on terror.
Description : Born of Japan's cultural encounter with Western entertainment media, manga (comic books or graphic novels) and anime (animated films) are two of the most universally recognized forms of contemporary mass culture. Because they tell stories through visual imagery, they vault over language barriers. Well suited to electronic transmission and distributed by Japan's globalized culture industry, they have become a powerful force in both the mediascape and the marketplace.This volume brings together an international group of scholars from many specialties to probe the richness and subtleties of these deceptively simple cultural forms. The contributors explore the historical, cultural, sociological, and religious dimensions of manga and anime, and examine specific sub-genres, artists, and stylistics. The book also addresses such topics as spirituality, the use of visual culture by Japanese new religious movements, Japanese Goth, nostalgia and Japanese pop, "cute" (kawali) subculture and comics for girls, and more. With illustrations throughout, it is a rich source for all scholars and fans of manga and anime as well as students of contemporary mass culture or Japanese culture and civilization.
Description : The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society is an interdisciplinary resource that focuses on contemporary Japan and the social and cultural trends that are important at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This Handbook provides a cutting-edge and comprehensive survey of significant phenomena, institutions, and directions in Japan today, on issues ranging from gender and family, the environment, race and ethnicity, and urban life, to popular culture and electronic media. Written by an international team of Japan experts, the chapters included in the volume form an accessible and fascinating insight into Japanese culture and society. As such, the Handbook will be an invaluable reference tool for anyone interested in all things Japanese. Students, teachers and professionals alike will benefit from the broad ranging discussions, useful links to online resources and suggested reading lists. The Handbook will be of interest across a wide range of disciplines including Japanese Studies, Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Sociology and Asian Studies in general.