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 : 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 : 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.
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 : 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 : 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, 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 : This three volume reference set offers a comprehensive look at the roles race and ethnicity play in society and in our daily lives. General readers, students, and scholars alike will appreciate the informative coverage of intergroup relations in the United States and the comparative examination of race and ethnicity worldwide. These volumes offer a foundation to understanding as well as researching racial and ethnic diversity from a multidisciplinary perspective. Over a hundred racial and ethnic groups are described, with additional thematic essays offering insight into broad topics that cut across group boundaries and which impact on society. The encyclopedia has alphabetically arranged author-signed essays with references to guide further reading. Numerous cross-references aid the reader to explore beyond specific entries, reflecting the interdependent nature of race and ethnicity operating in society. The text is supplemented by photographs, tables, figures and custom-designed maps to provide an engaging visual look at race and ethnicity. An easy-to-use statistical appendix offers the latest data with carefully selected historical comparisons to aid study and research in the area
Description : Bringing together an international group of scholars, this collection offers a fresh assessment of Kazuo Ishiguro’s evolving significance as a contemporary world author. The contributors take on a range of the aesthetic and philosophical themes that characterize Ishiguro’s work, including his exploration of the self, family, and community; his narrative constructions of time and space; and his assessments of the continuous and discontinuous forces of history, art, human psychology, and cultural formations. Significantly, the volume attends to Ishiguro’s own self-identification as an international writer who has at times expressed his uneasiness with being grouped together with British novelists of his generation. Taken together, these rich considerations of Ishiguro’s work attest to his stature as a writer who continues to fascinate cultural and textual critics from around the world.
Description : The editors of the Philosophy and Medicine series recognize with grat itude the foresight, understanding, hard labor, and patience of Prof. Kazumasa Hoshino. It is his perseverance that has made this volume a reality. It was his faith in ideas that brought together a cluster of scholars in Tokyo on September 2-4, 1994, at Sophia University for a U. S. -J apan Bioethics Congress. With the support of the Foundation for Advance ment of International Science, the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, the Foundation of Thanatology, the Japanese Center for Quality of Life Studies, and Sophia University, scholars from Canada, Germany, Japan, and the United States were able to explore the differ ences and similarities in their approaches to bioethics and health care policy. That conference first produced a volume through Shibunkaku Publishers of Kyoto that appeared in 1995 in J apanese: The Dignity of Death, edited by Kazumasa Hoshino. Selections from those materials have been reworked for an English audience and now appear, along with new essays, in this volume. The field of comparative bioethics is only in its infancy. We are deeply grateful to Prof. Kazumasa Hoshino, one of the fathers of J apanese bioethics, for having made this volume possible. H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr. Stuart F. Spicker Vll ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This volume's editors and Kluwer Academic Publishers wish to thank Shibunkaku Press, Kyoto, Japan, for permission to publish, without charge, essays derived from the U. S.
Description : A rich, salty, and steaming bowl of noodle soup, ramen has become an international symbol of the cultural prowess of Japanese cuisine. In this highly original account of geopolitics and industrialization in Japan, George Solt traces the meteoric rise of ramen from humble fuel for the working poor to international icon of Japanese culture. Ramen’s popularity can be attributed to political and economic change on a global scale. Using declassified U.S. government documents and an array of Japanese sources, Solt reveals how the creation of a black market for American wheat imports during the U.S. occupation of Japan (1945–1952), the reindustrialization of Japan’s labor force during the Cold War, and the elevation of working-class foods in redefining national identity during the past two decades of economic stagnation (1990s–2000s), all contributed to the establishment of ramen as a national dish. This book is essential reading for scholars, students of Japanese history and food studies, and anyone interested in gaining greater perspective on how international policy can influence everyday foods around the world.
Description : "Manners and Mischief is a cohesive, stimulating volume. Reading these essays and the editors' enlightening introduction was a joy: I learned a great deal, smiled and laughed with uncommon regularity, and marveled at the quality of this remarkable collection." -William M. Tsutsui, author of Godzilla on My Mind "This book is full of fascinating insights. Well-written and often witty, it captures a detailed snapshot of Japanese society in the early 21st century. I would say this is the most insightful book on modern Japan I have read in years." -Liza Dalby, anthropologist and novelist
Description : "A gem to be consulted by all students of anthropology, history, ethnomusicology, and colonial studies." Hyung Il Pal, author of Constructing "Korean" Origins: A Critical Review of Archaeology, Historiography, and Racial Myth in Korean State Formation Theories --