Introduction: Japan’s Possible Futures – Pivots of Social Transformation

Japan’s Possible Futures: Pivots of Social Transformation SPECIAL COLLECTION Edited by Bruce White Photo by Jeremy Keith ‘Tokyo horizon’ Papers & Thematics Re-thinking Japanese Society Gender Collaboration or Equality? The Past, Present and Future of Danjo Kyoudou Sankaku Policy (Shunta Mori) Japan’s Future in the Light of its Communicative Strategies (Peter Ackermann) ‘Up to What Kinds of People Are We Able […]

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Nostalgia for ‘Asian’ Traditions and Energy – Encounters with Chinese and Koreans in Japanese TV Dramas

Nostalgia for ‘Asian’ Traditions and Energy – Encounters with Chinese and Koreans in Japanese TV Dramas Hilaria Gössmann, Griseldis Kirsch Photo coffee shop Aizen by m-louis Introduction—Television Dramas and the Myth of Japanese Homogeneity Since 1953, when Japanese television went on air for the first time, television dramas have played a central role in affecting and reflecting on Japanese society, […]

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Gender Equality Policy in Japan: Current Difficulties and Signs of Change

Shunta Mori Introduction In the 1980s and the early 1990s there were three camps competing for representation of women’s roles in Japan: the Neotraditionalists; “New Women”; and Radical Egalitarians. Neotraditionalists promoted the idea that women’s primary roles were as wives and mothers. New Women believed in “the primacy of wife-mother role but believed that women should also be able to […]

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Emergent Japanese Discourses on Minorities, Immigrants, Race, Culture, and Identity

Introduction                                                               Anthropologist Harumi Befu claims that the appreciation of “diversity within diversity” is essential for twenty-first century Japan (Befu 2008, p. xxiv). The immensity of this challenge may be difficult to grasp for people from espoused heterogeneous societies, especially in cases where immigration history is embraced and considered important to cultural identity. Japan has […]

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Globalization, New Religions and the Contemporary Re-Imagining of Japanese Identity

John Clammer (Photo by FreeDigitalPhotos.net coward_lion) Social scientists are wont to announce “crises” in the societies that attract their scholarly attention. While it might be stretching the evidence a little too far to suggest that contemporary Japan is in a state of crisis, it would certainly not be untoward to argue that Japanese society in the first decades of the […]

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Facing the World, Facing the Future: How Japan is Working to Represent Itself as a Nation at Sport Mega-Events

Wolfram Manzenreiter, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna Introduction The 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan was the first to be staged on the world’s most populous continent, Asia, and it was the first to be co-hosted by two nations. Watched by 2.7 million spectators, who followed the performance of 32 national teams in Japan and Korea’s twenty brand-new […]

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A Tohoku Utopia? Alternative Paths After March 11, 2011

Yuko Nishimura Five months and 15 days after the March 11 (3.11) Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Prime Minister Naoto Kan fulfilled his promise to resign from office; in a 15 minute speech, he listed his achievements and praised himself saying “I did what I had to do.”  Kan was the fifth prime minister to step down […]

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Hong Kong skyline. View from Victoria Peak.

Expatriate and ‘Local Hire’ Japanese in Hong Kong and the Struggle for the Soul of Japan

Ayako Sone and Gordon Mathews This article is based on research conducted by Ayako Sone in 2001-2002 on the cultural identities of Japanese in Hong Kong; but it places that research into a broader perspective.  We discuss the conflict between “Japanese” and “non-Japanese” among Japanese in Hong Kong: the conflict between expatriates and local hires—between, we argue, those who represent […]

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Tying People into Circles: Japan’s Future in Light of its Communicative Strategies

Peter Ackermann Japan’s possible futures, I suggest in this paper, may to a large extent be directed by the everyday models and strategies that Japanese people use to interact with one another, and with the wider world in the years to come. Communication strategies, and the culturally specific models of “the universe” and “the person” (inside the universe) on which […]

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Reconstructing Minority Identities In 21st Century Japan

PDF Nishimura, Y. 2013. Reconstructing Minority Identites in 21st Century Japan. Global Ethnographic. Yuko Nishimura Professor, Komazawa University, Tokyo Introduction In 1968, Shintaro Ishihara (now the governor of Tokyo) stated, ‘there is no other country like Japan, people who are virtually mono-ethnic, who speak the same language which is like no other country’s and which has a unique culture’ (Oguma 1995:358). […]

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