Cultural and Social Division in Contemporary Japan: Bridging Social Division, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Cultural and Social Division in Contemporary Japan

Bridging Social Division, 1st Edition

Edited by Yoshikazu Shiobara, Kohei Kawabata, Joel Matthews


280 pages

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Hardback: 9781138310391
pub: 2019-08-06
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The recent manifestation of exclusionism in Japan has emerged at a time of intensified neoliberal economic policies, increased cross-border migration brought on by globalisation, the elevated threat of global terrorism, heightened tensions between East Asian states over historical and territorial conflicts, and a backlash by Japanese conservatives over perceived historical apologism. The social and political environment for minorities in Japan has shifted drastically since the 1990s, yet many studies of Japan still tend to view Japan through the dominant discourses of "ethnic homogeneity (tanitsu minzoku shakai)" and "middle-class society (sochuryu-shakai)" which positions the exclusion of minorities as an exceptional phenomenon. While exclusionism has been recognized as a serious threat to minority groups, it has not often been considered a representative issue for the whole of Japanese society. This tendency will persist until the discourses of tanitsu minzoku shakai and sochuryu-shakai are systematically debunked and Japan is widely recognized as both multi-ethnic and socio-economically stratified.

Today, as with most advanced capitalist countries, serious social divides occasioned by the impacts of globalization and neoliberalism have destabilized Japanese society. This book explores not only how Japanese society is diversified and unequal, but also how diversity and inequality have caused people to divide into separate realities from which conflict and violence have emerged. It empirically examines the current situation while considering the historical development of exclusionism from the interdisciplinary viewpoints of history, policy studies, cultural studies, sociology, and cultural anthropology. In addition to analyzing the realities of division and exclusionism, the authors propose theoretical alternatives to overcome such cultural and social divides.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Context and Background

Introduction: Social Division and Exclusionism in Contemporary Japan. (Yoshikazu Shiobara)

Chapter 1. Inclusion and Exclusion in Neo-liberalizing Japan. (Noah McCormack and Kohei Kawabata)

Part 2: Exclusionism and Ethnic Minorities

Chapter 2. Historical Structures of Exclusion and the Colonial Korean (Zainichi) Diaspora in Modern Japan. (Joel Matthews)

Chapter 3. Ethnic ‘Korean Schools’ Confront Discrimination, Hate Speech and Hate Crime: Exclusionism from “Above and Below” in Contemporary Japan. (Wooki Park-Kim)

Chapter 4. Backlash: Hate Speech, Ainu Indigenous Denial and Historical Revisionism in Post-DRIPs Japan. (Mark Winchester)

Chapter 5. Mobilizing Places: Beyond the Politics of Essentialism in the Okinawa Anti-Base Struggle (Shinnosuke Takahashi)

Chapter 6. Exclusionism of ‘International Marriage’ Couples and Their Children (Lawrence Yoshitaka Shimoji and Chiho Ogaya)

Chapter 7. Expanding Exclusion: From Undocumented Residents into “Imposter” Residents (Eriko Suzuki)

Chapter 8. On the Refugee and Refugee Applicant Situation in Japan from the Standpoint of Social Exclusion. (Eri Ishikawa)

Part 3: Exclusionism and Social Minorities

Chapter 9. Exclusionism and the Burakumin: Literacy Movement, Legislative Countermeasures and The Sayama Incident (Machiko Ishikawa)

Chapter 10. Parenthood in Japan before the ‘LGBT Boom’: Heterosexual Marriage and Childbirth as the ’Natural Course of Life’ (Michiko Sambe)

Chapter 11. The Social Activism of Disabled People in Postwar Japan: Eugenics, Exclusion, and Discrimination. (Kohei Inose)

Chapter 12. Discrimination of Evacuees in the Wake of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster (Shun Harada)

Chapter 13. A Coalition of Radicals and Housing First Practices in Homeless Movements? (Teruhiro Yamakita)

Part 4: Theoretical Alternatives for Overcoming Exclusionism

Chapter 14. “Rethinking the principle of “Kyosei” and “Housetsu” in Japan: Intersections between Oldcomers and Newcomers” (Kohei Kawabata and Naoko Yamamoto)

Chapter 15. A theoretical Perspective for Overcoming Exclusionism (Yoshikazu Shiobara and Mikako Suzuki)


About the Editors

Yoshikazu Shiobara is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at Keio University, Japan

Kohei Kawabata is Associate Professor in the Department of International Cooperation and Multicultural Studies at Tsuda University, Japan

Joel Matthews is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Contemporary Culture at Surugadai University, Japan

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Japan Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of contemporary Japan.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies