The 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 2005 was a fundamental watershed in modern Japanese history. Inspired by this, much discourse has been produced on the ‘end’ of the postwar period itself. Yet, the question of ‘endings’ is perennial, and has occurred on numerous occasions in postwar Japanese history. The topic of the ending of the postwar is much more than a question of ‘anniversaries,’ and goes to the very heart of understanding contemporary Japan.
Ending the Postwar in Japan asks if the ‘postwar’ can ever end, given the continual re-emergence of the debate on the postwar and also considers the reasons behind the popularity of the endology discourse. The book has three core sections divided according to three different analytical levels of the social sciences, namely, structure, agency and norms, with each contributor investigating a specific topic in the political, economic and social arenas. The fourth section pays attention to the momentum that has challenged the extant system of postwar Japan looking at the impact made on the ‘postwar’ by education, foreign residents and gender.
The cross-boundary and cross-disciplinary nature of the book is designed to elucidate heterogeneous Japan, in contrast to the more conventional understanding of Japan as a homogeneous and ‘unified’ whole. This collection offers a new approach to the understanding of contemporary Japan and will be of interest to upper undergraduate students, postgraduate student and academics in Japanese studies and Asian studies.
Introduction Takeda Hiroko and Glenn D. Hook Part 1: ‘The Postwar’ 1. The Genealogy of the End of the Postwar Takeda Hiroko and Glenn D. Hook 2. Ended Postwar, Unended Postwar Nakamura Masanori Part 2: Structure 3. Politics: Has Japan’s Postwar Political System Really Changed? Arthur Stockwin 4. Economy: Mission Impossible?: Refurbishing Japan’s Postwar State Andrew DeWit 5. Society: The Postwar Standard Family Muta Kazue Part 3: Actors 6. Politics: Decline of ‘Successful Social Democracy’ in Japan: What Has the Koizumi Revolution Changed? Yamaguchi Jiro 7. Economy: Japan’s Changing Employment Relations Kevin McCormick 8. Society: Creating Pluralist Political Spaces: Women and Men in Post-Post-War Japan Suzuki Part 4: Norms 9. Politics: Implosion of the Postwar Kurihara Akira 10. Economy: The End of Nihonteki Keiei? Ronald Dore 11. Society: On Caring for Oneself and Others: Striving for Fulfillment of the Private Takeda Hiroko Part 5: Challenges of Boundaries 12. Education and Class Structure: The Ending of Diploma Society and Where to Go Next?: The Answer is Going Towards a ‘Learning Capitalist’ Society Kariya Takehiko 13. Foreign Residents: Japanese Immigration Policy and its Problems Hatsuse Ryuhei 14. Gender: Backlash against Gender Politics in Japan Okano Yayo. Conclusion