Escaping Japan: Reflections on Estrangement and Exile in the Twenty-First Century, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Escaping Japan

Reflections on Estrangement and Exile in the Twenty-First Century, 1st Edition

Edited by Blai Guarné, Paul Hansen


254 pages | 23 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138235243
pub: 2017-10-30
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315282770
pub: 2017-10-12
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The idea that Japan is a socially homogenous, uniform society has been increasingly challenged in recent years. This book takes the resulting view further by highlighting how Japan, far from singular or monolithic, is socially and culturally complex. It engages with particular life situations, exploring the extent to which personal experiences and lifestyle choices influence this contemporary multifaceted nation-state. Adopting a theoretically engaged ethnographic approach, and considering a range of "escapes" both physical and metaphorical, this book provides a rich picture of the fusions and fissures that comprise Japan and Japaneseness today.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Escaping Japan Inside and Out, Blai Guarné and Paul Hansen

2. Maid Cafés: Affect, Life and Escape in Akihabara, Patrick W. Galbraith

3. The Burden of Sobriety: Alcoholism and Masculinity in Japan, Paul Christensen

4. Robot Dreams: Play, Escape and Masculine-Romanticism in Japanese Techno-Culture, Hirofumi Katsuno

5. The Globalization of Melancholic Affect: Escaping Soft Power through the Literature of Murakami Haruki, Daniel White

6. Escaping through Words: Memory and Oblivion in the Japanese Urban Landscape, Blai Guarné

7. ‘Escaping’ the Hokkaido Homelands: Ainu Heteroglossia and the Performance of Ainu Urban Indigeneity in the Kantō Region, Kylie Martin

8. Kyoko’s Assemblage: Escaping ‘futsū no nihonjin’ in Hokkaido, Paul Hansen

9. ‘Escape’ to a Place of Familiarity: Transforming Japanese Tourist Imaginings of Taiwan, Chien-Yuan Chen

10. Fleeing from Constraints: Japanese Retirement Migrants in Malaysia, Mayumi Ono

11. After Words, Tien-Shi ‘Lara’ Chen, Blai Guarné, Paul Hansen, Susanne Klien, John Mock and David Blake Willis

About the Editors

Blai Guarné is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the East Asian Studies Programme at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.

Paul Hansen is a Specially Appointed Professor in the Department of Media and Communication at Hokkaido University, Japan.

About the Series

Japan Anthropology Workshop Series

Editorial Board:
Pamela Asquith, University of Alberta
Eyal Ben Ari, Kinneret Academic College, Sea of Galilee, Israel

Hirochika Nakamaki, Suita City Museum, Japan
Christoph Brumann, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany

Henry Johnson, University of Otago, New Zealand

Founder Member of the Editorial Board:
Jan van Bremen, University of Leiden

Routledge is very proud to be publishing this important series, which has already signed up a good list of high quality books on interesting topics, and has a truly international range of authors and editors.

A key aim of the series is to present studies that offer a deep understanding of aspects of Japanese society and culture to offset the impression of constant change and frivolity that so tempts the mass media around the world.  Living in Japan brings anyone into contact with the fervent mood of change, and former residents from many other countries enjoy reading about their temporary home, but there is a demand also to penetrate less obvious elements of this temporary life.  Anthropologists specialise in digging beneath the surface, in peeling off and examining layers of cultural wrapping, and in gaining an understanding of language and communication that goes beyond formal presentation and informal frolicking.  This series will help to open the eyes of readers around the world from many backgrounds to the work of these diligent anthropologists researching the social life of Japan.

Submissions from prospective authors are welcomed, and enquiries should be sent in the first instance to the series editor Professor Joy Hendry (

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General