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
2. Maid Cafés: Affect, Life and Escape in Akihabara
3. The Burden of Sobriety: Alcoholism and Masculinity in Japan
4. Robot Dreams: Play, Escape and Masculine-Romanticism in Japanese Techno-Culture
5. The Globalization of Melancholic Affect: Escaping Soft Power through the Literature of Murakami Haruki
6. Escaping through Words: Memory and Oblivion in the Japanese Urban Landscape
7. ‘Escaping’ the Hokkaido Homelands: Ainu Heteroglossia and the Performance of Ainu Urban Indigeneity in the Kantō Region
8. Kyoko’s Assemblage: Escaping ‘futsū no nihonjin’ in Hokkaido
9. ‘Escape’ to a Place of Familiarity: Transforming Japanese Tourist Imaginings of Taiwan
10. Fleeing from Constraints: Japanese Retirement Migrants in Malaysia
11. After Words, Tien-Shi ‘Lara’ Chen, Blai Guarné, Paul Hansen, Susanne Klien
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.