1st Edition

Financial Euphoria, Consumer Culture, and Literature of 1980s Japan Dreams of the Bubble Economy

By Ikuho Amano Copyright 2023
    170 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is an interdisciplinary study of Japan during the socially euphoric years of the Bubble Economy in the 1980s. Shedding light on consumer experiences, this study explores the socio-cultural landscape of Japan, the nation that boasted the second largest economy in the late twentieth century.

    Drawing its analysis from various media sources, popular literary works, and public reports, the book articulates how the late 1980s calibrated consumer demands, lifestyles, and perceptions of wealth. Through an examination of the qualitative effects of ‘Bubble money’ on consumers, the book disentangles the anatomy of the festive ambience in the economic phase, closely reading fictional and non-fictional literary works that play the role of reportage, critique, and satire. Through observations of human behaviours in consumption, the book reveals psychosomatic experiences and self-consciousness.

    Featuring a wide range of sources from Japanese media and literary works which have yet to be translated for an English audience, this book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of modern Japanese culture and literature who are interested in the socio-economic landscape of late-twentieth-century Japan.

    Introduction: The Rhapsody of Kamikaze Capitalism  1. Dreams of Surplus: The Age of Self-Conscious Consumption  2. You Are What You Buy: Consumer Identities in the Dawn of the Bubble Economy  3. The Age of Festivity: Women’s Ambition for Wealth and Consumption of Luxury  4. An Irony of the Bubble Money: Lavish Consumption and Patriarchy in Spleen  5. Affective Values in Consumption: Intimacy with What Money Can(not) Buy  6. Malaise of Economic Euphoria: Bubble Japan in Search of Remedy  7. The Bubble Economy as the Inspiration for Mass Entertainment  Epilogue: Toward the Age of Post-Bubble Consumerism


    Ikuho Amano is Associate Professor of Japanese at the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, USA.