Introducing Japanese Popular Culture  book cover
1st Edition

Introducing Japanese Popular Culture

Edited By

Alisa Freedman

ISBN 9781138852105
Published December 6, 2017 by Routledge
568 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Specifically designed for use on a range of undergraduate and graduate courses, Introducing Japanese Popular Culture is a comprehensive textbook offering an up-to-date overview of a wide variety of media forms. It uses particular case studies as a way into examining the broader themes in Japanese culture and provides a thorough analysis of the historical and contemporary trends that have shaped artistic production, as well as, politics, society, and economics. As a result, more than being a time capsule of influential trends, this book teaches enduring lessons about how popular culture reflects the societies that produce and consume it.

With contributions from an international team of scholars, representing a range of disciplines from history and anthropology to art history and media studies, the book’s sections include:

  • Television
  • Videogames
  • Music
  • Popular Cinema
  • Anime
  • Manga
  • Popular Literature
  • Fashion
  • Contemporary Art

Written in an accessible style by a stellar line-up of international contributors, this textbook will be essential reading for students of Japanese culture and society, Asian media and popular culture, and Asian Studies in general.

Table of Contents

 1. "Introducing Japanese Popular Culture: Serious Approaches to Playful Delights," Alisa Freedman and Toby Slade

I. Characters

2. "Kumamon: Japan’s Surprisingly Cheeky Mascot," Debra J. Occhi

3. "’Hello Kitty is Not a Cat?!?’: Tracking Japanese Cute Culture at Home and Abroad," Christine R. Yano

II. Television

4. "The Grotesque Hero: Depictions of Justice in Tokusatsu Superhero Television Programs," Hirofumi Katsuno

5. "Tokyo Love Story: Romance of the Workingwoman in Japanese Television Dramas," Alisa Freedman

6. "The World Too Much with Us in Japanese Travel Television," Kendall Heitzman

III. Videogames

7. "Nuclear Discourse in Final Fantasy VII: Embodied Experience and Social Critique," Rachael Hutchinson

8. "The Cute Shall Inherit the Earth: Postapocalyptic Posthumanity in Tokyo Jungle," Kathryn Hemmann

IV. Fan Media and Technology

9. "Managing Manga Studies in the Convergent Classroom," Mark McLelland

10. "Purikura: Expressive Energy in Female Self-Photography," Laura Miller

11. "Studio Ghibli Media Tourism," Craig Norris

12. "Hatsune Miku: Virtual Idol, Media Platform, and Crowd-Sourced Celebrity," Ian Condry

V. Music

13. "Electrifying the Japanese Teenager Across Generations: The Role of the Electric Guitar in Japan’s Popular Culture," Michael Furmanovsky

14. "The Pop Pacific: Japanese-American Sojourners and the Development of Japanese Popular Music," Jayson Makoto Chun

15. "AKB Business: Idols and Affective Economies in Contemporary Japan," Patrick W. Galbraith

16. "In Search of Japanoise: Globalizing Underground Music," David Novak

17. "Korean Pop Music in Japan: Understanding the Complex Relationship Between Japan and Korea in the Popular Culture Realm," Eun-Young Jung

VI. Popular Cinema

18. "The Prehistory of Soft Power: Godzilla, Cheese, and the American Consumption of Japan," William M. Tsutsui 

19. "The Rise of Japanese Horror Films: Yotsuya Ghost Story (Yotsuya Kaidan), Demonic Men, and Victimized Women," Kyoko Hirano

20. "V-Cinema: How Home Video Revitalized Japanese Film and Mystified Film Historians," Tom Mes

VII. Anime

21. "Apocalyptic Animation: In the Wake of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Godzilla, and Baudrillard," Alan Cholodenko

22. "Toy Stories: Robots and Magical Girls in Anime Marketing," Renato Rivera Rusca

23. "Condensing the Media Mix: The Tatami Galaxy’s Multiple Possible Worlds," Marc Steinberg

VIII. Manga

24. "Gekiga, or Japanese Alternative Comics: The Mediascape of Japanese Counterculture," Shige (CJ) Suzuki

25. "Sampling Girls’ Culture: An Analysis of Shōjo Manga Magazines," Jennifer Prough

26. "The Beautiful Men of the Inner Chamber: Gender-Bending, Boys’ Love and Other Shōjo Manga Tropes in Ōoku," Deborah Shamoon

27. "Cyborg Empiricism: The Ghost Is Not in the Shell," Thomas Lamarre

IX. Popular Literature

28. "Murakami Haruki’s Transnational Avant-Pop Literature," Rebecca Suter

29. "Thumb-Generation Literature: The Rise and Fall of Japanese Cellphone Novels," Alisa Freedman

X. Sites and Spectacles 

30. "Hanabi: The Cultural Significance of Fireworks in Japan," Damien Liu-Brennan

31. "Kamishibai: The Fantasy Space of the Urban Street Corner," Sharalyn Orbaugh

32. "Shibuya: Reflective Identity in Transforming Urban Space," Izumi Kuroishi

33. "Akihabara: Promoting and Policing ‘Otaku’ in ‘Cool Japan,’" Patrick W. Galbraith

34. "Japan Lost and Found: Modern Ruins as Debris of the Economic Miracle," Tong Lam

XI. Fashion

35. "Cute Fashion: The Social Strategies and Aesthetics of Kawaii," Toby Slade

36. "Made in Japan: A New Generation Fashion Designers," Narumi Hiroshi

37. "Clean-Cut: Men’s Fashion Magazines, Male Aesthetic Ideals, and Social Affinity in Japan," Masafumi Monden

XII. Contemporary Art

38. "Superflat Life," Tom Looser

39. "Aida Makoto: Notes from an Apathetic Continent," Adrian Favell

40. "Art from What is Already There on Naoshima and Other Islands in the Seto Inland Sea," James Jack

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Alisa Freedman is an Associate Professor at the University of Oregon and Editor-in-Chief of U.S.–Japan Women’s Journal. Her publications include Tokyo in Transit: Japanese Culture on the Rails and Road (2010).

Toby Slade is an Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo. His publications include Japanese Fashion: A Cultural History (2009).