1632 Pages
    by Routledge

    Japanese popular culture has developed in many unexpected and fascinating ways. From contemporary pop culture’s beginnings in the shadow of the Second World War and the earlier China campaign, Japan’s sense of identity has been contested, challenged, reconsidered, restructured, and revived through multiple popular media. Pop culture, though, has always occupied a singular place in Japan’s expression of selfhood and otherness, providing vicarious experiences of life within Japan.

    Today, Japanese popular culture’s global influence is felt most keenly in movie culture, animation, television, the Internet, social media, music, fashion, and comics (manga), to name but a few fields and technologies. Indeed, visual culture, specifically television and movies, with a strong emphasis on animation (anime) and manga, led the first wave of Japanese pop-culture exports in the second half of the twentieth century. Since then, academic interest in these exports, both at home in Japan, and overseas, has developed rapidly. The second wave of Japanese popular culture followed the digitization of much of the global media: rapid communications, global connectedness, and the development of new media have provided platforms on which Japanese pop culture has been presented and critiqued, engaged, and transformed. More complex, more hybrid, and more sophisticated, the relationships between Japan and the rest of the world are often given voice through new readings and interpretations of the interconnected popular cultural world.

    The assembled articles in Volume I of this new Routledge collection of major works provide a comprehensive overview of the postwar history of Japanese popular culture. Topics include the emergence of popular culture as an academic field in Japan; the genesis of manga and anime; analyses of various cultural artefacts and phenomena, such as censorship and popular culture during the postwar occupation; the 1970s origin of kawaii culture; and street fashion in the 1980s.

    Volumes II and III, meanwhile, focus on the twenty-first century. Over the last decade especially, the transnational presence of Japanese popular culture has accelerated, and with it scholarship on Japanese popular culture has grown in depth and diversity. The themes explored in these volumes include the role of digital technology in popular culture; esoteric cultural artefacts and activities, such as loli fashion, maid cafés, otaku culture, and traditional music reinvented as pop, as well as more conventionally popular products such as anime, TV drama, and shojo manga. Collectively, the volume demonstrates the complex and heterogeneous nature of the Japanese pop-culture landscape in the twenty-first century.

    The final volume in the collection addresses broader issues associated with Japanese popular culture and globalization. As Japan sought to boost its international ‘soft power’ via a ‘Cool Japan’ strategy, the academy began to pay serious attention to the political-economic implications of Japan’s pop-culture exports. The soft-power rhetoric has become a significant marker of popular culture in Asia in particular, and Japan’s influence regionally has been explored from a number of angles. Along with seminal pieces from Nye, Huat, and Iwabuchi, authors in the first section of Volume IV examine the rise of Japan’s pop-culture industry, and investigate the socio-economic and political-economic implications of topics such as ‘the Japan Brand’, ‘Cool Japan’, and ‘Cute Japan’. In the second section, case studies of soft power are brought to the fore, and analyses of the implications for people and culture are developed. Collectively, the materials gathered in this volume demonstrate the highly mobile and complex nature of the globalization of Japanese popular culture.



    1. Masaaki Kishi, ‘The Study of Popular Culture in Japan’, Journal of Popular Culture, 1979, 13, 1, 171–80.

    2. Kukhee Choo, ‘Shunya Interviewed by Kukhee Choo, Tulane University’, Television New Media, 2011, 12, 560–72.

    PART 1: THE POSTWAR: 1945–79


    3. Shunya Yoshimi, ‘"Made in Japan": The Cultural Politics of "Home Electrification" in Postwar Japan’, Media Culture Society, 1999, 21, 149–71.

    4. David W Plath, ‘The Japanese Popular Christmas: Coping with Modernity’, The Journal of American Folklore, 1963, 76, 302, 309–17.



    5. Elio Ruffo, ‘Spiritual Vitality of the Japanese Cinema’, East and West, 1958, 8, 4, 392–5.

    6. J. L. Anderson, ‘Japanese Swordfighters and American Gunfighters’, Cinema Journal, 1973, 12, 2, 1–21.

    7. Alan Barr, ‘Exquisite Comedy and the Dimensions of Heroism: Kurosawa’s "Yojimbo"’, The Massachusetts Review, 1975, 16, 158–68.


    8. Shunsuke Tsurumi, ‘Comics in Postwar Japan’, A Cultural History of Postwar Japan, 1945–1980 (KPI, 1984), pp. 28–45.

    9. Kenneth A. Skinner, ‘Salaryman Comics in Japan: Images of self-perception’, Journal of Popular Culture, 1979, 13, 1, 141–52.

    10. Kenji Kajiya, ‘How Emotions Work: The Politics of Vision in Nakazawa Keiji’s "Barefoot Gen"’, in Jaqueline Berndt (ed.), Comics Worlds and the World of Comics: Towards Scholarship on a Global Scale, Vol. 1 (Kyoto: International Manga Research Center, Seika University, 2010), pp. 245–62.

    11. Peter C. Luebke and Rachel DiNitto, ‘Maruo Suehiro’s "Planet of the Jap" Revanchist Fantasy or War Critique?’, Japanese Studies, 2011, 31, 2, 229–47.

    12. Rob Vollmar, ‘Dark Side of the Manga: Tezuka Osamu’s Dark Period’, World Literature Today, 2012, Mar.–Apr, 14–19.

    Postwar Music

    13. Junko Kitagawa, ‘Some Aspects of Japanese Popular Music’, Popular Music, 1991, 10, 3, 305–15.

    14. Emmanuelle Loubert, Curtis Roads and Brigitte Robindoré, ‘The Beginnings of Electronic Music in Japan, with a Focus on the NHK Studio: the 1950s and 1960s’, Computer Music Journal, 1997, 21, 4, 11–22.



    15. Nicholas Walker, ‘The Year Pachinko Blinked’, Japan Quarterly, 1997, 44, 1, 64–73.

    16. William W. Kelly, ‘An Anthropologist in the Bleachers: Cheering a Japanese Baseball Team’, Japan Quarterly, 1997, 44, 4, 66–79.

    17. Paul H Noguchi, ‘Savor Slowly: Ekiben: The Fast Food of High-Speed Japan’, Ethnology, 1994, 33, 4, 317–30.

    18. Richard Chalfen and Mai Murui, ‘Print Club Photography in Japan: Framing Social Relationships’, Visual Sociology, 2001, 16, 1, 55–73.



    19. Susan J. Napier, ‘Panic Sites: The Japanese Imagination of Disaster from Godzilla to Akira’, Journal of Japanese Studies, 1993, 19, 2, 327–51.

    20. Thomas Lamarre, ‘Born of Trauma: Akira and Capitalist Modes of Destruction’, Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, 2008, 16, 1, 131–56.

    21. Mark Schilling, ‘Miyazaki Hayao and Studio Ghibli: The Animation Hit Factory’, Japan Quarterly, 1997, 44, 1, 30–40.


    22. Takeshi Kitano, ‘Respect at Last? Hold Your Tickets’, Japan Quarterly, 1998, 45, 1, 4–7.

    23. Daisuke Miyao, ‘Telephilia vs. Cinephilia = Beat Takeshi vs. Takeshi Kitano?’, Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media, 2004, 45, 2, 56–61.

    24. Zvika Serper, ‘Eroticism in Itami’s The Funeral and Tampopo: Juxtaposition and Symbolism’, Cinema Journal, 2003, 42, 3, 70–95.

    25. Carl Pletsch, ‘Akira Kurosawa’s Reflection on Becoming a Genius’, Journal of Popular Film and Television, 2005, 32, 4, 192–9.


    26. Frederik L. Schodt, ‘Reading the Comics’, The Wilson Quarterly, 1985, 9, 3, 57–66.

    27. Mark Schilling, ‘Doraemon: Making Dreams Come True’, Japan Quarterly, 1993, 40, 4, 405–17.

    28. Shigemi Inaga, ‘Miyazaki Hayao’s Epic Comic Series: "Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind": An Attempt at Interpretation’, Japan Review, 1999, 11, 113–27.

    29. Sharon Kinsella, ‘Japanese Subculture in the 1990s: Otaku and the Amateur Manga Movement’, Journal of Japanese Studies, 1998, 24, 2, 289–316.



    Otaku Culture and Aesthetics

    30. Eiji Otsuka, ‘World and Variation: The Reproduction and Consumption of Narrative’ (with an introduction by Marc Steinberg), Mechademia, 2010, 5, 99–116.

    31. Hiroki Azuma, ‘The Animalization of Otaku Culture’ (with an introduction by Tomas LaMarre), Mechademia, 2007, 2, 175–87.

    32. Tamaki Saito, ‘Otaku Sexuality’, in Christopher Bolton, Istvan Csicery-Ronay Jr., and Takayuki Tatsumi (eds.), Robot Ghost and Wired Dreams: Japanese Science Fiction from Origins to Anime (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), pp. 222–49.

    33. Takashi Murakami, ‘A Theory of Superflat Japanese Art’, Suerflat (Madora Shuppan), pp. 9–25.

    34. Jakob Nobuoka, ‘User Innovation and Creative Consumption in Japanese Culture Industries: the Case of Akihabara, Tokyo’, Geografiska, Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 2010, 92, 3, 205–21.


    35. Lars-Martin Sørensen, ‘Reality’s Poetry: Kore-eda Hirokazu Between Fact and Fiction’, Film Criticism, 2011, 35, 2/3, 21–36.

    36. Aaron Gerow, ‘The Homelessness of Style and the Problems of studying Miike Takashi’, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, 2009, 18, 1, 24–43.

    37. Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano, ‘Horror: New Media’s Impact on Contemporary Japanese Horror Cinema’, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, 2007, 16, 2, 23–48.


    38. Lindsey Powell, ‘Offensive Travel Documentaries on Japanese Television: Secret Region and Japan!! and World Tearful Sojourn Diary’, Visual Anthropology, 2002, 15, 65–90.

    39. Alexandra Hambleton, ‘Reinforcing Identities? Non-Japanese Residents, Television and Cultural Nationalism in Japan’, Contemporary Japan, 2011, 23, 27–47.

    40. Chris Perkins, ‘The Banality of Boundaries: Performance of the Nation in a Japanese Television Comedy’, Television New Media, 2010, 11, 5, 386–403.


    41. Jolyon Baraka Thomas, ‘Shûkyô Asobi and Miyazaki Hayao’s Anime’, The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions, 2007, 10, 3, 73–95.

    42. Michael Rustin and Margaret Rustin, ‘Fantasy and Reality in Miyazaki’s Animated World’, Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, 2012, 17, 2, 169–84.

    43. Hiromi Mizuno, ‘When Pacifist Japan Fights: Historicizing Desires in Anime’, Mechademia, 2007, 2, 104–23.

    44. Dennis Redmond, ‘Anime and East Asian Culture: Neon Genesis Evangelion’, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 2007, 24, 2, 183–8.

    45. Daisuke Okeda and Aki Koike, ‘Working Conditions of Animators: The Real Face of the Japanese Animation Industry’, Creative Industries Journal, 2011, 3, 3, 261–71.


    46. Fusami Ogi, ‘Female Subjectivity and Shoujo (Girls) Manga (Japanese Comics): Shoujo in Ladies’ Comics and Young Ladies’ Comics’, The Journal of Popular Culture, 2003, 36, 4, 780–803.

    47. June Madeley, ‘Transnational Transformations: A Gender Analysis of Japanese Manga Featuring Unexpected Bodily Transformations’, The Journal of Popular Culture, 2012, 45, 4, 789–806.

    48. Kazumi Nagaike and Kaori Yoshida, ‘Becoming and Performing the Self and the Other: Fetishism Fantasy and Sexuality of Cosplay in Japan’, Asia Pacific World, 2011, 2, 2, 22–43.




    49. Theresa Winge, ‘Undressing and Dressing Loli: A Search for the Identity of the Japanese Lolita’, Mechademia, 2008, 3, 47–63.

    50. Yuniya Kawamura, ‘Japanese Teens as Producers of Street Fashion’, Current Sociology, 2006, 54, 5, 784–801.

    51. Yumiko Iida, ‘Beyond the "Feminization of Masculinity": Transforming Patriarchy with the "Feminine" in Contemporary Japanese Youth Culture’, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 2005, 6, 1, 56–74.

    52. Laura Miller, ‘Japan’s Cinderella Motif: Beauty Industry and Mass Culture Interpretations of a Popular Icon’, Asian Studies Review, 2008, 32, 3, 393–409.

    53. Mieko Yamada, ‘Westernisation and Cultural Resistance in Tattooing Practices in Contemporary Japan’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 2009, 12, 4, 319–38.

    54. Ho Swee Lin, ‘Private Love in Public Space: Love Hotels and the Transformation of Intimacy in Contemporary Japan’, Asian Studies Review, 2008, 32, 1, 31–56.

    55. Wolfram Manzenreiter, ‘Playing Against All Odds: Pachinko and the Culture of Risk-Taking in Japan’s Crisis Economy’, Leisure Studies, 2013, 32, 3, 283–98.

    Music and Pop Idols

    56. Aska Monty, ‘Micro: Global Music Made in J-Pop?’, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 2010, 11, 1, 123–8.

    57. Fabienne Darling-Wolf, ‘SMAP, Sex, and Masculinity: Constructing the Perfect Female Fantasy in Japanese Popular Music’, Popular Music and Society, 2004, 27, 3, 357–70.

    58. Csaba Toth, ‘J-Pop and Performances of Young Female Identity: Music, Gender and Urban Space in Tokyo’, Young, 2008, 16, 2, 111–29.

    59. Daniel Black, ‘The Virtual Ideal: Virtual Idols, Cute Technology and Unclean Biology’, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 2008, 22, 1, 37–50.

    60. Ian Condry, ‘Yellow B-Boys, Black Culture, and Hip-Hop in Japan: Toward a Transnational Cultural Politics of Race’, Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, 2007, 15, 3, 637–71.

    61. Neriko Musha Doerr and Yuri Kumagai, ‘Singing Japan’s Heart and Soul: A Discourse on the Black Enka Singer Jero and Race Politics in Japan’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 2012, 15, 6, 599–614.


    62. Fan-Yi Lam, ‘Comic Market: How the World’s Biggest Amateur Comic Fair Shaped Japanese Dojinshi Culture’, Mechademia, 2010, 5, 232–48.

    63. Alex Leavitt and Andrea Horbinski, ‘Even a Monkey Can Understand Fan Activism: Political Speech, Artistic Expression, and a Public for the Japanese Dôjin Community’, Transformative Works and Cultures, 2012, 10.

    64. Patrick W. Galbraith, ‘Fujoshi: Fantasy Play and Transgressive Intimacy Among "Rotten Girls" in Contemporary Japan’, Signs, 2011, 37, 1, 211–32.

    New Media and Mobile Technology

    65. Kyoung-hwa Yonnie Kim, ‘The Landscape of Keitai Shôsetsu: Mobile Phones as a Literary Medium Among Japanese Youth’, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 2012, 26, 3, 475–85.

    66. Gabriella Lukacs, ‘Dreamwork: Cell Phone Novelists, Labor, and Politics in Contemporary Japan’, Cultural Anthropology, 2013, 28, 1, 44–64.

    67. Michal Daliot-Bul, ‘Japan’s Mobile Technoculture: The Production of a Cellular Playscape and its Cultural Implications’, Media, Culture & Society, 2007, 29, 6, 954–71.

    Gaming and Online Communities

    68. Hyeshin Kim, ‘Women’s Games in Japan: Gendered Identity and Narrative Construction’, Theory, Culture & Society, 2009, 26, 2–3, 165–88.

    69. Emily Taylor, ‘Dating-Simulation Games: Leisure and Gaming of Japanese Youth Culture’, Southeast Review of Asian Studies, 2007, 29, 192–208.



    70. Douglas McGray, ‘Japan’s Gross National Cool’, Foreign Policy, 2002, May/June, 44–54.

    71. Koichi Iwabuchi, ‘"Soft" Nationalism and Narcissism: Japanese Popular Culture Goes Global’, Asian Studies Review, 2002, 26, 4, 447–69.

    72. Mori Yoshitaka, ‘The Pitfall Facing the Cool Japan Project: The Transnational Development of the Anime Industry Under the Condition of Post-Fordism’, International Journal of Japanese Sociology, 2011, 20, 30–42.

    73. Laura Miller, ‘Cute Masquerade and the Pimping of Japan’, International Journal of Japanese Sociology, 2011, 20, 18–29.

    74. Peng Er Lam, ‘Japan’s Quest for "Soft Power": Attraction and limitation’, East Asia, 2007, 24, 349–63.

    75. Nissim Kadosh Otmazgin, ‘Contesting Soft Power: Japanese popular culture in East and Southeast Asia’, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, 2008, 8, 73–101.

    76. Michikazu Kono, ‘Healing Old Wounds with Manga Diplomacy’, Japan Echo, 2009, 36, 6, 52–6.



    77. Christine R. Yano, ‘Wink on Pink: Interpreting Japanese Cute as it Grabs the Global Headlines’, The Journal of Asian Studies, 2009, 68, 681–8.

    78. Anne Allison, ‘Portable Monsters and Commodity Cuteness: Pokemon as Japan’s New Global Power’, Postcolonial Studies, 2003, 6, 3, 381–95.

    79. Andrew Mckevitt, ‘You Are Not Alone!’: Anime and the Globalizing of America’, Diplomatic History, 2010, 34, 5, 893–921.

    80. William Howard Kelly, ‘Karaoke’s Coming Home: Japan’s Empty Orchestras in the United Kingdom’, Leisure Studies, 2011, 30, 3, 309–31.

    81. Gabriella Lukacs, ‘Iron Chef Around the World: Japanese Food Television, Soft Power, and Cultural Globalization’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 2010, 13, 409–26.

    82. Mia Consalvo, ‘Console Video Games and Global Corporations: Creating a Hybrid Culture’, New Media Society, 2006, 8, 117–37.

    83. Amy Shirong Lu, ‘What Race Do They Represent and Does Mine Have Anything to Do with It? Perceived Racial Categories of Anime Characters’, Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 2009, 4, 2, 169–90.

    84. Hye-Kyung Lee, ‘Between Fan Culture and Copyright Infringement: Manga Scanlation’, Media, Culture & Society, 2009, 31, 6, 1011–22.

    85. Luis Pérez González, ‘Fansubbing Anime: Insights into the "Butterfly Effect" of Globalisation on Audiovisual Translation’, Perspectives: Studies in Translatology, 2006, 14, 4, 260–77.


    86. Larissa Hjorth, ‘Odours of Mobility: Mobile Phones and Japanese Cute Culture in the Asia-Pacific’, Journal of Intercultural Studies, 2005, 26, 1–2, 39–55.

    87. Dong-Hoo, Lee, ‘Transnational Media Consumption and Cultural Identity: Young Korean Women’s Cultural Appropriation of Japanese TV Dramas’, Asian Journal of Women’s Studies, 2006, 12, 2, 64–87.

    88. Benjamin Wai-ming Ng, ‘Japanese Popular Music in Singapore and the Hybridization of Asian Music’, Asian Music, 2003, 34, 1, 1–18.

    89. Hyunjoon Shin, ‘Reconsidering Transnational Cultural Flows of Popular Music in East Asia: Transbordering Musicians in Japan and Korea Searching for "Asia"’, Korean Studies, 2009, 33, 101–23.

    90. Shu Min Yuen, ‘Transcending Japanese/Korean Ethnic Boundaries in Japanese Popular Culture’, Asian Studies Review, 2011, 35, 1, 1–20.


    Edited and with a new introduction by Matthew Allen, James Cook University, Australia and Rumi Sakamoto, University of Auckland, Australia