This book throws light on ideologies, practices and sociocultural developments currently shaping language use in Japan by departing from the more common investigation of language in private contexts and examining aspects of the language found in a range of significant public spaces, from the material (an international airport, the streets of Tokyo, the JSL classroom in Japan and courtrooms) to the electronic (television dramas, local government web pages and cyberspace).
Through its study of the language encountered in such settings, the volume provides a deeper understanding of multifaceted aspects of linguistic diversity, both in terms of the use of languages other than Japanese and of issues relating to the Japanese language itself. The variety of theoretical approaches brought to bear by contributing authors ensures a substantial intellectual contribution to the literature on language in contemporary Japan.
This book was published as a special issue of Japanese Studies.
1. Introduction: Language in Public Spaces in Japan Nanette Gottlieb 2. Public Signs as Narrative in Japan Patricia Wetzel 3. Language Choices at Naha Airport Patrick Heinrich 4. Multilingualism in Japanese Public Space – Reading the Signs Peter Backhaus 5. Local Government Websites in Japan: International, Multicultural, Multilingual? Tessa Carroll 6. Playing with Language in E-Japan: Old Wine in New Bottles Nanette Gottlieb 7. Finding Mr. Right: New Looks at Gendered Modernity in Japanese Televised Romances Debra J. Occhi, Cindi L. SturtzSreetharan and Janet S. Shibamoto-Smith 8. Who is to say ‘Your Japanese is incorrect’? Reflection on ‘Correct’ Japanese Usages by Learners of Japanese Chihiro Kinoshita-Thomson 9. Partial Non-Use of Interpreters in Japanese Criminal Court Proceedings Ikuko Nakane