Law and Justice in Japanese Popular Culture : From Crime Fighting Robots to Duelling Pocket Monsters book cover
1st Edition

Law and Justice in Japanese Popular Culture
From Crime Fighting Robots to Duelling Pocket Monsters

ISBN 9780367895211
Published December 5, 2019 by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

In a world of globalised media, Japanese popular culture has become a signifi cant fountainhead for images, narrative, artefacts, and identity. From Pikachu, to instantly identifi able manga memes, to the darkness of adult anime, and the hyper- consumerism of product tie- ins, Japan has bequeathed to a globalised world a rich variety of ways to imagine, communicate, and interrogate tradition and change, the self, and the technological future. Within these foci, questions of law have often not been far from the surface: the crime and justice of Astro Boy; the property and contract of Pokémon; the ecological justice of Nausicaä; Shinto’s focus on order and balance; and the anxieties of origins in J- horror. This volume brings together a range of global scholars to refl ect on and critically engage with the place of law and justice in Japan’s popular cultural legacy. It explores not only the global impact of this legacy, but what the images, games, narratives, and artefacts that comprise it reveal about law, humanity, justice, and authority in the twenty-first century.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



List of Figures

List of contributors


  1. Crime Fighting Robots and Duelling Pocket Monsters: Law and Justice in Japanese Popular Culture
  2. Ashley Pearson, Thom Giddens and Kieran Tranter

    Possibilities of Justice

  3. The Symptoms of the Just: Psycho-Pass, Judg(e)ment, and the Asymptomatic Commons
  4. Daniel Hourigan

  5. Pirates, Giants and the State: Legal Authority in Manga and Anime
  6. James C Fisher

  7. Traumatic Origins in Hart and Ringu
  8. Penny Crofts and Honni van Rijswijk

  9. Justice in the Sea of Corruption: Nausicaä as Ecological Jurisprudence
  10. Thomas Giddens

  11. Masterful Trainers and Villainous Liberators: Law and justice in Pokémon Black and White
  12. Dale Mitchell

    The Legal Subject

  13. Doing Right in the World with 100,000 Horsepower: Osamu Tezuka's Tetsuwan Atomu (Astro Boy), Essence, Posthumanity and Techno-humanism
  14. Kieran Tranter

  15. Caught in Couture: Regulating Clothing and the Body in Kill la Kill
  16. Rosie Taylor-Harding

  17. Holy Trans-Jurisdictional Representations of Justice, Batman!": Globalisation, Persona and Mask in Kuwata’s Batmanga and Morrison’s Batman, Incorporated
  18. Tim Peters

    The Power and Problem of the Image

  19. ‘Finding the Law’ through Creating and Consuming Gay Manga in Japan: From Heteronormativity to Queer Activism
  20. Thomas Baudinette

  21. Regulating Counterpublics in Yaoi Online Fan Communities
  22. Scott Beattie

  23. ‘Is Yaoi Illegal?!’: Let’s Get Real about the Potential Criminalisation of Yaoi
  24. Hadeel Al-Alosi

  25. Constitutional Analysis of Secondary Works in Japan: From Otaku to the World
  26. Yuichiro Tsuji

    Specificities of Law and Justice in Everyday Japan

  27. ‘The World is Rotten’: Execution and Power in Death Note and the Japanese Capital Punishment System
  28. Ashley Pearson

  29. Debts, Family, and Identity after the Collapse of the Bubble: Miyabe Miyuki’s All She Was Worth
  30. Giorgio Fabio Colombo

  31. Rules and Unruliness in Manga Depictions of Community Police Boxes
  32. Richard Powell and Hideyuki Kumaki

  33. The Image-Characters of Criminal Justice in Tokyo

Peter D Rush and Alison Young


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Ashley Pearson is a PhD candidate at Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia.

Thomas Giddens is a Senior Lecturer at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, United Kingdom.

Kieran Tranter is an Associate Professor at Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia.