Religion and Politics in Contemporary Japan: Soka Gakkai Youth and Komeito, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Religion and Politics in Contemporary Japan

Soka Gakkai Youth and Komeito, 1st Edition

By Anne Mette Fisker-Nielsen


248 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Presenting a study of politics at grassroots level among young Japanese, this book examines the alliance between the religious movement Soka Gakkai (the ‘Value-creation Society’) and Komeito (the ‘Clean Government Party’), which shared power with the Liberal Democratic Party from 1999 to 2009. Drawing on primary research carried out among Komeito supporters, the book focuses on the lives of supporters and voters in order to better understand the processes of democracy. It goes on to discuss what the political behaviour of young Komeito supporters tell us about the role of religious organizations, such as Soka Gakkai, in Japanese politics. Unlike most other books on politics in Japan which tend to concentrate on political elites, this book provides extremely valuable insights into political culture at the grassroots level.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Youth, Religion, and Politics in Japan 1. Nichiren, Soka Gakkai, and Komeito: A Question of Political Attitude 2. Aspiration for the Good Society: In Support of a Political Party 3. A Case of Interpretation? Komeito Supporters as Political Pawns, Right wing Collaborators, or Political Actors 4. Women, Social Change and Realising Political Ideals 5. July 2009 to July 2010 - the Beginning of a New Way of Politics in Japan? 6. Religion, Soka Gakkai Buddhists and Political Participation

About the Author

Anne Mette Fisker-Nielsen is a senior teaching fellow in social anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK.

About the Series

Japan Anthropology Workshop Series

Editorial Board:
Pamela Asquith, University of Alberta
Eyal Ben Ari, Kinneret Academic College, Sea of Galilee, Israel

Hirochika Nakamaki, Suita City Museum, Japan
Christoph Brumann, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany

Henry Johnson, University of Otago, New Zealand

Founder Member of the Editorial Board:
Jan van Bremen, University of Leiden

Routledge is very proud to be publishing this important series, which has already signed up a good list of high quality books on interesting topics, and has a truly international range of authors and editors.

A key aim of the series is to present studies that offer a deep understanding of aspects of Japanese society and culture to offset the impression of constant change and frivolity that so tempts the mass media around the world.  Living in Japan brings anyone into contact with the fervent mood of change, and former residents from many other countries enjoy reading about their temporary home, but there is a demand also to penetrate less obvious elements of this temporary life.  Anthropologists specialise in digging beneath the surface, in peeling off and examining layers of cultural wrapping, and in gaining an understanding of language and communication that goes beyond formal presentation and informal frolicking.  This series will help to open the eyes of readers around the world from many backgrounds to the work of these diligent anthropologists researching the social life of Japan.

Submissions from prospective authors are welcomed, and enquiries should be sent in the first instance to the series editor Professor Joy Hendry (

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General