Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society

1st Edition

Edited by Victoria Bestor, Theodore C. Bestor, Akiko Yamagata


344 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
New in Paperback: 9780415709149
pub: 2013-07-11
Hardback: 9780415436496
pub: 2011-04-06
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203818459
pub: 2011-04-13
from $31.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society is an interdisciplinary resource that focuses on contemporary Japan and the social and cultural trends that are important at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This Handbook provides a cutting-edge and comprehensive survey of significant phenomena, institutions, and directions in Japan today, on issues ranging from gender and family, the environment, race and ethnicity, and urban life, to popular culture and electronic media. Written by an international team of Japan experts, the chapters included in the volume form an accessible and fascinating insight into Japanese culture and society. As such, the Handbook will be an invaluable reference tool for anyone interested in all things Japanese. Students, teachers and professionals alike will benefit from the broad ranging discussions, useful links to online resources and suggested reading lists.

The Handbook will be of interest across a wide range of disciplines including Japanese Studies, Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Sociology and Asian Studies in general.


'This is a tremendous book and should jump the queue of all those books on contemporary Japan you have been intending to read. The editors deserve kudos for putting together a stellar group of specialists and our gratitude for making them abandon the usually scholarly trappings. The chapters are written in an accessible and thoughtful style and focus on explaining various aspects of culture and society for nonspecialists. This academic-lite approach is a welcome relief from the usual trudge through a specialists' tome, jettisoning the disciplinary discourse without sacrificing the insights. Lucidly written, this is an ideal book for undergraduate classes as it includes a glossary, bibliography and comprehensive list of relevant websites. Experts will also find this a rewarding collection.'Jeff Kingston, Director of Asian Studies at Temple University, Japan

'Few books offer such a broad and kaleidoscopic view of the complex and contested society that is contemporary Japan. Students and professionals alike may use this as a stand-alone reference text, or as an invitation to explore the increasingly diverse range of Japan-related titles offered by Routledge.'Joy Hendry, Professor of Social Anthropology and Director of the Europe Japan Research Centre at Oxford Brookes University, UK

'This is the first reference work you should pick up if you want an introduction to contemporary Japanese society and culture. Eminent specialists skillfully pinpoint key developments and explain the complex issues that have faced Japan and the Japanese since the end of World War II.' Elise K. Tipton, Honorary Associate Professor of Japanese Studies in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney, Australia

'An invaluable interdisciplinary compendium of contemporary Japan. This Handbook contains a series of insightful essays dealing with such diverse areas as aging and social welfare, popular music, religion, sport, law, politics and education. The collection is also informed by theoretically sophisticated analysis of subjects that will be of major interest to all scholars of Japanese society.'Dixon Wong Heung Wah, School of Modern Languages and Cultures, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

"It is good to have such a uniformly excellent collection of short essays that reflects, by and large, today’s mainstream scholarly opinion in Western Japanology on a wide range of social and cultural issues—and, by doing so, also challenges the often simplistic and stereotypical model of a monolithic "Japan, Inc." that was popular just a few decades ago." -- Roy Starrs, University of Otago, in Asia Pacific World (Spring 2012)

"An impressive array of scholars contributed to the 22 chapters, which present a plurality of viewpoints from many disciplines. Indeed the strength of this handbook is its breadth of analysis… for students and scholars interested in Japan, this well-researched and insightful handbook constitutes essential reading." - Elise Foxworth, La Trobe University; Asian Studies Review; March 2013 - volume 37, issue 1.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Victoria Lyon Bestor, Theodore C. Bestor, and Akiko Yamagata

Part I Social Foundations: Showa-Era Japan and Beyond: From Imperial Japan to Japan Inc. Peter Duus Four Cultures of Japanese Politics David Leheny The Cultures and Politics of Language in Japan Today Nanette Gottlieb Japanese Education and Education Reform Roger Goodman Religion in Contemporary Japanese Lives Mark R. Mullins Law and Society in Japan Lawrence Repeta The Urbanization of the Japanese Landscape Paul Waley

Part II Class, Identity, and Status: Social Class and Social Identity in Postwar Japan David Slater The Politics of Gender in Japan Robin M. LeBlanc Change and Diversity in the Japanese Family Merry White Japan’s Queer Cultures Mark McLelland Race, Ethnicity, and Minorities in Japan Richard Siddle Life on the Margins in Japan: Homeless, Migrant Day Laborers, and People with Disabilities Carolyn S. Stevens Aging and Social Welfare in Japan Leng Leng Thang The New Prominence of the Civil Sector in Japan Akihiro Ogawa

Part III Cool Japan: Contemporary Architecture in Japan William H. Coaldrake Japanese Film and Television Aaron Gerow Manga and Anime: Entertainment, Big Business, and Art in Japan Susan Napier Popular Music in Japan Ian Condry The Sportscape of Contemporary Japan William Kelly Cultural Flows: Japan and East Asia Koichi Iwabuchi Cuisine and Identity in Contemporary Japan Theodore C. Bestor

About the Editors

Victoria Lyon Bestor is Executive Director of the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources.

Theodore C. Bestor is Reischauer Institute Professor of Social Anthropology and Japanese Studies at Harvard University.

Akiko Yamagata is a Museum Educator, focusing on East Asian art, at the Harvard Art Museums.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / Japan
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General