Recent years have witnessed an explosive growth in the literature published about Japan. Yet it seems that the more that is written about Japan and Japanism – its culture, society, people – the more mysterious it becomes. As well as exploring issues relating to advertising, tourism, women, festivals and the art world, the book depicts how the study of Japanese society contributes to anthropological theory and understanding. The editors use the term ‘unwrapping’ to provide insights into Japanese culture and relate these insights to broader problems and questions prevalent in contemporary anthropological discourse. The issues explored include the contribution of applied anthropology to theory; the relationship between tourism and nostalgia; the interplay of marginality and belonging; the role of advertising in gender relations; status in the art world and the place of Japanese genres of writing within anthropology texts.
1. Introduction: Rapt Discourses: Anthropology, Japanism and Japan Brian Moeran 2. Humidity, Hygiene or Ritual Care: Some Thoughts on Wrapping as a Social Phenomenon Joy Hendry 3. On the Borderlines: The Significance of Marginality in Japanese Society James Valentine 4. The Feminine in Japanese Folk Religion: Polluted or Divine? Teigo Yoshida 5. Intelligent Elegance: Women in Japanese Advertising Keiko Tanaka 6. Tourism and the Ama: The Search for a Real Japan D. P. Martine. 7. Making An Exhibition of Oneself: The Anthropologist as Potter in Japan Brian Moeran 8.Many Voices, Partial Worlds: On Some Conventions and Innovations in the Ethnographic Portrayal of Japan Eyal Ben-Ari 9. Deconstructing an Anthropological Text: A ‘Moving’ Account of Returnee Schoolchildren in Contemporary Japan Roger Goodman 10. Sea Tenure and the Japanese Experience: Resource Management in Coastal Fisheries Arne Kalland 11.Festival Management and the Corporate Analysis of Japanese Society Michael Ashkenazi 12. Wrapping Up: Some General Implications Eyal Ben-Ari