Japan is rightly regarded as one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, yet the development and deployment of Internet technology in Japan has taken a different trajectory compared with Western nations. This is the first book to look at the specific dynamics of Japanese Internet use.
It examines the crucial questions:
* how the Japanese are using the Internet: from the prevalence of access via portable devices, to the fashion culture of mobile phones
* how Japan's "cute culture" has colonized cyberspace
* the role of the Internet in different musical subcultures
* how different men's and women's groups have embraced technology to highlight problems of harassment and bullying
* the social, cultural and political impacts of the Internet on Japanese society
* how marginalized groups in Japanese society - gay men, those living with AIDS, members of new religious groups and Japan's hereditary sub-caste, the Burakumin - are challenging the mainstream by using the Internet.
Examined from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, using a broad range of case-studies, this is an exciting and genuinely cutting-edge book which breaks new ground in Japanese studies and will be of value to anyone interested in Japanese culture, the Internet and cyberculture.