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The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture

The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture
Gender, Shifting Boundaries and Global Cultures


Part of Contemporary Japanese Society

  • Editor: Dolores Martinez, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
D. P. Martinez, Yamaguchi Masao, Tom Gill, Isolde Standish, Bill Kelly, Susan Napier, Keiko Tanaka, Paul Harvey, Halldór Stefánsson, Nagashima Nobuhiro, Jonathan Watts
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  • Date Published: December 1998
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521637299

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About the Authors
  • Dolores Martinez heads an international team of scholars in this lively discussion of Japanese popular culture. The book's contributors include Japanese as well as British, Icelandic and North American writers, offering a diversity of views of what Japanese popular culture is, and how it is best approached and understood. They bring an anthropological perspective to a broad range of topics, including sumo, karaoke, manga, vampires, women's magazines, soccer and morning television. Through these topics - many of which have never previously been addressed by scholars - the contributors also explore several deeper themes: the construction of gender in Japan; the impact of globalisation and modern consumerism; and the rapidly shifting boundaries of Japanese culture and identity. This innovative study will appeal to those interested in Japanese culture, sociology and cultural anthropology.

    • First book to take a broad anthropological approach to Japanese popular culture
    • Systematically draws out broader themes such as gender, nationalism, consumption
    • Strong list of international contributors
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Sumo, karaoke and Japanese comic-inspired teenage superheroes are part of Western popular culture as well as Japan's, but the contributors to this book show that while globalization may be making Western and Eastern audiences familiar with each other's culture, a great deal is altered in the transfer. Derived mainly from anthropological perspectives, these essays are strong on folkloric continuities, giving rich and subtle readings of a wide range of 'worlds' - how, for instance, the enormous market for magazines, comics and daytime soap operas represents the rapidly changing role of women, or how the cult of the racehorse Oguricap marked the changing status of horseracing from its disreputable, male-dominated past to a respectable leisure activity with female fans … the contributors write with insight and enthusiasm.' The Times Literary Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 1998
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521637299
    • length: 228 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the worlds of Japanese popular culture: gender shifting boundaries and global cultures D. P. Martinez
    1 Sumo in the popular culture of contemporary Japan Yamaguchi Masao
    Part II. The Male Domain:
    2 Transformational magic: some Japanese super-heroes and monsters Tom Gill
    3 Akira postmodernism and resistance Isolde Standish
    4 Japan's empty orchestras: echoes of Japanese culture in the performance of karaoke Bill Kelly
    Part III. The Female Domain:
    5 Vampries psychic girls flying women and sailor scouts: four faces of the young female in Japanese popular culture Susan Napier
    6 Japanese women's magazines: the language of aspiration Keiko Tanaka
    7 Nonchan's dream: NHK morning serialised television novels in the 1980s Paul Harvey
    Part IV. Shifting Boundaries:
    8 Je t'aime moi non plus: media stories of bliss and mixed blessings in marriages between the 'inside' and the 'outside' in Japan Halldór Stefánsson
    9 The cult of Oguricap: or how women changed the social value of Japanese horse-racing Nagashima Nobuhiro
    10 Soccer shinhatsubai: what are Japanese consumers making of the J League? Jonathan Watts.

  • Editor

    Dolores Martinez, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London


    D. P. Martinez, Yamaguchi Masao, Tom Gill, Isolde Standish, Bill Kelly, Susan Napier, Keiko Tanaka, Paul Harvey, Halldór Stefánsson, Nagashima Nobuhiro, Jonathan Watts

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