New Book Publications
(2018) Edited by Kaori Okano, Yoshio Sugimoto
Japanese Studies has provided a fertile space for non-Eurocentric analysis for a number of reasons. It has been embroiled in the long-running internal debate over the so-called Nihonjinron, revolving around the extent to which the effective interpretation of Japanese society and culture requires non-Western, Japan-specific emic concepts and theories. This book takes this question further and explores how we can understand Japanese society and culture by combining Euro-American concepts and theories with those that originate in Japan. Because Japan is the only liberal democracy to have achieved a high level of capitalism outside the Western cultural framework, Japanese Studies has long provided a forum for deliberations about the extent to which the Western conception of modernity is universally applicable. Furthermore, because of Japan’s military, economic and cultural dominance in Asia at different points in the last century, Japanese Studies has had to deal with the issues of Japanocentrism as well as Eurocentrism, a duality requiring complex and nuanced analysis.
This book identifies variations amongst Japanese Studies academic communities in the Asia-Pacific and examines the extent to which relatively autonomous scholarship, intellectual approach or theories exist in the region. It also evaluates how studies on Japan in the region contribute to global Japanese Studies and explores their potential for formulating concrete strategies to unsettle Eurocentric dominance of the discipline.
Podcast about the book
Discourse, Gender and Shifting Identities in Japan: The Longitudinal Study of Kobe Women’s Ethnographic Interviews 1989-2019, Phase One
(2017) Edited by Claire Maree, Kaori Okano
This book is the first in a unique series drawn from an interdisciplinary, longitudinal project entitled ‘Thirty Years of Talk.’ For 30 years, Okano recorded ethnographic interviews and collected data on the language of working class women in Kobe, Japan. This long-range study sketches the transitions in these women's lives and how their language use, discourse and identities change in specific sociocultural contexts as they shift through different stages of their personal and public lives. It is a ground-breaking, ‘real time’ panel study that follows the same individuals and observes the same phenomena at regular intervals over three decades. In this volume the authors examine the changes in the speech of one particular woman, Kanako, as her social identity shifts from high-school girl to mother and fisherman’s wife, and as her relationship with the interviewer develops. They identify changes in linguistic strategies as she negotiates gender/sexuality norms, stylistic features related to the construction of rapport, the use of discourse markers as she gets older, and the interviewer’s information-seeking strategies.
Podcast about the book: https://arts.unimelb.edu.au/asia-institute/resources/ear-to-asia
Cultural Responses to Occupation Japan: The Performing Body During and After the Cold War
Cultural Responses to Occupation in Japan examines how the performing arts, and the performing body specifically, have shaped and been shaped by the political and historical conditions experienced in Japan during the Cold War and post-Cold War periods. This study of original and secondary materials from the fields of theatre, dance, performance art, film and poetry, probes the interrelationship that exists between the body and the nation-state. Important artistic works, such as Ankoku Butoh (dance of darkness) and its subsequent re-interpretation by a leading political performance company Gekidan Kaitaisha (theatre of deconstruction), are analysed using ethnographic, historical and theoretical modes. This approach reveals the nuanced and prolonged effects of military, cultural and political occupation in Japan over a duration of dramatic change. Cultural Responses to Occupation in Japan explores issues of discrimination, marginality, trauma, memory and the mediation of history in a ground-breaking work that will be of great significance to anyone interested in the symbiosis of culture and conflict.
Central Banks and Gold: How Tokyo, London, and New York Shaped the Modern World
Bytheway, Simon James and Mark Metzler
In recent decades, Tokyo, London, and New York have been the sites of credit bubbles of historically unprecedented magnitude. Central bankers have enjoyed almost unparalleled power and autonomy. They have cooperated to construct and preserve towering structures of debt, reshaping relations of power and ownership around the world. In Central Banks and Gold, Simon James Bytheway and Mark Metzler explore how this financialized form of globalism took shape a century ago, when Tokyo joined London and New York as a major financial center.As revealed here for the first time, close cooperation between central banks began along an unexpected axis, between London and Tokyo, around the year 1900, with the Bank of England's secret use of large Bank of Japan funds to intervene in the London markets. Central-bank cooperation became multilateral during World War I—the moment when Japan first emerged as a creditor country. In 1919 and 1920, as Japan, Great Britain, and the United States adopted deflation policies, the results of cooperation were realized in the world's first globally coordinated program of monetary policy. It was also in 1920 that Wall Street bankers moved to establish closer ties with Tokyo. Bytheway and Metzler tell the story of how the first age of central-bank power and pride ended in the disaster of the Great Depression, when a rush for gold brought the system crashing down. In all of this, we see also the quiet but surprisingly central place of Japan. We see it again today, in the way that Japan has unwillingly led the world into a new age of post-bubble economics.
End of Empire: 100 Days in 1945 that Changed Asia and the World
Edited by Chandler, David, Robert Cribb and Li Narangoa
Aiming to balance the focus on European events in global public discussions and reminiscences of World War II, End of Empire focuses on a brief, 100-day period at the end of the war across a broad sweep of eastern Asia – a time when the Indonesian and Vietnamese revolutions were born, the fragile wartime truce between Communists and Nationalists in China began to fray, and the first steps were made in Japan towards a new democratic order. Following a chronological order, the volume combines daily events with commentary, photographs, maps and personal accounts. More importantly, it is part of a radical, multi-faceted project to commemorate the period not just in print but also on screen and in ‘real-time broadcasts’ published day by day. Here, perhaps, is the form of scholarly publishing and learning of the future but without abandoning traditional standards.
Bridging Australia and Japan: The Writings of David Sissons, Historian and Political Scientist by Stockwin, Arthur and Keiko Tamura
This book represents volume one of the writings of David Sissons, who for most of his career pioneered research on the history of relations between Australia and Japan. Much of what he wrote remained unpublished at the time of his death in 2006, and so the editors have included a selection of his hitherto unpublished work along with some of his published writings. Breaking Japanese Diplomatic Codes, edited by Desmond Ball and Keiko Tamura, was published in 2013 and forms a part of the series that reproduces many of Sissons’ writings. In the current volume, the topics covered are wide. They range from contacts between the two countries as far back as the early 19th century, Japanese pearl divers in northern Australia, Japanese prostitutes in Australia, the wool trade, the notorious ‘trade diversion episode’ of 1936, and a study of the Japan historian James Murdoch.
Sissons was an extraordinarily meticulous researcher, leaving no stone unturned in his search for accuracy and completeness of understanding, and should be considered one of Australia’s major historians. His writings deal with not only diplomatic negotiations and decision-making, but also the lives of ordinary and often nameless people and their engagements with their host society. His warm humanity in recording ordinary people’s lives as well as his balanced examination of historical incidents and issues from both Australian and Japanese perspectives are a hallmark of his scholarship.
Japanese Singers of Tales: Ten Centuries of Performed Narrative
Alison McQueen Tokita
Alison McQueen Tokita presents a series of case studies that demonstrate the persistence of Japanese sung narratives in a multiplicity of genres over ten centuries, including the way they flourished and declined, together with factors contributing to development and change in narrative performance. Performed narratives are examples of a shared cultural heritage, which in the past have given people a sense of belonging to a community. Narratives that were continually re-told and recycled in different versions and formats over a long period of time served to build people's sense of a common identity over space (the geographical extent of 'Japan') and time (the enduring power of many specific narratives such as The Tale of the Heike). Much scholarly attention has focused on Japanese pre-modern literature and drama, but the tradition of oral narrative has barely been touched. Tokita argues that it is possible to identify a continuous tradition of performed narrative in Japan from the tenth to the twentieth centuries. The elements of variation and change relate to the move away from oral narrative to text-based performance, and from a simple narrative situation with one performer to complex theatrical narratives with dancers, singers and other musicians. The resulting complexity led to the pre-eminence of the musical aspects in some cases, and of dramatic or dance aspects in others. Tokita includes substantial musical analysis and exploration of theoretical issues, as well as documentation of important performance traditions, all of which are extant.
Number of Pages: 310 pages
Publication Date: 2015
Ishibumi: A memorial to the atomic annihilation of 321
students of Hiroshima Middle School
Hiroshima Television Corporation (Ed.)
Translated by Yasuko Claremont and Roman Rosenbaum
6 August 1945
We want to let people all over the world know what happened in Hiroshima on
that day. The story of the annihilation by the atom bomb of 321 first-year students and their four teachers from Hiroshima Nitchū. For over 45 years Ishibumi has been read in Japan. Now it’s in English for the first time!
Number of Pages: 239 pages
Publication Date: 02-12-2016
Publisher: Poplar Publishing Co.
Number of Pages: 244 pages
Publication Date: 16-09-2016
ISBN 978-4-87424-707-5 C0081
The Bonin Islanders, 1830 to the Present:
Narrating Japanese Nationality (AsiaWorld)
This book is a collection of interwoven historical narratives that present an intriguing and little known account of the Ogasawara (Bonin) archipelago and its inhabitants. The narratives begin in the seventeenth century and weave their way through various events connected to the ambitions, hopes and machinations of individuals, communities, and nations. At the center of these narratives are the Bonin Islanders, originally an eclectic mix of Pacific Islanders, Americans, British, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and African settlers that first landed on the islands in 1830. The islands were British sovereign territory from 1827 to 1876, when the Japanese asserted possession of the islands based on a seventeenth century expedition and a myth of a samurai discoverer. As part of gaining sovereign control, the Japanese government made all island inhabitants register as Japanese subjects of the national family register. The islanders were not literate in Japanese and had little experience of Japanese culture and limited knowledge of Japanese society, but by 1881 all were forced or coerced into becoming Japanese subjects. By the 1940s the islands were embroiled in the Pacific War. All inhabitants were evacuated to the Japanese mainland until 1946 when only the descendants of the original settlers were allowed to return. In the postwar period the islands fell under U.S. Navy administration until they were reverted to full Japanese sovereignty in 1968. Many descendants of these original settlers still live on the islands with family names such as Washington, Gonzales, Gilley, Savory, and Webb. This book explores the social and cultural history of these islands and its inhabitants and provides a critical approach to understanding the many complex narratives that make up the Bonin story.
Number Oo Pages: 246 pages
Publication Date: 23-02-2016
Publisher: Lexington Books
The Social Sciences in the Asian Century
Carol Johnson, Vera Mackie and Tessa Morris-Suzuki (eds)
In this collection of essays, we reflect on what it means to practise the social sciences in the twenty-first century. The book brings together leading social scientists from the Asia-Pacific region. We argue for the benefit of dialogue between the diverse theories and methods of social sciences in the region, the role of the social sciences in addressing real-world problems, the need to transcend national boundaries in addressing regional problems, and the challenges for an increasingly globalised higher education sector in the twenty-first century. The chapters are a combination of theoretical reflections and locally focused case studies of processes that are embedded in global dynamics and the changing geopolitics of knowledge. In an increasingly connected world, these reflections will be of global relevance.
Number of Pages: 213 pages
Series: ASAA Women in Asia Series
Format: Paperback & e-book
Publication Date: 30-09-2015
Publisher: ANU Press
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Nonformal Education and Civil Society in Japan
Kaori H. Okano
Nonformal Education and Civil Society in Japan critically examines an aspect of education that has received little attention to date: intentional teaching and learning activities that occur outside formal schooling.
In the last two decades nonformal education has rapidly increased in extent and significance. This is because individual needs for education have become so diverse and rapidly changing that formal education alone is unable to satisfy them. Increasingly diverse demands on education resulted from a combination of transnational migration, heightened human rights awareness, the aging population, and competition in the globalised labour market. Some in the private sector saw this situation as a business opportunity. Others in the civil society volunteered to assist the vulnerable. The rise in nonformal education has also been facilitated by national policy developments since the 1990s.
Number of Pages: 202 pages
Series: Routledge Critical Studies in Asian Education
Publication Date: 15-09-2015
Publisher: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
Women and Politics in Contemporary Japan
This book looks at the gendering of the political system in Japan and the effects of that system on gender equality in national-level politics specifically and wider society more generally. It examines the approach taken by the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to issues of gender equality in Japan, and the repercussions of that approach on women’s political experiences and representation. This book covers a range of themes including the role of the LDP and other major political parties in constructing the modern Japanese political system, the under-representation of women in Japanese politics, women’s experiences in party politics and the gendering of government policies. Using in-depth interviews with women members of the national Diet, the book sheds light on how political women negotiate the male-dominated world of Japanese politics.
Number of Pages: 158 pages
Series: ASAA Women in Asia Series
Publication Date: 19-02-2015
Publisher: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
Japanese Fashion Cultures:
Dress and Gender in Contemporary Japan
From Rococo to Edwardian fashions, Japanese street style has reinvented many western dress styles, reinterpreting and altering their meanings and messages in a different cultural and historical context. This wide ranging and original study reveals the complex exchange of styles and what they represent in Japan and beyond, contesting common perceptions of gender in Japanese dress and the notion that non-western fashions simply imitate western styles.
Through case studies focussing on fashion image consumption in style tribes such as Kamikaze Girls, Lolita, Edwardian, Ivy Style, Victorian, Romantic and Kawaii, this ground-breaking book investigates the complexities of dress and gender and demonstrates the flexible nature of contemporary fashion and style exchange in a global context. Japanese Fashion Cultures will appeal to students and scholars of fashion, cultural studies, gender studies, media studies and related fields.
Number of Pages: 216 pages
Series: Dress. Body, Culture
Publication Date: 2015-01-15
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing