Shinkansen

Author: Christopher Hood
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134360886
Format: PDF, ePub
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The image of the shinkansen – or ‘bullet train’ – passing Mount Fuji is one of the most renowned images of modern Japan. Yet, despite its international reputation for speed and punctuality, little is understood about what makes it work so well and what its impact is. This is a comprehensive account of the history of the shinkansen, from its planning during the Pacific War, to its launch in 1964 and subsequent development. It goes on to analyze the reasons behind the bullet train’s success, and demonstrates how it went from being simply a high-speed rail network to attaining the status of iconic national symbol. It considers the shinkansen’s relationship with national and regional politics and economic development, its financial viability, the environmental challenges it must cope with, and the ways in which it reflects and influences important aspects of Japanese society. It concludes by considering whether the bullet train can be successful in other countries developing high-speed railways. Overall, this book provides a thorough examination of the phenomenon of the shinkansen, and its relationship with Japanese society.

Dealing with Disaster in Japan

Author: Christopher P Hood
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136641092
Format: PDF
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Just as the sinking of the Titanic is embedded in the public consciousness in the English-speaking world, so the crash of JAL flight JL123 is part of the Japanese collective memory. The 1985 crash involved the largest loss of life for any single air crash in the world. 520 people, many of whom had been returning to their ancestral home for the Obon religious festival, were killed; there were only four survivors. This book tells the story of the crash, discusses the many controversial issues surrounding it, and considers why it has come to have such importance for many Japanese. It shows how the Japanese responded to the disaster: trying to comprehend how a faulty repair may have caused the crash, and the fact that rescue services took such a long time to reach the remote crash site; how the bereaved dealt with their loss; how the media in Japan and in the wider world reported the disaster; and how the disaster is remembered and commemorated. The book highlights the media coverage of anniversary events and the Japanese books and films about the crash; the very particular memorialization process in Japan, alongside Japanese attitudes to death and religion; it points out in what ways this crash both reflects typical Japanese behaviour and in what ways the crash is unique.

Marriage in Contemporary Japan

Author: Yoko Tokuhiro
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135230315
Format: PDF, ePub
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The phenomenon of bankonka – ‘postponement of marriage’ – is increasingly reported in contemporary Japanese media, clearly illustrating the changing patterns of modern lifestyles and attitudes towards marriage, personal obligation and ambition. This is the first book in recent years to explore the contemporary state of marriage in Japanese society. Setting out the different perceptions and expectations of marriage in today’s Japan, the book discusses how economic issues and the family impact on marital behaviour. Contrary to the views of some feminists that young women have no interest in improving their status and position, this book argues that, by delaying marriage and childrearing, young women can be seen as ‘rebels’ challenging Japanese patriarchal society. Unlike many other studies, it gives equal attention to male gender roles and masculinity, exploring what constitutes being a ‘real man’ in Japan – through the analysis of mainstream and non-mainstream conceptions of masculinity that co-exist in contemporary Japan, and considers the implications of such different roles for the institution of marriage. It investigates the roles of wife and mother, articulating why the strict division of labour defining men as breadwinners and women as homemakers became popular. Moreover, it describes the changing character of courtship relationships, explaining why the norm has shifted from arranged marriages pre-1945 to love marriages after that period. Finally, it puts the Japanese experience into cross-cultural, international context with a series of comparisons with marriage elsewhere both in Asia – including in Korea and Hong Kong – and in western countries such as France, Sweden, Italy and the United States.

Tokyo in Transit

Author: Alisa Freedman
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804778574
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Increased use of mass transportation in the early twentieth century enabled men and women of different social classes to interact in ways they had not before. Using a cultural studies approach that combines historical research and literary analysis, author Alisa Freedman investigates fictional, journalistic, and popular culture depictions of how mass transportation changed prewar Tokyo's social fabric and artistic movements, giving rise to gender roles that have come to characterize modern Japan. Freedman persuasively argues that, through descriptions of trains and buses, stations, transport workers, and passengers, Japanese authors responded to contradictions in Tokyo's urban modernity and exposed the effects of rapid change on the individual. She shines a light on how prewar transport culture anticipates what is fascinating and frustrating about Tokyo today, providing insight into how people make themselves at home in the city. An approachable and enjoyable book, Tokyo in Transit offers an exciting ride through modern Japanese literature and culture, and includes the first English translation of Kawabata Yasunari's The Corpse Introducer, a 1929 crime novella that presents an important new side of its Nobel Prizewinning author.

Translation in Modern Japan

Author: Indra Levy
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351538594
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The role of translation in the formation of modern Japanese identities has become one of the most exciting new fields of inquiry in Japanese studies. This book marks the first attempt to establish the contours of this new field, bringing together seminal works of Japanese scholarship and criticism with cutting-edge English-language scholarship. Collectively, the contributors to this book address two critical questions: 1) how does the conception of modern Japan as a culture of translation affect our understanding of Japanese modernity and its relation to the East/West divide? and 2) how does the example of a distinctly East Asian tradition of translation affect our understanding of translation itself? The chapter engage a wide array of disciplines, perspectives, and topics from politics to culture, the written language to visual culture, scientific discourse to children's literature and the Japanese conception of a national literature.Translation in Modern Japan will be of huge interest to a diverse readership in both Japanese studies and translation studies as well as students and scholars of the theory and practice of Japanese literary translation, traditional and modern Japanese history and culture, and Japanese women?s studies.

Perversion and Modern Japan

Author: Nina Cornyetz
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134031548
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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How did nerves and neuroses take the place of ghosts and spirits in Meiji Japan? How does Natsume Soseki’s canonical novel Kokoro pervert the Freudian teleology of sexual development? What do we make of Jacques Lacan’s infamous claim that because of the nature of their language the Japanese people were unanalyzable? And how are we to understand the re-awakening of collective memory occasioned by the sudden appearance of a Japanese Imperial soldier stumbling out of the jungle in Guam in 1972? In addressing these and other questions, the essays collected here theorize the relation of unconscious fantasy and perversion to discourses of nation, identity, and history in Japan. Against a tradition that claims that Freud’s method, as a Western discourse, makes a bad ‘fit’with Japan, this volume argues that psychoanalytic reading offers valuable insights into the ways in which ‘Japan’ itself continues to function as a psychic object. By reading a variety of cultural productions as symptomatic elaborations of unconscious and symbolic processes rather than as indexes to cultural truths, the authors combat the truisms of modernization theory and the seductive pull of culturalism. This volume also offers a much needed psychoanalytic alternative to the area studies convention that reads narratives of all sorts as "windows" offering insights into a fetishized Japanese culture. As such, it will be of huge interest to students and scholars of Japanese literature, history, culture, and psychoanalysis more generally.

Institutional and Technological Change in Japan s Economy

Author: Janet Hunter
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113420681X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Institutional and technological change is a highly topical subject. At the theoretical level, there is much debate in the field of institutional economics about the role of technological change in endogenous growth theory. At a practical policy level, arguments rage about how Japan and the Japanese economy should plan for the future. In this book, leading economists and economic historians of Japan examine a range of key issues concerning institutional and technological change in Japan, rigorously using discipline-based tools of analysis, and drawing important conclusions as to how the process of change in these areas actually works. In applying these ideas to Japan, the writers in this volume are focusing on an issue which is currently being much debated in the country itself, and are helping our understanding of the world’s second-largest economy.

Small Firms and Innovation Policy in Japan

Author: Cornelia Storz
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134207514
Format: PDF, ePub
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This new book discusses the extent to which the Japanese economy encourages entrepreneurship and innovation. Although Japan has a strong reputation as an innovator, some people argue that this reputation is misplaced. Contrary to earlier expectations, the USA rather than Japan emerged as the leader in the biotech industries in the 1990s, and also many small firms in Japan supply only a few – or just one – other company, thereby limiting their view of the marketplace and the commercial opportunities within it. Despite the increase of international patents, international scientific citations and a positive technology trade balance, the Japanese innovation system is weak in giving birth to radical innovations. The book explores fully these issues, making comparisons with other countries where appropriate. It concludes that the Japanese innovation system has both advantages and disadvantages and contributes to a better understanding of how policy changes take place.

Japan The Basics

Author: Christopher P. Hood
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317596064
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Japan: The Basics, is an engaging introduction to the culture, society and the global positioning of Japan. Taking a fresh look at stereotypes associated with Japan, it provides a well-rounded introduction to a constantly evolving country. It addresses such questions as: • How do we go about studying Japan? • What are the connections between popular culture and wider Japanese society? • How are core values about identity formed and what are their implications? • How does Japan react to natural and manmade disasters? • How does nature influence Japanese attitudes to the environment? With exercises and discussion points throughout and suggestions for further reading, Japan: The Basics is an ideal starting point for all those studying Japan in its global, cultural context.

Contemporary Japan

Author: Jeff Kingston
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118315065
Format: PDF
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The second edition of this comprehensive study of recent Japanese history now includes the author's expert assessment of the effects of the earthquake and tsunami, including the political and environmental consequences of the Fukushima reactor meltdown. Fully updated to include a detailed assessment of the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami Shows how the nuclear crisis at Fukushima was an accident waiting to happen Includes detailed discussion of Japan's energy policy, now in flux after the mishandling of the Fukushima crisis Analyzes Japan's 'Lost Decades', why jobs and families are less stable, environmental policies, immigration, the aging society, the US alliance, the imperial family, and the 'yakuza' criminal gangs Authoritative coverage of Japanese history over the last two decades, one of the country's most tumultuous periods