Postiglione and Jason Tan. Tan, Jason, — II. Postiglione and Jason Tan All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, by any process or technique, without the express written consent of the publisher.
Bestor, and Akiko Yamagata This Handbook is intended as an interdisciplinary reference work for a broad international audience of those interested in the culture and society of contemporary Japan — university-level readers, professionals, and the general reading public seeking accurate information and thoughtful perspectives.
To serve that end we have assembled a distinguished group of twenty-two international contributors of diverse disciplinary backgrounds, whose current research and teaching specialties span broad arrays of topics on contemporary Japan. Contributors to the volume include Australian, European, Japanese, North American, and Southeast Asian scholars of Japan, all of whom have engaged in extensive fieldwork in Japan during their lengthy research careers.
Since the Handbook is intended primarily as an introductory resource for readers who are not specialists on Japan, the majority of the contributions are from non-Japanese scholars who are regularly engaged in the cross-cultural translation and analysis of Japanese culture and society for non-Japanese audiences.
Our goal for the Handbook is to provide broad introductions to many significant phenomena, institutions, and directions in Japanese culture and society today, and to point readers to yet other areas they may explore.
Each chapter is intended as an overview on a specific subject, outlining principal trends, issues, and debates relevant to its central topic. A conscious strategy in the Handbook has been to place contemporary Japanese social and cultural phenomena in the spotlight and to keep disciplinary or theoretical perspectives in the background.
Our aim is a narrative, in each chapter and through the volume as a whole, which illuminates issues and questions pertinent to current scholarship on Japan, in a form that is accessible to readers who may have little previous background on either Japan or the disciplinary and theoretical concerns that currently dominate scholarly discourse in the social sciences and humanities.
Temporally, the focus of these chapters is on contemporary Japan. In general, the essays take the end of World War II as the starting point. The drive toward modernization and Westernization after the end of Tokugawa shogunal rule included, along with the embrace of European legal and education models, the codification of gender roles and family structure as well as the systematization of a national language and state religion, whose ramifications stretched long into and past the decades of postwar growth.
The flows of continuity notwithstanding, contemporary Japanese culture and society have been shaped in response to a number of radical shocks or historical disjunctures. There is no smooth narrative of Japanese culture and society over the past years, and any account has to consider or reflect the breaks as much as the continuities.
There are several such periods of transformation that figure prominently across the chapters in this Handbook. The first fundamental transition, which set Japan on the course of becoming a modern nation, was the Meiji Restoration ofin which the Tokugawa shogunal government which had ruled Japan for more than years was replaced by a regime centered on the emperor and determined to defend Japanese national sovereignty and cultural integrity by the rapid adoption and adaptation of Western technologies and institutions in the pursuit of equal standing with Western nations.
During the Meiji period —the government largely succeeded in these goals. For the purposes of talking about contemporary Japan, its defeat in was another sharp break. World War II devastated vast areas of the country, especially urban regions. Many social institutions, practices, and public attitudes were also radically realigned in an effort to break away from the prewar and wartime social norms of authoritarian militarism and rigid hierarchy in the service of imperialism.
In the wake of these changes, for a society transformed but not shattered by the war, the s were an era of national rebuilding and laid the foundations for an ethic of hard work, cooperation, and conformity that characterized much of Japanese society throughout most of the remainder of the twentieth century.
In some respects the prosperity of the s reversed some of these issues. Notable strides were made in reducing pollution and improving public amenities.
And, with affluence, more and 2 Introduction more Japanese adopted lifestyles similar to those of middle-class urban consumers in other industrialized societies. For a time, Japan looked to have a Midas touch. However, the government, in the hands of the Liberal Democratic Party LDP sincedid little to rein in this speculative economy, and the institutional structures of government bureaucracies and businesses alike remained locked in the rigid hierarchical structures developed in the s.
The media focuses on crisis after crisis to decry the disarray of contemporary society, the failure of educational institutions to prepare young people for the changing future, the failure of the economy to provide jobs, the failure of the government to be able to respond quickly and effectively to natural disasters, like the Great Hanshin Earthquake, or the failure of young Japanese to embrace the kinds of lives and aspirations held dear by their parents and grandparents.
These shifts in Japanese society during and since the final decades of the twentieth century and their implications have been central concerns in Japan, and many chapters in this volume deal with societal and individual responses to them, considering how these responses have intersected with notions about Japanese society, culture, the nation, and their relationship to individuals, families, and communities.
Currently, Japan has the highest percentage of elderly and the second longest life expectancy in the world, coupled with one of the lowest fertility rates, whose fall below the replacement rate of 2.
The steady increase in the visibility and recognition of diversity is yet a further aspect of change taken up by the contributors to this volume. The image of Japan — propagated by Nihonjinron essentialist cultural theories popular in the high-growth period — as a homogenous nation with a unique culture, a single language, and a nearly universal middle class never reflected social reality.
And as Japan sought the recognition of American and European leaders, the common nineteenth-century ideas about the racial basis for national identity propelled efforts to homogenize many aspects of Japanese society and culture in the process of forging a new nation.
The authors demonstrate how traditional cultural forms and ideas have been refashioned and adapted in the service of a modern ideal, not the resurrection of an unchanging traditional past. Whether of corporate loyalty the salaryman embodying samurai filialityor the use of traditional temple rooflines in the development of a Japanese modernist architecture discussed by William H.
As these and other chapters demonstrate, the growth in the postwar decades of a mass commodified culture which had its beginnings in the urbanization and industrialization of the s included quotidian aspects of life, such as food, shelter, clothing, and shopping, as well as new media technologies e.
For example, the decline in marriage and fertility rates, which according to Robin M. LeBlanc Chapter 9 indicates the disinclination of some younger Japanese to adhere to twentieth-century expectations of gender and the family, has been blamed variously on overexposure to Western democratic ideals in postwar education, on the lack of a Western form of spirituality, and on post-bubble structural economic barriers to the financial independence of young adults.
These several strands — of changes and continuities, and Japanese concerns about both — are woven through the chapters of this Handbook.
Not all authors address each of the strands discussed above, but many of these appear repeatedly across different essays. As the reader goes through these chapters, whether selectively or in succession, we hope that this Introduction will serve to highlight the points of intersection among these twenty-two essays, which are described in greater detail below.
The chapters that comprise these parts each treat a specific aspect of Japanese society and culture, providing historical context, an overview of the topic and its central questions, often including a very brief summary of significant scholarship in the field.
Each chapter is followed by a short list of recommended reading for further exploration of the topic.We will write a custom essay sample on Diversifying Hoikuen Offerings to Drive Japan specifically for you for only $ $/page. Diversifying Hoikuen Offerings to Drive Japan Pre-Primary Education and Childcare Market Revenue: Ken Research Essay providing the early childhood care and education in the world.
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If you are the parent of a preschooler (or younger child) you need to ask yourself why you should care about preschool learning. Japan - Acknowledgments Japan. Haniwa grave offerings were made in numerous forms, such as horses, chickens, birds, fans, fish, houses, weapons, defeated, sustaining as many as 80, casualties, and thereafter Japan concentrated its war efforts on its southward drive in China and Southeast Asia, a strategy that helped propel Japan ever.