Japan, a decade behind the United States, is now expressing its awareness of women as a major social issue. This awareness manifests itself in floods of publications, television coverage, the burgeoning of women's studies groups, court rulings interfering with sex discrimination, appointments of women to prominent positions thus far reserved exclusively for men, admission of women to such institutions as the Self Defense Forces, police, athletics, and so on.
In an accessible and original study of the Japanese language in relation to Japanese society and culture, Senko Maynard characterizes the ways of communicating in Japanese and explores Japanese language-associated modes of thinking and feeling. Japanese Communication: Language and Thought in Context opens with a comparison of basic American and Japanese values via cultural icons--the cowboy and the samurai--before leading the reader to the key concept in her study: rationality. Writing for those who have a basic knowledge of Japanese language and culture, Maynard examines topics such as masculine and feminine speech, swearing, expressions of ridicule and conflict, adverbs of emotional attitude and the eloquence of silence. Maynard provides a refreshing and entertaining perspective for interpreting contemporary Japan, sometimes in contrast to the United States.
This book bridges theories of feminism and second language acquisition. Karen Ogulnick examines the dialectic between language learning and identity in this original and interdisciplinary book. Combining autobiographical reflections with a scholarly analysis of a diary she kept while learning Japanese in Hiroshima, her book offers rich insight into the complex interplay between gender, race, culture, social class, historical experiences, and language learning.
"The schoolgirl is the main driver of Japan's Gross National Cool, and Brian Ashcraft's book is the best source for those hoping to understand why." —Chris Baker, WIRED Magazine Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential takes you beyond the realm of everyday girls to the world of the iconic Japanese schoolgirl craze that is sweeping the globe. For years, Japanese schoolgirls have appeared in hugely-popular anime and manga series such as Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Blood: The Last Vampire. These girls are literally showing up everywhere—in movies, magazines, video games, advertising, and music. WIRED Magazine has kept an eye on the trends emerging from these stylish teens, following kick-ass schoolgirl characters in videogames like Street Fighter and assassin schoolgirls in movies like Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill. By talking to Japanese women, including former and current J-Pop idols, well-known actresses, models, writers, and artists—along with famous Japanese film directors, historians and marketers—authors Brian Ashcraft and Shoko Ueda (who have both contributed to WIRED's "Japanese Schoolgirl Watch" columns) reveal the true story behind Japan's schoolgirl obsessions. You'll learn the origins of the schoolgirls' unusual attire, and how they are becoming a global brand used to sell everything from kimchi to insurance. In Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential, you'll discover: Sailor-suited pop-idols Cult movie vixens Schoolgirl shopping power The latest uniform fashions Japanese schoolgirls are a symbol of girl empowerment. Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential shows why they are so intensely cool. Don't miss this essential book on the Japanese youth culture craze that is driving today's pop culture worldwide. "Whether your preferred schoolgirl is more the upstanding heroine Sailor Moon or the vengeful, weapon-wielding Gogo Yubari of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Vol. 1, you'll come away well versed." —Publishers Weekly
Conversational Circumstances, Social Circumstances and Tellability of Stories
Author: Mariko Karatsu
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
This book presents research findings on the overall process of storytelling as a social event in Japanese everyday conversations focusing on the relationship between a story and surrounding talks, the social and cultural aspects of the participants, and the tellability of conversational stories. Focusing on the participants' verbal and nonverbal behavior and their use of linguistic devices, the chapters describe how the participants display their orientation to the a) embeddedness of the story in the conversation, b) their views of past events, c) their knowledge about the story content and elements, and d) their social circumstances, and how these four elements are relevant for a story becoming worth telling and sharing. The book furthers the sociolinguistic analysis of conversational storytelling by describing how the participants' concerns about social circumstances as members of a particular community, specifically their role relationships and interpersonal relationships with others, influence the shape of their storytelling.
"Here are Japanese women in infinite and fascinating variety -- ardent lovers, lonely single women, political activists, betrayed wives, loyal wives, protective mothers, embittered mothers, devoted daughters. ... a new sense of the richness of Japanese women's experience, a new appreciation for feelings too long submerged". -- The New York Times Book Review
Explorations in Japanese Sociolinguistics provides a treasure of information on the Japanese language and the social and cultural system it has developed and is embedded in. To the non-specialist, it opens an unknown world. To the specialist it offers theoretical and methodological perspectives aimed at avoiding the interference of myth and musing with accurate characterizations. A general introduction on Japanese sociolinguistics is followed by two case studies, one on the ethnography of ritual and address at a Japanese wedding reception, and one on the pragmatics of Japanese donatory verbs. The final chapter discusses cross-cultural contrasts and the danger of semiotic schism in Japanese-Western interaction.
The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society is an interdisciplinary resource that focuses on contemporary Japan and the social and cultural trends that are important at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This Handbook provides a cutting-edge and comprehensive survey of significant phenomena, institutions, and directions in Japan today, on issues ranging from gender and family, the environment, race and ethnicity, and urban life, to popular culture and electronic media. Written by an international team of Japan experts, the chapters included in the volume form an accessible and fascinating insight into Japanese culture and society. As such, the Handbook will be an invaluable reference tool for anyone interested in all things Japanese. Students, teachers and professionals alike will benefit from the broad ranging discussions, useful links to online resources and suggested reading lists. The Handbook will be of interest across a wide range of disciplines including Japanese Studies, Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Sociology and Asian Studies in general.
Largely based on the information conveyed by bestselling novels, magazines, cartoons, movies and television shows, this is an illuminating look at American attitudes and stereotypes about Japan since World War II. The book is illustrated with one photograph and sixteen cartoons.
Significantly expanded and updated, the second edition of The Handbook of Language, Gender and Sexuality brings together a team of the leading specialists in the field to create a comprehensive overview of key historical themes and issues, along with methodologies and cutting-edge research topics. Examines the dynamic ways that women and men develop and manage gendered identities through their talk, presenting data and case studies from interactions in a range of social contexts and different communities Substantially updated for the second edition, including a new introduction, 24 newly-commissioned chapters, ten updated chapters, and a comprehensive index Includes new chapters on research in non-English speaking countries – from Asia to South America – and cutting-edge topics such as language, gender, and popular culture; language and sexual identities; and language, gender, and socio-phonetics New sections focus on key themes and issues in the field, such as methodological approaches to language and gender, incorporating new chapters on conversation analysis, critical discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, and variation theory Provides unrivalled geographic coverage and an essential resource for a wide range of disciplines, from linguistics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology to communication and gender studies
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.
Philosophy challenges our assumptions—especially when it comes to us from another culture. In exploring Japanese philosophy, a dependable guide is essential. The present volume, written by a renowned authority on the subject, offers readers a historical survey of Japanese thought that is both comprehensive and comprehensible. Adhering to the Japanese philosophical tradition of highlighting engagement over detachment, Thomas Kasulis invites us to think with, as well as about, the Japanese masters by offering ample examples, innovative analogies, thought experiments, and jargon-free explanations. He assumes little previous knowledge and addresses themes—aesthetics, ethics, the samurai code, politics, among others—not in a vacuum but within the conditions of Japan’s cultural and intellectual history. For readers new to Japanese studies, he provides a simplified guide to pronouncing Japanese and a separate discussion of the language and how its syntax, orthography, and linguistic layers can serve the philosophical purposes of a skilled writer and subtle thinker. For those familiar with the Japanese cultural tradition but less so with philosophy, Kasulis clarifies philosophical expressions and problems, Western as well as Japanese, as they arise. Half of the book’s chapters are devoted to seven major thinkers who collectively represent the full range of Japan’s historical epochs and philosophical traditions: Kūkai, Shinran, Dōgen, Ogyū Sorai, Motoori Norinaga, Nishida Kitarō, and Watsuji Tetsurō. Nuanced details and analyses enable an engaged understanding of Japanese Buddhism, Confucianism, Shintō, and modern academic philosophy. Other chapters supply social and cultural background, including brief discussions of nearly a hundred other philosophical writers. (For additional information, cross references to material in the companion volume Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook are included.) In his closing chapter Kasulis reflects on lessons from Japanese philosophy that enhance our understanding of philosophy itself. He reminds us that philosophy in its original sense means loving wisdom, not studying ideas. In that regard, a renewed appreciation of engaged knowing can play a critical role in the revitalization of philosophy in the West as well as the East.
This book examines the complex relationship between class and gender dynamics among tea ceremony (chadō) practitioners in Japan. Focusing on practitioners in a provincial city, Akita, the book surveys the rigid, hierarchical chadō system at grass roots level. Making critical use of Bourdieu’s idea of cultural capital, it explores the various meanings of chadō for Akita women and argues that chadō has a cultural, economic, social and symbolic value and is used as a tool to improve gender and class equality. Chadō practitioners focus on tea procedure and related aspects of chadō such as architecture, flower arranging, gardening and pottery. Initially, only men were admitted to chadō; women were admitted in the Meiji period (1868-1912) and now represent the majority of practitioners. The author - a chadō practitioner and descendant of chadō teachers - provides a thorough, honest account of Akita women based on extensive participant observation and interviews. Where most literature on Japan focuses on metropolitan centres such as Kitakyushu and Tokyo, this book is original in both its subject and scope. Also, as economic differences between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas have become more pronounced, it is timely to explore the specific class and gender issues affecting non-metropolitan women. This book contributes not only to the ethnographic literature on chadō and non-metropolitan women in Japan, but also to the debates on research methodology and the theoretical discussion of class.
In Our Unions, Our Selves, Anne Zacharias-Walsh provides an in-depth look at the rise of women-only unions in Japan, an organizational analysis of the challenges these new unions face in practice, and a firsthand account of the ambitious, occasionally contentious, and ultimately successful international solidarity project that helped to spark a new feminist labor movement. In the early 1990s, as part of a larger wave of union reform efforts in Japan, women began creating their own women-only labor unions to confront long-standing gender inequality in the workplace and in traditional enterprise unions. These new unions soon discovered that the demand for individual assistance and help at the bargaining table dramatically exceeded the rate at which the unions could recruit and train members to meet that demand. Within just a few years, women-only unions were proving to be both the most effective option women had for addressing problems on the job and in serious danger of dying out because of their inability to grow their organizational capacity. Zacharias-Walsh met up with Japanese women’s unions at a critical moment in their struggle to survive. Recognizing the benefits of a cross-national dialogue, they teamed up to host a multiyear international exchange project that brought together U.S. and Japanese activists and scholars to investigate the links between organizational structure and the day-to-day problems nontraditional unions face, and to develop Japan-specific participatory labor education as a way to organize and empower new generations of members. They also gained valuable insights into the fine art of building and maintaining the kinds of collaborative, cross border relationships that are essential to today’s social justice movements, from global efforts to save the environment to the Fight for $15 and Black Lives Matter.