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The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture
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  • Cited by 31
  • Edited by Dolores Martinez, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
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Book description

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.

Reviews

‘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.’

Source: The Times Literary Supplement

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