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1. cover
Title: Japan under construction: corruption, politics, and public works online access is available to everyone
Author: Woodall, Brian
Published: University of California Press,  1996
Subjects: Politics | Japan
Publisher's Description: In 1987, Japan excluded American firms from bidding on the multibillion-dollar New Kansai International Airport, sparking yet another trade dispute between the United States and Japan. The State Department, Congress, and the President himself were caught up in the dispute, which still smolders even after Congress passed a threatening resolution to retaliate. Scandal after scandal - both domestic and international - splashes across headlines in Japan, generating wave after wave of attempts at reform. Why is this industry so rife with bid-rigging, collusion, and pork-barrel politics? What are the political forces behind the industry? Brian Woodall answers these questions in this book, based on extensive research and over one hundred candid and revealing interviews with contractors, industry association officials, public works bureaucrats, elected politicians and aides, political party officials, journalists, and scholars.This inside view begins with a profile of the institutionalized system of bid-rigging in the public construction market. It explores the powerful positions of unelected bureaucrats, who are often hired by private-sector firms after retirement. Career politicians within the Liberal Democratic Party are revealed to use the construction industry to exploit party factions toward their own electoral ends. Recent events - the Sagawa affair and the massive "general contractors" (zenekon) scandal as well as the political reform movements that followed them - are examined in detail. Throughout, Brian Woodall illuminates the construction rift between Japan and the United States and demonstrates how international pressures were subverted within the shadowy domestic system. Japan Under Construction is must reading for anyone interested in Japanese politics, United States-Japan trade relations, and political corruption and reform anywhere in the world.   [brief]
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2. cover
Title: Yakuza: Japan's criminal underworld
Author: Kaplan, David E 1955-
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: Sociology | Japan | Politics | Asian History
Publisher's Description: Known for their striking full-body tattoos and severed fingertips, Japan's gangsters comprise a criminal class eighty thousand strong - more than four times the size of the American Mafia. Despite their criminal nature, the yakuza are accepted by fellow Japanese to a degree guaranteed to shock most Westerners. Here is the first book to reveal the extraordinary reach of Japan's Mafia. Originally published in 1986, Yakuza was so controversial in Japan that it could not be published there for five years. But in the West it has long served as the standard reference on Japanese organized crime, inspiring novels, screenplays, and criminal investigations. David E. Kaplan and Alec Dubro spent nearly two decades conducting hundreds of interviews with everyone from street-level hoodlums and police to Japan's most powerful godfathers. The result is a searing indictment of corruption in the world's second-largest economy. This updated, expanded, and thoroughly revised edition of Yakuza tells the full story of Japan's remarkable crime syndicates, from their feudal start as bands of medieval outlaws to their emergence as billion-dollar investors in real estate, big business, art, and more.   [brief]
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3. cover
Title: Japan's administrative elite online access is available to everyone
Author: Koh, Byung Chol
Published: University of California Press,  1991
Subjects: Asian Studies | Japan | Economics and Business
Publisher's Description: A major player in Japanese society is its government bureaucracy. Neither Japan's phenomenal track record in the world marketplace nor its remarkable success in managing its domestic affairs can be understood without insight into how its government bureaucracy works - how its elite administrators are recruited, socialized, and promoted; how they interact among themselves and with other principal players in Japan, notably politicians; how they are rewarded; and what happens to them when they retire at a relatively young age. Yet, despite its pivotal importance, there is no comprehensive and up-to-date study of Japan's administrative elite in the English language. This book seeks to fill that gap.Koh examines patterns of continuity and change, identifies similarities and differences between Japan and four other industrialized democracies (the United States, Britain, France, and Germany), and assesses the implications of the Japanese model of public management. Though many features of Japanese bureaucracy are found in the Western democracies, the degree to which they manifest themselves in Japan appears to be unsurpassed.Koh shows that the Japanese model of public management contains both strengths and weaknesses. For example, the price Japan pays for the high caliber of its administrative elite is the stifling rigidity of a multiple track system, a system with second-class citizens and demoralized "non-career" civil servants who actually bear a lion's share of administrative burden. The Japanese experience demonstrates not only how steep the price of success can be but also the enduring effects of culture over structure.   [brief]
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4. cover
Title: Making health work: human growth in modern Japan online access is available to everyone
Author: Mosk, Carl
Published: University of California Press,  1996
Subjects: Sociology | Demography | Japan | Asian History | Economics and Business
Publisher's Description: Mosk shows how population quality provides a key to understanding economic growth and social change in Japan.
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5. cover
Title: Postwar Japan as history
Author: Gordon, Andrew 1952-
Published: University of California Press,  1993
Subjects: History | Politics | Japan | Asian History
Publisher's Description: Japan's catapult to world economic power has inspired many studies by social scientists, but few have looked at the 45 years of postwar Japan through the lens of history. The contributors to this book seek to offer such a view. As they examine three related themes of postwar history, the authors describe an ongoing historical process marked by unexpected changes, such as Japan's extraordinary economic growth, and unanticipated continuities, such as the endurance of conservative rule. A provocative set of interpretative essays by eminent scholars, this book will appeal to anyone interested in the history of twentieth-century Japan and the dilemmas facing Japan today.   [brief]
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6. cover
Title: Labor and imperial democracy in prewar Japan
Author: Gordon, Andrew 1952-
Published: University of California Press,  1991
Subjects: Asian Studies | Japan | Politics | Asian History | Labor Studies
Publisher's Description: Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan examines the political role played by working men and women in prewar Tokyo and offers a reinterpretation of the broader dynamics of Japan's prewar political history. Gordon argues that such phenomena as riots, labor disputes, and union organizing can best be understood as part of an early twentieth-century movement for "imperial democracy" shaped by the nineteenth-century drive to promote capitalism and build a modern nation and empire. When the propertied, educated leaders of this movement gained a share of power in the 1920s, they disagreed on how far to go toward incorporating working men and women into an expanded body politic. For their part, workers became ambivalent toward working within the imperial democratic system. In this context, the intense polarization of laborers and owners during the Depression helped ultimately to destroy the legitimacy of imperial democracy.Gordon suggests that the thought and behavior of Japanese workers both reflected and furthered the intense concern with popular participation and national power that has marked Japan's modern history. He points to a post-World War II legacy for imperial democracy in both the organization of the working class movement and the popular willingness to see GNP growth as an index of national glory. Importantly, Gordon shows how historians might reconsider the roles of tenant farmers, students, and female activists, for example, in the rise and transformation of imperial democracy.   [brief]
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7. cover
Title: Everyday things in premodern Japan: the hidden legacy of material culture
Author: Hanley, Susan B 1939-
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: History | Japan | Asian History | Women's Studies
Publisher's Description: Japan was the only non-Western nation to industrialize before 1900 and its leap into the modern era has stimulated vigorous debates among historians and social scientists. In an innovative discussion that posits the importance of physical well-being as a key indicator of living standards, Susan B. Hanley considers daily life in the three centuries leading up to the modern era in Japan. She concludes that people lived much better than has been previously understood - at levels equal or superior to their Western contemporaries. She goes on to illustrate how this high level of physical well-being had important consequences for Japan's ability to industrialize rapidly and for the comparatively smooth transition to a modern, industrial society.While others have used income levels to conclude that the Japanese household was relatively poor in those centuries, Hanley examines the material culture - food, sanitation, housing, and transportation. How did ordinary people conserve the limited resources available in this small island country? What foods made up the daily diet and how were they prepared? How were human wastes disposed of? How long did people live? Hanley answers all these questions and more in an accessible style and with frequent comparisons with Western lifestyles. Her methods allow for cross-cultural comparisons between Japan and the West as well as Japan and the rest of Asia. They will be useful to anyone interested in the effects of modernization on daily life.   [brief]
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8. cover
Title: Takarazuka: sexual politics and popular culture in modern Japan
Author: Robertson, Jennifer Ellen
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: Anthropology | Japan | Cultural Anthropology | GayLesbian and Bisexual Studies | Women's Studies | Theatre | Popular Culture
Publisher's Description: The all-female Takarazuka Revue is world-famous today for its rococo musical productions, including gender-bending love stories, torridly romantic liaisons in foreign settings, and fanatically devoted fans. But that is only a small part of its complicated and complicit performance history. In this sophisticated and historically grounded analysis, anthropologist Jennifer Robertson draws from over a decade of fieldwork and archival research to explore how the Revue illuminates discourses of sexual politics, nationalism, imperialism, and popular culture in twentieth-century Japan.The Revue was founded in 1913 as a novel counterpart to the all-male Kabuki theater. Tracing the contradictory meanings of Takarazuka productions over time, with special attention to the World War II period, Robertson illuminates the intricate web of relationships among managers, directors, actors, fans, and social critics, whose clashes and compromises textured the theater and the wider society in colorful and complex ways. Using Takarazuka as a key to understanding the "logic" of everyday life in Japan and placing the Revue squarely in its own social, historical, and cultural context, she challenges both the stereotypes of "the Japanese" and the Eurocentric notions of gender performance and sexuality.   [brief]
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9. cover
Title: Dreams of difference: the Japan romantic school and the crisis of modernity
Author: Doak, Kevin Michael
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: History | Asian History | Japan | Literary Theory and Criticism
Publisher's Description: From 1935 to 1945, the Japan Romantic School (Nihon Romanha), a group of major intellectuals and literary figures, explored issues concerning politics, literature, and nationalism in ways that still influence cultural discourse in Japan today. Kevin Doak's timely study is a broad critique of modernity in early twentieth-century Japan. He uses close readings and translations of texts and poems to suggest that the school's interest in romanticism stemmed from its attempt to surmount the "cultural crisis" of lost traditions. This attempt to overcome modernity eventually reduced the movement's earlier critical impulses to expressions of nationalist longing.   [brief]
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10. cover
Title: Importing diversity: inside Japan's JET Program
Author: McConnell, David L 1959-
Published: University of California Press,  2000
Subjects: Anthropology | Japan | Politics | Education
Publisher's Description: In 1987, the Japanese government inaugurated the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program in response to global pressure to "internationalize" its society. This ambitious program has grown to be a major government operation, with an annual budget of $400 million (greater than the United States NEA and NEH combined) and more than six thousand foreign nationals employed each year in public schools all over Japan.How does a relatively homogeneous and insular society react when a buzzword is suddenly turned into a reality? How did the arrival of so many foreigners affect Japan's educational bureaucracy? How did the foreigners themselves feel upon discovering that English teaching was not the primary goal of the program? In this balanced study of the JET program, David L. McConnell draws on ten years of ethnographic research to explore the cultural and political dynamics of internationalization in Japan. Through vignettes and firsthand accounts, he highlights and interprets the misunderstandings of the early years of the program, traces the culture clashes at all levels of the bureaucracy, and speculates on what lessons the JET program holds for other multicultural initiatives.This fascinating book's jargon-free style and interdisciplinary approach will make it appealing to educators, policy analysts, students of Japan, and prospective and former JET participants.   [brief]
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11. cover
Title: The state and the mass media in Japan, 1918-1945
Author: Kasza, Gregory James
Published: University of California Press,  1993
Subjects: Politics | Public Policy | Japan | Asian History
Publisher's Description: Gregory Kasza examines state-society relations in interwar Japan through a case study of public policy toward radio, film, newspapers, and magazines.
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12. cover
Title: Losing face: status politics in Japan online access is available to everyone
Author: Pharr, Susan J
Published: University of California Press,  1992
Subjects: History | Asian Studies | Asian History | Japan | Politics
Publisher's Description: How does a "homogeneous" society like Japan treat the problem of social inequality? Losing Face looks beyond conventional structural categories (race, class, ethnicity) to focus on conflicts based on differences in social status. Three rich and revealing case studies explore crucial asymmetries of a . . . [more]
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13. cover
Title: Permitted and prohibited desires: mothers, comics, and censorship in Japan
Author: Allison, Anne 1950-
Published: University of California Press,  2000
Subjects: Anthropology | Gender Studies | Popular Culture | Japan
Publisher's Description: This provocative study of gender and sexuality in contemporary Japan investigates elements of Japanese popular culture including erotic comic books, stories of mother-son incest, lunchboxes - or obentos - that mothers ritualistically prepare for schoolchildren, and children's cartoons. Anne Allison brings recent feminist psychoanalytic and Marxist theory to bear on representations of sexuality, motherhood, and gender in these and other aspects of Japanese culture. Based on five years of fieldwork in a middle-class Tokyo neighborhood, this theoretically informed, accessible ethnographic study provides a provocative analysis of how sexuality, dominance, and desire are reproduced and enacted in late-capitalistic Japan.   [brief]
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14. cover
Title: Early modern Japan
Author: Totman, Conrad D
Published: University of California Press,  1993
Subjects: History | Asian Studies | Asian History | Japan
Publisher's Description: This thoughtfully organized survey of Japan's early modern period (1568-1868) is a remarkable blend of political, economic, intellectual, literary, and cultural history. The only truly comprehensive study in English of the Tokugawa period, it also introduces a new ecological perspective, covering na . . . [more]
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15. cover
Title: Learning to go to school in Japan: the transition from home to preschool life
Author: Peak, Lois
Published: University of California Press,  1991
Subjects: Anthropology | Cultural Anthropology | Japan | Education
Publisher's Description: Japanese two-year-olds are indulged, dependent, and undisciplined toddlers, but by the age of six they have become obedient, self-reliant, and cooperative students. When Lois Peak traveled to Japan in search of the "magical childrearing technique" behind this transformation, she discovered that the answer lies not in the family but in the preschool, where teachers gently train their pupils in proper group behavior. Using case studies drawn from two contrasting schools, Peak documents the important early stages of socialization in Japanese culture.Contrary to popular perceptions, Japanese preschools are play-centered environments that pay little attention to academic preparation. It is here that Japanese children learn their first lessons in group life. The primary goal of these cheerful--even boisterous--settings is not to teach academic facts of learning-readiness skills but to inculcate behavior and attitudes appropriate to life in public social situations.Peak compares the behavior considered permissible at home with that required of children at preschool, and argues that the teacher is expected to be the primary agent in the child's transition. Step by step, she brings the socialization process to life, through a skillful combination of classroom observations, interviews with mothers and teachers, transcripts of classroom events, and quotations from Japanese professional literature.   [brief]
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16. cover
Title: Mirror of modernity: invented traditions of modern Japan
Author: Vlastos, Stephen 1943-
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: History | Japan | Asian History
Publisher's Description: This collection of essays challenges the notion that Japan's present cultural identity is the simple legacy of Japan's premodern and insular past. Building on the pathbreaking historical analysis of British traditions, The Invention of Tradition , sixteen American and Japanese scholars examine "age- . . . [more]
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17. cover
Title: Assembled in Japan: electrical goods and the making of the Japanese consumer
Author: Partner, Simon
Published: University of California Press,  2000
Subjects: History | Japan | Media Studies | Technology and Society | Consumerism
Publisher's Description: Assembled in Japan investigates one of the great success stories of the twentieth century: the rise of the Japanese electronics industry. Contrary to mainstream interpretation, Simon Partner discovers that behind the meteoric rise of Sony, Matsushita, Toshiba, and other electrical goods companies was neither the iron hand of Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry nor a government-sponsored export-led growth policy, but rather an explosion of domestic consumer demand that began in the 1950s.This powerful consumer boom differed fundamentally from the one under way at the same time in the United States in that it began from widespread poverty and comparatively miserable living conditions. Beginning with a discussion of the prewar origins of the consumer engine that was to take off under the American Occupation, Partner quickly turns his sights on the business leaders, inventors, laborers, and ordinary citizens who participated in the broadly successful effort to create new markets for expensive, unfamiliar new products.Throughout, the author relates these pressure-cooker years in Japan to the key themes of twentieth-century experience worldwide: the role of technology in promoting social change, the rise of mass consumer societies, and the construction of gender in advanced industrial economies.   [brief]
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18. cover
Title: Splendid monarchy: power and pageantry in modern Japan
Author: Fujitani, Takashi
Published: University of California Press,  1996
Subjects: History | Cultural Anthropology | Asian Studies | Japan
Publisher's Description: Using ceremonials such as imperial weddings and funerals as models, T. Fujitani illustrates what visual symbols and rituals reveal about monarchy, nationalism, city planning, discipline, gender, memory, and modernity. Focusing on the Meiji Period (1868-1912), Fujitani brings recent methods of cultur . . . [more]
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19. cover
Title: Reflections on the way to the gallows: rebel women in prewar Japan
Author: Hane, Mikiso
Published: University of California Press,  1988
Subjects: History | Asian Studies | Japan | Women's Studies | Asian History
Publisher's Description: In this book, for the first time, we can hear the startling, moving voices of adventurous and rebellious Japanese women as they eloquently challenged the social repression of prewar Japan. The extraordinary women whose memoirs, recollections, and essays are presented here constitute a strong current . . . [more]
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20. cover
Title: A sheep's song: a writer's reminiscences of Japan and the world online access is available to everyone
Author: Katō, Shūichi 1919-
Published: University of California Press,  1999
Subjects: Literature | Asian History | Japan | Autobiographies and Biographies
Publisher's Description: This critically acclaimed autobiography was an instant bestseller in Japan, where it has gone through more than forty printings since its first publication. Cultural critic, literary historian, novelist, poet, and physician, Kato Shuichi reconstructs his dramatic spiritual and intellectual journey from the militarist era of prewar Japan to the dynamic postwar landscapes of Japan and Europe. This fluid translation of A Sheep's Song captures Kato's unique voice and brings his insightful interpretation of modern Japan and its tumultuous relations with the outside world to English-speaking readers for the first time.Kato describes his youthful interest in the natural sciences as well as in Japanese and Western literatures - from the Man'yoshu to Akutagawa Ryunosuke, Baudelaire, Valéry, and Proust. Turning to the rise of Japanese fascism in the late 1930s, he recalls his rebellion against the jingoistic political atmosphere of the time. The chapters on the war and its aftermath include experiences of Hiroshima shortly after the bombing and the often tragicomic encounters between the defeated Japanese nation and the American Occupation forces. Throughout, memories of his wide-ranging literary career and broad experiences in Europe as a student, traveler, and cultural observer are punctuated by his unique perspectives on the relation between imagination, art, and politics.A postscript written especially for the English-language edition discusses the Vietnam War, the subsequent transformation of Japan, the cultures and societies of Europe, the United States, and China, and the collapse of the Soviet Union.   [brief]
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