Transcultural Japan: At the Borderlands of Race, Gender and Identity

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David Blake Willis, Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu
Taylor & Francis, Nov 27, 2007 - Political Science - 342 pages
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Transcultural Japan provides a critical examination of being Other in Japan. Portraying the multiple intersections of race, ethnicity, class, and gender, the book suggests ways in which the transcultural borderlands of Japan reflect globalization in this island nation. The authors show the diversity of Japan from the inside, revealing an extraordinarily complex new society in sharp contrast to the persistent stereotypical images held of a regimented, homogeneous Japan. Unsettling as it may be, there are powerful arguments here for looking at the meanings of globalization in Japan through these diverse communities and individuals. These are not harmonious, utopian communities by any means, as they are formed in contexts, both global and local, of unequal power relations.

Yet it is also clear that the multiple processes associated with globalization lead to larger hybridizations, a global mélange of socio-cultural, political, and economic forces and the emergence of what could be called trans-local Creolized cultures. Transcultural Japan reports regional, national, and cosmopolitan movements. Characterized by global flows, hybridity, and networks, this book documents Japan’s new lived experiences and rapid metamorphosis.

Accessible and engaging, this broad-based volume is an attractive and useful resource for students of Japanese culture and society, as well as being a timely and revealing contribution to research scholars and for those interested in race, ethnicity, cultural identities and transformations.

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About the author (2007)

DAVID BLAKE WILLIS is Professor of Anthropology and Education at Soai University, Osaka, where he has been since 1986. He was a Senior Associate Professor at the University of Oxford 2006-2007.

STEPHEN MURPHY-SHIGEMATSU, Professor at the University of Tokyo 1994-2006, received a doctorate from Harvard, was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford, and is Professor at Fielding University.

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