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The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture


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Table of Contents

Introduction: the worlds of Japanese popular culture: gender shifting boundaries and global cultures D. P. Martinez; 1 Sumo in the popular culture of contemporary Japan Yamaguchi Masao; Part II. The Male Domain: 2 Transformational magic: some Japanese super-heroes and monsters Tom Gill; 3 Akira postmodernism and resistance Isolde Standish; 4 Japan's empty orchestras: echoes of Japanese culture in the performance of karaoke Bill Kelly; Part III. The Female Domain: 5 Vampries psychic girls flying women and sailor scouts: four faces of the young female in Japanese popular culture Susan Napier; 6 Japanese women's magazines: the language of aspiration Keiko Tanaka; 7 Nonchan's dream: NHK morning serialised television novels in the 1980s Paul Harvey; Part IV. Shifting Boundaries: 8 Je t'aime moi non plus: media stories of bliss and mixed blessings in marriages between the 'inside' and the 'outside' in Japan Halldor Stefansson; 9 The cult of Oguricap: or how women changed the social value of Japanese horse-racing Nagashima Nobuhiro; 10 Soccer shinhatsubai: what are Japanese consumers making of the J League? Jonathan Watts.

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International team of authors explores Japanese popular culture, including sumo, manga and women's magazines.


'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.' Times Literary Supplement

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