Description: This is a fascinating look at various forms of Japanese popular culture: pop song, jazz, enka (a popular form of ballad genre music), karaoke, comics, animated cartoons, video games, television dramas, films, and "idols" -- teenage singers and actors. As pop culture not only entertains but is also a reflection of society, the book is also about Japan itself -- its similarities and differences with the rest of the world, and how Japan is changing. Relations between the sexes, shifting gender roles, social and family life, Japan's cultural identity, and views on love, work, duty, dreams, war and peace, good and evil, beauty and ugliness, life and death -- all are cast in a revealing light by Japanese pop culture as presented in this book.
The authors are all specialists on their subjects, and in addition to analyzing Japan's pop culture they give the reader a direct taste through the presentation of story plots, character profiles, song lyrics, manga (comics) samples, photographs and other visuals, as well as the thoughts and words of Japan pop's artists, creators and fans. The book features 32 pages of manga plus 50 additional photos, illustrations, and shorter comic samples.
Review(s): "... Japan Pop! has a number of very insightful essays,and it is an excellent resource on contemporary Japan for teachers at all levels." -- Education About Asia Vol.7,No 2
"An analysis of Japanese society, cultural identity, and daily life which provide absorbing surveys into Japanese psychology. A 'must' for any college-level student of Japanese studies." -- The Midwest Book Review, "Reviewer's Bookwatch"
"Craig's dynamic introduction gives an overview of Japanese popular culture. His sincerity and enthusiasm set the tone for the entire volume...The essays thus incorporate the best of two worlds: They have the theoretical overview of the professional researcher and the vitality of journalism...The anthology of essays becomes more than just a scholarly contribution; it provides a fascinating and honest tableau of life as it is lived in Japan." -- The Japan Times
"A useful resource for redressing the scarcity of English-language materials on Japanese popular culture...Important and timely for widening the horizon of a little-explored territory." -- Japanese Studies
"What the book offers is expert analyses of works and phenomena that are central to the evolution of contemporary Japanese culture, popular and otherwise. In this regard, the book is a valuable addition to the literature." -- Japan Quarterly
"The book as a whole undoubtedly will be enjoyed by undergraduate readers, and can serve as an excellent introductory overview." -- Journal of Asian Studies
"There is no way to describe Japan Pop! without using the word "fun;" the book is loaded with images, song lyrics and photos. The prose is lively and the authors offer lucid, structured insights. ...To use academic jargon, this is polyvocality at its best: multiple "voices" move in tandem to produce a complex and dynamic picture of the state of Japanese pop culture." -- Asahi Evening News
"The strongest aspect of Japan Pop! is its choice of essays. Of the books available, it provides the most balanced cross-section of the salient topics in Japanese popular culture." -- H-Net Reviews
"... Japan Pop! has a number of very insightful essays, and it is an excellant resource on contemporary Japan for teachers at all levels." -- Education About Asia
"As an introduction...to various aspects of Japanese pop culture,,,this book will certainly appeal." -- Eurospan