About M.E. Sharpe
Sharpe Reference
Sharpe Online Ref.
Sharpe Focus
Author Guidelines
Subject Catalogs
Catalog Request
Library Rec. Form
North Castle Books

Japan Pop!: Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture
Edited by: Timothy J. Craig

Click here for the Teaching Guide for Japan Pop! Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture.
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-0560-3 Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-0561-0
Cloth Price Paper Price
USD: $90.95 USD: $27.95
Discount Code:
Discount Code:
Available to all countries
Information: 360pp. Line art, photographs, comics, index
Publication Date: June 2000.  


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.

Selected Contents:

1. Introduction, Tim Craig
I. Popular Music
2. Can Japanese Sing the Blues? "Japanese Jazz" and the Problem of Authenticity, E. Taylor Atkins
3. The Marketing of Tears: Consuming Emotions in Japanese Popular Song, Christine R. Yano
4. Open Your File, Open Your Mind: Women, English, and Changing Roles and Voices in Japanese Pop Music, James Stanlaw
5. A Karaoke Perspective on International Relations, Hiro R. Shimatachi
II. Comics & Animation
6. Japanese Comic Books and Religion-Osamu Tezuka's Story of the Buddha, Mark W. MacWilliams
7. The Romantic, Passionate Japanese in Anime : A Look at the Hidden Japanese Soul, Eri Izawa
8. Hadashi no Gen ("Barefoot Gen"), Vol. 8, pp 17-31, Keiji Nakazawa
9. Gender Roles and Girls' Comics in Japan: The Girls and Guys of Yukan Club, Maia Tsurumi
10. From Sazae-san to Crayon Shin-chan : Family Anime , Social Change, and Nostalgia in Japan, William Lee
III: Television & Film
11. New Role Models for Men and Women? Gender in Japanese TV Dramas, Hilaria Gossmann
12. A New Kind of Royalty: The Imperial Family and the Media in Postwar Japan, Jayson Chun
13. Into the Heartland with Tora-san, Mark Schilling
IV: Japanese Popular Culture Abroad
14. Sailor Moon : Japanese Superheroes for Global Girls, Anne Allison
15. Beauty Fighter "Sailor Chemist," Yuka Kawada
16. Doraemon Goes Abroad, Saya Shiraishi
17. Pop Idols and the Asian Identity, Hiroshi Aoyagi

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

Book Subjects
Exam Request
Award Winners
Forthcoming Books
New Releases