Japan in the Heisei Era (1989–2019) provides a retrospective and multidisciplinary account of a society in flux. Featuring analyses from leading scholars around the globe, this textbook examines the evolving contexts of Japan throughout the Heisei era and how longstanding verities and values have been called into question. Asking what this holds for Japan’s future relations with the world and within its own communities, chapters delve beneath the layers of a complex and increasingly diverse society, exploring topics including simmering ethnonationalism, economic torpor, political stagnation, and cultural dynamics.

Features of this textbook include:
• Analysis of key social issues ranging from immigration, civil society, press freedom, politics, labour and the economy, to diversity, the marginalisation of women, Shinto, and Aum Shinrikyo
• Evaluation of the legacy of Emperor Akihito on war memory, the imperial institution, art, regional relations, and constitutional revision
• Multidisciplinary insights from both the social sciences and humanities
• Rich illustrations for visual analysis of developments in contemporary Japanese literature, film, art, and pop culture

Providing students with dynamic analyses of how contemporary Japanese society continues to transform, this textbook is essential reading for students of Japanese Studies, including Japanese culture, society, history, and politics.

part 1|30 pages

Symbol emperor

chapter 1|12 pages

The people's imperial couple

chapter 2|17 pages

Contemporary goshin'ei

The Emperor, art, and the anus

part 2|52 pages

Government and politics

chapter 3|12 pages

The rightward shift of Japanese politics

Interest, reform, and identity

chapter 5|12 pages

Heisei Okinawa

What changed?

part 3|28 pages

Civil society

chapter 7|15 pages

Civil society and neoliberalism

Heisei's historic convergence

chapter 8|12 pages

Still half free

The Japanese media in the Heisei era

part 4|42 pages

Economy and work

chapter 9|15 pages

The Heisei economy

Explaining the lost decades

chapter 11|13 pages

Japan's immigration in the Heisei era

Population, policy, and the ethno-nationalist dilemma

part 5|40 pages


chapter 12|12 pages

Women's leadership and gender equality

chapter 13|14 pages

Preserving the status quo

Japan's laws and policies on ethnic and sexual minorities

chapter 14|13 pages

From tiramisù to #MeToo

Triangulations of sex, gender, and sexuality in Heisei Japan

part 6|26 pages


chapter 15|12 pages

Shinto during the Heisei era

chapter 16|13 pages

The life and death of a Heisei religious movement

What the Aum Shinrikyō affair revealed about Japanese society

part 7|40 pages

Cool Japan?

chapter 18|11 pages

The Evangelion boom

On the explosion of fan markets and lifestyles in Heisei Japan

chapter 19|14 pages

The genealogy of kawaii

part 8|26 pages

Multivoiced narratives

chapter 20|12 pages

A false peace

Literature in the age of Heisei

chapter 21|13 pages

Cinema's uneasy social critique

The Heisei era onscreen

part 9|58 pages

History and memory

chapter 22|13 pages

Heisei historiography

Academic history and public commemoration in Japan, 1990–2020

chapter 23|17 pages

Implicated photographs

Wartime postmemory and the photographic unconsciousness in the Heisei era

chapter 24|12 pages

The loss of nostalgia, not the nostalgia of loss

Or, what happens in Heisei stays in Heisei

chapter 25|15 pages

The tumultuous finale: 2009–2019