The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Japan presents a synthesized, interdisciplinary study of contemporary Japan based on up-to-date theoretical models designed to provide readers with a comprehensive and full understanding of the dynamics of contemporary Japan. In order to achieve this, the Handbook is organized into two parts. Part I, ‘Foundations’, clarifies the state of contemporary Japan topic by topic by referring to the latest theoretical developments in the relevant disciplinary fields of politics, international relations, economy, society, culture and the personal. Part II, ‘Issues’, then offers a series of concrete analyses building upon the theoretical discussions introduced in Part I to help undergraduate and postgraduate students learn how to conduct independent analysis.

Locating Japan in a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective, this Handbook is an essential resource for students and scholars interested in Japanese studies, Asian studies and global studies.

chapter |8 pages


The contemporariness of contemporary Japan
ByHiroko Takeda, Mark Williams

part Part I|212 pages


chapter 1|14 pages


War memory and Japan’s ‘postwar’
ByElyssa Faison

chapter 2|17 pages


After the demise of ‘the 1955 system’
ByGill Steel

chapter 3|16 pages

The Law in Japan

ByGiorgio Fabio Colombo

chapter 4|22 pages

The Japanese Economy

ByFranz Waldenberger

chapter 5|22 pages

Work and Employment

Inside, outside and beyond the lifetime employment model
BySteffen Heinrich, Jun Imai

chapter 6|16 pages

Civil Society in Japan

ByMary Alice Haddad

chapter 7|17 pages

Structures and Dynamics of Japan’s Urban-Rural Relationship

ByThomas Feldhoff

chapter 8|20 pages

Japan’s New Immigration

Gap in admission policy and diversity in socio-economic integration
ByDavid Chiavacci

chapter 9|16 pages

The Discursive Politics of Gender in Japan

ByHiroko Takeda

chapter 10|20 pages

Family and Demographic Issues in Japan

ByMary C. Brinton

chapter 11|15 pages

Popular Imagination in Japan

ByRumi Sakamoto

chapter 12|15 pages

Japan’s International Relations

ByMisato Matsuoka, Christopher W. Hughes

part Part II|286 pages


chapter 13|9 pages

Democracy in Japan

BySherry L. Martin

chapter 14|15 pages

Japan’s Territorial Problems

Continuing legacies of the San Francisco System
ByKimie Hara

chapter 15|19 pages

The Politics of Nationalism and Identity in Contemporary Japan

ByJeff Kingston

chapter 16|12 pages

Employment Regulation and Practices

The production and consumption of non-regular work
ByHuiyan Fu

chapter 17|13 pages

Energy Issues in Japan

ByAndrew DeWit

chapter 18|13 pages

Japan and the Environment

Industrial pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change
ByPeter Matanle

chapter 19|14 pages

Japan’s Post-Catch-up Modernity

Educational transformation and its unintended consequences
ByTakehiko Kariya

chapter 20|15 pages

University Reform in Japan

ByTam Takamichi Mito

chapter 21|15 pages

Studying Japan’s Generations

ByAgata Kapturkiewicz, Tuukka Toivonen

chapter 22|13 pages

Gender Equality in Japan

ByPriscilla Lambert

chapter 23|8 pages

Femininity and Masculinity

ByLaura Dales, Futoshi Taga

chapter 24|11 pages


ByHiroyuki Taniguchi

chapter 25|9 pages


ByAlexandra Hambleton

chapter 26|12 pages


ByNicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna

chapter 27|12 pages


ByTakayoshi Yamamura, Philip Seaton

chapter 28|14 pages

Young Urban Migrants in the Japanese Countryside Between Self-Realization and Slow Life?

The quest for ‘small-scale happiness’ and alternative lifestyles in post-growth Japan
BySusanne Klien

chapter 29|14 pages

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

The political economy of Tokyo hosting the world
ByWolfram Manzenreiter

chapter 30|17 pages

Social Malaise in Japan

ByRoman Rosenbaum

chapter 31|13 pages

Media in Japan

ByYoshitaka Mōri

chapter 32|10 pages

Mobile Reflections

Rethinking digitality in a post-3/11 Japan
ByLarissa Hjorth

chapter 33|13 pages


Rooting and routing of Uchinānchu and Shimā
ByAyano Ginoza

chapter 34|13 pages

The Great East Japan Earthquake and Post-Disaster Japan

ByAllison Kwesell, Joo-Young Jung