Exporting theory ‘made in Japan’
DOI link for Exporting theory ‘made in Japan’
Exporting theory ‘made in Japan’ book
Japan and Japanese Studies have long struggled to take centre stage in the international social sciences and humanities. This is reflected in citation rates for Japan-related research and Japanese university rankings, which have both struggled to be commensurate with Japan’s broader global economic importance. Making Japanese Studies relevant in the twenty-first century requires jettisoning the thinking that Japan is somehow a ‘unique’ case study, and identifying topics on which Japan-related research not only comprises an important case study on a theme of global relevance but also takes a lead in scholarly debates regarding theory and global implications. One example is tourism induced by popular culture, known in Japan as ‘contents tourism’. This concept, which was ‘Made in Japan’, has considerable theoretical advantages over related approaches developed in the West, such as ‘literary tourism’ or ‘film tourism’, even when applied back to case studies in the West previously discussed as forms of film or literary tourism. This chapter discusses how tourism scholars with little prior focus on Asia have started incorporating contents tourism theory into their work on other regions/countries, and why broadly applicable theory generated in Japan/Asia is an important topic within the continued development of area studies.