DOI link for Introduction
This chapter argues that the Heisei period is characterized by two events: economic stagnation, on the one hand, and social aging and population decline, on the other. Nobody is affected by these developments more than the young generation, i.e., those who have been born in this period. After reviewing the literature on the young generation in Japan, we argue that “generation” needs to be treated more analytically and propose towards this end to apply a framework spelled out by Karl Mannheim. Doing so requires us to study formative events of the generation that was born and raised in the Heisei period as well as the cultural reactions of these young people to these events. Both perspectives need then to be put into relation with one another, if we are to understand what it means to be young in super-aging and economically stagnant Japan.