DOI link for Introduction
The introductory chapter clarifies this book’s aims and scope. By ‘new frontiers in Japanese Studies’ we are referring to a shift in geographical emphasis from the United States and the United Kingdom to countries in the Asia-Pacific region through the integration of multiple perspectives on Japanese society from hereto scholarly underrepresented areas. We also envision ‘new frontiers’ as a repositioning of Japanese Studies from ‘outsiders looking in’ to ‘insiders looking out’. Lastly, we perceive a ‘new frontier’ in Japanese Studies as a decisive movement away from the idea that people working in Japanese Studies are primarily presenting case studies while eschewing theoretical contributions to knowledge. Ultimately, this chapter proposes that scholarship should go beyond methodological nationalism – an assumption that the nation-state is the natural and necessary form of society in modernity. To re-conceptualise Japanese Studies, we will open up new horizons by demonstrating how we can make the empirical investigation of border crossings and other transnational phenomena possible. The methodology we employ in this book is in line with Yoshio Sugimoto’s notion of ‘cosmopolitan methodology’ (presented in Rethinking Japanese Studies, Routledge 2018). In so doing, we make Japanese Studies ever more multicultural, multilingual, interdisciplinary and transnational in nature.