Recasting Red Culture in Proletarian Japan: Childhood, Korea, and the Historical Avant-Garde

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Recasting Red Culture turns a critical eye on the influential proletarian cultural movement that flourished in 1920s and 1930s Japan. This was a diverse, cosmopolitan, and highly contested moment in Japanese history when notions of political egalitarianism were being translated into cultural practices specific to the Japanese experience. Both a political and historiographical intervention, the book offers a fascinating account of the passions—and antinomies—that animated one of the most admirable intellectual and cultural movements of Japan’s twentieth century, and argues that proletarian literature, cultural workers, and institutions fundamentally enrich our understanding of Japanese culture.

Weaving over a dozen translated fairytales, poems, and short stories into his narrative, Samuel Perry offers a fundamentally new approach to studying revolutionary culture. By examining the margins of the proletarian cultural movement, Perry effectively redefines its center as he closely reads and historicizes proletarian children’s culture, avant-garde “wall fiction,” and a literature that bears witness to Japan’s fraught relationship with its Korean colony. Along the way, he shows how proletarian culture opened up new critical spaces in the intersections of class, popular culture, childhood, gender, and ethnicity.

2014 | 248 pages | 12 illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-8248-3893-5 | $49.00s | Cloth

Capturing Contemporary Japan: Differentiation and Uncertainty

KawanoCOVER8.inddWhat are people’s life experiences in present-day Japan? Capturing Contemporary Japan addresses fundamental questions vital to understanding Japan in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Its chapters collectively reveal a questioning of middle-class ideals once considered the essence of Japaneseness. In the postwar model household, a man was expected to obtain a job at a major firm that offered life-long employment; his counterpart, the “professional” housewife, managed the domestic sphere and the children, who were educated in a system that provided a path to mainstream success.

Contributors draw on rich, nuanced fieldwork data collected during the 2000s to examine work, schooling, family and marital relations, child rearing, entertainment, lifestyle choices, community support, consumption and waste, material culture, well-being, aging, death and memorial rites, and sexuality. The voices in these pages vary widely: They include schoolchildren, teenagers, career women, unmarried women, young mothers, people with disabilities, small business owners, organic farmers, retirees, and the elderly.

Edited by Satsuki Kawano, Glenda S. Roberts, and Susan Orpett Long

2014 | 376 pages | 12 illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-8248-3868-3 | $55.00s | Cloth
ISBN: 978-0-8248-3869-0 | $25.00s | Paper

New Catalog Available: Asian Studies 2014

2014 Asian Studies coverTimed to coincide with the Association for Asian Studies annual meeting, our Asian Studies 2014 catalog of recent and forthcoming titles is now available. Books published prior to 2013 and currently in print can be found at our website.)

To download the PDF (6.3M), click on the catalog cover image to the left or go to: https://uhpress.wordpress.com/latest-catalogs/. If you wish to receive a print version, please write to us by clicking here.

UH Press at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, March 27-30, Philadelphia

AAS-2014-meetingUniversity of Hawai‘i Press is exhibiting at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, March 27-30, held this year at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown hotel.

We have a larger than usual contingent attending: UHP director Michael Duckworth; editors Patricia Crosby, Pamela Kelley, and Stephanie Chun; marketing director Colins Kawai; and sales manager Royden Muranaka. Please visit us at booths 110-116 to see our latest titles and take advantage of the conference offer of a 20% discount and free shipping in the U.S. (Free shipping applies only to orders received or placed at the conference.) Our new Asian Studies print catalog will also be distributed.

Exhibiting across the aisle from us are publishing partners: Cornell University East Asia Program (booth 111), MerwinAsia and Seoul Selection (booth 113), NIAS Press-Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (booth 117), and NUS Press-Singapore (booth 115).

See you in Philly!

Beyond Ainu Studies: Changing Academic and Public Perspectives

Hudson-BeyondAinuStudiesIn 2008, 140 years after it had annexed Ainu lands, the Japanese government shocked observers by finally recognizing Ainu as an Indigenous people. In this moment of unparalleled political change, it was Uzawa Kanako, a young Ainu activist, who signalled the necessity of moving beyond the historical legacy of “Ainu studies.” Mired in a colonial mindset of abject academic practices, Ainu Studies was an umbrella term for an approach that claimed scientific authority vis-à-vis Ainu, who became its research objects. As a result of this legacy, a latent sense of suspicion still hangs over the purposes and intentions of non-Ainu researchers.

This major new volume seeks to re-address the role of academic scholarship in Ainu social, cultural, and political affairs. Placing Ainu firmly into current debates over Indigeneity, Beyond Ainu Studies provides a broad yet critical overview of the history and current status of Ainu research.

Gender and Law in the Japanese Imperium

Gender and Law in the Japanese ImperiumArguing against the popular stereotype of Japan as a non-litigious society, an international group of contributors from Japan, Taiwan, Germany, and the U.S. explores how in Japan and its colonies, as elsewhere in the modern world, law became a fundamental means of creating and regulating gendered subjects and social norms in the period from the 1870s to the 1950s. In Gender and Law in the Japanese Imperium, the authors suggest that legal discourse was subject to negotiation, interpretation, and contestation at every level of their formulation and deployment.

With this as a shared starting point, they explore key issues such reproductive and human rights, sexuality, prostitution, gender and criminality, and the formation of the modern conceptions of family and conjugality, and use these issues to complicate our understanding of the impact of civil, criminal, and administrative laws upon the lives of both Japanese citizens and colonial subjects. The result is a powerful rethinking of not only gender and law, but also the relationships between the state and civil society, the metropole and the colonies, and Japan and the West.