Journal Name: The Journal of Japanese Studies: Winter 2003, Vol. 29, No. 1
Leadership and Political Change in Japan: The Case of the Second Rincho
RICHARD J. SAMUELS
Ideology, social movements, class conflict, culture, and state power dominate most scholarship, whereas leadership is discounted—especially in Japanese studies. This case study of administrative reform demonstrates how powerful individuals manipulate constraints in creative ways, tipping the balance of historical inertia in directions of their choosing—even in Japan. Businessman Doko Toshio and politician Nakasone Yasuhiro reconfigured Japan's ruling coalition, effectively eliminating the distinction between "mainstream" and "antimainstream" conservatives. They warned the bureaucracy that a greater degree of political control was possible and eviscerated the political base of the Japan Socialist Party, the LDP's most formidable rival under the "1955 System."
Becoming a Cucumber: Culture, Nature, and the Good Death in Japan and the United States
SUSAN ORPETT LONG
Interview responses of patients, family members, and health care professionals and observations in health care settings in Japan and the United States are analyzed to better understand ideas that define a good death. This article compares how Americans and Japanese classify causes of death, the timing and place of dying, and questions of pain and burden. Although people in both countries define a good death in broadly similar ways, their metaphors are derived from culturally constructed views of "nature" and of what it means to be human. Such notions do not determine how people actually die, but are the lens through which people interpret their own dying and that of others.
Mongrel Modernism: Hayashi Fumiko's Horoki and Mass Culture
WILLIAM O. GARDNER
This article examines Hayashi Fumiko's novel Horoki (Diary of a vagabond) as a personal and historical narrative of Japanese modernity. Arguing for an acknowledgment of Horoki as a modernist work, it analyzes how Hayashi positions her work with regard to the developing idea of mass culture. Through a consideration of the early mass cultural forms recorded in Hayashi's narrative, it shows how gender and regional identity contribute to the formation of a mass subject who retains the prospect of critical agency.
Volume 29, Number 1 (Winter 2003)
©2003 Society for Japanese Studies
(This journal is available online at: http://depts.washington.edu/jjs/)
Posted with permission from the publisher.