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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #147: June 9, 2004

Japanese Studies

Journal Name: Japanese Studies: May 2004, Vol. 24, No. 1
ISSN: 1037-1397 (Paper), 1469-9338 (Online)


An act prejudicial to the occupation forces: migration controls and Korean residents in post-surrender Japan (pp5 - 28)
Tessa Morris-Suzuki (Australian National University)
This article uses previously neglected archival material to shed new light on issues of frontiers, migration and the status of Koreans in occupation-period Japan. When Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945, there were some two million Koreans in Japan. The occupation authorities had little understanding of the Korean community in Japan, and the policies they introduced towards them were often harsh and contradictory. In particular, the imposition of stringent migration controls to prevent Koreans from moving back and forth across the border between Korea and Japan had severe consequences for Japan's largest ethnic minority. Occupation-period border controls were largely enforced by members of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF), including British, Australian, New Zealand and Australian troops. Using BCOF archives, the article shows how the occupation forces cooperated with the Japanese police, sometimes in the process reviving wartime social control measures, in order to control the mobility of Korean in Japan. This collaboration had a lasting impact on the status of the resident Korean community and of other foreign communities in Japan. BCOF also appears to have provided the initiative for the introduction of Japan's controversial post-war alien registration system.

The third way and beyond: Zainichi Korean identity and the politics of belonging (pp29 - 44)
David Chapman (University of South Australia)
Although life for Japan's zainichi Korean population has been influenced by many factors, the development of discourse and debate internal to the zainichi population from the early 1970s onwards reflects enormous change in perspectives of the location of zainichi identity. In this paper I trace the internal discourse produced by zainichi intellectuals and public commentators from the early 1970s until the early 2000s and argue that the genesis of this discourse can be represented by a temporal and spatial shift in power and politics from older to younger generations. This shift in power allowed for the creation of a hybrid identity away from the hegemonic control of zainichi political organisations and anti-Japanese nationalism. In particular, I focus on Kim Iong Myung's articulation of the third way and its progressive, but at the same time excusatory, characteristics and how this and subsequent debate have been concerned primarily with the location of zainichi identity.

The US-Japan alliance in the new Post Cold War (pp45 - 59)
Stephanie A. Weston (Fukuoka University)
The period after 9/11 has been labeled the new post Cold War or 'post post Cold War':1 an era of increased asymmetrical threats and terrorism, deeper global cooperation concerning counter-terrorism and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), growing US unilateralism as well as isolation and the birth of the Bush Doctrine. Beyond 9/11, what is the meaning of the new post Cold War for the US-Japan alliance? This paper will address this question from the perspectives of both the United States and Japan in this new era.

Poetry, sex and salvation: the 'courtesan' and the noblewoman in medieval Japanese narratives (pp61 - 79)
Rajyashree Pandey (La Trobe University)
This paper looks at the textual transformation of noblewomen/poets such as Izumi Shikibu into yūjo or courtesans and bodhisattvas. In trying to make sense of this remarkable reconfiguration, it looks at the many contending Buddhist discourses that shaped medieval texts. It argues that while the practice of poetry, in the hands of male poets, becomes a revered michi which is seen as being concomitant with the Buddhist Way, the noblewoman's poetry is not granted the same status. Women are seen as inherently sinful and lustful and hence their poetry cannot be easily assimilated to the goal of enlightenment. It is by recasting the noblewoman as yūjo, thereby foregrounding and indeed exaggerating her sexuality, that medieval texts, drawing on tantric and other practices, are able to salvage both the noblewoman and her poetry.

Constructing rape: judicial narratives on trial (pp81 - 96)
Catherine Burns (Griffith University)
This paper aims to clarify conflicting accounts of the fundamental elements of rape law and its interpretation in Japan. The central question is how judges in Japan understand rape and sexual violation more generally. The paper is part of a larger project that explores the process of judicial decision making in Japan and, in particular, the social context shaping those decisions. I use a qualitative analysis of 41 cases involving sexual assaults to examine the ways in which judges construct gender, sexuality and sex. My analysis draws on the legal storytelling approach to highlight a pattern in judicial decision making that results in the exclusion or disqualification of narratives of rape, and thus women's and men's experiences, that do not conform to pervasive rape stereotypes.

Gender power under female leadership: a local women's association in Japan (pp97 - 114)
Naomi Tsunematsu (Hiroshima University)
In this article I examine the major activities of one of Japan's local women's associations (fujinkai),1 the Yosugi Women's Association (YWA),2 to demonstrate how women exercise power by utilizing gender roles in voluntary community activities.3 Since women's unpaid labor in structured organizations in the public sphere has been a topic of study over the last decade,4 exploring how the concept of gender has enhanced the significance of women in unpaid community activities is timely. Voluntary work has been underestimated in labor history, women's history, and feminist theories, and is in need of a proper theoretical framework. In addition, I observed characteristics of women in this local voluntary association and show that the patterns of members' behavior challenge longstanding stereotypes.

From subjects to citizens: Japan's evolving consumer identity (pp115 - 134)
Patricia L. MacLachlan (University of Texas at Austin)
One of the most puzzling features of the postwar Japanese consumer movement has been its tendency to support pro-producer goals in its political campaigns. This can be attributed to a distinctive postwar consumer identity that is rooted in the values and beliefs of the broader political economy and that stresses compromise among contending interests. Employing the theoretical language of 'framing', I explore the historical evolution of that identity, its impact on the consumer movement's political preferences, and the appearance of more adversarial 'consumers-as-citizens' on the political landscape. Along the way, I show how the organized consumer movement is both a reflection and a harbinger of changing approaches to democratic participation in postwar Japan.

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