Iwabuchi has conducted extensive interviews with producers, promoters, and consumers of popular culture in Japan and East Asia. Drawing upon this research, he analyzes Japan’s "localizing" strategy of repackaging Western pop culture for Asian consumption and the ways Japanese popular culture arouses regional cultural resonances. He considers how transnational cultural flows are experienced differently in various geographic areas by looking at bilateral cultural flows in East Asia. He shows how Japanese popular music and television dramas are promoted and understood in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and how "Asian" popular culture (especially Hong Kong’s) is received in Japan.
Rich in empirical detail and theoretical insight, Recentering Globalization is a significant contribution to thinking about cultural globalization and transnationalism, particularly in the context of East Asian cultural studies.
Koichi Iwabuchi is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at Waseda University in Tokyo. For many years he was a reporter and producer for Nippon Television Network Corporation (ntv).
In Contesting the Myths of Samurai Baseball Keaveney analyzes the persistent appeal of such mythologizing, arguing that the sport has been serving as a repository for traditional values, to which the Japanese have returned time and again in epochs of uncertainty and change. Baseball and modern culture emerged and developed side by side in Japan, giving cultural representations of this national pastime special insights into Japanese values and their contortions from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Keaveney explains the origins of the cultural construct “Samurai baseball” and reflects on the recurrences of these essentialist discourses at critical junctures in Japan’s modern history. Since the early modern period, writers, filmmakers, and manga artists have alternately affirmed and debunked these popular myths of baseball. This study presents an overview of these cultural products, beginning with Masaoka Shiki’s pioneering baseball writings, then moves on to the long history of baseball films and the venerable tradition of baseball fiction, and finally considers the substantial body of baseball manga and anime. Perhaps what is most striking is the continuous relevance of baseball and its values as a point of cultural reference for the Japanese people; their engagement with baseball is a genuine national love affair.
“A fascinating study of samurai baseball and the culture it represents viewed through historical and contemporary literature, poetry, manga, and movies. An important, original work that is full of insights. Christopher Keaveney has put enormous effort into researching this book and he is to be congratulated. I learned a lot by reading it.” —Robert Whiting, author of You Gotta Have Wa and The Meaning of Ichiro
“Keaveney’s book offers a nuanced introduction to the Japanese model of samurai baseball along with an analysis of many of the works that treat the guiding principles of that model. A fresh look at Japan’s national pastime.” —Bobby Valentine, former MLB player and manager and former manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines of Nippon Professional Baseball
“Christopher Keaveney effortlessly combines a thorough knowledge of Japanese baseball—its players, managers, fans—with the cultural productions surrounding it. The result is a nostalgic trip through history and an edifying survey of literature, film, and manga.” —David Desser, professor emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Including a new preface by the editor to bring the book fully up-to-date with cultural developments since 2001, this Encyclopedia will be an invaluable reference tool for students of Japanese and Asian Studies, as well as providing a fascinating insight into Japanese culture for the general reader.
In analyzing the popularity of Pokémon, this innovative volume addresses core debates about the globalization of popular culture and about children’s consumption of mass-produced culture. Topics explored include the origins of Pokémon in Japan’s valorization of cuteness and traditions of insect collecting and anime; the efforts of Japanese producers and American marketers to localize it for foreign markets by muting its sex, violence, moral ambiguity, and general feeling of Japaneseness; debates about children’s vulnerability versus agency as consumers; and the contentious question of Pokémon’s educational value and place in school. The contributors include teachers as well as scholars from the fields of anthropology, media studies, sociology, and education. Tracking the reception of Pokémon in Japan, the United States, Great Britain, France, and Israel, they emphasize its significance as the first Japanese cultural product to enjoy substantial worldwide success and challenge western dominance in the global production and circulation of cultural goods.
Contributors. Anne Allison, Linda-Renée Bloch, Helen Bromley, Gilles Brougere, David Buckingham, Koichi Iwabuchi, Hirofumi Katsuno, Dafna Lemish, Jeffrey Maret, Julian Sefton-Green, Joseph Tobin, Samuel Tobin, Rebekah Willet, Christine Yano