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Despite a long history, the organized field of research on voluntaristics in Japan has emerged only in the past two decades. This article presents a comprehensive review of voluntaristics research in Japan through an overview of past studies and recent hot topics. Nonprofit sector and voluntary action research, now termed voluntaristics (Smith, 2016), is reviewed here using four approaches: organizational, economic, employment, and charitable giving. Discussion of recent changes in the political-legal environment for nonprofit agencies and associations as well as of collaboration among nonprofits, governments, and businesses are presented. The article also covers some of the key topics in recent years, including rising social movements and advocacy, social impact bonds, social capital, and information and communication technologies (ICT) and social media.
In discussing the emergence, expansion, and diversification of nonprofit research in Japan, the article makes two main arguments. First, we argue that studies of voluntaristics are rather recent in Japan, still in pursuit of their own originality. Second, we argue that nonprofit research in Japan is constantly looking for an ideal relationship with practice. Research appears to have not fully caught up with the changing landscape of nonprofits in action, and research has not been able to guide practice into the best next steps. The article highlights characteristics of nonprofit sector research in Japan as well as suggesting key questions for future research.
The Writings of Joy Hendry
Joy Hendry's collection demonstrates the value of an anthropological approach to understanding a particular society by taking the reader through her own discovery of the field, explaining her practice of it in Oxford and Japan, and then offering a selection of the results and findings she obtained. Her work starts with a study of marriage made in a small rural community, continues with education and the rearing of children, and later turns to consider polite language, especially amongst women. This lead into a study of "wrapping" and cultural display, for example of gardens and theme parks, which became a comparative venture, putting Japan in a global context. Finally the book sums up change through the period of Hendry's research.
Politics and Society in Japan, 1350-1850
Editor: Martha Chaiklin
Mediated by Gifts is a collection of essays by top scholars on gifts, giving and the social and political forces that shaped these practices in medieval and early modern Japan. The international assemblage of authors provides new insights into these deeply ingrained practices. The essays focus on topics such as shogunal visits to shrines and temples, exchanges between the imperial house and the shogun, a physician and his patients, the shogun, his vassals his and his ladies, the merchant class and the shogunal government, and between scholars and their cosmopolitan circle of contacts. This virtually unexplored view of Japanese history provides new tools to better elucidate both historical and modern Japan. Contributors are Lee Butler, Andrew Goble, Kaneko Hiraku, Laura Nenzi, Ozawa Emiko, Cecilia Segawa Siegle, and Margarita Winkel.
The chapters in this volume variously challenge a number of long-standing assumptions regarding eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Japanese society, and especially that society’s values, structure and hierarchy; the practical limits of state authority; and the emergence of individual and collective identity. By interrogating the concept of equality on both sides of the 1868 divide, the volume extends this discussion beyond the late-Tokugawa period into the early-Meiji and even into the present. An Epilogue examines some of the historiographical issues that form a background to this enquiry. Taken together, the chapters offer answers and perspectives that are highly original and should prove stimulating to all those interested in early modern Japanese cultural, intellectual, and social history
Contributors include: Daniel Botsman, W. Puck Brecher, Gideon Fujiwara, Eiko Ikegami, Jun’ichi Isomae, James E. Ketelaar, Yasunori Kojima, Peter Nosco, Naoki Sakai, Gregory Smits, M. William Steele, and Anne Walthall.
Deciphering the Enigma of Japanese Capitalism
The Reproductive Bargain reveals the institutional sources of labor insecurities behind Japan’s postwar employment system. This economic juggernaut’s decline cannot be understood without reference to the reproductive bargain. The historical terms of the reproductive bargain rests on the establishment of company citizenship in support of a standard employment relationship, privileging the male breadwinner in calculations for benefits in exchange for the salarymen working long hours in relatively secure jobs at the enterprise and relying on women’s unpaid reproductive labor in the family and increasingly on women’s waged work in nonstandard jobs. Such institutionalized relationships, formerly the engines of growth and stability, drag economic expansion and employment security. Gendering institutional analysis is a key to deciphering the enigma of Japanese capitalism.
Based upon a survey of five faith-based volunteer groups, Promising Practices offers valuable insights and fresh perspectives into the ways women’s participation in religious civic organizations may work as a gateway toward participatory democracy. By approaching women’s faith-based volunteering as a social practice, the book engages with three of the most important dimensions of civil society: gender, religion, and democracy. Cavaliere teases out the complexity of interactions among these three dimensions of civic life through stories of individual women who volunteer for three different religious organizations. The volume examines how faith-based volunteering is experienced by women in contemporary Japan and how it becomes a site of empowering and disempowering practices through which women balance the benefits and the costs of personal shifts, socio-economic changes and democratic transformation.

The Japanese Lifestyle Migrants in Australia
In Migration as Transnational Leisure: The Japanese Lifestyle Migrants in Australia Jun Nagatomo discusses a new type of migration in which “lifestyle” is at the core of middle class aspirations to migrate. Traditionally, international migration has been commonly seen as resulting from economic, political and religious causes. However, this book studies an intriguing new dynamic between the social transformation and the Japanese engagement with tourism and migration. Since the 1990s, when Japan was struggling with the recession, increasing numbers of young middle class Japanese began to drift from the safe and assured life course model and chose to live abroad. This book explores how lifestyle values affect migration decision of Japanese migrants in Australia and settlement processes in the migration destination.
Culture and Disaster in Japan
Editor: Roy Starrs
Edited by Roy Starrs, this collection of essays by an international group of leading experts on Japanese religion, anthropology, history, literature and music presents new research and thinking on the long and complex relationship between culture and disaster in Japan, one of the most “disaster-prone” countries in the world. Focusing first on responses to the triple disasters of March 2011, the book then puts the topic in a wider historical context by looking at responses to earlier disasters, both natural and man-made, including the great quakes of 1995 and 1923 and the atomic bombings of 1945. This wide-ranging “double structure” enables an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the issues involved that goes well beyond the clichés and the headlines.