Cultural Anthropology has published a number of essays that trace the transformations in class, gender and identity which Japanese society has undergone in the last one hundred years. Authors have examined the shifting cultural forms and categories that Japanese people have used to define and redefine collective and personal identities during decades of rapid technological change, war, and economic growth. In helping to explain the formation of Japan as a modern nation state, these authors have also shed light on interactions between non-Western and Western cultures, on the fears colonialism stirred in Japan, on the violent processes of imperial domination, and on the beginnings of Japanese globalization.
Looking back at the elites who controlled Japanese economic and political life before World War II in a 1990 essay, for example, Takie Sugiyama Lebra identified the crucial role that the middle class and peasantry played in preparing children of the aristocracy for their formal roles as leaders. In a 2003 essay, Miyako Inoue traced the origins of contemporary upper middle class women's speech in the slang and gleeful bantering of schoolgirls in prewar Japan. In his analysis of Japanese attitudes toward race in another 1990 essay, John Russell describes how the heavy reliance on Western images and ideas of blackness allowed Japanese culture to preserve the notion of the "other" as alien while allowing them to reflect on an imagined uniqueness of Japan.
Cultural Anthropology essays can be accessed electronically through AnthroSource, http://www.anthrosource.net/, which is available through most research libraries and to all members of the American Anthropological Association. Cultural Anthropology can also be accessed through a pay-per-view system. Journalists may request PDFs from Cultural Anthropology's editorial office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
RUNAWAY STORIES: The Underground Micromovements of Filipina Oyomesan in Rural Japan
Cultural Anthropology Nov. 2008, Vol. 23, No. 4: 630-659
The Listening Subject of Japanese Modernity and His Auditory Double: Citing, Sighting, and Siting the Modern Japanese Woman
Cultural Anthropology May 2003, Vol. 18, No. 2: 156-193.
Cyborg Violence: Bursting Borders and Bodies with Queer Machines
Cultural Anthropology May 2001, Vol. 16, No. 2: 237-265.
Gender, Modernity, and Eroticized Internationalism in Japan
Cultural Anthropology May 1999, Vol. 14, No. 2: 229-255.
Race and Reflexivity: The Black Other in Contemporary Japanese Mass Culture
Cultural Anthropology Feb 1991, Vol. 6, No. 1: 3-25.
The Ambivalent Self of the Contemporary Japanese
Cultural Anthropology May 1990, Vol. 5, No. 2: 197-216.
The Socialization of Aristocratic Children by Commoners: Recalled Experiences of the Hereditary Elite in Modern Japan
Takie Sugiyama Lebra
Cultural Anthropology Feb 1990, Vol. 5, No. 1: 78-100.