Japan is heterogeneous and culturally diverse, both historically through ancient waves of immigration and in recent years due to its foreign relations and internationalization. However, Japan has socially, culturally, politically, and intellectually constructed a distinct and homogeneous identity. More recently, this identity construction has been rightfully questioned and challenged by Japan’s culturally diverse groups.

This book explores the discursive systems of cultural identities that regenerate the illusion of Japan as a homogeneous nation. Contributors from a variety of disciplines and methodological approaches investigate the ways in which Japan’s homogenizing discourses are challenged and modified by counter-homogeneous message systems. They examine the discursive push-and-pull between homogenizing and heterogenizing vectors, found in domestic and transnational contexts and mobilized by various identity politics, such as gender, sexuality, ethnicity, foreign status, nationality, multiculturalism, and internationalization. After offering a careful and critical analysis, the book calls for a complicating of Japan’s homogenizing discourses in nuanced and contextual ways, with an explicit goal of working towards a culturally diverse Japan.

Taking a critical intercultural communication perspective, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Japanese Studies, Japanese Culture and Japanese Society.

chapter |24 pages


Intercultural communication in Japan: theorizing homogenized discourse
BySatoshi Toyosaki, Shinsuke Eguchi

part I|46 pages

Gender, sexuality, and the body

chapter 1|14 pages

The affective politics of the feminine

An interpassive analysis of Japanese female comedians
BySachi Sekimoto, Yusaku Yajima

chapter 2|14 pages

“It’s a wonderful single life”

Constructions and representations of female singleness in Japan’s contemporary josei dorama
ByEmi Kanemoto, Kristie Collins

chapter 3|16 pages

The shifting gender landscape of Japanese society

ByJustin Charlebois

part II|28 pages

Performance and queerness

chapter 4|13 pages

Japanese male-queer femininity

An autoethnographic reflection on Matsuko Deluxe as an onē-kei talent
ByShinsuke Eguchi

chapter 5|13 pages

Bleach in color

Unpacking gendered, queered, and raced performances in anime
ByReslie Cortés

part III|44 pages

Inclusiveness and Otherness

chapter 6|13 pages

The discursive pushes and pulls of J-pop and K-pop in Taiwan

Cultural homogenization and identity co-optation
ByHsun-Yu (Sharon) Chuang

chapter 7|15 pages

“Hating Korea” (kenkan) in postcolonial Japan

ByAndre Haag

chapter 8|14 pages

Japan’s internationalization

Dialectics of Orientalism and hybridism
BySatoshi Toyosaki, Eric Forbush

part IV|32 pages

Media and framing

chapter 9|14 pages

Ishihara Shintaro’s manga moral panic

The homogenizing rhetoric of Japanese nationalism
ByLucy J. Miller

chapter 10|16 pages

mixi and an imagined boundary of Japan

ByRyuta Komaki

part V|30 pages

Environment and movement

chapter 11|13 pages

Historicization of cherry blossoms

A study of Japan’s homogenizing discourses
ByTakuya Sakurai

chapter 12|15 pages

Alternative vs. conventional

Dialectic relations of the organic agriculture discourse
BySaki Ichihara Fomsgaard

part VI|33 pages

Education and internationalization

chapter 13|17 pages

A dialectic between nationalism and multiculturalism

An analysis of the internationalization discourse in Japan 1
ByAko Inuzuka

chapter 14|14 pages

“I never wanted to be famous”

Pushes and pulls of Whiteness through the eyes of foreign English language teachers in Japan
ByNathaniel Simmons, Yea-Wen Chen