The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Media is a comprehensive study of the key contemporary issues and scholarly discussions around Japanese media. Covering a wide variety of forms and types from newspapers, television and fi lm, to music, manga and social media, this book examines the role of the media in shaping Japanese society from the Meiji era’s intense engagement with Western culture to our current period of rapid digital innovation.

Featuring the work of an international team of scholars, the handbook is divided into five thematic sections:

  • The historical background of the Japanese media from the Meiji Restoration to the immediate postwar era.
  • Japan’s national and political identity imagined and negotiated through diff erent aspects of the media, including Japan’s ‘lost decade’ of the 1990s and today’s ‘post- Fukushima’ society.
  • The representation of Japanese identities, including race, gender and sexuality, in contemporary media.
  • The role of Japanese media in everyday life.
  • The Japanese media in a broader global context.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this book will be of use to students and scholars of Japanese culture and society, Asian media and Japanese popular culture.

chapter |8 pages


Why the Japanese media?

part I|89 pages

The rise of Japanese media

chapter 1|11 pages

Who’s the ‘great imitator’?

Critical reflections on Japan’s historical transcultural influence

chapter 5|17 pages


Mizuno Hideko and the development of 1960s sho¯jo manga

part II|67 pages

Media, nation, politics and nostalgia

chapter 7|20 pages

Born again yokozuna

Sports and national identity

chapter 9|18 pages

‘National idols’

The case of AKB48 in Japan

part III|89 pages

Japanese identities – plural: race, gender and sexuality in contemporary media

chapter 11|11 pages

Queering mainstream media

Matsuko Deluxe as modern-day kuroko

chapter 12|20 pages

Mediated masculinities

Negotiating the ‘normal’ in the Japanese female-to-male trans magazine Laph

chapter 13|13 pages

Writing sexual identity onto the small screen

Seitekishōsū-sha (sexual minorities) in Japan 1

chapter 14|15 pages

Housewives watching crime

Mediating social identity and voyeuristic pleasures in Japanese wide shows 1

chapter 15|13 pages

Beyond the absent father stereotype

Representations of parenting men and their families in contemporary Japanese film

chapter 16|15 pages

Japan Times’ imagined communities

Symbolic boundaries with African Americans, 1998–2013

part IV|106 pages

Japanese media in everyday life

chapter 17|16 pages

Culture of the print newspaper

The decline of the Japanese mass press

chapter 18|17 pages

Japanese youth and SNS use

Peer surveillance and the conditions governing tomodachi

chapter 20|13 pages

Keitai in Japan

chapter 21|15 pages

Character goods, cheerfulness and cuteness

‘Consumutopian’ spaces as communicative media

chapter 22|27 pages

Nature, media and the future

Unnatural disaster, animist anime and eco-media activism in Japan

part V|60 pages

Japanese media and the global

chapter 24|13 pages

I hate you, no I love you

Growing up with Japanese media in (postcolonial) South Korea

chapter 25|15 pages

Remade by Inter-Asia

The transnational practice and business of screen adaptations based on Japanese source material 1

chapter 26|16 pages

Anime’s distribution worlds

Formal and information distribution in the analogue and digital eras

chapter |4 pages


Final reflections on the Japanese media’s global voyage