Specifically designed for use on a range of undergraduate and graduate courses, Introducing Japanese Popular Culture is a comprehensive textbook offering an up-to-date overview of a wide variety of media forms. It uses particular case studies as a way into examining the broader themes in Japanese culture and provides a thorough analysis of the historical and contemporary trends that have shaped artistic production, as well as, politics, society, and economics. As a result, more than being a time capsule of influential trends, this book teaches enduring lessons about how popular culture reflects the societies that produce and consume it.

With contributions from an international team of scholars, representing a range of disciplines from history and anthropology to art history and media studies, the book’s sections include:

  • Television
  • Videogames
  • Music
  • Popular Cinema
  • Anime
  • Manga
  • Popular Literature
  • Fashion
  • Contemporary Art

Written in an accessible style by a stellar line-up of international contributors, this textbook will be essential reading for students of Japanese culture and society, Asian media and popular culture, and Asian Studies in general.

chapter 1|10 pages

Introducing Japanese Popular Culture

Serious Approaches to Playful Delights
ByAlisa Freedman, Toby Slade

part I|24 pages


chapter 2|13 pages


Japan’s Surprisingly Cheeky Mascot
ByDebra J. Occhi

chapter 3|11 pages

Hello Kitty Is Not a Cat?!?

Tracking Japanese Cute Culture at Home and Abroad 1
ByChristine R. Yano

part II|34 pages


chapter 4|13 pages

The Grotesque Hero

Depictions of Justice in Tokusatsu Superhero Television Programs
ByHirofumi Katsuno

chapter 5|11 pages

Tokyo Love Story

Romance of the Working Woman in Japanese Television Dramas 1
ByAlisa Freedman

chapter 6|10 pages

The World Too Much with Us in Japanese Travel Television 1

ByKendall Heitzman

part III|22 pages


chapter 7|12 pages

Nuclear Discourse in Final Fantasy VII

Embodied Experience and Social Critique
ByRachael Hutchinson

chapter 8|10 pages

The Cute Shall Inherit the Earth

Post-Apocalyptic Posthumanity in Tokyo Jungle
ByKathryn Hemmann

part IV|43 pages

Fan Media and Technology

chapter 9|13 pages

Managing Manga Studies in the Convergent Classroom

ByMark McLelland

chapter 10|10 pages


Expressive Energy in Female Self-Photography
ByLaura Miller

chapter 11|9 pages

Studio Ghibli Media Tourism

ByCraig Norris

chapter 12|11 pages

Hatsune Miku

Virtual Idol, Media Platform, and Crowd-Sourced Celebrity 1
ByIan Condry

part V|56 pages


chapter 13|13 pages

Electrifying the Japanese Teenager Across Generations

The Role of the Electric Guitar in Japan’s Popular Culture 1
ByMichael Furmanovsky

chapter 14|10 pages

The “Pop Pacific”

Japanese-American Sojourners and the Development of Japanese Popular Music
ByJayson Makoto Chun

chapter 15|10 pages

AKB Business

Idols and Affective Economics in Contemporary Japan
ByPatrick W. Galbraith

chapter 16|12 pages

In Search of Japanoise

Globalizing Underground Music
ByDavid Novak

chapter 17|11 pages

Korean Pop Music in Japan

Understanding the Complex Relationship Between Japan and Korea in the Popular Culture Realm 1
ByEun-Young Jung

part VI|36 pages

Popular Cinema

chapter 18|13 pages

The Prehistory of Soft Power

Godzilla, Cheese, and the American Consumption of Japan
ByWilliam M. Tsutsui

chapter 19|12 pages

The Rise of Japanese Horror Films

Yotsuya Ghost Story (Yotsuya Kaidan), Demonic Men, and Victimized Women
ByKyoko Hirano

chapter 20|11 pages


How Home Video Revitalized Japanese Film and Mystified Film Historians
ByTom Mes

part VII|36 pages


chapter 21|14 pages

Apocalyptic Animation

In the Wake of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Godzilla, and Baudrillard 1
ByAlan Cholodenko

chapter 22|11 pages

Toy Stories

Robots and Magical Girls in Anime Marketing
ByRenato Rivera Rusca

chapter 23|11 pages

Condensing the Media Mix

The Tatami Galaxy’s Multiple Possible Worlds 1
ByMarc Steinberg

part VIII|48 pages


chapter 24|14 pages

Gekiga, or Japanese Alternative Comics

The Mediascape of Japanese Counterculture
ByShige (CJ) Suzuki

chapter 25|10 pages

Sampling Girls’ Culture

An Analysis of Shōjo Manga Magazines
ByJennifer Prough

chapter 26|13 pages

The Beautiful Men of the Inner Chamber

Gender-Bending, Boys’ Love, and Other Shōjo Manga Tropes in Ōoku
ByDeborah Shamoon

chapter 27|11 pages

Cyborg Empiricism

The Ghost Is Not in the Shell
ByThomas Lamarre

part IX|23 pages

Popular Literature

chapter 28|12 pages

Murakami Haruki’s Transnational Avant-Pop Literature

ByRebecca Suter

chapter 29|11 pages

Thumb-Generation Literature

The Rise and Fall of Japanese Cellphone Novels 1
ByAlisa Freedman

part X|63 pages

Sites and Spectacles

chapter 30|13 pages


The Cultural Significance of Fireworks in Japan
ByDamien Liu-Brennan

chapter 31|13 pages


The Fantasy Space of the Urban Street Corner
BySharalyn Orbaugh

chapter 32|12 pages


Reflective Identity in Transforming Urban Space 1
ByIzumi Kuroishi

chapter 33|13 pages


Promoting and Policing “Otaku” in “Cool Japan”
ByPatrick W. Galbraith

chapter 34|12 pages

Japan Lost and Found

Modern Ruins as Debris of the Economic Miracle
ByTong Lam

part XI|33 pages


chapter 35|13 pages

Cute Fashion

The Social Strategies and Aesthetics of Kawaii
ByToby Slade

chapter 36|12 pages

Made in Japan

A New Generation of Fashion Designers
ByHiroshi Narumi

chapter 37|8 pages


Men’s Fashion Magazines, Male Aesthetic Ideals, and Social Affinity in Japan
ByMasafumi Monden

part XII|36 pages

Contemporary Art

chapter 38|13 pages

Superflat Life

ByTom Looser

chapter 39|11 pages

Aida Makoto

Notes from an Apathetic Continent
ByAdrian Favell