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Preview: Social Science Japan Journal - current issue

Social Science Japan Journal Current Issue





Published: Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2018 09:47:04 GMT

 



The Winner of the 2017 ISS–OUP Prize

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

The editors of Social Science Japan Journal (SSJJ) at the Institute of Social Science (ISS) of the University of Tokyo have joined forces with Oxford University Press (OUP) to award the ISS–OUP Prize to the author of the best article published in SSJJ each year. The prize includes ¥25,000 in books and a year’s subscription to SSJJ. With the author’s consent, the winning paper is translated into Japanese and published in the Institute’s Shakai Kagaku Kenkyū (The Journal of Social Science).



Introduction: SSJJ Special Issue on Migration

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

We are pleased to launch this special issue on the topic of migration, which has emerged through a combination of happy circumstances, including the energetic efforts of external Board member Gracia Liu-Farrer (Waseda University), who encouraged her conference presenters to offer their contributions to SSJJ, a variety of independent submissions of general articles, and the arrival of survey articles that have been both invited and submitted independently but with perfect timing. SSJJ compiles theme-based issues only after all submissions have independently passed rigorous external review. This assures maintenance of quality while still making it possible to strategically group complementary manuscripts, so as to encourage lively debate on contemporary topics and to provide useful reviews of important facets of the social science literature on Japan.



Songen to mibun: Kenpō teki shii to ‘nihon’ to iu mondai (Dignity and Status: Constitutional Thought and the “Japan Problem”)

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

Songen to mibun: Kenpō teki shii to ‘nihon’ to iu mondai (Dignity and Status: Constitutional Thought and the “Japan Problem”), by ArikawaTsunemasa. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2016, 318 pp., ¥3,600 (ISBN 978-4-00-023731-4)



No Time for Church: School, Family and Filipino-Japanese Children’s Acculturation

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

Abstract
Studies on immigration have frequently overlooked the importance that religion plays in the lives of migrants. Filipinos living in Japan (now its third largest ethnic group) identify heavily as Roman Catholic, for which they use existing church structures to teach their children about being Filipino. Using religious institutions to teach culture has not gone unchallenged, especially within the Filipino-Japanese household. This paper delineates the cultural politics involved within the Japanese-Filipino household among Filipinos, their Japanese husbands and in-laws and exposes the habit of Japanese to defer authority to teachers and classmates instead of supporting the Filipino mothers’ culture. Key to Japanese hegemony is the role that time-allotment plays in controlling children’s activity. The education system commands wide support within the Japanese household to the extent that demand for long hours of extracurricular practice functions as a paradigmatic expression of Japanese culture. Children’s entrance into elementary school is marked by an aggregate reduction in time that only increases as they age. Middle age Filipino mothers attending church alone is the result of an educational policy that obstructs the time foreign parents can spend with their children teaching them about forms of education alternative to those found in the public schools.



The Surprising Longevity of Kawasaki’s Representative Assembly for Foreign Residents: An Institutionalist Account

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

Abstract
In 1996, Kawasaki became the first city in Japan to establish, via a local ordinance (jōrei), an entity that would provide its foreign resident community with a voice in the policy-making process. Christened the Kawasaki-shi Gaikokujin Shimin Daihyōshakaigi (Kawasaki City Representative Assembly for Foreign Residents), it was to play a functional and normative role as an agent of the Mayor. Having celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2016, what factors might help us account for this longevity, given that it emerged as a cornerstone of one political era and ended up operating, for most of its formative years, under another? Drawing from the literature of historical institutionalism (HI), this paper argues that the Representative Assembly emerged out of, and remains sustained by, three features: an institutional pattern labelled the ‘Kawasaki Way’; a series of beneficial backdrops (lucky-breaks); and the Assembly’s own development and reformist-driven operational practice.



Second-Best Justice: The Virtues of Japanese Private Law

Sat, 23 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Second-Best Justice: The Virtues of Japanese Private Law, by RamseyerJ. Mark. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2015, 256 pp., $50.00 (ISBN 9780226281995)



National Police Reserve: The Origin of Japan’s Self Defense Force

Sat, 23 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

National Police Reserve: The Origin of Japan’s Self Defense Force, by FrenchThomas. Kent: Global Oriental, 2014, 314 pp., €126.00 (ISBN 978-9-00-426671-1)**



Moral Education in Japan: Values in a Global Context

Sat, 23 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Moral Education in Japan: Values in a Global Context, by RoesgaardMarie Højlund. Abingdon: Routledge, 2017, 188 pp., £95.00 (ISBN 978-1-138-66963-5)



Japan: The Precarious Future

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Japan: The Precarious Future, edited by BaldwinFrank and AllisonAnne. New York: Social Science Research Council and New York University Press, 2015, 384 pp., $35.00 (ISBN 978-1-4798-5145-4)



Toward a Comprehensive Estimate of the Number of Foreign Workers in Japan

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Abstract
Foreign workers are playing an increasingly important role in Japan’s economy, but their total number is undetermined. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) publishes an annual study on the number of foreign workers reported by employers; however, its data is not comprehensive or reliable because it ignores important categories of workers and does not include unreported employees due to the data collection process. In this article, a new method is proposed for providing a comprehensive estimate of the total number of foreign workers based on national census results and data on foreign residents issued by the Ministry of Justice. Estimates of the total number of workers are calculated for the years 2009 to 2016, and compared with the MHLW’s data. The estimates calculated with the proposed method are consistently above the MHLW’s figures over those years, and about 35% higher in 2016. The reasons for the differences are explained, and it is argued that the proposed method enables more credible and realistic data than the results of the MHLW’s annual study.



Better Must Come: Existing Homelessness in Two Global Cities

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Better Must Come: Existing Homelessness in Two Global Cities, by MarrMatthew D. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015, 240 pp., $24.95 (ISBN 978-0-8014-7970-0)



Social Inequality in Post-Growth Japan: Transformation During Economic and Demographic Stagnation

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Social Inequality in Post-Growth Japan: Transformation During Economic and Demographic Stagnation, edited by David Chiavacci and Carola Hommerich. Abingdon, UK: Routledge (Routledge Contemporary Japan Series), 2016, 304 pp., £100.00 (ISBN 978-1-13-863898-3)



Umi o wataru kikansha: Kindai nihon no tetsudō hatten to gurōbaruka (Trading Locomotives: The First Globalization and the Development of Japan’s Railways, 1869–1914)

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Umi o wataru kikansha: Kindai nihon no tetsudō hatten to gurōbaruka (Trading Locomotives: The First Globalization and the Development of Japan’s Railways, 1869–1914), by NakamuraNaofumi. Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2016, 264 pp., ¥3,900 (ISBN 978-4-6420-3851-5)



Unmarried Women in Japan: The Drift into Singlehood

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Unmarried Women in Japan: The Drift into Singlehood, by YoshidaAkiko. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2017, 206 pp., £90.00 (ISBN 978-1-138-86035-3)



Japanese Tree Burial: Ecology, Kinship and the Culture of Death

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Japanese Tree Burial: Ecology, Kinship and the Culture of Death, by BoretSébastien Penmellen. London: Routledge, 2014, 222 pp., $155.00 (ISBN 978-0-415-51706-5)



Popular Participation in Japanese Criminal Justice: From Jurors to Lay Judges

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Popular Participation in Japanese Criminal Justice: From Jurors to Lay Judges, by WatsonAndrew. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, XI+177 pp., €89.99 (ISBN 978-3-319-35076-9)



Immigrants in a Non-Immigrant Society: Recent PhD Dissertations on Migration in Japan

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

CeleroJocelyn Omandam. 2016. Japanese-Filipinos’ Transnational Pathways To Social Mobility: Education, Occupation and Life Aspirations. Dissertation submitted to Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda Universtiy.



Shakai kagaku to shite no nihon gaikō kenkyū: Riron to rekishi no tōgō wo mezashite (Research on Japanese Diplomacy as Social Science: Toward Integration of Theory and History)

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Shakai kagaku to shite no nihon gaikō kenkyū: Riron to rekishi no tōgō wo mezashite (Research on Japanese Diplomacy as Social Science: Toward Integration of Theory and History), by KawasakiTsuyoshi. Kyoto: Minerva Shobō, 2015, 372 pp., ¥6,000 (ISBN 978-4-623-07417-4)



Kōkōshūshokushidō no shakaigaku: ‘Nihongata’ ikō o saikō suru (Sociology of Senior High School Job Placement Guidance: Reconsideration of the ‘Japanese Type’ Transition)

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Kōkōshūshokushidō no shakaigaku: ‘Nihongata’ ikō o saikō suru (Sociology of Senior High School Job Placement Guidance: Reconsideration of the ‘Japanese Type’ Transition) by HoriYukie. Tokyo: Keisōshobō, 2016, 240 pp., ¥4,000 (ISBN 978-4-326-60293-3)



License to Play: The Ludic in Japanese Culture

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

License to Play: The Ludic in Japanese Culture, by Daliot-BulMichal. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2014, 224 pp., $45.00 (ISBN 978-0-8248-3940-6)



‘Worklife Pathways’ to Singapore and Japan: Gender and Racial Dynamics in Europeans’ Mobility to Asia

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Abstract
Professional migrants’ numbers are rising throughout the world, but the phenomenon itself is changing. Research on professional migration often examines the situation in ‘Western’ countries. In contrast, this paper investigates the rising numbers of (mainly) young, educated, middle-class EU citizens who relocate to Singapore and Japan. Singapore, as a hub for the Asia-Pacific region and forward-looking industries, attracts career-oriented professionals seeking challenges and adventure. Japan lures with its cultural abundance but is hardly accessible for people without Japanese language proficiency. Despite these differences, migration to both places results in similar outcomes as it introduces migrants to a mobile life involving destinations that are significant for their labor market characteristics. It further demonstrates how a generation that grew up with the concept of borderless Europe construct their individual ‘worklife pathways’ beyond the European continent. Depending on the socio-cultural context, the intersections of race and gender shape their migration experiences. Such dynamics have to be understood in relation to recent global developments including the challenges that the European Union is currently facing and Japan’s struggle to cope with a declining workforce.



An Immigration Policy by Any Other Name: Semantics of Immigration to Japan

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Abstract
This survey examines the ways in which the Japanese government controls the flow of foreign migrants across and within its borders. It does this in practice by taking steps to admit increasing numbers of migrants from abroad, without using the term imin (immigrants). Although a diverse body of migrants resides in and contributes to the country, the taboo surrounding the use of the word imin allays public concern for increasing diversity while allowing for de facto long-term migration, including naturalization, to occur. Through analyses of key documents, news articles, an interview, as well as through the author’s experience as a participant in a government panel on immigration control policy, the survey seeks to demonstrate how important the politics of naming (Parkin, David. 1984. ‘Political Language’. Annual Review of Anthropology 13: 345–165; Poerksen, Uwe. 1995. Plastic Words: The Tyranny of a Modular Language. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press) is to the reality of immigration to Japan.



New Policies for New Residents: Immigrants, Advocacy, and Governance in Japan and Beyond

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

New Policies for New Residents: Immigrants, Advocacy, and Governance in Japan and Beyond, by MillyDeborah J.. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014, 280 pp., $45.00 (ISBN 978-0-8014-5222-2)



Brokers and the Organization of Recruitment of ‘Global Talent’ by Japanese Firms—A Migration Perspective

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Abstract
Japan’s major companies, aiming to diversify their human resources, have in recent years begun to systematically recruit non-Japanese graduates from universities in Japan, but increasingly also from overseas, for permanent positions in Japan. This article locates this development within the study of migration. Utilizing data from an interview study with brokers, HR departments and young foreign employees, it follows recent calls to look at the meso-level of migration. Looking at brokers in qualified labor migration and positioning them equally in a triangular relationship between employers and migrants, this article contributes to the growing discourse on brokers and migration that has so far focused on low-skilled, often temporary migration from a broker-migrant perspective. Based on the Japanese case, our research makes two contributions to the migration literature. Firstly, we show how following the call to investigate the changing roles of brokers along the stages of initiation, take-off, maturity and decline of a migration trend, does indeed contribute to a better understanding of the complexities of a migration system. Secondly, we demonstrate that brokers play a particularly important role in qualified labor migration and propose that the level of broker engagement depends on the degree of distinctiveness of employment systems.



Shimin o yatowanai kokka: Nihon ga kōmuin no sukunai kuni e to itatta michi (A State without Civil Servants: Japan’s Public Sector in Comparative Perspective)

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Shimin o yatowanai kokka: Nihon ga kōmuin no sukunai kuni e to itatta michi (A State without Civil Servants: Japan’s Public Sector in Comparative Perspective), by MaedaKentaro. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 2014, 328 pp., ¥5,800 (ISBN 978-4-13-030160-2)