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The 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 2005 was a fundamental watershed in modern Japanese history. Inspired by this, much discourse has been produced on the ‘end’ of the postwar period itself. Yet, the question of ‘endings’ is perennial, and has occurred on numerous occasions in postwar Japanese history. The topic of the ending of the postwar is much more than a question of ‘anniversaries,’ and goes to the very heart of understanding contemporary Japan.
Ending the Postwar in Japan asks if the ‘postwar’ can ever end, given the continual re-emergence of the debate on the postwar and also considers the reasons behind the popularity of the endology discourse. The book has three core sections divided according to three different analytical levels of the social sciences, namely, structure, agency and norms, with each contributor investigating a specific topic in the political, economic and social arenas. The fourth section pays attention to the momentum that has challenged the extant system of postwar Japan looking at the impact made on the ‘postwar’ by education, foreign residents and gender.
The cross-boundary and cross-disciplinary nature of the book is designed to elucidate heterogeneous Japan, in contrast to the more conventional understanding of Japan as a homogeneous and ‘unified’ whole. This collection offers a new approach to the understanding of contemporary Japan and will be of interest to upper undergraduate students, postgraduate student and academics in Japanese studies and Asian studies.
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Glenn D. Hook is Professor of Japanese Politics and International Relations and Director of the Graduate School of East Asian Studies, the University of Sheffield, UK. His research interests are in Japan’s role in the East Asian political economy, regional security, and globalization and regionalization. His recent books include Militarization and Demilitarization in Contemporary Japan, (Routledge, 1996); Japan’s Contested Constitution: Documents and Analysis (co-author, Routledge, 2001); Japan’s International Relations: Politics, Economics, and Security (co-author, second edition, London: RoutledgeCurzon 2005); and Contested Governance in Japan: Sites and Issues (editor, London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2005).
Takeda Hiroko is lecturer in Japanese studies at the School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield. Her research interests include gender and politics/political economy in Japan and East Asia, social and political theories and biopolitics. She is the author of The Political Economy of Reproduction in Japan: Between Nation-State and Everyday Life (RoutledgeCurzon, 2005) and ‘Governance through the Family in Japan: Governing the Domestic’, in Glenn D. Hook (ed.) Contested Governance in Japan: Sites and Issues (RoutledgeCurzon, 2005).
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