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Assembling Japan

Modernity, Technology and Global Culture

Griseldis Kirsch, Dolores P. Martinez and Merry White

Assembling Japan focuses on Japan’s modernization as a long-term process that is reliant on changing technology and that has led to the nation’s full engagement with the global system. This process forms a complex field of tensions, full of interesting dynamisms and synergies that can be best understood through the book’s methodology: anthropological analysis combined with historical contextualization.
The approaches in this collection are manifold. Some chapters examine the themes of modernity, technology and Japan’s global experience though popular culture, from reggae to football, from television to film. Other topics include coffee, travel, economics, cultural politics and technological innovation in the field of robotics. All of the contributions aim to show how these global interactions have occurred and continue to take place in twenty-first-century Japan.
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Café Society in Japan: Global Coffee and Urban Space



In Japan coffee is normal; the most common of social beverages – more so than tea. It is of the wider world as well as one of the earliest globalizing commodities and currently trades second only to petroleum. From its first uses in North Africa to the present, it has been on the move and quickly has become a local beverage. However, coffee has always had to travel considerable distances to become an ordinary part of life for most of us: the major consuming countries are not, except for Brazil, major producing countries. Coffee’s markets are diverse and continue to grow as consumers are educated to want more choices and to respond to trends in taste and place.

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