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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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Afterword: Reassembling after 3/11


The papers in this volume were initially written before the earthquake and nuclear disaster of the 11th of March 2011, however the book has taken too long, as academic tomes are sometimes wont, to be completed and events have somewhat overtaken us. In light of this and given our exploration of how Japan both has been assembled and how it assembles itself, we could not ignore the events of 3/11 and their aftermath. Below are some of the authors’ thoughts on how Japan is still assembling itself and is assembled.

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