This article compares shopping streets with a “mall-like” space from the viewpoint of spatial form and its social effects. It argues for the unique nature of “real” shopping streets, particularly their everyday creativity, which is embedded in their physical structure. Shopping streets are basically composed of two different spatial parts: “streets” and “shops.” Within shopping streets, these come into contact with each other. In effect, the world of the shopping street becomes a kind of contact zone, where different rules and orders meet, oppose, negotiate, and are forced to adapt. To make such zones both dynamic and capable of reproducing themselves, shopping streets need to be under the “care” of several agents. This process is very complex, costly, and sometimes noisy, but the “care” caused by this “noise” makes shopping streets sustainable spaces of everyday diversity.
Shotengai (mom-and-pop retailers' streets) have been in steady decline. Shotengai are trying to manage vacant stores and public spaces. The problem here is a framework that separates private space from the public space. This paper analyzes a machiguwa area in Naha city from a historical perspective that seeks to explore how a certain form of “public” land use might overcome the dichotomy between private space and the public space.
Empirical researches of New Shopping Streets within the inner city consider old buildings to be incubators for starting up new shops. Based on this insight, this article explores the relationships between built environments and entrepreneurs. Drawing upon semi-structured interviews with entrepreneurs, land-owners, and estate agents in Kyojima, an ex-industrial district of east Tokyo, I demonstrate how building tastes have worked as alternative channels in human networks.
Historical research on labor and gender in Japan is still insufficient. This paper analyzes the notion of gender held by Muto Sanji, who was a prominent business manager in Japan's cotton-spinning industry before WW2. Because the expectations demanded of labor show up in managers' congratulatory messages, we use Muto's congratulatory messages for data. As a result of our analysis, Muto's notion of gender includes (1) a justification of employment using a market-oriented logic, (2) essentialism regarding gender roles in labor, and (3) the justification of a gender division of labor via a genderized family concept. These findings have been overlooked in previous research.
This paper analyzes the National Meeting of Culture in the 1950s from the viewpoints of Habermas and Butler. This meeting, a panel on “National Culture, ” played an important role in the National Reformist Movement. Since the 1960's, citizens' movements have been discussed in the public sphere from a regional perspective, particularly when they are compared with the National Reformist Movement. However, these studies have not sufficiently analyzed the public sphere of the National Reformist Movement. Habermas' public sphere includes debate, people as subjects, and the establishment of a consensus. Butler's theory explains that people become subjects in this way by “talking”. Through analyzing the relation between debate and the subject in the National Meeting of Culture, this article seeks to delineate and define the public sphere in the National Reformist Movement.
The paper elaborates risk society theory in terms of the hazards caused by environmental chemicals as well as the stress generated by individualization, utilizing recent findings provided by biosocial science, particularly epigenetic mechanisms in the developmental stage. Epigenetics explains that vital phenomena can be affected by environmental chemical contaminants and the psychosocial stresses of individualization that are transmitted to the next generation without any change in the base sequence. The paper tries to unify these two kinds of risk factors into an epigenetic system in which exposed fetuses and infants might have physical and mental disorders in later life. This biosocial perspective incorporates the reproductive mechanisms of risk over generations into risk society theory.
This paper analyzes how the meaning associated with the word “shikohin” evolved and was extended in the Meiji era. “Shikohin” was originally introduced as a word for knowledge of German hygiene in a textbook translated by Goto Shinpei, who worked for the Board of Health. Soon after, in a fast-changing environment of consumption, “shikohin” was used in the public relations magazine ‘Shiko’, where it connoted not only a knowledge of hygiene but also knowledge relevant to taste.
This paper considers the character of “reconstruction” in post-war Japan through an investigation of the relationship between Japanese people's national identity and the gaze of “America” by analyzing the process and content of Japanese tours for American tourists in 1947–48. I construct a hypothesis that recognition from the “West” and “America” has been important for modern Japan. The tours were conducted for the purpose of “reconstruction” and were organized in order to give tourists the impression that “Japan had already been reconstructed.” I conclude that the tourist industry in the Japanese occupation period was an actor that tried to achieve “symbolic reconstruction” by gaining recognition from the gaze of “America”.
This study examines the effects of regional disparity on life satisfaction. Two hypotheses were formulized: a relative income hypothesis focused on intra-area disparity and a housing class hypothesis focused on inter-area disparity.
The dataset was based on a survey in Tama city and included areas showing intra-area homogeneity and inter-area heterogeneity in terms of social stratification. The analysis produced different findings among the age groups. Among males of a productive age, results were consistent with the relative income hypothesis, namely that intra-area individual relative deprivation negatively affected life satisfaction. On the other hand, among elderly male residents, inter-area disparity mattered. Here, average income within an area had a positive effect on life satisfaction. The findings raise the possibility that intra/inter-area disparity leads to regional disassociation.
This paper explains the role of knowledge networks in the suburbanization of chain stores by focusing on the discourse in retail consultants' contributions to trade magazines in the early 1960s. Previous studies had been unable to fully investigate processes that understood suburbs as fit spaces for the retail industry. This transformation occurred because of a network that was initiated by consultants, who insisted that suburban stores could be profitable. By sharing knowledge about controls in and visions about the ideal retail industry, these consultants presented solutions for retailers who were facing difficulties with management strategies. This was the trigger for the suburbanization of commercial accumulation.
This paper shows how Japanese literature became a form of “social movement” in the 1920s, not only through the contents of literary works, but also through the creation of new social practices (organizational forms). Based on the example of the magazine ‘Buntō’ (Literary Party), we show how organizational practices in the literary world resulted in the creation of a new social movement. The members of Buntō viewed themselves as “literary workers” who were engaged in a class struggle to overcome their dependence on the capitalist class. To achieve this goal, they created a “self-publishing alliance”, a network for economic assistance that was open to all people engaged in literary activities, regardless of age, sex, occupation or class.
This paper discusses the history of the discussion in Japan about otaku. We discuss how, early on, it was recognized that the critique around the phenomenon of otaku faced difficulties as otaku were regarded negatively in Japanese society. In order to depart from this negative critique, while the tojisha approach (first-person studies) emerged, other viewpoints were restricted. Sociologists were enlisted to help overcome this problem, but there then arose an internal debate within sociology, specifically. Sociology's participation in the critique was criticized internally. We discuss the ensuing relationship between sociology and the social critique around the phenomenon of otaku.