Regionalizing Culture: The Political Economy of Japanese Popular Culture in Asia
256pp. September 2013
Regionalizing Culture: The Political Economy of Japanese Popular Culture in Asia
Author: Otmazgin, Nissim Kadosh;
This ambitious work provides a comprehensive, empirically grounded study of the production, circulation, and reception of Japanese popular culture in Asia. While many studies typically employ an interactive approach that focuses on the “meaning” of popular culture from an anthropological or cultural studies point of view, Regionalizing Culture emphasizes that the consumption side and contextual meaning of popular culture are not the only salient factors in accounting for its proliferation. The production side and organizational aspects are also important. In addition to presenting individual case studies, the book offers a big-picture view of the dramatic changes that have taken place in popular culture production and circulation in Asia over the past two decades.

The author has gleaned information from primary sources in Japanese, English, and other languages; research visits to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Bangkok, and Seoul; as well as insights of people with firsthand knowledge from within the cultural industries. From this broad range of source, he develops an integrative political economic approach to popular culture. Regionalizing Culture offers a dialectical look at the organization of cultural production, primarily at the structure and control of cultural industries, interconnections between companies and production networks, and relations between the business sector and the state. It traces the rise of Japan as a popular culture powerhouse and the expansion of its cultural industries into Asian markets. It looks as well at the creation of markets for Japanese cultural commodities since the late 1980s, the industrial and normative impact that Japanese cultural industries have on the structure of the local cultural industries, and the wider implications these processes have for the Asian region.

The growing popularity and importance of Japan’s popular culture will make this book a basic text for scholars and students of popular culture as well as for those interested in political economy, media and communication studies, Japanese-Asian relations, Asian studies, and international relations.

13 illus.
“In this highly original book Nissim Otmazgin offers a compelling analysis of the regionalization of the Japanese popular culture industries and its effect on regionalization processes in East Asia. He situates his provocative analysis at the intersection of the organizational characteristics of Japan’s popular culture industries and the bottom-up process of regionalization of commodified culture in East Asia. The book thus brings into sharp focus phenomena that are typically viewed in a blur or simply neglected. Deeply accomplished, this admirable book should command the attention of all serious students of popular culture and of East Asia.” —Peter J. Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies, Cornell University

“This highly informative book provides a comprehensive examination of the successful deployment of Japanese popular culture throughout East Asia. Surveying a broad spectrum of cultural products, including games, animation, and TV drama, it argues both that there is a Japanese model to popular cultural production and that that model of cultural commodification has contributed to the regionalization of East Asia. The use of extensive interviews with diverse stakeholders, including both industry personnel and audience, provides a fresh approach to the subject that will satisfy a growing interest in Japanese popular culture in university curriculum.” —Lisa Leung, Lingnan University, Hong Kong  
Author: Otmazgin, Nissim Kadosh;
Nissim Kadosh Otmazgin is lecturer in the Department of East Asian Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and research fellow at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace.
Read the introduction (PDF)

Preface ix

Introduction: Popular Culture andRegionalization xv

Chapter 1 The Political Economy of Popular Culture 1

Chapter 2 Popular Culture and the East Asian Region 18

Chapter 3 Japan’s Popular Culture Powerhouse 51

Chapter 4 The Creation of a Regional Market 90

Chapter 5 Japan’s Regional Model 125

Chapter 6 Conclusion: Japanese PopularCulture and the Making of East Asia 161

Notes 185

References 197

Index 221