Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
The introduction's title to Re-made in Japan, "Domesticating the West," captures precisely the characteristics of the contemporary westernization of Japanese culture. The book is a collection of twelve papers which were originally presented at the American Anthropological Association meeting in 1986 at the University of Hawaii. Japan's economic success has global receptions, ranging from admiration and envy, to resentment. Yet the role of Japan as an avid importer and consumer of western products and ideas is not appreciated. On the contrary, quick adaptation of the Japanese to western culture arouses curiosity, wonder, and even mockery from Eurocentric perspectives. The contributed papers aim at, with various degrees of success, correcting the mistaken notion of the westernization of Japan being a mere infatuation with the exotic West. Unfortunately, the papers are of uneven quality; some are poorly articulated, while others stray from the theme. In addition, there is no sequence or interrelationship among the papers. One can only deduce from the better presentations a uniform message that Western merchandise is transformed and naturalized to Japanese tastes as the Japanese themselves experience a self-rediscovery in the process.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1993