CAC 14

Political Uses of Culture’: Nihonjinron

Can ‘they’ ever understand ‘us’?Can ‘they’ ever understand ‘us’?


  • Read the reading
  • Check out the slides.
  • Prepare to hand in Reflection Paper 4”
  • Get ready to hand in that final essay - feel free to get in touch by email if you get stuck or are not sure how to proceed 👍🏻
  • check here for the deadlines


How would you describe your identity, and how do you think culture’ affects it/you? Think back to what you wrote at the start of the semester, have your views changed , if so why, if not, why not?

Submit on manaba as usual. Deadline is last day of the semester (19 Jan)


Download slides - PDF


Burgess, C. (2004) Maintaining identities: Discourses of homogeneity in a rapidly globalizing Japan. electronic journal of contemporary Japanese studies.

Download PDF

Other material

BBC podcast on the idea of Cultural Imperialism”

(Dale, 1986) (Henshall, 1999) (Sugimoto, 1999) (Kashima et al., 1995) (Nakamaura, 1992)

More readings on this subject…

Dale, P. N. (1986). The myth of Japanese uniqueness. London; Sydney: Croom Helm.
Henshall, K. G. (1999). Dimensions of japanese society: Gender, margins and mainstream. Basingstoke; New York: Macmillan: St. Martin’s Press.
Kashima, Y., Yamaguchi, S., Kim, U., Choi, S.-C., Gelfand, M. J., & Yuki, M. (1995). Culture, gender, and self: A perspective from individualism-collectivism research. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(5), 925.
Nakamaura, S. (1992). Nihonbunka-gaku [Study of Japanese Culture]. In K. Okuda (Ed.), Nihongo kyōiku [Japanese language education] (pp. 164–179). Tokyo: Fukumura.
Sugimoto, Y. (1999). Making sense of nihonjinron. Thesis Eleven, 57(1), 81–96.
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