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Today the government of China recognizes just 56 ethnic nationalities, or minzu, as groups entitled to representation.

Asia: Local Studies / Global Themes

This controversial new book recounts the history of the most sweeping attempt to sort and categorize the nation's enormous population: the Ethnic Classification project minzu shibie. Thomas S. Mullaney draws on recently declassified material and extensive oral histories to describe how the communist government, in power less than a decade, launched this process in ethnically diverse Yunnan. Mullaney shows how the government drew on Republican-era scholarship for conceptual and methodological inspiration as it developed a strategy for identifying minzu and how non-Party-member Chinese ethnologists produced a "scientific" survey that would become the basis for a policy on nationalities.

Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination by Anne Allison

More featuring video game. Thomas Malaby. The past decade has seen phenomenal growth in the development and use of virtual worlds. In one of the most notable, Second Life, millions of people have created online avatars in order to play games, take classes, socialize, and conduct business transactions.


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Second Life offers a gathering point and the tools for people to create a new world online. Timothy Rowlands. As massively multiplayer online MMO games grow in scope and popularity, what are the characteristics of their emerging gaming culture? In this book, Timothy Rowlands brings a diverse mix of ethnographic, semiotic, and analytical approaches to the virtual world of EverQuest.

Through first-hand player experiences and interviews of other gamers, Rowlands analyzes a gaming environment that, as time goes on, looks less like leisure and more like a workspace. This groundbreaking fusion of sociology and the world of MMOs is a must read for scholars and gamers alike. Samuel Tobin. People play mobile games everywhere and at any time. Tobin examines this media practice through the players directly using the lens of the players and practice of the Nintendo DS system. He argues for the primacy of context for understanding how digital play functions in today's society, emphasizing location, "killing-time," and mobile communities.

Contemporary culture is packed with fantasy and science fiction storyworlds extending across multiple media platforms. This book explores the myriad ways in which imaginary worlds use media like films, novels, videogames, comic books, toys and increasingly user-generated content to captivate and energise contemporary audiences. This book analyses gaming magazines published in Britain in the s to provide the first serious history of the bedroom coding culture that produced some of the most important video games ever played. Similar ebooks. Book 1. While the typical Japanese male politician glides through his district in air-conditioned taxis, the typical female voter trundles along the side streets on a simple bicycle.

In this first ethnographic study of the politics of the average female citizen in Japan, Robin LeBlanc argues that this taxi-bicycle contrast reaches deeply into Japanese society. To study the relationship between gender and liberal democratic citizenship, LeBlanc conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork in suburban Tokyo among housewives, volunteer groups, consumer cooperative movements, and the members of a committee to reelect a female Diet member who used her own housewife status as the key to victory.

LeBlanc argues that contrary to popular perception, Japanese housewives are ultimately not without a political world. Full of new and stimulating material, engagingly written, and deft in its weaving of theoretical perspectives with field research, this study will not only open up new dialogues between gender theory and broader social science concerns but also provide a superb introduction to politics in Japan as a whole.

Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination (Asia: Local Studies / Global Themes)

As I learned from fieldwork over the last decade, there is a veritable boom these days in Japanese fantasy goods among American youth. This is not the first time, of course, that U. But as one twenty-something young man told me recently, J-pop Japanese pop is far more ubiquitous today. According to him, properties like manga comic books and anime animation are kicking our ass because they are better, more imaginative, and way beyond what Hollywood can muster in terms of edginess, storytelling, and complex characterizations.

The comparison with American pop culture is instructive. For what is new here is not simply the presence of Japanese properties in the United States or the emergence of American fans I routinely meet diehards who, raised on Godzilla or Speed Racer as youths, have carried the flame into middle age. Rather, it is the far greater level of influence of Japanese goods in the U. As with Peter, part of the appeal of the game play is its novelty. Whether because of the Japanese script, foreign references, or visual design, Yu-Gi-Oh! Retaining, even purposely playing up, signs of cultural difference is more the trend today than simple Americanization of such foreign imports.

Yet, why such an aesthetic is enticing seems to do less with a specific desire for things Japanese than for things that simply represent some notion of global culture —as a reporter writing in the New York Times has said about the current manga craze in the United States.

For the Google generation, worldliness is both an asset and a marker of coolness Walker But whether the attraction is coded as global culture or as culturally Japanese, it involves not only a perceived difference from American pop but also a constructed world premised on the very notion of difference itself—of endless bodies, vistas, and powers that perpetually break down into constituent components that reattach and recombine in various ways.

And, as with Peter and his Yu-Gi-Oh! It is a fall day in , and a crowd of children gathers excitedly by a window at LAX airport.


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Gazing at the runway in front of them, they are captivated by a just landing from Japan that has been magically transformed into a huge flying monster toy figure 1. Remarkable as well is the fact that this fantasy fare causing such a splash in the United States came not from Disney or Hollywood but from Japan. Figure 1. For the children hugging the window at LAX airport, excitement comes from seeing a familiar pop figure extended onto what is a new and unexpected playing field: a passenger plane. Yet for those traveling inside the carrier, the encounter goes much further than an external facade; it defines, in fact, the entire flight experience.

Commodities of play and travel become personal friends on an ANA jet thematized as pop culture. Another ad, directed as much to adults as to kids, evokes similar sentiments figure 2. The image, drawn to resemble the material of a snuggly sweater, shows a huge smiling figure of Pikachu set against a background of a blue sky dotted with fluffy white clouds. The cartoon plane has a disproportionately large head and a small tail that flips up cutely as if it were a baby bird practicing its flying technique.

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Against what is both a playful image and an image of playfulness, the message reads across the top, Enjoy Japan! Nippon o tanoshiku shimasu! By appropriating Pikachu, this ad sells domestic travel around Japan for ANA airlines but also carries another message about the prominence of Japanese play industries in a national economy that has suffered a debilitating recession since the bursting of the Bubble in Exports in fantasy and entertainment goods comic books, animated cartoons, video games, consumer electronics, digital toys have skyrocketed in the last decade, providing much needed revenues at home and making Japan not so much a fun site as the ad promotes as a leading producer of fun in the global marketplace today.

Here the commodification of play becomes a national resource and cultural capital for Japan. Figure 2. In such crossover character goods as Yu-Gi-Oh! This is a recent development, because even when Japan was most economically strong through the Bubble years and at the height of its economic superpowers in the s , its influence in the sphere of culture images, ideas, films, publications, lifestyle pursuits, novels penetrated little further than its own national borders. Curiously, though, along with the bursting of the Bubble, Japan has started to soar in one domain of its economy: creative goods whose value outside as well as inside the country is taking off like never before.

The lines between these categories blur here, for whereas Yu-Gi-Oh! It is as consumers and players of Japanese manga, anime, video games, trading cards, and entertainment technology Walkman, Game Boy, Sony PlayStation that postindustrial youth today—an ever-increasing demographic in consumerism more generally—relate to Japan.

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This is a fascinating shift from the early postwar period, when few American kids were interested in studying Japan at all, to the s the era of the Bubble economy , when Japanese-language classes were filled by eager American students hoping to do business someday in Japan, to the present, when Japanese fantasy creations are inspiring a wave of Japanophilia among American and global youth.

What exactly is it about Japanese anime or video games that is driving such a worldwide appetite to consume these virtual landscapes and imaginary fairy tales at this particular moment? How to excavate, decipher, and situate these sets of values is the aim of Millennial Monsters. To be sure, the orbit of the Japanese play market today is global, and this is how I refer to it throughout the book.

I have chosen, however, to focus on two specific sites in this traffic: Japan as the generator and the United States as one of many consumer marketplaces for Japanese cultural goods today.

Millennial monsters : Japanese toys and the global imagination

Because of its size and wealth, the United States is a coveted market. It is also loaded with symbolic cachet for the dominance U.

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But in this era of late-stage capitalism and post—cold war geopolitics, global power has become more decentered, and American cultural hegemony has begun to disperse. With millions of satisfied customers who enjoy low prices on a huge range of books, we offer a reliable and trusted service and consistently receive excellent feedback.

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