Japan has long since slipped from the radars of lay and scholarly attention. Yet, despite Japan’s decade of recession, and the rise of neighbouring China, today’s ‘Japan passing’ is as purblind as ‘Japan bashing’ was belligerent. And globalization scholarship is as guilty of this elision as mainstream media. Heightened recognition of Japan’s impact upon globalizations past and present, economic and cultural, will have two salutary effects upon current efforts to comprehensively theorize globalization. First, Japan puts further lie to the notion, clung to by both globalization’s champions and its detractors, that the concept-phenomenon is (or ever was) America-centred, or even west-centric. The Japanese had a formative influence upon modernist art, inaugurated the postmodernization of capitalism, and are now enjoying a fresh impact upon global popular culture.
Secondly, the many paradoxes of Japan’s involvements with globalization empirically impel, and Japanese ‘knowledges’ epistemologically legitimate, a conception of globalization that is much more ambivalent and speculative than those currently being proffered. The case and contexts of Japan frustrate critiques from both the political left and right, urging the conceptualization of a globalization that is and is not happening, and is a mixture of iniquities and liberations that complexifies understanding and defies dialectical resolution.
|Keywords:||Holistic Globalization Theory, Japan and Globalization, Japanese Management, Neoliberalism, Discourse Analysis|
Ph.D. Candidate, The Faculty of Communication & Culture, The University of Calgary, Matsuyama, Japan
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