The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Commercial Publications

Civic Engagement in Contemporary Japan

June 14, 2010 Publication

Msaayuki Deguchi, Yuko Nishimura, Henk Vinken, Bruce L. J. White editors




With a variety of contributors from throughout Japan, involved in a range of both established and emerging forms of civic engagement from NGOs, NPOs, to other less mainstream organizations, the Editors have compiled a comprehensive volume to give a thorough insiders’ look at the state of civil society in Japan. Established forms of civic engagement include labor unions, and resident and citizens’ movements dating back centuries. In more recent years, Japan has seen a rise in third sector groups that parallels a rise worldwide, especially grassroots community organizations. From political engagement, to underground media, the authors of this volume closely examine Japan’s development in civic engagement. The lessons gleaned from the successes and shortcomings of civic engagement in Japan have strong applications internationally. The detailed and comprehensive coverage of this volume make it a useful resource for understanding not only Japanese social and political issues, but also the emergence of third sector organizations worldwidewhat works, what does not work so well, and what organizational structures are possible.


Part I Introductory Section
1 Introduction.
 Henk Vinken, Yuko Nishimura, and Bruce White
2 Civil Society in Japan: Democracy, Voluntary Action, and Philanthropy
 Makoto Imada
3 Social Frameworks for Civil Society in Japan: In Search for a Japanese Model
 Chimaki Kurokawa
Part II Established Forms of Engagement
4 The Rising Voice of Japan's Community Unions
 Charles Weathers
5 Collaborative Environmentalism in Japan
 Koichi Hasegawa
6 A New Epoch of Immigration for Japan: Directional Shift in Civic Organizational Support for Newcomer Settlement
 Tetsuo Mizukami
Part III Engagement Outside the Mainstream
7 Civic Engagement and Community Development Among Japan's Burakumin
 Yuko Nishimura
8 "I'm Deaf. This is Sign. Get Used to It." Sign Language in Japan: The Vision and the Struggle
 John C. Maher
9 Media and Civic Engagement in Japan
 Gabriele Hadl
Part IV Emerging Forms of Engagement
10 The Soft Advocacy of Music Fandom: Japanese Youth and the Building of Civic Infrastructures of the Mind
 Bruce White
11 Re-imagining the Relationship Between Japan and Korea: Popular Culture and Civic Engagement
 Reiko Ogawa
12 Fun with Consumers: Enjoying Anticonsumerism in Japan
 Henk Vinken
Part V Concluding Section
13 Conclusions: From Politicization to Culturalizationof Civic Engagement
 Henk Vinken and Isabelle Diepstraten
14 Epilogue: Toward a New Legal Form for Civic Engagement
 Masayuki Deguchi