Updating “Japan: The Basics”

It is now 6 years since my book Japan: The Basics was first published. If you’re not familiar with it, the book is an introduction to the culture, society and the global positioning of Japan. Taking a fresh look at stereotypes associated with Japan, it provides an introduction to the country and how to study it, with particular consideration of symbols/symbolism.

The book is a part of Routledge’s The Basics series. The Basics is a highly successful series of accessible guidebooks which provide an overview of the fundamental principles of a subject area in a jargon-free and undaunting format. They are intended for readers coming to a subject for the first time which usually means a combination of students, particularly undergraduates or high school students, and general readers. Rather than trying to provide all the answers about Japan, it puts greater emphasis on trying to help provide new students of Japan with the right questions and ways of studying Japan.

Although the book may be considered a textbook, the first edition included a lot of original research and was, in many ways, a culmination of all of my 37 visits to Japan up to 2014 rather than the result of a single project or one fieldwork trip.

But it’s time for an update. I’m not planning for any huge changes (perhaps some further analysis of Roland Barthes’ Empire of Signs) – the format and approach is likely to remain largely the same. However, there may be topics or issues that people would like to see a second edition address. If so, please drop me a line. Otherwise, the second edition will be largely based on the first edition, but bringing data and other information up-to-date. It is probable that a second edition would be ready for Summer/Autumn 2022, so in the meantime please continue to recommend the first edition to people.

35 Comments Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s