Japan is rightly regarded as one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, yet the development and deployment of Internet technology in Japan has taken a different trajectory compared with Western nations. This is the first book to look at the specific dynamics of Japanese Internet use.
It examines the crucial questions:
* how the Japanese are using the Internet: from the prevalence of access via portable devices, to the fashion culture of mobile phones
* how Japan's cute culture has colonized cyberspace
* the role of the Internet in different musical subcultures
* how different men's and women's groups have embraced technology to highlight problems of harassment and bullying
* the social, cultural and political impacts of the Internet on Japanese society
* how marginalized groups in Japanese society - gay men, those living with AIDS, members of new religious groups and Japan's hereditary sub-caste, the Burakumin - are challenging the mainstream by using the Internet.
Examined from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, using a broad range of case-studies, this is an exciting and genuinely cutting-edge book which breaks new ground in Japanese studies and will be of value to anyone interested in Japanese culture, the Internet and cyberculture.
"This books, with its wide range of subject matter, rich details, and informative analysis is a fascinating snapshot, not only of the varieties of Japanese cybercultures, but also of many Japanese subcultures and of contemporary Japanese culture overall....[It] provides a useful portrait of a complex society struggling with the manifold effects of a vitally important social and technological phenomenon."
-"Journal of Japanese Studies