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January 13, 2021: Trying to decide what to read next be like…

Never fear, the NVJS annual book list is here! Every year we keep an eye on Japan-related new releases as they appear and compile them into a book list to inspire early career scholars to read, write and review.

As usual, this year’s list is full of shiny new titles from the year just gone (and what a year it was…), spiced here and there with some compelling-looking titles from previous years, and some forthcoming titles from last year’s list that are now available.

Call for Reviews

We’re calling for reviews for our next volume, so if you meet the Eligibility Criteria for NVJS 13 and see something you’d like to review, please get in touch. You might take this opportunity to choose a recent title in your area that you’ve been meaning to get across, or try something more tangential to broaden your thinking. We’re open to books that aren’t in this list too, so read widely, read freely, read joyfully and consider reviewing for us!

It’s worth noting that NVJS 13 is being planned as a special issue in relation to the #BeyondJapan21 symposium, and for this reason our eligibility criteria are broader this year.  We’re looking forward to connecting with new and returning authors from within our usual  remit and beyond.

See the Review Guidelines here.


NVJS 2020 Japan Book List

(in alphabetical order by author)

Alexy, Allison:
Intimate Disconnections: Divorce and the Romance of Independence in Contemporary Japan (2020, University of Chicago Press)

Arber, Ruth, Michiko Weinmann and Jill Blackmore (eds.):
Rethinking Languages Education: Directions, Challenges and Innovations (2020, Routledge)

Arner, Douglas et al. (eds.):
Research Handbook on Asian Financial Law (2020, Edward Elgar Publishing)

Barber, Stephen:
Film’s Ghosts: Tatsumi Hijikata’s Butoh and the Transmutation of 1960s Japan (2019, University of Chicago Press)

Benesch, Oleg and Ran Zwigenberg:
Japan’s Castles: Citadels of Modernity in War and Peace (2020, Cambridge University Press)

Chenhall, Richard, Tamara Kohn and Carolyn Stevens:
Sounding Out Japan: A Sensory Ethnographic Tour (2020, Routledge)

Coates, Jennifer, Lucy Fraser and Mark Pendleton (eds.):
The Routledge Companion to Gender and Japanese Culture (2019, Routledge)

Cwiertka, Katarzyna J. with Yasuhara Miho:
Branding Japanese Food: From Meibutsu to Washoku (2020, University of Hawaii Press)

Ehlers, Maren A.:
Give and Take: Poverty and the Status Order in Early Modern Japan (2018, Harvard University Press)

Ericson, Stephen J.:
Financial Stabilization in Meiji Japan: The Impact of the Matsukata Reform (2020, Cornell University Press)

Fedman, David:
Seeds of Control: Japan’s Empire of Forestry in Colonial Korea (2020, University of Washington Press)

Forgash, Rebecca:
Intimacy across the Fencelines: Sex, Marriage, and the U.S. Military in Okinawa (2020, Cornell University Press)

Hedberg, William C.:
The Japanese Discovery of Chinese Fiction: The Water Margin and the Making of a National Canon (2019, Columbia University Press)

Heine, Stephen:
Readings of Dōgen’s ”Treasury of the True Dharma Eye” (2020, Columbia University Press)

Hemmann, Kathryn:
Manga Cultures and the Female Gaze (2020, Palgrave)

Hoffmann, Reto:
The Fascist Effect: Japan and Italy, 1915—1952 (2020, Cornell University Press)

Hutchinson, Rachael and Leith Douglas Morton:
Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese Literature (2016, Routledge; paperback release 2019)

Ishikawa, Machiko:
Paradox and Representation: Silenced Voices and the Narratives of Nakagami Kenji (2020, Cornell University Press)

Katada, Saori N.:
Japan’s New Regional Reality: Geoeconomic Strategy in the Asia-Pacific (2020, Columbia University Press)

Kimura, Tets and Jennifer Harris (eds.):
Exporting Japanese Aesthetics: Evolution from Tradition to Cool Japan (2020, Sussex Academic)

Kottmann, Nora and Cornelia Reiher:
Studying Japan: Handbook of Research Designs, Fieldwork and Methods (2020, Nomos)

Lam Peng Er and Purnendra Jain, eds.:
Japan’s Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century: Continuity and Change (2020, Rowman & Littlefield)

Linkhoeva, Tatiana:
Revolution Goes East: Imperial Japan and Soviet Communism (2020, Cornell University Press)

Liu-Farrer, Gracia:
Immigrant Japan: Mobility and Belonging in an Ethno-nationalist Society (2020, Cornell University Press)

Maree, Claire:
queerqueen (2020, Oxford University Press)

Matsushita, Kayo:
When News Travels East: Translation Practices by Japanese Newspapers (2020, Cornell University Press)

Melzer, Jà¼rgen P.:
Wings for the Rising Sun: A Transnational History of Japanese Aviation (2020, Harvard University Press)

Mihic, Tamaki:
Re-imagining Japan after Fukushima (2020, ANU Press)

Miller, Jennifer M.:
Cold War Democracy: United States and Japan (2019, Harvard University Press)

Miyazaki, Fumiko, Kate Wildman Nakai and Mark Teeuwen:
Christian Sorcerers on Trial: Records of the 1827 Osaka Incident (2020, Columbia University Press)

Mizuno, Hiromi et al. (eds.):
Engineering Asia: Technology, Colonial Development, and the Cold War Order (2018, Bloomsbury Academic)

Murashkin, Nikolay:
Japan and the New Silk Road: Diplomacy, Development and Connectivity (2020, Routledge)

Nakamura, Toshiyuki:
Language Acquisition and the Multilingual Ideal: Exploring Japanese Language Learning Motivation (2019, Bloomsbury Academic)

Ogawa, Akihiro and Philip Seaton (eds.):
New Frontiers in Japanese Studies (2020, Routledge)

O’Neal, Halle:
Word Embodied: The Jeweled Pagoda Mandalas in Japanese Buddhist Art (2018, Harvard University Press)

Peat, Rachel (ed.):
Japan: Courts and Culture (2020, University of Chicago Press)

Poch, Daniel:
Licentious Fictions: Ninjō and the Nineteenth-Century Japanese Novel (2019, Columbia University Press)

Rahmann, Heike and Jillian Walliss (eds.):
The Big Asian Book of Landscape Architecture (2020, Jovis)

Rankin, Andrew:
Mishima, Aesthetic Terrorist: An Intellectual Portrait (2018, University of Hawaii Press; paperback release 2019)

Robertson, Wesley:
Scripting Japan: Orthography, Variation, and the Creation of Meaning in Written Japanese (2020, Routledge)

Ruoff, Kenneth J.:
Japan’s Imperial House in the Postwar Era, 1945—2019 (2020, Harvard University Press)

Sarra, Edith:
Unreal Houses: Character, Gender, and Genealogy in the Tale of Genji (2020, Harvard University Press)

Sato, Hiroaki:
Forty Seven Samurai: A Tale of Vengeance & Death in Haiku and Letters (2019, Stonebridge Press)

Screech, Timon:
Tokyo Before Tokyo: Power and Magic in the Shogun’s City of Edo (2020, University of Chicago Press)

Serizawa, Takamichi:
Writing History in America’s Shadow: Japan, the Philippines, and the Question of Pan-Asianism (2020, University of Chicago Press)

Shibata, Saori:
Contesting Precarity in Japan: The Rise of Nonregular Workers and the New Policy Dissensus (2020, Cornell University Press)

Stanley, Amy:
Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her Worlds (2020, Simon & Schuster)

Suter, Rebecca:
Two-World Literature: Kazuo Ishiguro’s Early Novels (2020, University of Hawaii Press)

Tajan, Nicolas:
Mental Health and Social Withdrawal in Contemporary Japan: Beyond the Hikikomori Spectrum (forthcoming in January 2021, Routledge)

Takeda, Hiroko and Mark Williams (eds.):
Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Japan (2020, Routledge)

Watanabe, Takeshi:
Flowering Tales: Women Exorcising History in Heian Japan (2020, Harvard University Press)

Watanabe, Hiroaki Richard:
The Japanese Economy (2020, Columbia University Press)

Wert, Michael:
Samurai: A Concise History (2019, Oxford University Press)

Yamaura, Chigusa:
Marriage and Marriageability: The Practices of Matchmaking between Men from Japan and Women from Northeast China (2020, Cornell University Press)

Yomota, Inuhiko:
What Is Japanese Cinema? A History (2019, Columbia University Press)


Need more options?
Check out our book lists from 2019 and 2018 as well!

Found something? 
Refer to our Review Guidelines, and submit your proposal via our online form.


Image: Arif Riyanto via Unsplash

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