HomeDLSU Business & Economics Reviewvol. 22 no. 2 (2013)

Publishing Japan: A Visual Observation of English-Language Publications Related to Japanese Studies

Lim Tai Wei



This paper studies English-language publications related to the subject of Japanese Studies through visual observation and collection of brochures on display at a major field conference—the combined Association of Asian Studies (AAS) and International Convention on Asian Studies (ICAS) conferences in Hawaii from 30 March 2011 to 3 April 2011. While there are existing studies especially in English-language trade magazines on general developments in the publishing industry related to Japanese Studies, case studies examining book offerings in field-specific major conferences are comparatively fewer. In carrying out the observation studies for this paper, I had three goals in mind. First, I wanted to survey English-language academic booklists related to Japanese Studies currently available for a global readership, including students and scholars located outside Japan. Second, I am keen to examine two major publishing platforms for Japanese Studies-related materials — Japan’s indigenous publishing industry producing English-language academic books in Japanese Studies for an international audience and the global English-language academic publishing industry — as major producers of knowledge about Japan. Third, in studying latest offerings from major academic publishers in the English language, I surveyed brochures and pamphlets collected at a major Asian Studies international conference. The implications of the study provide some insights into issues related to dominance by major publishers in the industry, the entry of new media into the industry and a diversity of sub-topical themes within Japanese Studies as a whole. It does not pretend to be comprehensive but rather provide some perspectives for further discussions and follow-up studies.