Call for Papers – Law and Justice in Japanese Popular Culture, 2016

­­CaptureLaw and Justice in Japanese Popular Culture

From Crime Fighting Boy Robots to Duelling Pocket Monsters

In a world of globalised media, Japanese popular culture has become a significant fountainhead for images, narrative, artefacts, and forms of engagement and identity.  From Pikachu, to instantly identifiable manga memes, to the darkness of adult anime, the convenience of sushi, and the hyper-consumerism of product tie-ins; Japan has bequeathed ways through which a globalised world imagines, communicates and interrogates tradition and change, the self and the technological future.  Within these foci questions of law have often not been far from the surface; the crime and justice of Astro Boy; the property and contract of Pokemon; the ecological justice of Nausicaa; Shinto’s focus on order and balance; the anxieties of modernity in Godzilla.

This volume is the first to bring together global scholars to reflect on and critically engage with Japan’s popular culture legal legacy.  It explores not only the impact of Japan on global culture, but what these images, games, narratives, and artefacts reveal about law, humanity, justice and authority in the second decade of the twenty-first century.

Contributors are invited to submit chapter proposals and a brief CV for consideration by the editors for inclusion in this edited volume. 

Contributors are strongly encouraged to focus on popular as well as cult texts, narratives, genres, games, practices and/or artefacts.  Those selected for inclusion will:

  • Engage with law, lawyering, legality or legal theory
  • Show an awareness of the embedded, multi-sensorial and transmedial nature of their subject
  • Demonstrate engagement with existing relevant academic literature

Some Possible questions to respond to are (but in no way limited to) the following:

  • How has justice been envisioned in Japanese imaginations of the future?
  • How is authority, gender and the self communicated in Japanese culture?
  • Are Japanese computer games legally progressive or conservative?
  • How has law and technology been framed in Japanese popular culture?
  • What do Japanese transmedial narratives and fan stories tell us about legality and creativity?
  • What role does violence and reactions to violence play in Japanese popular culture?
  • How is tradition and change mediated in Japanese popular culture?
  • How does manga and anime animate the legalities of the posthuman?

Contributors should submit a proposal (300 words) and a brief CV (no longer than one page) to: by 5 September 2016

The editors will advise contributors of inclusion and process by 12 September 2016.

The first draft of chapters will be due 1 May 2017 with an expected publication date of late 2017.


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