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Russian Japanology Review

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Vol 2, No 2 (2019)
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5-27 35
Abstract
Since 2014, both China and Japan have been pursuing a policy of normalization of their bilateral relations, which worsened after the Japanese government’s decision in 2012 to nationalize three out of the five disputed Senkaku islands. There are a number of factors, at times contradicting each other, that shape Japan’s contemporary policy towards China: from deep interest in intensification of trade and economic cooperation with China and in ensuring regional security, concerns over US President Donald Trump’s actions and hence over the sustainability of US-Japan close partnership and alliance, to the challenge of rising China. A specific feature of Japan’s policy towards China is that, due to deep contradictions between the two countries, Tokyo views the rise of China not as bringing opportunities, but instead as a serious challenge or a potential threat. The strengthening of China’s economic and especially military power - along with North Korea’s missile and nuclear program - is seen in Tokyo as the deepest security concern. As China’s comprehensive national power strengthens, China’s foreign policy behavior becomes more assertive, foreign policy and foreign trade activities intensify, Japan’s challenge of rising China attains new dimensions. During the past several years, Tokyo has been facing a need to find an appropriate response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, to the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and to China’s intensified economic and military activities in the East China and South China Seas. This article demonstrates how the Abe Shinzo Cabinet meets the challenge of rising China under the conditions of Japan’s policy to normalize relations with its strong neighbor. Specifically, the article identifies and characterizes the Abe Cabinet’s measures to hedge the risks connected to China’s Belt and Road Initiative and China’s assertiveness in the East China and South China Seas.
28-49 35
Abstract
The article discusses the main directions of influence of the system of lifetime employment on contemporary Japanese society. This system evolved over several decades and became a major form of labor management in large Japanese companies in the late 1960s. However, the real scope of its impact was much broader, as not only middle, but also small companies tried to use to a certain extent its basic elements in order to increase the work motivation of their employees. Due to the fact that the system of lifetime employment was based on the fundamental characteristics of the nation’s culture and psychology, it is not only perceived by workers as reasonable, fair, and corresponding to their ideas of what a company is and how it should be managed, but it also became the foundation on which and around which the system of values and the way of life of several post-war generations of the Japanese were formed. In the early 1990s, the economy and society began to change, calling into question the very existence of the lifetime employment system. However, it has proved to be quite flexible and, thanks to a series of measures taken by Japanese companies, has been able to adapt to the changes that have taken place in the economy and society over the past quarter of a century. These measures include the reduction of employment of regular workers, a change in the wage system designed to make it more adequate to the new conditions, relaxation of the rigid conditions of lifetime employment by introducing a “restricted regular employee” status and a number of others. However, the norms and stereotypes generated by the system are much less mobile and flexible, and it became the cause of a number of painful phenomena in Japanese society. These include the “second-rate” position of non-regular workers (in terms of remuneration, the scope of social security, access to the system of in-house training, and social status), the preservation of gender inequality in employment and in family, the polarization of the Japanese youth by income levels and lifestyle, the fall in the marriage and birth rates, etc. Since shifts in public opinion occur rather slowly, Japan is likely to take quite a long time to resolve the contradictions between the entrenched stereotypes and the requirements of the time.
50-65 27
Abstract
The article analyzes the rules for recording poems on kaishi sheets of paper by poets during or for the poetic events. The main source of the study is the recording of a poetic collection Shokukokinshū kyōen waka (1266) composed of poems read during a banquet in honor of the completion of the work on the imperial anthology Shokukokinshū. The Gunshō Ruijū publication was used as a source for the investigation, as this publication preserves the principles of recording poems on kaishi sheets. The record of Shokukokinshū kyōen waka is analyzed in context of the karon texts of the time - provisions regarding the recording of poems on sheets of kaishi by Fujiwara no Kiyosuke, Juntoku-in, Fujiwara no Teika.
66-91 30
Abstract
The article deals with the approach to the interpretation of Japanese waka poetry presented in the Jikkinshō collection of setsuwa tales (mid-13th century). The conception of waka in this text proceeds from the words about the miraculous power of poetry in Ki no Tsurayuki’s preface to the Kokinshū anthology (early 10th century). On many examples from the life of Heian poets, the compiler of the Jikkinshō discusses the role of poetry in such spheres as human communication and shintō worship. The compiler examines the relation between various “ways” of realizing one’s talent (waka and kanshi poetry, music, etс). He demonstrates the usefulness of poetic skills in private and public life, the importance of the ability to understand other people’s poetical works and evaluate them judiciously. Relevance and compliance with current circumstances turn out to be the main condition for success in everything that concerns waka, as well as in other worldly affairs.
92-102 30
Abstract
The history of colonies under the rule of the Japanese Empire in the first half of the 20th century has not been explored well enough so far. For example, the history of Karafuto Governorate (1905-1945), which existed in southern Sakhalin, is covered very little, while some aspects of its history are not known at all. This article focuses on the history of Karafuto Governorate’s formation and its socio-economic structure, namely territorial development after the Russo-Japanese war, its role and status in the colonial system of Japan, the use of the island’s main economic resources and the creation of socio-cultural space, as well as along the memorialization of the colonial past of the Japanese Empire’s northern borders. In addition, this article describes the process of the governorate’s liquidation (it started after the accession of southern Sakhalin to the USSR after the Second World War) followed by passing the governance to the Soviet administration, co-residence of Soviet and Japanese people on the same territory in 1945-1948, the deportation of Japanese people and the fate of the Korean population of the island. The article gives examples of how the memory of the Japanese presence on Sakhalin Island is preserved in Japan and Russia today.
103-127 118
Abstract
This article discusses mainly the works of Japanese manga authors of the 1970s - Takemiya Keiko and Hagio Moto, who created the manga genre shōnen-ai (boys’ love). This manga genre, intended for female audiences and developed in Japan, had been considerably influenced by European art, especially by French literature and cinema. Such films as “This Special Friendship” (1964) or works of Jean Cocteau and other French writers formed a special aesthetics of manga about beautiful boys who love each other.


ISSN 2658-6444 (Print)
ISSN 2658-6789 (Online)