New trends in Japanese popular culture

by Tetsuo Kogawa

Before dealing with my main subject, I would like briefly to examine the concept of 'popular culture'. 'Popular culture' has two Japanese translations: taishu bunka and minshu bunka. While bunka covers the whole semantic extent of 'culture', 'popular' has the two different meanings of taishui and minshu. Taishu means a large number (tai) of population or groups (shu). "Minshu" means a good deal (shu) of ordinary people (min). For instance min-shushugi means democracy; min-kan hoso private broadcasting; min-po the civil law; min-yo folk song; min-zoku gaku ethnology. Thus, minshu bunka is a more faithful translation of 'popular culture' than "taishu bunka". Yet, the expression minshu bunka is not as popular as taishu bunka anymore in Japan today, so that 'popular culture' is usually translated into taishu bunka. This means that in the Japanese context 'popular culture' is absorbed by 'mass culture'. When the difference is intentionally expressed, the term of minshu bunka is recycled.

Conceptual complications of this kind are not a mere language problem but derive from the very process by which minshu bunka becomes taishu bunka. In the English cultural-linguistic context, too, popular culture is now nothing but mass culture in the sense that traditional oral cultures are dying under the domination of overpowering mass media.[1] Thus, I would like to use 'mass culture' as the expression of the popular culture that mass media create or circulate.

As mass media permeate into every facet of our life-world, very few phenomena are independent of mass media. Therefore, the formation of mass culture means the transformation of popular culture. While popular culture presupposes various types of people and groups, mass culture transforms the original character of such entities. When the mass media create and circulate homogeneous information, it creates and cultivates the homogeneous media audience who uniformly encapsulate concrete people and folk in the real world.

This has happened in Japan since the 1940s when the American type of mass media, especially television, was introduced. Television has homogenized Japan's diverse local cultures and traditional folk cultures. In order to conceive how effectively this occurred, one has only to recall the fact that in the few years after Okinawal was retroceded from the United States in 1972 and Japanese broadcasting was introduced, young people soon became accustomed to the standard language that radio and television announcerS circulate and thus suffered less from 'culture shock' when they came to Tokyo. Even in Tokyo, radio and television played a major role in erasing dialect differences between yamanote kotoba (South-West Tokyo dialect) and shitamachi kotoba (North-East Tokyo dialect). It is impossible to guess a person's profession according to accent anymore. Differences between female and male language among urban young people have also diminished.[2]

Given this indisputable situation, I would like to begin with an analysis of the popular culture that manifests itself as mass culture. The 'mass' of mass culture connotes a coherent, homogeneously integrated matter, rather than a 'molecular'[3] ensemble. Modern technology is indispensable for cohering and integration. Technological development from printing to electronics has greatly intensified the extent and scale of this function. Electronics can organize not only nation-wide but also space-wide audiences. In this condition, individuals, folks and people who would otherwise maintain their 'autonomy', are fused into an electronic mass. So, I would call the present stage of mass culture 'electronic mass culture'. This culture has been formed through the pervasion of electric and electronic devices like refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, stereo phonographs, radios, telephones, radio-cassette tape-recorders, electronic calculators, computer game machines, vending machines for food, tickets and banking, 'Walkman', "karaoke" and FM mini transmitters.

Today's Japanese popular culture manifests itself through the medium of these electric or electronic devices. They have changed the social relations of individuals, the communication environment, social and aesthetic values, and even political consciousness.[4] Among these devices, information devices like television and radio have an effect strong enough to change socio-cultural conditions, but even electric tools have done much for the change. For instance, electric refrigerators (89 percent of households in 1970), washing machines (96 percent in 1982), and vacuum cleaners (91.2 percent in 1975) drastically changed the housewife's conditions and traditional life-style and food habits. Also, vending machines totally transformed the shopping patterns and attitudes of the consumer. In 1971 the total number of vending machines for soft drinks, food, cigarettes, train tickets, and so on, was 1,391,470; in 1975 doubled; in 1982 it is 4,861,140 - 4.1 per 100 persons.[5]

The most powerful device of electronic mass culture is television. The first television broadcasting in black and white began with NHK and NTV (Nihon TV, a private station) in 1953. When thirty-four stations throughout Japan were licensed by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in 1957, only 5.1 percent of national households owned television sets. In 1964 when the Games of the 18th Olympiad were held in Tokyo,90.3 percent of households had a black and white television set. Colourcasting began in 1960 (experimentally in 1957), and over 90 percent of households owned a colour television set as early as 1975. In 1969, over 90 percent of households had either a black and white or colour televisiOn set.

In this changing media environment, people more and more spent time watching television. In 1960 people over the age of ten watched television for 56 minutes every weekday; in 1975 for 3 hours and 19 minutes. Inversely, sleeping hours decreased from 8 hours and 13 minutes to 7 hours and 52 minutes. ("Kokumin seikatsu jikan chosa" by NHK hoso seron chosajo.) In this way, television has become a strong apparatus to transform everything into popular images - mass culture. As television has become like one's extended 'body', one does not necessarily recognize what is happening on television. At a level beyond one's consciousness, happenings on television directly become a popular culture. In the earlier stage, television was a medium between reality and its image. When it conveyed a programme of "proresu"(American-style wrestling), one of the most popular television programmes in the 1950s, for instance, people knew that the real show existed and the television represented it: the real world was considered the final referent. However people tend now not to consider the reality of the referent: the question is whether the video image is real or not. l would call this 'reality' simulated reality.[6]

The most typical and explicit example of this simulated reality that constitutes today's mass culture of Japan is illustrated by the recent 'Suspicious Bullet Incident'. This saga began in 1984: the 26th January issue of the weekly popular magazine Shukan Bunshun contained an article accusing Mr. Kazuyoshi Miura, an upper middle-class citizen, of killing his wife in Los Angeles. In 1981, Miura and his wife were mugged on a street in Los Angeles, and his wife was shot and eventually died. At that time, Mr. Miura repeatedly appeared on television in Japan, and expressed his anger and sadness. Many viewers sympathized with him. It became a daytime television melodrama. However, soon after his wife was killed he got married again. So, people had the feeling that there might have been something unclear in the case. Needless to say, weekly magazines like Shukan Bunshun dealt with this story, but it was not such big news. All of a sudden, three years after the mugging, Shukan Bunshun reminded people of it, skillfully exploiting this vague aspect of the case and accusing Mr. Miura as if he had killed his wife. However, I think this 'Suspicious Bullet Incident' - the front line of the magazine's article would have become a bigger topic if television reporters had rushed to Mr. Miura's house or he had been forced to appear on television. So far, neither in Japan nor in the U.S. have the police given any comment on Miura's alleged suspicion.[7] Nonetheless, the 'Suspicious Bullet Incident' was a big topic throughout the whole of 1984 and the Miura family had to escape from Japan to Europe.

This incident suggests that in Japan civil rights are diminished and ordinary people bear resentment against a new type of middle class like Mr Miura who is not an ordinary salaried worker but an independent dealer of precious metals and stones, and whose life-style is 'luxurious' and chic in the sense of Yuppie. This incident indicates the changing class structure of Japanese society. In fact, the economic and cultural difference is so obvious that there is a popular phenomenon by which people playfully discriminate one from another as either markin or marubi (encircled- abbreviated- 'rich' or 'poor'). These terms derive from a recent best-seller Kinkonkan[8] by Kazuhiro Watanabe and Tarakopurodakushon, which is a kind of Japanese counterpart of The Yuppie Handbook.[9] From the perspective of popular culture, this phenomenon is more interesting than the- change in class structure. People talk about the informational difference between 'rich' and 'poor'; not the substantial difference. Given the informational atmosphere of 'rich' and 'poor' that Kinkonkan illustrates, one could, referring to this book, play at being 'rich' even if one is lower middle class. This is a game with simulated reality.

As the Suspicious Bullet Incident' suggests, simulated reality needs no authority outside reality. Everything is decided within the media, especially the video display, and is immediately accessed/forgotten by ON and OFF. Television and computer games are very effective at cultivating this ON and OFF electronic mass culture. Advertising spots for commodities on television have been a fundamental apparatus. They interrupt the stream of consciousness. Bertold Brecht once referred to the 'V-effect' ('Verfremdung-Effekt') when a continuing performance is suddenly interrupted by means of an unusual performance or action. [10] While Brecht used this technique in order to waken his audience when it was inclined to be passive during the performance, 'spots' on television are designed to relativize or bracket the very programme that 'V-effect' was supposed to activate. This pseudo-'V-effect' of 'spots' has been accelerated as they have become more and more 'artistic'. As early as the mid-seventies, the better 'spots' were a kind of 'short-short' with sophisticated film techniques and original ideas. The budget is usually much higher for a twenty-second 'spot' than for thirty minutes of regular soap opera. Some feature (mostly male) international actors - such as Alain Delon, Marcello Mastroianni, Orson Wells, Sean Connery, Paul Newman, Woody Allen and Harrison Ford. Therefore, the spots are sometimes more interesting than the regular programmes, and they enable the viewer to endure the interval of advertising. Spots on television, therefore, have a very strong influence on mass culture and have changed viewers' time consciousness.

In addition to this, Joho-shi, guide magazines to entertainment and leisure activities like the late Cue or New York Magazine began to organize new information channels. The most influential is Pia which started to publish in 1973. This magazine is now so influential as to be able to control the world of show business. Given the popular impression that Pia covers all the information concerning movies, performances and other entertainments in metropolitan cities, people become indifferent to shows not listed in it, and which people used to learn about through their oral information network among friends (kuchikomi). This type of magazine transforms the total reality of city culture into fragments of information that one can assemble according to one's preference (konomti). And it goes to an extreme in which informational reality is substituted for the substantial reality that everybody used to experience. For instance, many readers of "joho-shi" use the magazine for the fun of assembling-information play (joho-asobi), not for a guide to theatre going. This extremity is now taken over by computer games where everything is simulacra.

Throughout the seventies, the popular culture of television and magazines was based on various sorts of parody techniques in language and visual images. One typical example was a television show in which sokkurisan (human imitations) of popular stars and figures, even Marilyn Monroe and J. F. Kennedy, appeared. Fake aesthetics was dominant in this period, and fake feeling was preferred to 'real' touch. Spots on television clearly reflected this popular aesthetics, and many paronomasia (word play) and visual image quotations from famous films - especially American movies - were well-known advertising techniques. This fake aesthetics still had a referential real world from which the fake image derived its 'reality'. Electronic mass culture disregards such a referent.

The substance of comic strips (manga) changed from the fake aesthetics to the simulated electronic mass culture. The late sixties and early seventies were a golden age of Japanese comic strips, in which American popular culture, Japanese regional folk culture, and new waves of art were unified. These comic strips were influenced by television, too. The main streams emerged: gekiga and shojo manga. Literally, gekiga means a theatrical picture and shojo manga means young girl's comics. The former stress the action of character and expressionistic visual image; the latter tends to develop romantic images. Both seem to borrow the viewpoint or the image of settings of the Western world and to dream of Westernized culture. Although gekiga deals with old native conventional worlds, the touch of exaggerated drawings is as if American movies dealt with Japanese. In the beginning, there may have been such a dream to some extent, but I think it is getting less in today's manga.[11]

The myth of Western culture and civilization has been losing effect in the last decade as the Japanese have developed an awareness of an 'advanced industrial country ranked with the U.S.' and people have had plenty of opportunities to actually observe the Western world in tourism. Nowadays, there is a popular saying, 'Datsu-ou nyu-a': that is a total reversal of Datsu-a nyu-ou (to disassociate from Asia, then to join Europe) of the nineteenth century.[12] These trends are compatible with the change in Japanese National Railways campaigns from 'Discover Japan' in the seventies to 'Exotic Japan' in the eighties. In the period of 'Discover Japan', there were diverse and regional cultures in every part of the country, especially in northern Japan. The tour companies could find differences and interesting places. This was a kind of exploitation of the diversified culture resources which existed. But in the process, these differences were flattened out. Today, one can hardly find differences even in the northern parts of the country like Iwate or Yamagata. In every place one can find vending machines, paved roads, supermarkets, the same commodities, and of course television. This is a problem for tourist companies. Thus, they have to create artificial differences, a simulated culture of Japan. This is the basic intention of the campaign called 'Exotic Japan'. The countryside must be exotic, but it is not.

Given that even exoticism is simulated, it would be one-sided just to point out a romantic fantasy of Western culture in the exotic image of manga. One must pay attention more to the social aesthetics side of this phenomenon. The typical reader of manga does not mind the imitating aspects but is fascinated by the constant distance from the real world. Blue eyes, blond hair, and long and slender legs - stereotyped images of gaijin of the characters of shojo manga aren't intended to refer to the real existing Western world but, on the contrary, to alienate the reader from any kind of real world. Therefore, manga especially shojo manga succeed in creating science fiction fantasy and may be combined with animated cartoon movies or video. A recent hit movie, Kazenotanino Naushika directed by Komatsubara Kazuo, is based on manga by Miyazaki Shun.

Karaoke and Walkman belong to the electronic mass culture, too. Karaoke is an electronic device with tape-recorder, amplifier, effecter, speaker and microphone, by which one can sing a song to the taped accompaniment of a professional orchestra or band. In a party with "karaoke", people sing songs one after another. Even at a conventional party, people used to sing songs, so it might seem that the appearance of karaoke has not changed the form of conventional Japanese collectivity at all. However, there is a big difference. Careful observation of the relationship between the performer and the audience reveals that they are united only through the help of electronic media, only "ON" and "OFF". Karaoke performs the function of unifying people who have lost their ability to communicate with each other by their oral media. The popularity of karaoke means that Japanese collectivity becomes more and more temporal, rather than a continuous collectivity based on oral language, race, religion, taste or folkways.

Walkman,[13] a cassette tape-recorder with a headphone is for personal use only, so that the users are isolated from each other even if they listen to the same music source. Each user is united to the extent that he or she maintains and belongs to the same mass culture: electronic mass culture. Outdoor users of Walkman express their unconscious desire to be absorbed in the complete electronic culture. People attach themselves to the electronic environment on the street where otherwise they would be separated from it. From a different viewpoint, one gains protection from the: more and more electronics-oriented city environment with blaring speakers, noisy traffic and flickering shop windows.

In this environment in which television, karaoke and Walkman were gradually establishing the electronic mass culture, 'Mini FM' has appeared. 'Mini FM' is a very low powered license-free FM radio station. In Japan, there has been no public access to the regular broadcasting spectrum except on bijaku-denpa (very low powered airwaves). According to the Japanese Radio Law (Article 4), 'a station whose broadcasting wave is in a very low power needs no license'. Also, the Article 6 of the Enforcement Regulation defines this 'very low power' to mean that the wave must be 'below 15 microvolts per meter at the distance of 100 meters from the transmitter.'[14] These regulations were established in 1957 when electronic technology was gradually brought into the market. Thus, the "bijaku-denpa" was not intended to be a stingy 'public access' measure but a pragmatic measure to promote more electronic devices like wireless microphones, television remote control devices, garage-door openers, model airplanes and other wireless transmitters. At that time, bijaku-denpa was useless for broadcasting except for the childish fun of playing at wireless communication over a limited distance, playing at professional radio announcing or music show. However, the situation has changed as the performance of the receivers has improved and the cost of radio sets has decreased. Today, most people have at least one or two transistor radio sets at home, which can catch signals at the distance of 500 metres from transmitters submitting to the regulation of bijaku-denpa. This means that the legally permitted airwave could cover a one kilometre radius of the city - which in a dense population area contains 20,000 residents, all potential listeners. 'Mini FM' found this unknown 'public access'.

In the late 1970s, there were some individuals and groups who tried this method in order to open up a free radio station, stimulated by free radio fever in Europe or CB mania in the U.S. However, enthusiasm for 'Mini FM' did not begin until August 1982 when a station called KIDS in Aoyama, Tokyo was opened and newspapers, popular magazines and television reported on it. In the first month after their opening, they had at least thirty interviews with the mass media, and then numbers of advertising agencies and service industries got in touch with them. During the next few months, hundreds of imitators opened their stations in campuses, coffee shops, private spaces, stores and gathering places. Given the excitable nature of Japanese mass media, daily newspapers and weekly magazines began to report about what was happening in 'Mini FM' and on how to open up a 'Mini FM' station. Consequently, other unknown 'Mini FM' stations had a chance to become public along with the imitators of KIDS. By April 1983, almost all types of 'Mini FM' station appeared before the public.[15] How enthusiastic they were could be illustrated by the fact that in March 1983 the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications referred the matter of growing 'Mini FM' to their consultative body out of an anxiety for the future consequences.[16] So far, they have not proclaimed any change except in the way of measuring the "bijaku-denpa". In future, the regulation is to be changed to the following: 'Below 500 microvolts per meter at the distance of 3 meters from the transmitter.' This does not mean that the power allowance is to be increased. The substantial power to be allowed is almost the same as before. The difference is for the authority to be able to measure the power more exactly for the measurement is done at a very close distance - three metres - to the transmitter. This could be a subtle control of 'Mini FM', but the activity will, for some time, be undamaged. 'Mini FM' is celebrating its fifth anniversary in 1987.[17]

This 'quiet' interim has something to do with the present unstable situation of government radio policy. The government has just begun to discuss revision of the broadcasting law that was basically established in the 19SOs and is apparently inconvenient for promoting new media. In comparison with the radical change of FM radio policy in the advanced industrial countries, the Japanese government has been very reluctant to open the VHF airwaves to FM broadcasting, although this is indispensable for their new policy, stressing localism, cultural diversity and new media, to proceed.

A short history of Japanese radio policy shows how long the government has monopolized the people's air spectrum. Regular FM radio broadcasting was authorized in 1969 with 170 public stations (in the whole country) of NHK, most of which had been experimentarily licensed, and with only one private station - FM Aichi. As far as Tokyo is concerned, NHK FM was the only authorized station on FM dial and the private FM Tokyo (FM Tokai at that time) didn't receive a regular licence until 1970 although they had had approval to broadcast experimentally since 1961. Thereafter, the government approved more licences, but there were only four private FM radio stations in all (FM Tokyo, FM Aichi, FM Osaka, and FM Fukuoka) until 1982 when five additional stations (FM Ehime, FM Hokkaido, Hiroshima FM, FM Nagasaki and FM Sendai) were licensed. Even today, Tokyo has only two FM radio stations in all. This is unbelievable in comparison with other countries. In Italy, although an extreme case, each major city has at least a hundred stations on the FM dial: there are over 200 stations in the city of Rome for instance. As economic activity grew, a strong need for more FM stations developed among private institutions. Already in 1964, the Nippon Hoso - a private broadcasting company on AM dial - declared the management policy of 'Audience segmentation' which was to accord with the coming consumption-oriented society, comparable to the U.S. In the following years, this form of management became prevalent in major broadcasting companies on AM dial. However, given the Japanese broadcasting law basically obliges stations to operate nationally, not on a local basis, the audience segmentation policy didn't work. Only segmentation by age, sex and profession was introduced. Yet it is beyond doubt that segmentation of local needs is most appropriate to make best use of FM broadcasting. In Japan, FM broadcasting has been different from AM broadcasting in its quality of sound.

Although hundreds of institutions - including advertising agencies and political and religious organizations - have continued to apply for licences to the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications since 1945, no additional AM or FM stations have been approved in Tokyo, for instance, during the past fifteen years, a period of increasing cultural diversity in the context of economic development, in spite of the availability of the VHF spectrum. This'abnormal situation is partly because the government, headed by the Liberal Democratic Party, and those private stations already operating are in collusion. While the government controls them through the restriction of licences and through amakudarijinji (appointment to the executives from ministries of the government), private stations are willing to submit to governmental supervision in order to monopolize the market and avoid competition with newcomers. The government has balked at dismantling this intervention in the private sector.[18]

The abnormal situation did not lead to illegal broadcasting as in France in the late seventies because of the governmental direct and indirect control of the airwaves.[19] In addition to the severe supervision, a common idea that airwaves belong to the government has been deeply implanted in the people's minds. Therefore, people's discontent about broadcasting is to be found in various unconscious phenomena. One of the most interesting examples is the growing number of the listeners to FEN, Far East Network - a special broadcast service for U.S. troops stationed in East Asia. FEN's English programmes, which stress current American popular music, are so welcomed by Japanese young listeners that a special quarterly and more than ten books on how to listen to FEN are in circulation.[20] This means that Japanese radio broadcasting does not satisfy young people.

It was in this situation that 'Mini FM' came out and immediately became a popular sub-culture. How it immediately caught people's interests is not entirely cleare yet the following motives may be hypothesized: (1) public desire for more diverse radio programmes, (2) influence from free radio in Italy and France, (3) preference for fake culture, especially American pop culture, (4) an accumulation of a kind of techno-youth culture (playing with cassette tape-recorders, stereos, wireless microphones, walkie talkies, model airplanes and electronic game machines), (5) availability and reducing cost of electronic devices like tiny FM transmitters, and (6) desire for new communication with others. All the motives above are interrelated with each other and each of them has something to do with what is going on in Japanese society today.

While thousands of 'Mini FM' stations rose and fell in three years, at least a hundred survive in Tokyo today. They could be classified into three categories. The first is most interested in a kind of radio performance with talk and music shows by disc jockeys in an open studio. KIDS was the founder of this type and has been busy in sending out their staff and equipment to university campuses, festival scenes, department stores and supermarkets. There are many coffee shops where an open 'Mini FM' studio is set up. They are less interested in communicating through radio media. 'Mini FM' is a kind of performance show to catch one's attention or to entertain customers. Therefore this type of station is a paying business. The second one is interested in establishing an alternative radio station on FM dial. They broadcast programmes of music, news, talk shows and discussions and intend to communicate with local listeners. AD AD in Nerima, Tokyo has established a quite large network with a relay system and broadcasts mainly music programmes every day. JOGG FM Koenji broadcasts every weekend and publishes a complete programme evey two weeks. They have many talented D.J.s who have created various kinds of discourse that cannot be heard on the dial of NHK or FM Tokyo.

The third one has found a radically different function of 'Mini FM', and I think this represents one of the most viable sides of 'Mini FM' and the electronic mass culture. Setagaya MaMa's studio is housed in a small shack serving both as a gathering place for neighbours and as an alternative retail store carrying natural foods and other daily necessities. This station is radically free from professional programming and has been open to anyone who wants to talk by radio. Even babblings, clatters, and slams in this store-station are on the air. Once, when several people began talking about community politics, some listeners rushed to the station and joined in the discussion. Radio Komedia Suginami have established their station in a coffee shop for a totally different purpose from the first category. They have a programme, but it is so flexible that anybody in the coffee shop can join in the discussion. Some listeners are inclined to visit the station when they are at home and eventually come to the coffee shop to take the microphone. Radio Home Run tries to be more conscious of this line - being centrifugal, rather than centripetal in function. Their station defines itself as a gathering place with a transmitting device. The programme consists of discussions. For five days a week, various kinds of discussion are broadcast. But more important is the very process of discussion and gathering, rather than broadcasting. Workers, political activists, feminists, artists, performers, journalists, students and jobless people get together in order to talk on the air and maintain a temporary collective. Needless to say, visiting listeners are allowed to join in the discussion. There are always guiding individuals or groups who prepare the theme of discussion and organize the temporal collective evey time. Sometimes a temporal collective becomes permanent and begins to work outside the station, being involved in artistic or political activities. So, Radio Home Run is a catalystic space to create new groups of art, alternative magazines, social activities, theatre and music.

The collectivity through radio, i.e. the electronic collectivity, brings together individuals on the air. This provisional unfetteredness can alienate individuals in an isolated electronic capsule of mass media, but at the same time can reactivate individual desire for free, spontaneous "communion". The electronic collectivity either integrates individuals into a homogeneous 'fused' collectivity or emancipates every "singularity" in the collective. Electronic media and the mass culture they cultivate have this dual potentiality. The present situation of Japanese popular culture is oscillating between the poles of this dual potentiality. The question is whether popular culture will remain in the homogeneous capsule that was established with the modern emperor system (tenno-sei) and has been reorganized with the electronic mass media, or will it overcome it.


[1] Among hundreds of critiques on contemporary popular culture, Theodor W. Adorno's criticism is most penetrating. He called the change of culture as 'all post-Auschwitz culture, including its urgent critique, is garbage' (Negative Dialectics, translated by E. B. Asbton, New York, The Seabury Press, 1979, p.367). Given his definition, today's popular culture must be found among 'garbages', that is mass culture. As for the hemogenizing process of culture from popular culture to mass culture, see my 'Adorno's "strategy of hibernation" ', Telos, no. 46, Winter 1980-81, pp. 147-S3.

[2]These are the consequence of 'Americanization' that is much more visible in Japan than in the U.S. See my 'Japan as a Manipulated Society', Telos, no. 49, Fall 1981 pp. 138-40.

[3] Félix Guattari, Molecular Revolution - Psychiatry and Politics, London, Penguin Books Ltd, 1984.

[4] See my 'Electronic individualism', Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory, vol. 8 no.3, Fall 1984, pp. 15-20.

[5]Jihaikiseihin sogokatarogu (IAM '84 buyers guide green book), Jido hanbai kenkyujo,1983

[6] Myron W. Krueger's terminology 'artifidal reality' belongs to the same situation, but it lacks the critique upon the status quo itself. Artificial Reality, Reading, Mass., Addison-Wesly, 1983.

[7] On 11th September 1985, Mr. Miura was eventually arrested by the police on suspicion of another murder case and is still detained in November 1985. [8] Kazuhiro Watanabe et al, Kinkonkan (Money spirits book), Tokyo, Shufunotomosha, 1984.

[9] Marissa Piesman and Marilee Hartley, The Ygppie Handbook, New York, Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster), 1984. [10] Bert Brecht, Brecht on Theatre, edited and translated by John Willett, New York, 1964, pp.143f.

[11] On the basic trends of manga in the sixties Junzo Ishiko provides many brilliant accounts. See his Gendai manga no shiso (Thoughts in contemporary manga), Tokyo Taibei shuppansha, 1976. Also, Shunsuke Tsurumi writes a concise note on the history of manga in his A Cultural History of Postwar Japan, 1945-1980, London, Kegan Paul international, 1987, chapter 3.

[12] Yukichi Fukuzawa wrote his 'Datsua-ron' (An exhortation beyond Asia), Jiji Shinpo, 16th March 1885. (Fukwauza Yukichi zenshu, bd. 10, Tokyo, Iwanami shoten, 1970, pp.239 ff)

[13] This is a trade name of Sony's product. 'Walkman' is generally called 'headphone-stereo' in Japanese mass media, too.

[14] Denpa kenkyukai (ed.), Denpa horeishu (Radio wave statute book), Tokyo, Denpa shinlcokai, 1983, p. 2 and p. 236.

[15] On the prehistory of 'Mini FM', see my Korega jiyu-rajioda! (This is free radio!), Toyo, Shobunsha, 1983; and my 'Free radio in Japan' - in Douglas Kahn and Diane Neumarer (eds ), Cultures in Contention, Seattle, The Real Comet Press, 1985.

[16] Strangely enough, this news was reported by only one newspaper, Suponichi, 26th March 1983.

[17] Six months later after this draft was written, the authority made a move to change the situation. On 4th September 1985, a Mini FM- radio station in Mita, Tokyo, was suddenly attacked by the police detectives. The station owner and disc jockey were arrested, accused of broadcasting with illegal 'strong' transmitting power. This station was one of the community-oriented 'Mini FM' radio stations which functioned as a people's voice. Young rock 'n' roll fans would gather there at night. The 4th September incident, then, was a case of communal activity being repressed, rather than a matter of technological policy. The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications gave no warning to the station of this allegedly 'strong' transmitting power. The incident has ended in a 20,000 yen fine against the owner. Although the authority apparently expected that many 'Mini FM' stations would get anxious about the authority's surveillance, very few people hesitated to continue broadcasting and mass media didn't support the authority. Numbers of criticisms against this control appeared. See the feature articles on this case in "Asahi Journal", 8th November 1985, pp. 84~91, for instance.

[18] As for the complicated relationship between the government and the applicants for the FM licence, see Tatsuo Ando, 'FM kakuju o meguru 10 yonen no oshu', Sogo janarizumu kenkyu, no. 102, Autumn 1982, pp. 38-43; Denpa Shinbun (ed.), FM meonkyo, asudewa ososugiru (FM broadcasting licence - don't put off till tomorrow), Tokyo, Denpa shibunsha, 1978. Terebi bunka kenkyukai, Terebifushoku kesnsho (Examination of the eclipsing television), Tokyo, Chobunsha, 1980, has the very critical chapter, 'Denpa media no gendai shinwa (Modern myth of airwave media)' on the Japanese radio policy pp. 237-60.

[19] As early as January 1979 when Italian free radio 'fever' was spreading in France, a pirate FM radio station 'FM Nishi Tokyo' began to broadcast and created many enthusiastic listeners. However, it was shut down by the police after three months. See Asahi Shinbun, 11th April 1979, p. 23.

[20] An electric company sells even a special radio set which can only receive FEN dial.

The Japanese trajectory: modernization and beyond, edited by GAVAN McCORMACK and YOSHIO SUGIMOTO, Published by the Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, 1988, pp.54-66