The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 49. 2012   

December 3, 2012   
New Articles Posted
Quick Links
In This Issue
Quick Links

Many thanks to those who contributed to our O fund-raiser. We're now more than half way to matching our first challenge grant with ten days to go with important gifts ranging from $50 to $500: An anonymous donor has pledged to match all donations of $50 and more up to a total of $2,500 with a deadline of December 15. So your donation will have a double barreled effect. Please go to the red sustainer button on our home page to contribute via Paypal or credit card.

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new feature:

Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus-Free Downloadable Course Readers!
These are volume-length e-book compilations of essays on selected topics with explanatory introductions by scholars.  
These volumes are designed to make it easier for teachers and students to use the Asia-Pacific Journal archive. Many teachers already use many of the individual essays in the classroom, for example:  
I used Japan Focus in two classes at Williams last spring: a tutorial class on Hiroshima/Nagasaki: Memory, and a course on Japan Since 1945. There is nothing--literally nothing--in English that does as good a job of making available the latest thinking about the issues that lie at the heart of today's Japan. The articles deal with all of the key issues; they forefront opinion and ideas; and they adhere to strong scholarly standards. ... the Japan Focus articles provoked some of my best class discussions.   Jim Huffman, H. Orth Hirt Professor of History Emeritus, Wittenberg University
The volume editors have chosen articles from the archive that lend themselves particularly well to classroom use and work well as a set. All volumes have been peer-reviewed, in addition to the initial review process before each article was originally posted, and we have permission from all verified copyright holders.
Students like the fact that the articles areavailable 24-7, are storable on-line, searchable, and cost nothing to them.  
We begin with four volumes on the following topics. For a quick look at the tables of contents and title pages, please open the TOC files.
War and Visual Culture edited by Hong Kal and Jooyeon Rhee.
Environmental History  edited by Eiko Maruko Siniawer.
War in Japanese Popular Culture edited by Matthew Penney.
Women and Japan's Political Economy edited by Valerie Barske.
The topics of other volumes currently in preparation include:
** The Air Raids and Atomic Bombs in Historical Perspective.
** Ethnic Minorities and Japan.
** Globalization and Japanese Popular Culture: Mixing It Up.
** Japan's "Abandoned People" in the Wake of Fukushima.
** The Japanese Empire.
** Japanese Intellectual Currents of the Twentieth Century.
** The Politics of Memory in East Asia.
** Public Opinion on Nuclear Power in Japan after the Fukushima Disaster.
** Putting Okinawa at the Center.
To Download a Volume: The volumes are downloadable from the Asia-Pacific Journal website as searchable PDFs. The PDF versions can be highlighted and bookmarked as well as printed. From the home page, please click on the button marked Course Readers at the top and center of the page. Interested viewers may also browse the tables of contents of each volume, marked TOC and posted at the website. Select a Reader. This process can be repeated to choose other Readers.
If you are interested in creating a volume yourself, wish to participate as a reviewer and editor, have suggestions for new topics, or want to discuss another aspect of this project, please contact Laura Hein at
We welcome donations to support this initiative. We suggest doing so at the level of $25.00 or more for the general public and $10.00 for students (or the equivalent in other currencies). Please click on the red button Sustaining APJ on the left side of the APJ home page to contribute.
Course reader website at our home page:

Our subscribers via this Newsletter, as well as through Facebook and Twitter now number 6,000. We invite you to  help us expand these numbers by informing colleagues, associates, students and friends who might find our work useful. The best way to do so is to send along a recent article of interest and invite them to subscribe via our homepage either to receive the Newsletter or to receive notification via Facebook or Twitter. Another good way is to include APJ in your syllabus.

Our home page has two important features. One is a regularly updated guide to the more than 100 articles we have published on the 3.11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power meltdown which is transforming Japanese politics and society, and is reshaping issues of nuclear power and energy policy in that nation and globally. Articles are arranged topically. In addition, we have added a guide to some of the most important, and liveliest, online and print sources on 3.11 including blogs and websites.  Second, the list of articles now indicates all those available in Japanese translation or original, as well as other languages.

More than 6,000 people now subscribe to APJ, either through our Newsletter or the more than 2,700 who follow us  through Twitter or Facebook, whose numbers are growing steadily. Please consider joining them by clicking at the appropriate link on our home page.       


We invite authors, publishers and directors to bring their books, films and events on East Asia and the Pacific to the attention of our readers. See the home page for information about presenting relevant books and films at our site and for examples of authors, publishers and filmmakers who are presenting their work at the Journal.

Contact Japan Focus by email at

To access our full archive with more than 2,000 articles, and to view the most widely read articles through their titles or via our index, go here. 
Subscription information
The Asia-Pacific Journal is freely available to all. We invite those who wish to support our work by allowing us to make technical upgrades, defray technical, mailing and maintenance fees, and to enable us to expand our output since the 3.11 earthquake and tsunami. Recommended support level: $25 ($10 for students and residents of developing countries); $40 for institutions including libraries, research centers, government offices. If you experience difficulty in subscribing, write to us with the error message at 

Andrew DeWit, Distributed Power and Incentives in Post-Fukushima Japan


This paper documents the fact that distributed power is a rapidly expanding and quickly evolving market with important implications for Japanese and global energy futures. It also shows that Japan has an excellent opportunity to grow a robust and sustainable business area that includes primary, secondary and tertiary industries. Distributed power can improve equity, local resilience, and build a more competitive export sector. But Japan may be handicapped by Galapagos features as well as the capacity of vested interests to block progress in power deregulation and other aspects that favour the diffusion of distributed power and efficiency. These handicaps may become even more pronounced after the December 16 general election, which is shaping up to be - at least in part - a contest over whether to stick with centralized power in the hands of Tepco and other giant utilities or accelerate the distribution of opportunities. The election seems likely to bring on even worse political confusion and gridlock than Japan endures at present, which will almost certainly advantage the status quo.  


Andrew DeWit is Professor in the School of Policy Studies at Rikkyo University and an Asia-Pacific Journal coordinator. With Iida Tetsunari and Kaneko Masaru, he is coauthor of "Fukushima and the Political Economy of Power Policy in Japan," in Jeff Kingston (ed.) Natural Disaster and Nuclear Crisis in Japan.


Recommended citation: Andrew DeWit, 'Distributed Power and Incentives in Post-Fukushima Japan,' The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 10 Issue 49, No. 2, December 3, 2012.



Read More... 

Cho Kyo, The Search for the Beautiful Woman in China and Japan: Aesthetics and Power

An oblique tooth is viewed in the States as requiring straightening, but in Japan it may be thought of as emblematic of a young woman's charm. While a slim body is a prerequisite for beauty today, plump women were considered beautiful in Tang Dynasty China and Heian period Japan. Starting from around the twelfth century in China, bound feet symbolized the attractiveness of women. But Japan, which received sundry influences from China, never adopted foot-binding. Instead, shaving eyebrows and blackening teeth became markers of feminine beauty. Before modern times, neither Japanese nor Chinese paid much attention to double eyelids, but in the course of the long twentieth century they became a standard for distinguishing beautiful from plain women. Thus, criteria of beauty greatly differ by era and culture, and therein lie many riddles.


Focusing on changing representations of beauty in Chinese and Japanese cultures, Cho Kyo, in The Search for the Beautiful Woman, attempts to clarify such riddles from the angle of comparative cultural history. Before modern times, Japanese culture was profoundly shaped by Chinese culture, and representations of feminine beauty too received continental influences. In considering Japanese representations of feminine beauty, the author examines literary and artistic sources scattered across historical materials and classical literary works.

Cho Kyo (Chinese name Zhang Jing) is Professor in the School of Global Japanese Studies at Meiji University and a guest professor at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken). His special field is comparative literature. This is excerpted from his new book  The Search for the Beautiful Woman: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives and Aesthetics, translated by Kyoko Selden.


Kyoko Selden is the translator of Kayano Shigeru's Our Land Was a Forest, and Honda Katsuichi's Harukor: An Ainu Woman's Tale. With Noriko Mizuta she edited and translated Japanese Women Writers and More Stories by Japanese Women Writers. She is the coeditor and translator of The Atomic Bomb: Voices From Hiroshima and Nagasaki and an Asia-Pacific Journal associate.