Law in Everyday Japan: Sex, Sumo, Suicide, and Statutes

Paperback | August 15, 2005

byMark D. West

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Lawsuits are rare events in most people's lives. High-stakes cases are even less commonplace. Why is it, then, that scholarship about the Japanese legal system has focused almost exclusively on epic court battles, large-scale social issues, and corporate governance? Mark D. West's Law in Everyday Japan fills a void in our understanding of the relationship between law and social life in Japan by shifting the focus to cases more representative of everyday Japanese life.

Compiling case studies based on seven fascinating themes—karaoke-based noise complaints, sumo wrestling, love hotels, post-Kobe earthquake condominium reconstruction, lost-and-found outcomes, working hours, and debt-induced suicide—Law in Everyday Japan offers a vibrant portrait of the way law intermingles with social norms, historically ingrained ideas, and cultural mores in Japan. Each example is informed by extensive fieldwork. West interviews all of the participants-from judges and lawyers to defendants, plaintiffs, and their families-to uncover an everyday Japan where law matters, albeit in very surprising ways.

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Lawsuits are rare events in most people's lives. High-stakes cases are even less commonplace. Why is it, then, that scholarship about the Japanese legal system has focused almost exclusively on epic court battles, large-scale social issues, and corporate governance? Mark D. West's Law in Everyday Japan fills a void in our understandin...

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Lawsuits are rare events in most people's lives. High-stakes cases are even less commonplace. Why is it, then, that scholarship about the Japanese legal system has focused almost exclusively on epic court battles, large-scale social issues, and corporate governance? Mark D. West's Law in Everyday Japan fills a void in our understandin...

Mark D. West is the Nippon Life Professor of Law and director of the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan. He is coauthor of Economic Organizations and Corporate Governance in Japan: The Impact of Formal and Informal Rules.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:August 15, 2005Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226894037

ISBN - 13:9780226894034

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgments
Author's Note
1. Introduction
2. Lost and Found
3. Sumo
4. Karaoke
5. Earthquakes and Condominiums
6. Love Hotels
7. Working Hours
8. Debt-Suicide
9. Conclusions and Implications
Index

Editorial Reviews

"This is without doubt a creative, informative, and conscientiously argued book from which anthropologists and other students of Japan will have much to learn."