Call for papers: Special issue of Contemporary Japan: “Body Concepts: Changing Discourses of the Body in Contemporary Japanese Society”


Contemporary Japan (CJ) is the biannual journal of the German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo (DIJ) published by de Gruyter, Berlin and New York. We publish original research from all disciplines as they relate to contemporary Japan or its recent historical development. Manuscripts which cross disciplinary boundaries and raise larger issues of interest are also welcome, as are approaches rooted in traditional disciplines to under-researched topics. All submissions are peer-reviewed in a double-blind process by established scholars in the field.

The following points set CJ apart from other peer-reviewed journals on Japan:

  1. CJ is open to all kinds of methods from all disciplines.
  2. CJ also welcomes preliminary empirical results as well as innovative theoretical approaches, given that their contribution to the field of research as well as their place in the relevant literature is thoroughly presented.
  3. CJ maintains a fast review process and promises a timely publication after acceptance.
  4. Submissions are judged purely for content. CJ offers extensive language support for accepted articles, which may be translated into English free of charge, given that (a) the material is original research which has not been published in either language and that (b) the material demonstrates a familiarity with the international literature in the field.
  5. All articles are available free of charge online.

Call for Papers

In common with other industrial and post-industrial societies, Japan is confronted by issues arising from rapidly changing medical technologies, an aging society and environmental pollution, all of which impact the body and our understandings of the ‘natural’ and the artificial. The body has come under pressure from varying directions: not only as an object/subject of consumption, but also as an agent of production in the field of work, as well as in the domains of medicine and technology, where the boundaries between natural and artificial have become increasingly blurred. Other relevant issues include the negotiation of the end of life and the disposal of the body after death; the treatment and transformation of the body in the Japanese fictional media, including anime, manga, literature and film; and the body in performance and the performing arts.
Authors are invited to submit papers relating to this overall theme, addressing areas such as, but not limited to, the following: • The body in the mass media, including public display of the body on TV and other media, as well as the cyborg and the robotic body in film, manga and anime

  • Disembodiment: virtual reality, avatars and identity in online interactions
  • Dance, sports and physical movement in Japan
  • Medical technologies and the body, including new reproductive technologies and the treatment of the body at the end of life
  • Death and the body, including changing funeral practices
  • Japanese theories of the body: shintairon and shintai no shakaigaku
  • The body and the self: working on the body as a means of self-cultivation and/or resistance, including bodily modification, wrapping, design and aesthetics
  • Work and the body: the disciplining of the productive body in the workplace

Contributions should not exceed 8000 words, including references and appendices.
For details see our style sheet at
For Inquiries and submission contact: 
Submission deadline: 31 March 2014; Publication: Spring 2015

Dr Ulrich Heinze
Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures
NR1 4DH Norwich/UK
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