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HK Project Research - the 3rd Stage(First Period)

Research Activities

Theme of third stage HK Project Research is [Postwar Japan’s Structural Transformation and Reorganization of Life-World]. For the past 20years since the 1990s, due to structural change, Japanese society departed from the familiar ‘postwar Japan’ to a different society. As can be seen in the recent ‘hate speech’ against the minorities, in the political realm, conservatism has become deeply rooted. Moreover, the institutions that have backed up Japanese economy has begun to change fundamentally after experiencing long-term economic stagnation, ranging from family system, employment system, to corporate-government relationship. Furthermore, to counteract ‘post-postwar,’ ideological contemplation has never been active. Thus, as a mark to end the HK Research Project for the last 10 years, IJS attempts to reflect on the changing ‘postwar Japan’ at political, economic, ideological, and social-cultural level. To promote diversification of research content, IJS plans to conduct the research by dividing into two stages for the remaining four years (2014.9 ~ 2018.8), under the four big themes below.

[Ideology and Literature] Post-Postwar Ideology and Representation

Summary The goal of this study is to understand contemporary Japan’s political ideology and social thought, consciousness of time, and popular culture during the transformational period from the postwar system to post-postwar system. After the postwar economic boom that uplifted Japan as the world’s major economic power, Japan now faces stagnating economy and is conscious of any crisis that may damage Japan’s reputation. Although the 1955 System has ended the postwar chaos, “revolutionary impulse” by the leftists and the so-called “postwar ideology” developed and prevailed in the 1960s. It was in the 1970s, the era of high consumer society in which struggle for security system calmed down and the society finally accommodated the U.S.-Japan alliance system. Nevertheless, ideological and cultural discourses that problematized the “postwar system” that symbolized U.S.-Japan alliance, Peace Constitution, and the symbolic emperor system were constantly reproduced, which in turn revitalized the right-wing ideological movement aiming to overturn the postwar system in the 2000s. Thus, the challenge of [Discourse and Ideology] is to capture why and how such movements to overturn the “postwar system” are occurring.
Director JO, Gwanja
Progressive: Postwar Revolution Theory/Lefttist Nationalism, and the Future of Asia Association
Research Participants JANG, In-Sung
Conservative: From Culture Protectionism/Rightist Nationalism to Postwar Social Change
NAM, Sang-wook
(Incheon Univ.)
Changing International Order and Life-long Security: Instability and Violence
HWAN, Sung-bin
(Rikkyo Univ.)
Emotions and Ideology of ‘Pro-Kore’ and ‘Anti-Korea’
SHIM, Jung-Myung
(Hanyang Univ.)
History Reformists’ Mourning and Passion
KWON, Hyuk-tae
(Sunggonghoe Univ.)
Dismantling and Restructuring (Expanding) ‘Postwar Nation'- Shimao Toshiyo’s (島尾敏雄) 'Theory of Japonesia’
Assistant Researcher JANG, Goeun  

[Economics and Business Administration]: Japanese Economy, Trap and Escape from Recession

Summary Japanese economic system that were perceived as an attractive alternative to Western capitalism until the 1980s, slowly revealed its drawbacks in the 1990s along with the long-term economic recession. This study will examine the economic system’s problems and the Japanese government’s counteraction. From 1955 to 1974, Japanese economy has achieved a high average annual growth of nearly 10% in which internally, enabled Japan to become a mass consumption society and externally, led Japan to become the world’s second largest economy following the United States. Although the oil crisis disabled capital spending led high growth, the Japanese economy was able to lead through stable economic growth and gained a reputation called ‘Japan as No.1’ from the Western academia. However, the bubble economy followed by prolonged economic recession with the conclusion of the Plaza Accord raised questions about the Japanese economic system in general that was once highly praised by the West. Our job is to examine how the problems such as financial crisis, deflation, irregularization of workers, declining competitiveness of the manufacturing sector, Japan’s aging population, and deterioration of international competitiveness are appearing in various fields and the solutions to these problems.
Director LIM, Chai-sung
Was Deregulation Effective?
- Deregulation under Low-Growth -
Research Participants JUNG, Jin-sung
(Korea National Open Univ.)
Where is Japanese Economy Going?
- Structural Element Behind Long-Term Recession -
KIM, Hyunchul
Why did Top-Notch Japanese Companies Lose their Competitiveness?
- Crisis and Survival of Top-Notch Japanese Companies -
YEO, Inman
(Ganneung-Wonju Univ.)
The Basis of Japanese Industries’ Competitiveness
- Transition of Industrial Structure and Changing Mainstream Industries’ International Competitiveness-
KIM, Dong-hwan
(Korea Institute of Finance)
How has Japanese Financial Intermediation Function Changed?
- Financial Market and Capital Intermediation -
KIM, Yong-do
(Hosei Univ.)
Effective Relationship between Government and Corporate- New Thinking of Government
-Corporate Relationship -
KIM, Yang-tae
(Sunggonghoe Univ.)
New Japanese Employment system
- Economic Recession and Reconstructing Japan’s Employment and Labor System
Assistant Researcher LEE, Yong-Woon  

[History and Society]: Changing Community and Restructuring Social Engagement

Summary The purpose of this study is to figure out the structural reason behind Japanese society’s destabilization that has continued since the 1990s, and how Japanese civilians respond and adapt to such social mobility and form new social solidarity. We plan to understand the reformation social solidarity that is happening in families, schools, and businesses by studying the changing gender relations, construction of new youth support systems, and the formation of local unions. Confronted with the issue of aging society, we plan to examine Japan’s practices of local redevelopments and regional revitalizations in urban and rural areas. Meanwhile, under the unprecedented social crises of East Japan Earthquake, we will also analyze the process of reconstruction of local areas that have been hit by the tsunami. The role of former community organizations and new organizations and NPOs will be our top concern as we look into the reconstruction process of local communities.
Director LEE Eun-gyong
Upheaval of Modern Family and Women's Independence: Historical View and Current Perspective on "Single Mothers"
Research Participants PARK, Jeehwan
Changing Structure of School-Work and Constructing Support System for New Generation
JIN, Pil-su
Aging Demography and Restructuring of Local Society
LEE, Jiwon
(Hallim Univ.)
New Relation Between Civil Society and Community Association
KIM, Young
(Busan Univ.)
Expansion of Limited Regular Employees Institution and Part-Time Job: Focusing on Super-Market Industry
KIM, Hee-kyoung
Changing Agricultural society and Social Response
KIM, Eun-hye
Japanese Civil Society's Response to the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: Expansion of Damage and Solidarity
Assistant Researcher HAN, Ji-myung  

[Politics and Diplomacy] Macro-Politics: Politics and Culture—From Function to Representation

Summary This study attempts to distinguish the reality and representation of Japan’s conservatist movement by studying Japanese politics’ conservatist aspect in full-scale. Right-wings and conservatists must be strictly distinguished and while we do not aim to study Japanese right-wings, we focus on the boundary that demarcates the right-wings from the conservatist as well as on the conservatist phenomena in Japanese politics. We will also differentiate policies and representation, and this study adopts the perspective that distinguishes macro-politics that deals with representation and micro-politics that deals with policies. The current state of Japanese politics is the result of history and it is expected to remain for a long time. This study understands that Japanese politics is centered in conservatism, and that the current state is an extension of that tendency. This study captures the essence of the present state in which Japanese conservatism is moving to a different level of conservatism, and our job is to find empirical evidence and understand the values behind such phenomena. The goal of this study is to bring the issue of Japanese right-wing movement to the forefront and as a “struggle in the Japanese Life-World,” and analyze the meaning behind Japanese politics’ structural transformation that allows right-wing movement.
Director NAM, Ki-jeong
Self-Defense Forces: Dream of ‘Independence’ and the Reality of U.S.-Japan Alliance
Research Participants LEE, Kyung-boon
Japanese National Anthem (Kimigayo) and Mayuzumi Toshiro(黛敏朗). Representative Sound of Japanese Conservatives
PARK, Jinwoo
(Sookmyung Women’s Univ.)
Yasukuni: Between ‘War Memorial Facility’ and ‘Traditional Mortuary practice’
LEE, Keun-Kwan
Territory: Entanglement of ‘International Law’ and ‘Indigenous Land’
PARK, Sam-Hon
(Konkuk Univ.)
Emperor: From ‘Symbol of National Unity’ to ‘Symbol of National Culture’
KIM, Hyo-jin
(Korea Univ.)
Hate Speech: Boundary between Conservatives and Right-Wings
NAM, Sang-goo
(Incheon Univ.)
Textbook: Overlapping Imperialism and Nationalism
Assistant Researcher Yon, Jun-Han