If you are interested in the tangled, corrupt world of the news media and their ties/relationships to the political parties in Japan, then this is the book for you! "Media and Politics in Japan" is a textbook style collection of essays that were collected as a project for studying the news media in Japan, an entity infamously threaded with the government, to a point where it is difficult to separate them. The essays deal with such issues as the kissha clubs, the reporter clubs attached to political parties, such as the dominate LDP. At the clubs, reporters and politicians drink and gossip together, ensuring the the reporters know every detail, even while "requesting" that they print only official statements. Reporters purposely ditch stories in order to maintain this symbiotic relationship. Also highlighted is the use of images in Japanese news, as well as the coverage of violent news, and the different vocabulary used for violence within Japan and that on foreign shores. There are several innovative and interesting articles, each providing one more facet of the strange image of Japanese media/politics. Japanese media as the trickster, for instance, plays off of the anthropological trickster character as one who gets things moving within a society. A fascinating study, although not for casual readers by any means. "Media and Politics in Japan" is not meant for casual readers, and is best used in context with a course on the subject.
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