Community Volunteers in Japan
Everyday stories of social change
By Lynne Nakano
Foreword by Joy Hendry
Routledge – 2004 – 196 pages
Volunteering is a recent and highly visible phenomenon in Japan, adopted as a meaningful social activity by millions of Japanese and covered widely in the Japanese media. This book, based on extensive original research, tells the stories of community volunteers who make social change through their everyday acts. It discusses their experiences in children's activities, the parent-teachers association, juvenile delinquency prevention campaigns, and care of the elderly. It explores their conflicts and their motivations, and argues that personal decisions to volunteer and acts of volunteering, besides being personal choices, are productive of larger discussions of the needs and directions of Japanese society.
'Community Volunteers in Japan is an interesting study that raises important questions about life in contemporary societies. It deserves a thoughtful reading by those wishing to better understand Japan.' - Asian Anthropology
Introduction Part 1: The Volunteers 1. The Life and Death of a Volunteer 2. Life Choices 3. Civic Leaders Part 2: The Programs 4. Cultivating Children 5. Preventing Juvenile Delinquency 6. Helping Others Conclusion
Lynne Y. Nakano is an Associate Professor in the Department of Japanese Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. An anthropologist by training, her main areas of research include self-identity, gender, mass media and popular cultre. She is currently researching gender issues in Hong Kong and Japan.