Religion and Politics in Contemporary Japan
Soka Gakkai Youth and Komeito
Routledge – 2012 – 248 pages
Presenting a study of politics at grassroots level among young Japanese, this book examines the alliance between the religious movement Soka Gakkai (the ‘Value-creation Society’) and Komeito (the ‘Clean Government Party’), which shared power with the Liberal Democratic Party from 1999 to 2009. Drawing on primary research carried out among Komeito supporters, the book focuses on the lives of supporters and voters in order to better understand the processes of democracy. It goes on to discuss what the political behaviour of young Komeito supporters tell us about the role of religious organizations, such as Soka Gakkai, in Japanese politics. Unlike most other books on politics in Japan which tend to concentrate on political elites, this book provides extremely valuable insights into political culture at the grassroots level.
Introduction: Youth, Religion, and Politics in Japan 1. Nichiren, Soka Gakkai, and Komeito: A Question of Political Attitude 2. Aspiration for the Good Society: In Support of a Political Party 3. A Case of Interpretation? Komeito Supporters as Political Pawns, Right wing Collaborators, or Political Actors 4. Women, Social Change and Realising Political Ideals 5. July 2009 to July 2010 - the Beginning of a New Way of Politics in Japan? 6. Religion, Soka Gakkai Buddhists and Political Participation
Anne Mette Fisker-Nielsen is a senior teaching fellow in social anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK.