A Sociality of, and beyond, 'My-home' in Post-corporate Japan

in The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology

Emerging from the defeat of the Second World War, Japan shifted its national lens from empire building abroad to productivity and prosperity at home. Organized around a particular form of sociality and capitalist economics, citizens worked hard for 'myhomeism' - the attachments (of men at the workplace, women to the household, children to school) that fuelled fast-growth economics and rising consumerism. In the last two decades of economic decline and more irregular employment, the 'nestling' of family and corporate capitalism has begun to unravel. In the 'lost decade' of the 1990s, many young Japanese assumed the ranks of what activist Karin Amamiya calls the 'precariat' - those precariously un(der)employed, unable to assume the social citizenship of my-homeism, and existentially bereft. How are people not only surviving hard times but also remaking their ties of social connectedness and their calculus of human worth?