Peter Matanle

Peter Matanle
The University of Sheffield | Sheffield · School of East Asian Studies (SEAS)

BA (Hons) (Cantab), MA (Essex), PhD (Sheffield)

About

57
Publications
22,459
Reads
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429
Citations
Introduction
Senior Lecturer, School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield. I research the social and cultural geography of East Asian development, in particular: Population, environment, & development in post-industrial society; the theory & practice of permanent employment; Work & its cultural representation. University profile: www.sheffield.ac.uk/seas/staff/japanese/matanle Personal website: www.peter-matanle.net.
Additional affiliations
September 2013 - present
The University of Sheffield
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Leadership and coordination of departmental research.
September 2010 - August 2011
Doshisha University
Position
  • Visiting Research Scholar
Description
  • Research into rural depopulation and ageing in Japan, and the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters. Funding from White Rose East Asia Centre, UK.
May 2009 - May 2009
University of Duisburg-Essen
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Erasmus Teaching Mobility Grant for 'Work and Society in Japan' to graduate and undergraduate students.
Education
October 1996 - May 2001
The University of Sheffield
Field of study
  • Japanese Studies; Sociology; Development studies
October 1995 - September 1996
University of Essex
Field of study
  • Contemporary Japanese Studies
October 1983 - June 1986
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • History

Publications

Publications (57)
Chapter
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Every locale is a realisation of its own deep history and geography. As humanity continues to push beyond the limits of nature’s capacity to provide solutions to the outcomes of modernization, in 21st century Japan everything is rendered local and global, particular and universal. In this chapter I examine the geology, ecology, and climate of Japan...
Chapter
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This chapter outlines Japan’s experience with the three principal environmental challenges of industrial pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change. All three intersect with Japan’s passage through development and post-development and its economic and political globalization. Hence, the chapter shows how Japan’s economic and population transit...
Article
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Career formation in professional occupations is heavily influenced by national institutional contexts. In common with many professions, however, in academia international exposure is attractive to employers and valued by employees. This national-international dualism presents early career academics (ECAs) with potentially contradictory challenges i...
Article
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The world is experiencing unprecedented demographic transformation. In the second half of the 20th century human populations expanded more rapidly than at any time in our history – from approximately 2.6 billion people in 1950 to 6.1 billion by 2000. Current estimates project that by the close of the 21st century there may be around 11 billion peop...
Article
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Following the Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of 11 March 2011, the Japanese government began constructing a series of 440 seawalls along the northeastern coast of Honshu. Cumulatively measuring 394.2km, they are designed to defend coastal communities against tsunami that frequently strike the region. We present a case stu...
Article
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The 2020 Summer Olympics will be the hottest ever; due to a combination of climate change and scheduling them when Tokyo is at its most sweltering. Cities have been transformed, with the Games used by governments to unite citizens behind patriotic visions of national success and project a modernist image of a city and nation on the leading edge of...
Article
Full-text available
Following the Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of 11 March 2011, the Japanese government began constructing a series of 440 seawalls along the north-eastern coast of Honshu. Cumulatively measuring 394.2km, they are designed to defend coastal communities against tsunami that frequently strike the region. We present a case st...
Article
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2018 has been a pivotal year for women worldwide. Revelations of harassment, assault and rape by powerful men indicate that everyday sexism is being taken seriously. Yet there is still so much to do. In Japan too, 2018 saw women’s lives changing, revealing both the light and shadow of normative assumptions about men’s and women’s attributes, capabi...
Article
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Japan is experiencing unprecedented demographic change, due to rapid ageing and, since 2008, decreasing population. Conventionally this is considered to be a ‘problem’ to be solved by increasing either fertility or immigration, or both. Neither of these is realistic, however. More children would increase age-related dependency ratios, and the numbe...
Article
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Having pursued growth at all costs for decades, the world now faces widespread environmental degradation. In Japan, this is compounded by a demographic crisis driven by a shrinking population. Contrary to conventional understanding, this may actually present an opportunity for the country to work toward a more sustainable future.
Chapter
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The demands of higher education institutions on individual academic researchers are constantly changing. This is especially so in an increasingly international employment environment where institutional and organisational contexts may differ widely. Even within familiar environments, what brought success ten years ago may not do so now. As such, in...
Article
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Japan is shrinking. Current projections indicate a population decrease of around one quarter by mid-century. Depopulation is potentially good news, providing opportunities for reconfiguring living conditions and alleviating human-environmental pressures. Nevertheless, ageing and depopulation have outcomes that require adjustment. One of these is sp...
Article
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Prime Minister Abe of Japan returned to Tokyo on Sunday 12 February having sealed his country’s position as a principal ally of the United States of America, in the process potentially even ousting the United Kingdom from its long-treasured ‘Special Relationship’. Leaving aside, first of all, the question of whether the UK or Japan should wish to d...
Article
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Original Available at: http://www.ingsa.org/resources/ingsa-case-studies/. Click on 'Fukushima' to be taken to pdf text. Abstract On 11 March, 2011 a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the North-eastern coast of the Japanese main island of Honshu. Although reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant shut down as expected, the 15m tsunam...
Article
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2.46pm The moment that the Great East Japan Earthquake began, I was cycling north up Kyoto’s Karasuma Dōri from the Manga Museum and towards my office at Doshisha’s Imadegawa Campus. I didn’t experience any shaking and was unaware of anything untoward until about three o’clock when I was back in my office. I went online and saw that there had been...
Article
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In the 21st century disasters have become international events, with repercussions that stretch far from their immediate environs. They are also complex, with multiple intersecting origins and causes producing outcomes that both ripple outwards as well as cascade down the generations. Five years have now passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake...
Article
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Short article in The Huffington Post, 9 December 2015, to accompany presentation at the Japanese government Pavilion at the UNFCCC COP21 talks in Paris. Abstract We often hear it said that there are too many people on Earth, that ‘overpopulation’ is an existential threat, and that fewer people might consume proportionately less, resulting in some...
Article
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The G7 leaders’ pledge to eliminate the use of fossil fuels as an energy source by century’s end could be the most significant outcome of the most recent meeting. It also reinforces German host Angela Merkel’s claim to be the “climate chancellor”. As is customary with such pledges, however, the announcement was short on specifics and it’s really no...
Article
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Japan’s practice of so-called lifetime employment is well known. This system arose out of labour unrest in the early post-war years and was the result of both collective bargaining and recognition by bureaucratic and corporate leaders that Japan needed to secure a committed workforce and a stable labour market if it was to pursue long-term economic...
Article
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Humanity is approaching an historic transformation. Towards the end of the 21st century the world’s population will very possibly begin to decline in number, and East Asia is in the vanguard. This is being achieved in nearly all countries not via coercion, but voluntarily, as female emancipation and education, urbanisation, and economic development...
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Female empowerment is a prerequisite for a just and sustainable developed society. Being the most developed non-western country, Japan offers an instructive window onto concerns about gender worldwide. Although overall gender equality is advancing in Japan, difficulties remain, especially in achieving equality in the workplace. We draw on theories...
Chapter
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Japan is one of the most rapidly ageing and depopulating countries in the world. Government projections indicate that it may shrink 32 per cent from 128 million in 2008 to approximately 87 million by 2060, due to a sustained fall in rates of human reproduction. Overall, population reduction is probably good news, in that it provides opportunities...
Chapter
Full-text available
Japan is one of the most rapidly ageing and depopulating countries in the world. Government projections indicate that Japan may shrink 32 per cent from the high of 128 million in 2008 to approximately 87 million by 2060, due to a sustained fall in rates of human re-production. Whereas in 1947 each woman expected to give birth in her lifetime to 4.5...
Article
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Celebrations abounded in Tokyo last month after it was announced that the Japanese capital would host the 2020 Olympic Games. The decision rested partly on the assumptions that the nuclear situation in Fukushima is manageable, and that the Games will bring opportunities for recovery to the tsunami-destroyed communities. But there is a larger proble...
Article
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The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown that occurred in Japan's north-eastern Tohoku region on 11 March 2011 has become known as the Great East Japan Disaster, and represents the most serious emergency to have been faced by the Japanese people since the end of the Second World War. More than two years have elapsed since the disaster and a cle...
Chapter
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With the growing ubiquity of the internet, and with it electronic information storage and exchange, it is sometimes easy to forget that these technologies are still in their infancy. Even in 2000, when the electronic journal of contemporary japanese studies (ejcjs) began publishing on contemporary Japan online, the internet was for some an unfamili...
Book
"This book brings together fifteen extensively revised, peer-reviewed articles by international scholars covering a diverse range of fields—from cinema to economics to history to the social sciences—addressing issues in contemporary Japan. These fifteen are all contributors to the first ten years of the EJCJS—the Electronic Journal of Contemporary...
Chapter
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Despite repeated predictions of its demise, lifetime employment remains the core institution of the Japanese management system, and regular employment in a large and prestigious organization continues to be the aspiration of the majority of Japanese younger people. Although organizations have continuously adapted their systems to developments in t...
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Japan’s rural regions have been shrinking for the entire post-war period, and successive efforts to revitalise rural society have failed. This article examines whether the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, present the Japanese state and society with a watershed opportu...
Book
Japan’s population is shrinking. On current trends it will decline by an average of half a million people per year for the next forty years. The country is also getting older and the ratio of dependants to active workers is expected to approach 1:1 by around 2030. These two interdependent processes will deliver great changes to Japan in the coming...
Article
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The population and society of Sado Island are declining at an alarming rate. Much of this decline has been due to endemic outward migration of the island’s younger people to Japan’s large urban areas in search of opportunities for tertiary education and salaried employment. Even though opportunities to find work in Sado do exist, these are in occup...
Article
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This article analyses rural depopulation in Japan and its implications by means of a case study of Niigata Prefecture and Sado Island. In the first part of the article we present population maps to show that rural demographic shrinkage is both deepening as well as broadening to include urban centres. We focus initially on Niigata Prefecture in the...
Article
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Japan is in the midst of a quiet, though profound, transformation. Some time between 2005 and 2010 the country’s population began to shrink and, although history has an unerring, and unnerving, habit of delivering unexpected outcomes, based on current trends the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research projects that the nation...
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日本は世界でもっとも高齢化がすすんだ国である。日本の高齢化率は2009年10月1日に22.7%になり超高齢社会に入った(「平成22年度高齢者白 書」)。しかしながら超高齢社会会への対策が追い付かず、政策は後手に回っている。超高齢社会に適した社会制度を構築することが、ますます大きな政治的社 会的課題になっている。先進国のみならず発展途上国でも高齢化社会に入っている国は少なくなく、世界的規模で高齢社会の対策が急務とされている。これまで 日本でも国家と家族が福祉を支えあう日本型福祉社会論が提唱されてきたが、財源不足から近年は福祉ミックス論が叫ばれている。日本では2000年から介護 保険制度が導入され、「介護の社会化」をすすめており、地域で包括的に福祉をまかなう計画がたてられている イギリスの高齢...
Article
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In this paper we analyse representations of the Japanese salaryman and Japanese organization in Japanese manga, or graphic novels, during the turbulent decades from the mid-1980s to the present day. We argue that manga presents salarymen protagonists in a sympathetic yet not uncritical light, and that it displays support for and criticism of both t...
Chapter
Full-text available
In 2005 Japan’s population began to shrink and, according to the government’s own research institute,1 is scheduled to drop by approximately 30 per cent within the next 50 years. Although this fall is considered to be a rather recent phenomenon, what is less well known is the fact that Japan’s rural regions have been steadily declining, perhaps eve...
Article
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Forty years have now passed since the economic relationship between Britain and Japan started to deepen beyond arms-length trading ties. This article presents an overview of research on the globalization of the Japanese firm by looking at work produced from the UK standpoint over the last four decades. By reconfiguring and re-presenting existing re...
Article
Full-text available
The population and society of Sado Island are declining at an alarming rate. Much of this decline has been due to endemic outward migration of the island's younger people to Japan's large urban areas in search of opportunities for tertiary education and salaried employment. Even though opportunities to find work in Sado do exist, these are in occup...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents an analysis from a social constructionist perspective of data collected from British and Japanese university students on the desirability of lifetime employment at a single organization. The article emphasizes two related processes and in so doing helps to account for the diversity of employment structures both between and wit...
Chapter
Full-text available
Japanese working cultures have for many decades been dominated by the so-called system of lifetime employment in large organizations. Although the proportion of the working population employed under this system is often in dispute,1 it dominates the employment horizon. Moreover, the system radiates out beyond the boundaries of the Japanese firm. Fo...
Chapter
Full-text available
The population and society of Sado Island are declining at an alarming rate. Much of this decline has been due to endemic outward migration of the island's younger people to Japan's large urban areas in search of opportunities for tertiary education and salaried employment. Even though opportunities to find work in Sado do exist, these are in occup...
Chapter
Full-text available
In 1973 the British academic Ronald Dore published what was to become one of the most influential books ever written in the fields of industrial sociology and Japanese studies. British Factory-Japanese Factory: The Origins of National Diversity in Industrial Relations (Dore, 1973) was a brilliantly conceived comparative investigation of two factori...
Book
'Perspectives on Work, Employment and Society in Japan' presents the diverse perspectives of eleven researchers from Europe and Japan who analyze work and employment in a rapidly changing Japan. Using macro- and micro-level data, and employing a range of theoretical approaches, we examine subjects such as lifetime employment, 'freeters', and senio...
Article
Full-text available
In 2005 Japan’s population began to shrink and, according to the government’s own research institute, is scheduled to drop by approximately 30 percent within the next 50 years. Although this fall is considered to be a rather recent phenomenon, what is less well known is the fact that Japan’s rural regions have been steadily declining, perhaps even...
Book
In 'Japanese Capitalism and Modernity in a Global Era' I argue that Japan's lifetime employment system is not collapsing under the various pressures of globalization and modernization, but that it is developing gradually and that it continues to work well for the salarymen that work within it. Consequently, I argue that Japan's capitalism and moder...
Article
Asian Business & Management (2003) 2, 177–179. doi:10.1057/palgrave.abm.9200034
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Japan's emergence into the mainstream of world history has been an extended transition between the ascriptive pre-modern Tokugawa settlement and a new global hybrid modernity that is now in the process of formation around the world. This period can be divided into two phases, with the Second World War as their divide.
Thesis
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This dissertation uses an empirical study of the lifetime employment system in four large Japanese corporations and the principal work values of their core white-collar university graduate male employees to inform a theoretical discussion on the nature of modernity and capitalism in contemporary Japan. As such, therefore, it lies within the academi...
Article
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Modernity is as much a state of mind as it is a material condition. As such its quality can most clearly be described as a transformative ethic that has as its engine pushing it forwards and outwards the positivistic and economistic rationalism that is capitalism. That is to say, with capitalism as its mechanism and its fuel, modernity seeks a prog...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In 1973 Ronald Dore, to wide academic acclaim, published his comparative study of British and Japanese factory life, British Factory-Japanese Factory (Dore, 1973). Although Thorstein Veblen had hinted at and anticipated Dore's thesis as early as 1915 (Cole, 1978), the argument Dore put forward was at the time a radical one. He theorised that, becau...

Questions

Questions (8)
Question
I've noticed over the years when discussing how we write, that people use all sorts of different methods for writing up their research. One colleague I know writes by hand with an ink pen, and then reads his work into a speech recognition programme, before editing for final submission. Another person has a template with specific questions as subtitles that guide the content and structure, and then he removes the quesions and replaces them with the real subtitles, before submitting.
I'm considering researching how academics write and thinking of how to do that. So, as a start I'm asking for your experiences and practices of writing up research into articles, chapters and books. How do you go about writing up and completing your text? Why do you use the techniques that you do?
Thanks for your time, your thoughts, and I'm really looking forward to learning about your own experiences and practices in writint research.
Question
Do you teach about the environment and are you a scholar working in Arts and Humanities disciplines? I teach in Japanese Area Studies, and I'm teaching a new module on 'Environment and Development of the Japanese Islands' this autumn 2020. It's really hard work putting it all together and delivering online due to UK COVID-19 related restrictions. But I'm also really enjoying it and would like to take it further into producing something of lasting value to help others.
I'd like to start a discussion around this theme and maybe come up with some ideas about approaches, content, methods of teaching in these areas, to stimulate us to teach more about the environment in our disciplines, and even to start a projct or two that might lead to a publication, some web based materials and so on.
So, please jump in. I'd really like to hear from you.
Question
What do people think will be the long term outcomes in society, politics, economy, culture, environment and so on of the coronavirus / covid-19 pandemic?
I read lots of articles or comments in many places arguing for hopeful outcomes such as more cooperation among people, improved delivery and more spending on health and social care, reduced inequality, reduced pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, and so on. Will these really come about, do you think?
Or will there be some negative outcomes? What kinds of negative outcomes do people envisage?
Finally, what kinds of evidence are we seeing so far of outcomes from the pandemic? And what directions do these point towards?
I'd really like to discuss these and see where we can go with them ...
Question
From the evidence that I can gather, it appears to me that permanent employment in Japan continues to this day for a large number of working people, even as temporary and part-time employment types are expanding in number. Nevertheless, many people say that lifetime employment has disappeared. I'm writing a book with some colleagues and I'd like to hear from anyone that can account for this apparent contradiction, or has any more ideas to share on this issue. Thank you and looking forward to discussing with you.
Question
Many countries are experiencing long term low fertility and face a declining population if this continues. The end of world population growth may be in sight. Some people would say that this is a good thing. Are they right?
Question
I'm looking for data on people moving in and out of Miyagi prefecture,and Ishinomaki City in particular, before and after the Tohoku disaster of March 2011. I want to find out who is migrating into Miyagi and Ishinomaki, and why. Where to find raw numbers would be good, plus any published research on the issue would be very helpful, thanks.
Question
Discussions about how to deal with demographic ageing and shrinking are taking place in increasing numbers of countries, especially in East Asia and Europe. Japan is my focus. So, is large scale immigration a solution to the perceived problems of ageing and depopulation in developed countries, but particularly in Japan and East Asia?
Question
The common or garden, or simple assumption about the relationship between population size and resource consumption states that there is a direct relationship between the two. Clearly this assumption misses the point as to who is doing the consuming, when comparing those in developed and less developed regions. But I am wondering if the reverse assumption also holds, that population losses would lead to consumption falls, and whether this has been researched anywhere.

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