The Newsletter 96 Autumn 2023

IBP 2023 Japanese Language Edition

Total number of books submitted: 28

Co-organizing Entities: Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO) and ICAS Secretariat
Secretary: Aysun Uyar Makibayashi
Reading Committee Members: Matthew Larking and Mika Ishino (humanities); Aysun Uyar Makibayashi and Suzuki Hitoshi (social sciences)



IBP 2023 Japanese Language Winner

AUTHOR: 下條尚志 Shimojyo Hisashi

TITLE: 国家の「余白」―― メコンデルタ 生き残りの社会史
The “Margins” of the State: A Social History of Survival in the Mekong Delta

PUBLISHER: 京都大学学術出版会 Kyoto University Academic Press, 2021

Hisashi Shimojyo`s work on the social history of survival within the multi-ethnic societies of the Mekong Delta is a well-organized, dedicated, and focused work. While looking at the real-life experiences and the impact of socio-political changes on the local communities within their “spaces” and “margins of their states”, Shimojyo also skillfully draws our attention to the disciplinary reading of social histories in the Mekong Delta. This elegantly depicted picture of the intriguing past experiences, survival strategies, and resilient presences of local communities in the Mekong Delta is an essential contribution to ethnographic studies both in the Japanese and international literature of the region.


IBP 2023 Japanese Language Shortlist

Oil and NationalismAUTHOR: シナン・レヴェント Sinan Levent

TITLE: 石油とナショナリズム
Oil and Nationalism

PUBLISHER: 人文書院 Jimbun Shoin, 2022

This book, written by a Turkish scholar, who spent nearly a decade studying in Japan, pleasantly surprises the Japanese readers. First, the author's near-perfect command of the Japanese language captivates readers. Secondly, the content of the book is equally intriguing. The author explores Japan's natural resource diplomacy and foreign policy towards the Middle Eastern countries in the post-World War II era, primarily from the perspective of influential figures in the private sector. The author focuses on the often-overlooked ideological motivations of these individuals, concluding that their actions were primarily driven by nationalistic and "Pan-Asiatic" sentiments. While at times the author's analysis may appear overly simplified and biased, his unique perspective on Japanese foreign policy-making offers a fresh stimulation, particularly to specialists in this field.


Urban Policy and Social Capital in 23 Special Wards of TokyoAUTHOR: 戸川 和成 Kazunari Togawa 

TITLE: 首都・東京の都市政策とソーシャル・キャピタル ―― 地域振興と市民活動5政策のQOLを高め、23区格差を改善するガバナンスの実現
Urban Policy and Social Capital in 23 Special Wards of Tokyo

PUBLISHER: 晃洋書房 Koyoshobo, 2022

Kazunari Togawa, the author of this book, fills a gap in social capital and local government research by presenting comprehensive, theoretical, and empirical analysis. Kazunari provides us with a unique insight into the social capitalism that exists in Tokyo, Japan, by combining large-scale survey data with a variety of analytical techniques. From the perspective of social capital, he elucidated the mechanisms that result in effective local governance for citizens. The study skillfully explores the influence of social capital on the efficiency of urban policy and the previously unknown connection between the two in terms of their effect on the administration of local affairs.


The Making of Development Cooperation: Ecological History of Dependency and Self-RelianceAUTHOR: 佐藤 仁 Sato Jin 

TITLE: 開発協力のつくられ方―自立と依存の生態史 
The Making of Development Cooperation: Ecological History of Dependency and Self-Reliance

PUBLISHER: 東京大学出版会 The University of Tokyo Press, 2021

Sato Jin`s work is a thorough, well-organized, and systematically written documentation of the history, present issues, and the future projection of possible and responsible development aid settings. Part of the JICA "History of Japanese Development Cooperation" project, Sato`s work presents us a valuable record of multifaceted development aid discourse in the literature with sound case studies from the field. With its focus on the ecological history of dependencies and self-reliance that the cases present, the book provides us with an in-depth analysis of the various aspects of the issue of development cooperation and becomes an essential contribution to the field.


“Umai”, the Origins of Life: Views of Life in Siberian Hunter CulturesAUTHOR: 荻原眞子 Shinko Ogihara 

TITLE: いのちの原点「ウマイ」―― シベリア狩猟民文化の生命観
“Umai”, the Origins of Life: Views of Life in Siberian Hunter Cultures

PUBLISHER: 藤原書店 Fujiwara Shoten, 2021

Ogihara provides a compelling revisionist account of part of the diffusion of beliefs from the hunter societies of the Eurasian continent into northern Japan in the later Paleolithic Period. In equal parts ethnology, ethnography, religious studies, and cultural anthropology, Ogihara traces concepts pertaining to the mother goddess of life, “Umai,” and the spiritual world of the Siberian and other peoples. Emphases are on concepts of the unborn and childbirth, and these are convincingly connected to the system of beliefs developing within Japan’s Ainu culture. In Ogihara’s account, Eurasian spiritual origins of life are bound to concepts of the mountain god (or rather, goddess) after the development of rice cultivation on the Japanese archipelago.