Manners and Mischief (Paperback)

Gender, Power, and Etiquette in Japan

By Jan Bardsley (Editor), Laura Miller (Editor)

University of California Press, 9780520267848, 304pp.

Publication Date: April 21, 2011

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (4/21/2011)

List Price: 34.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Offering a concise, entertaining snapshot of Japanese society, Manners and Mischief examines etiquette guides, advice literature, and other such instruction for behavior from the early modern period to the present day and discovers how manners do in fact make the nation. Eleven accessibly written essays consider a spectrum of cases, from the geisha party to gay bar cool, executive grooming, and good manners for subway travel. Together, they show that etiquette is much more than fussy rules for behavior. In fact the idiom of manners, packaged in conduct literature, reveals much about gender and class difference, notions of national identity, the dynamics of subversion and conformity, and more. This richly detailed work reveals how manners give meaning to everyday life and extraordinary occasions, and how they can illuminate larger social and cultural transformations.

About the Author

Jan Bardsley, Associate Professor of Japanese Humanities at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the author of The Bluestockings of Japan: New Women Essays and Fiction from Seito, 1911–1916. Laura Miller, Eiichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Professor of Japanese Studies and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, is the author of Beauty Up: Exploring Contemporary Japanese Body Aesthetics. Bardsley and Miller coedited Bad Girls of Japan.

Praise For Manners and Mischief: Gender, Power, and Etiquette in Japan

“Manners and Mischief disdains frivolity and stands firm as an academic text for students serious about extending their anthropological knowledge of Japan.”

— Kris Kosaka

“With Manners and Mischief, as with their previous work, Bardsley and Miller demonstrate what commitment to serious fun can look like.”

— Christine R. Yano