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Popular Democracy in JapanHow Gender and Community Are Changing Modern Electoral Politics$
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Sherry L. Martin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449178

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449178.001.0001

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Why Don’t They Stay Home?

(p.1) Introduction
Popular Democracy in Japan

Sherry L. Martin

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter considers the perspectives of the Japanese toward their own nation's politics in general, and profiles the average Japanese voter, in particular—a woman. On every House election since 1969, more Japanese women have turned out to vote than men, yet the typical Japanese woman is also unaffiliated with any political party in the system. The chapter turns to “women-centric networks” as an explanation for this feature of Japanese women's citizenship practices, by linking these political activities to the thousands of study and hobby groups in local communities across Japan. In addition, the chapter also outlines the background and methodology of the book's research, by centering the analysis primarily in the Nagano Prefecture, and using data gleaned from national survey data, focus groups, news reporting, statistical and archival data housed by the national and local governments, and a rich secondary literature.

Keywords:   elections, voting, political parties, Japanese women's citizenship practices, study groups, hobby groups, Nagano Prefecture

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