The first in-depth study of the political, social, and cultural history of juvenile delinquency in modern Japan, Bad Youth treats the policing of urban youth as a crucial site for the development of new state structures and new forms of social power. Focusing on the years of rapid industrialization and imperialist expansion (1895 to 1945), David R. Ambaras challenges widely held conceptions of a Japan that did not, until recently, experience delinquency and related youth problems. He vividly reconstructs numerous individual life stories in the worlds of home, school, work, and the streets, and he relates the changes that took place during this time of social transformation to the broader processes of capitalist development, nation-state formation, and imperialism.
List of Illustrations
1. Unruly Youth and the Early Modern Polity
2. Assimilating the Lower Classes
3. Civilizing "Degenerate Students"
4. Popularizing Protection
5. Preparing Modern Workers, Policing Modern Play
6. Juvenile Delinquency and the National Defense State
Epilogue: The Century of Juvenile Protection
David R. Ambaras is Assistant Professor of History at North Carolina State University.
“In this excellent study, David Ambaras reminds us that even in Japan misgivings about unruly youth have a long tradition.”—Far Eastern Economic Review
“Anyone interested in the development of society-state relations in modern Japan would benefit from reading Bad Youth.”—Andrew Bernstein Harvard Journal Of Asiatic Stds
"This is an ambitious work, well-written with a persuasive argument. It makes an important contribution to modern Japanese social and cultural history."—Andrew Gordon, author of The Modern History of Japan
"This is a fascinating social and cultural history of 'delinquent youth' in modern Japan. Focusing on such social types as ruffians, gangsters, 'modern girls and boys,' and degenerate students, Ambaras convincingly demonstrates that efforts to police, protect and rehabilitate them were integral to the formation of Japan's capitalist modernity. Readers will be rewarded with the author's many insights and comparative observations."—Takashi Fujitani, author of Splendid Monarchy: Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan