List of Publications by Christopher Hood

Academic Books

Osutaka: A Chronicle of Loss in the World's Largest Single Plane Crash (2018, Second Edition (First edition published in 2014))

The loss of a loved one at any time is a traumatic event. When their death comes as a result of something sudden and unexpected, the impact can be even greater. If the loved one is your child, the emotions are further tested. Imagine having to cope with all of these feelings when also adding into the mix the challenges when the death happens on the other side of the planet in a country with a different language and culture. This is exactly what one man had to face when his son died in the world’s largest single plane crash.

Peter Mathews lost his son Kimble, who was travelling with his fiancée Masako Nishiguchi, in the flight JL123 crash on 12 August 1985. From the time of the first phone call through his trip to Japan until his return back to the UK, Peter kept a diary of what he saw and experienced. He also took photographs of some of the sights. Using these materials as a basis, this book provides an amazing insight into the events of August 1985. The book also includes details of the experiences and lessons learned by the JAL employee, Keith Haines, who was assigned to accompany the Mathews family to Japan. Their story is as relevant today as it was in 1985.

For more detailed information about the book click here.

The eBook version of the book (ISBN 978-0-244-67492-2) and paperback versions (ISBN 978-0-244-97492-3) were first published in March 2018.

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Lulu: paperback, eBook
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iBooks (Apple): eBook
Kobo: eBook

Japan: The Basics (2014)

Japan: The Basics, is an engaging introduction to the culture, society and the global positioning of Japan. Taking a fresh look at stereotypes associated with Japan, it provides a well-rounded introduction to a constantly evolving country. It addresses such questions as:

  • How do we go about studying Japan?
  • What are the connections between popular culture and wider Japanese society?
  • How are core values about identity formed and what are their implications?
  • How does Japan react to natural and manmade disasters?
  • How does nature influence Japanese attitudes to the environment?

With exercises and discussion points throughout and suggestions for further reading, Japan: The Basics is an ideal starting point for all those studying Japan in its global, cultural context.

The book is a part of Routledge's The Basics series. The Basics is a highly successful series of accessible guidebooks which provide an overview of the fundamental principles of a subject area in a jargon-free and undaunting format. They are intended for readers coming to a subject for the first time which usually means a combination of students, particularly undergraduates or High School students, and general readers.

For more detailed information click here.
  • Click here to see colour photographs taken by me that are used in the book.
  • Details about the book at Routledge
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Dealing With Disaster in Japan: Responses to the Flight JL123 Crash (2011)
Just as the sinking of the Titanic is embedded in the public consciousness in the English-speaking world, so the crash of JAL flight JL123 is part of the Japanese collective memory. The 1985 crash involved the largest loss of life for any single air crash in the world. 520 people, many of whom had been returning to their ancestral home for the Obon religious festival, were killed; there were only four survivors.

This book tells the story of the crash, discusses the many controversial issues surrounding it, and considers why it has come to have such importance for many Japanese. It shows how the Japanese responded to the disaster: trying to comprehend how a faulty repair may have caused the crash, and the fact that rescue services took such a long time to reach the remote crash site; how the bereaved dealt with their loss; how the media in Japan and in the wider world reported the disaster; and how the disaster is remembered and commemorated. The book highlights the media coverage of anniversary events and the Japanese books and films about the crash; the very particular memorialization process in Japan, alongside Japanese attitudes to death and religion; it points out in what ways this crash both reflects typical Japanese behaviour and in what ways the crash is unique.

For more detailed information about the book click here.

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  • The Politics of Modern Japan, 4 volumes, (2008), Editor
    Japanese politics is important. And yet, outside of Japan, it is largely ignored by the media and overlooked by academics. Owing to the changing nature of Japan and its role within the world, more needs to be known of the dynamics of Japanese politics. This timely set brings together key articles on the most crucial issues facing Japanese politics today, and the relationship between Japanese politics and the main institutions including big business, the bureaucracy and the media.

    Volume One has chapters that cover party politics and the way in which parties operate in Japanese society as a whole, taking into account changes and developments in recent years.

    Volume Two has chapters concentrating on the changing role of the prime minister. This has been of particular interest due to the leadership of the dynamic Prime Minister Koizumi, who was Prime Minister when the majority of articles in this collection were written.

    Volume Three is primarily concerned with Japanese politics on the international stage.

    Volume Four returns to domestic politics and contains chapters which focus upon electoral politics.

    Purchase from Routledge, the publisher Purchase from Amazon
    Shinkansen: From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan (2006)
    The image of the shinkansen - or ’bullet train’ - passing Mount Fuji is one of the most renowned images of modern Japan. Yet, despite its international reputation for speed and punctuality, little is understood about what makes it work so well and what its impact is. This is a comprehensive account of the history of the shinkansen, from its planning during the Pacific War, to its launch in 1964 and subsequent development. It goes on to analyze the reasons behind the bullet train's success, and demonstrates how it went from being simply a high-speed rail network to attaining the status of iconic national symbol. It considers the shinkansen's relationship with national and regional politics and economic development, its financial viability, the environmental challenges it must cope with, and the ways in which it reflects and influences important aspects of Japanese society. It concludes by considering whether the bullet train can be successful in other countries developing high-speed railways. Overall, this book provides a thorough examination of the phenomenon of the shinkansen, and its relationship with Japanese society.

    For more detailed information about the book click here.
  • Details about the book from the publisher
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  • Doing Business with the Japanese (2003), co-editor with Prof G. Bownas and D. Powers
    (includes Chapter 'Getting About in Japan', 130-141.)
    A one-stop guide to Japanese business practice, but this is no ordinary guide to the dos and don'ts of business etiquette in Japan. Twenty experts and real businesspeople guide the reader in approaching and succeeding in this “difficult, but attractive market”.

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    Japanese Education Reform: Nakasone's Legacy (2001)
    The Japanese education system has attracted increasing attention over the past twenty years, largely due to the belief that it has been central to Japan's economic growth. Many have felt, however that the system is stunted by an inability, or perhaps even an incapacity, to change. This study challenges these contentions. It examines the reform policies initiated by Prime Minister Nakasone during the 1980s and argues that, not only has the system changed considerably as a result of Nakasone's work, but it continues to do so. It analyses the key areas of the education reform debate, in particular internationalism, government control of education, increased liberalization and various social problems, and considers the degree to which response to them have been successful. This book will be of great interest to all those interested in the Japanese educational system.

    For more detailed information about the book click here.

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    Hijacking Japan (2017)
    It was meant to be a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Nicola was working hard as an English teacher in Japan; she desperately needed a holiday. A long weekend with her boyfriend, Akira, and two other friends, Mai and Masashi, seemed ideal. The four of them would travel by Japan's safest form of transport, the shinkansen ('bullet train'), before boarding a ferry for the trip across to the quiet island of Sado. However, Nicola and her friends could never imagine that they would become caught up in a hijacking. Why would someone want to hijack this train? How would Nicola and her friends respond to being on a hijacked train? Would the police be able to catch those responsible? Hijacking Japan follows events in a real-time format during a dramatic day that threatens to bring the Japanese government to its knees.

    Hijacking Japan is available in two versions; the original version and a clean version. The overall storyline is the same, but some changes have been made to the clean version to remove contents which may not be suitable for those under the age of about 15.

    For details about where to purchase the book from, please see here.

    Chapters in Books and Journal Articles

    'Contents Tourism in Plane Sight', in Seaton, P., and Yamamura, T., 2020, Contents Tourism and Pop Culture Fandom: Transnational Tourist Experiences, Bristol: Channel View Publications.
    Information from publishers
    I have three contributions, 'Japan', 'Maglev Trains' and 'Rail Travel, Asia & Pacific' in Lowry, L. (ed.), The Sage Encyclopaedia of Travel and Tourism, Sage (2017). ISBN 9781483368948.
    Information from publishers
    'Reporting the World's Biggest Single Plane Crash' in Rausch, A. (ed.), Japanese Journalism and the Japanese Newspaper: A Supplemental Reader, Teneo Press (2014), pp131-152. ISBN 9781934844700.
    Information from publishers
    'Visualisation of Death in Japan: The Case of the Flight JL123 Crash' in Aaron, M. (ed.), Envisaging Death: Visual Culture and Dying, Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2013), pp120-139. ISBN 144384926X.
    Information from publishers
    'Disaster and Death in Japan: Responses to the Flight JL123 Crash' in Suzuki, H. (ed.), Death and Dying in Contemporary Japan: Shifting Social Structures and Values, Routledge (2012), pp202-225. ISBN 978-0415631907 (Hb), 978-1-13-881565-0 (Pb)
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    Contribution to the chapter 'Contrasting Experiences of Growth and Decline in Regional Japan', in Japan's Shrinking Regions in the 21st Century: Contemporary Responses to Depopulation and Socioeconomic Decline by P. Matanle and A. Rausch with the Shrinking Regions Research Group (eds.), Cambria Press (2011), pp131-154, ISBN 9781604977585.
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    The Shinkansen's Local Impact, Social Science Japan Journal 2010, doi: 10.1093/ssjj/jyq004, February 2010.
    From polling station to political station? Politics and the shinkansen, Japan Forum, Volume 18, Number 1 / March 2006, pages 45-63.
    'Mad in Japan: Only Joking?' in Kondo K (ed.) Yuganda Kagami-ni Utsutta Nihon – Japan Reflected in a Cracked Mirror, Tokyo: GNAC (2005), ISBN 4-9902856-0-3, pp250—8 (Japanese translation 'Hon no Jōdan desuyo!' also in same book on pages 113-20).
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    'The Third Great Reform of the Japanese Education System: Success in the 1980s Onwards", in Can the Japanese Change Their Education System? by R. Goodman and D. Phillips (eds.), Symposium Books (2003), pp73-85, ISBN 1-873927-59-2.

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    Articles available online from other sites

    Articles available online from this site

    This contains a selection of articles that I have written - some of which have not been published elsewhere. These articles were written with very different audiences in mind, which accounts for the different writing styles & levels of information.

    Other publications

    • ‘Conflicting and Complementary Demands after a Disaster: The Different Faces of Remembering the JL123 Crash’, Kamizono, Journal of the Meiji Jingu Intercultural Research Institute, No. 20, November 2018, 151-9.
    • ‘Researching Japan’s Worst Plane Crash’, JAWS (Japan Anthropology Workshop) Newsletter, No.42, April 2008, ISSN 1356-5631, 38-40.
    • Bullets and Trains: Exporting Japan’s Shinkansen to China and Taiwan, Japan Focus, March 2007.
    • Igirisu-ga hitsuyō-to suru mono – sore-wa shinkansen, kōkyō kōtsu no nichiei hikaku’, Comparative Law and Culture (Surugadai University Institute of Comparative Law Bulletin), Issue 14, 2006, 55-69.
    • ‘Shinkansen: Pioneering High Speed Railway’, The Slough & Windsor Triangle, No.70, September 2006, 12-13.
    • 'High-speed trains in Japan', Railway Strategies, Issue 37, June/July 2006, ISSN 1467-0399, 111-113.
    • 'All Change', The World Today, Vol. 62, Numbers 8 & 9, Aug/Sep 2006 (2006), 28-9.
    • 'The Election of Ishihara: A Symbol of Rising Nationalism in Japan?, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Briefing Paper, New Series No. 7, November, 1999.
    • 'The Election of Ishihara: A Symbol of Rising Nationalism in Japan?', East Asia Research Review, Proceedings of the First UK Post-Graduate Conference in East Asian Studies, British Association of Japanese Studies, July 1999.


    Thesis & Dissertation

    • PhD Thesis: Nakasone Yasuhiro and Japanese Education Reform: A Revisionist View (1998)
    • Undergraduate Dissertation: Football in Japan: Land of the Rising Football (1993)

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