Dr Peter Matanle

Peter Matanle



Dr. Peter Matanle is Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies and Director of Research and Innovation at SEAS. He joined the School of East Asian Studies in 2001 after working as Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at Niigata University in Japan. Peter's research interests are in the social and cultural geography of East Asian development. Within this broad area his focus has been on the following:

• The theory and practice of permanent employment in large organizations,
• Work and its representation in popular culture, and
• Population, environment, and regional development in post-industrial society.

Peter has published widely in the above fields, including four books, chapters in edited volumes, and peer reviewed articles in leading scholarly journals, including Japan Forum, Social Science Japan Journal, Organization, Asian Business & Management, Local Environment, and Gender, Work and Organization. He has peer reviewed research for Japan Forum, Social Science Japan Journal, Contemporary Japan, electronic journal of contemporary japanese studies, Pacific Affairs, Sociology, The Sociological Quarterly, American Ethnologist, International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, and Environmental Politics, as well as the Economic and Social Research Council, the British Council, Cambridge University Press, and Routledge.

Since embarking on his research in the mid-1990s, Peter has received research funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, GB-Sasakawa Foundation, British Association for Japanese Studies, White Rose East Asia Centre, and Japan Foundation Endowment Committee.

Current Research

Dr Matanle is pursuing a number of related research themes in collaboration with colleagues from around the world. Currently he is working on a co-authored monograph on Lifetime Employment in 21st Century Japan, as well as articles on depopulation and regional sustainability in East Asia, and postdoctoral career formation in Japanese studies.

In the future, Peter plans to research the relationship between demographic change and resource consumption in Japan's rural regions, focusing on the spatial impacts of depopulation on resource demand.

Other Projects and Interests

Peter has an interest in internet communications and the publishing industry. He is the founder and publishing editor of both the electronic journal of contemporary japanese studies and Paulownia Press. The former recently celebrated its tenth year in continuous publication and has published more than 200 refereed articles, discussion papers and reviews, while the latter has published three volumes on war memory and reconciliation in Asia.

In addition to these, Dr Matanle led the redevelopment of the British Association for Japanese Studies website and, as a part of this, the 'Discover Japanese Studies' project. The latter is a set of web and CD-based materials designed to inform secondary school students about Japanese studies as a potential subject of study at university, which was generously supported by grants from the British Association for Japanese Studies, GB-Sasakawa Foundation, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, Japan Foundation, Japan Airlines, and the Embassy of Japan in the UK.

Media Expertise

Dr Matanle has experience of both press and broadcasting, having been interviewed by the BBC, the New York Times and the Financial Times, written for the Guardian online, and having appeared as an invited foreign discussant by Japan's national broadcaster NHK to a studio debate on Japan's 'lifetime employment system’.

Peter is available to media organisations to talk about work, employment and regional society in Japan and the UK. Please contact him either by telephone or e-mail to arrange an interview.


Currently Dr Matanle teaches on the following modules.
EAS142 Environment and Society in East Asia
EAS6212 Work and Organization in East Asia
EAS6149/6158 Media and Public Communication in Japan
EAS6078 Postgraduate Dissertation

In addition, Peter contributes to postgraduate research training in the University's Doctoral Training Programme and has been awarded European Union teaching mobility grants to teach in Germany at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and Duisburg-Essen University under the Erasmus Mundus programme.

Teaching Philosophy

I firmly believe that education should be a transformative process, for students as well as lecturers; that we all learn from and grow as a result of the challenges that teaching and learning bring to each participant. In order for that to occur, students and lecturers should be open to information and experiences that may contradict and challenge received understandings. I hope that students will come to my class wanting to discover something new about the world, to confront themselves and their preconceived ideas, and wishing to use their education for the benefit of themselves and others.

To accommodate students' different learning styles and needs, I like to vary the mode of deliver of my teaching through a mixture of lectures, seminars, group and individual work, and analysis of visual materials. I expect students to read in depth and be familiar with the most up-to-date scholarly debates not only in preparation for their classes and assessments, but to to use these as the basis for developing their own ideas and frameworks for thinking about the world. I want all my students to feel comfortable about expressing their thoughts freely and confidently, and to participate as an active member of a dynamic scholarly community.

Research Supervision

Peter Matanle is currently supervising four PhD candidates. He welcomes applications from prospective research students in the fields of the sociology of work and regional studies in Japan.
PhD Theses Supervised

ISHIGURO, K., Generating Equal Employment Opportunities: The Work and Life of Female Managers in Japanese Companies
HARTLEY, R., Japan’s hegemony in Southeast Asia (Second supervisor)
RICHMOND, A., Japanese horror film reception
WALKER, A., Buddhism and rural living in Japan (MPHil)

In Progress
ESTAMPADOR, S., The JET Programme and Japan’s soft power.
HORN, R., The internationalization of Japanese higher education (Second supervisor).
MCDONALD, D., Managing Workforce Diversity in Japanese Companies.
VAINIO, A., The role of NGOs in post-tsunami recovery.
AVCI, Y., State and Everyday Politics of Undocumented Immigrants: The Case of Undocumented Turkish Immigrants in Japan
WANG, J., Public Private Partnerships in recovery after 3.11 Great East Japan Earthquake

Visiting Fellowships

Doshisha University, Kyoto, Visiting Research Fellow (2010-11)
Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen, Visiting Lecturer (Erasmus Exchange 2009)
Japan Zentrum, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Visiting Lecturer (Erasmus Exchange 2007)
Faculty of Education and Human Sciences, Niigata University, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (2004-06)
Doshisha University, Kyoto, Visiting Graduate Research Fellow (1999-2000)
Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo, Visiting Graduate Research Fellow (1998)


A full list of Peter Matanle’s publications, together with downloadable articles, chapters, and research presentation slides, can be found on his page at Academia.edu.


Iles, T. and Matanle, P. (eds) (2012) Researching Twenty-First Century Japan: New Approaches and Directions for the Electronic Age, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Matanle, P., Rausch, A.S., with the Shrinking Regions Research Group (2011) Japan's Shrinking Regions in the 21st Century: Contemporary Responses to Depopulation and Socioeconomic Decline, Amherst, NY: Cambria Press.

Matanle, P. and Lunsing, W. (eds) (2006) Perspectives on Work, Employment and Society in Japan, Basingstoke: PalgraveMacmillan.

Matanle, P. (2003) Japanese Capitalism and Modernity in a Global Era: Re-fabricating Lifetime Employment Relations, London and New York, RoutledgeCurzon.

Journal Articles

Matanle, P., Ishiguro, K. and McCann, L. (2014) Popular Culture and Workplace Gendering among Varieties of Capitalism: Working Women and their Representation in Japanese Manga, Gender, Work and Organization, 21 (5), 472-89.

Matanle, P. (2013) Post-disaster recovery in ageing and declining communities: The Great East Japan disaster of 11 March 2011, Geography, 98 (2), 68-76.

Matanle, P. (2011) The Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown: Towards the (re)construction of a safe, sustainable and compassionate society in Japan's shrinking regions, Local Environment, 16 (9), 823-847.

Matanle, P. and Sato, Y. (2010) Coming Soon to a City Near You! Learning to Live 'Beyond Growth' in Japan's Shrinking Regions, Social Science Japan Journal, 13 (2), 187-210.

Sato, Y. and Matanle, P. (2010) Igirisu ni okeru kōreisha fukushi: Shefiirudo no borantia soshiki no katsudo wo chūshin ni (Caring for Older People in the UK: An Analysis of Local Volunteer Organisation Contributions in Sheffield), Jinbun Kagaku Kenkyū - Studies in Humanities (Faculty of Humanities, Niigata University), 127, 1-27.

Matanle, P., McCann, L. and Ashmore, D-J. (2008) Men Under Pressure: Representations of the 'Salaryman' and his Organization in Japanese Manga, Organization, 15 (5), 639-64.

Matanle, P. (2007) Forty Years On: Researching the Globalization of the Japanese Firm in the UK, Asian Business and Management, 6 (4), 431-49.

Matanle, P. (2006) Organic Sources for the Revitalisation of Rural Japan: The Craft Potters of Sado, Japanstudien, 18, 149-80.

Matanle, P. (2006) The Habit of a Lifetime? Japanese and British University Students' Attitudes to Permanent Employment, Japan Forum, 18 (2), 229-54.

Matanle, P. (2001) Driving the Modern Dream: Contemporary Japanese Modernity in Theoretical Perspective, Hōsei Riron: The Journal of Law and Politics (Faculty of Law, Niigata University), 33 (4), 103-50.

Book Chapters

Ishiguro, K. and Matanle, P. (2013) Sarariiman manga ni miru danjo no raifu cōsu: ‘Shima Kōsaku’ ‘Sarariiman Kintarō’ siriisu kara no kōsatsu (Understanding men’s and women’s life courses through salaryman manga: Case studies from the Shima Kosaku and Salaryman Kintaro series). In H. Tanaka, M. Godzik, and K. Iwata-Weickgennant, Raifu kōsu sentaku no yukue: Nihon to doitsu no shigoto - kazoku - sumai (The future of the Life Course: Work, Family and Living in Japan and Germany), Tokyo: Shinyōsha, 103-32.

Matanle, P. and Matsui, K. (2010) Lifetime Employment in 21st Century Japan: Stability and Resilience Under Pressure in the Japanese Management System. In S. Horn (Ed.) Emerging Perspectives in Japanese Human Resource Management, Berlin: Peter Lang, 15-45.

Matanle, P. (2008) Shrinking Sado: Education, Employment and the Decline of Japan's Rural Regions. In Project Office Philipp Oswald (eds) Shrinking Cities - Case Study Japan, Chapter 6, 42-53.

Matanle, P. (2006) Beyond Lifetime Employment? Re-fabricating Japan's Employment Culture. In P. Matanle and W. Lunsing, (eds) Perspectives on Work, Employment and Society in Japan, Basingstoke: PalgraveMacmillan, 58-78.

Matanle, P. (2005) Igirisu: Igirisu no shihonshugi - Nihon no shihonshugi (Great Britain: British Capitalism - Japanese Capitalism). In A. Kubo, T. Kikkawa, and G.D. Hook (eds) Gendai Nihon Kigyō 3: Gurōbaru Rebiū (The Contemporary Japanese Enterprise Vol. 3: Global Review), Tokyo: Yūhikaku, 143-66.

Matanle, P. (2002) From Outside-in to Inside-out: The Emergence of Capitalist Modernity in Japan. In Anglo-Japanese Academy Workshop Proceedings, International Center for Comparative Law and Politics, University of Tokyo, 449-455.

Matanle, P. (1999) Coping with Modernity: Man and Company in Contemporary Japan. In P. Matanle (Ed.) East Asia Research Review: Proceedings of the First UK Post-Graduate Conference in East Asian Studies, Colchester, Essex: British Association for Japanese Studies, 1-12.

Other Publications

Matanle, P. and Martin, R. (2014) Towards a Definition of the ‘Depopulation Dividend’, Population Matters Magazine, February, 9-10.

Matanle, P. (2014) Achieving the 21st Century ‘Depopulation Dividend’: Japan as the World’s Research Laboratory for a More Sustainable Future, Openpop, University of Oxford, 4 May, Available at: http://www.openpop.org/?p=813.

Matanle, P. (2014) Ageing and Depopulation in Japan's Shrinking Regions: Health and Welfare Consequences for Older People. In A. Charytoniuk (Ed.) Destination Japan: International Migration of Filipino Healthcare Workers, Tokyo: Inter Media Japan, 6-7.

Matanle, P. (2014) Ageing and Depopulation in Japan: Understanding the Consequences for East and Southeast Asia in the 21st Century, in H. Dobson (ed.) East Asia in 2013: A Region in Transition, White Rose East Asia Centre and Foreign and Commonwealth Office Briefing Papers, Sheffield: WREAC, 30-35.

Matanle, P. (2013) Why the 2020 Olympics won’t solve Japan’s problems, Prospect Magazine (Online Edition), 7 October, http://tinyurl.com/ofgtrkh.

Matanle, P. (2011) Expatriate Games, Mind Your Language Blog, The Guardian (online), Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/mind-your-language/2011/apr/11/week.

Matanle, P. (2010) Topic: Learning to Live Beyond Growth in Japan's Shrinking Regions, Myriad Leaves, Japan Local Government Centre, London, July, 4-5.

Matanle, P. (2008) United Kingdom, Appendix – Country Reports/Statistical Analysis, Japanese Studies in Europe, Tokyo: Japan Foundation, 95-110.

Matanle, P. (2005) Source: Wikipedia, Asia Media Archives, UCLA Asia Institute, University of California at Los Angeles, 20 December, Available at: http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=35944.

Book reviews in Japan Forum, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations, electronic journal of contemporary japanese studies, Pacific Affairs.

Recent Invited Research Presentations

Department of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna (2014) Embracing Decline: Understanding the Impacts of Ageing and Depopulation on Subjective Feelings of Well-Being in Rural Japan, International Research Workshop on Well-Being in Japan.

Deutsches Institut for Japanstudien, Tokyo (2013) Understanding the Dynamics of Regional Growth and Shrinkage in 21st Century Japan, International Research Workshop on Social Inequality in Japan.

The Economist Tokyo Bureau Corporate Network (2013) Japan’s Regions: Down and Out?

Philip Allan Student Conferences on Tectonic Hazards, London and Manchester (2012) Bounce Back or Bounce Forward? Assessing the Reconstruction of the Tsunami Affected Regions of Japan.

The Japan Society of the UK Special Lecture to the Geographical Association’s Annual Conference (2012) The Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Meltdown: An Assessment One Year On.

Commemorative Symposium for the Opening Ceremony of the Hokkaido University Helsinki Representative Office (2012) ‘So that’s a typical American woman!’ Representations of working men and women in Japanese salaryman manga.

University of Duisburg-Essen (2012) Depopulation and Environmental Risk: The Case of Japan’s Shrinking Regions.

Cardiff Japanese Studies Centre, Cardiff University (2011) Japan's Shrinking Regions in the 21st Century: Contemporary Responses to Depopulation and Socioeconomic Decline.

National University of Singapore (2011) Japan's Shrinking Regions in the 21st Century: Contemporary Responses to Depopulation and Socioeconomic Decline.

Dōshisha University Business School, Kyoto (2011) Kintaro Ganbare! Representations of Work and Organization in Japanese ‘Salaryman’ Manga.

Shiga University, Japan (2011) Depopulation and Environmental Risk: The Case of Japan’s Shrinking Regions.

Recent International Conference Presentations

European Association for Japanese Studies, Ljubljana (2014) Resilience and Fragmentation at Work: Lifetime Employment in 21st Century Japan.

International Visual Sociology Association, Pittsburgh (2014) Popular Culture and Workplace Gendering among Varieties of Capitalism: Working women and their representation in Japanese Manga.

German Association for Social Science Research on Japan (VSJF), Berlin (2013) Understanding the Dynamics of Regional Growth and Shrinkage in 21st Century Japan: Towards the Realisation of a ‘Depopulation Dividend’ in East Asia.

British Association for Japanese Studies Japan Chapter, Akita (2013) From Hashima to Carajas (via Shikoku): Explorations in East Asian Development and Global Environmental Exhaustion.

Joint East Asian Studies Conference, Nottingham (2013) From Hashima to Carajas (via Shikoku): Explorations in East Asian Development and Global Environmental Exhaustion.

International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, Busan (2013) Demography and Disaster in a Shrinking Region: Assessing the Local Impacts of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 11 March 2011.

Asian Studies Association Annual Conference, San Diego (2013) From Hashima to Carajas (via Shikoku): Explorations in East Asian Development and Global Environmental Exhaustion.

Western Economic Association International, Tokyo (2013) A Tale of Two Cities: Assessing the Local Impacts of the Great East Japan Disasters of 11 March 2011.

Japanese Studies Association of Australia, Melbourne (2011) ‘So that’s a typical American Woman’ Salaryman Manga and the Social (Re)consruction of Gender and Work Relations in the Japanese Organization.

British Association for Japanese Studies Japan (BAJS) Conference, Sapporo (2011) Depopulation and Environmental Risk: The Case of Japan’s Shrinking Regions.