Dr Peter Matanle

Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies

Contact details
Tel: (0114) 222 8407
Room: B08

Twitter: @matapet
Personal Website:


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.

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)

Research Supervision

Peter Matanle is currently supervising six 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


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.

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.



  • Matanle P, Rausch AS & 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. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Matanle PCD (2003) Japanese Capitalism and Modernity In a Global Era: Re-Fabricating Lifetime Employment Relations. London: RoutledgeCurzon. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


  • Matanle P (2016) Understanding the Dynamics of Regional Growth and Shrinkage in 21st Century Japan: Towards the Achievement of an Asia-Pacific 'Depopulation Dividend' In Chiavacci D & Hommerich C (Ed.), Social Inequality in Post-Growth Japan: Transformation during Economic and Demographic Stagnation (pp. 213-230). London and New York: Routledge. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Ishiguro K & Matanle PC (2013) Sarariiman manga ni miru danjo no raifu kōsu: ‘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 Tanaka H, Godzik M & Iwata-Weickgennant K (Ed.), 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) (pp. 103-132). Tokyo: Shinyosha. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Matanle P & Matsui K (2011) Lifetime Employment in 21st Century Japan: Stability and Resilience Under Pressure in the Japanese Management System In Horn SA (Ed.), Emerging Perspectives in Japanese Human Resource Management (pp. 15-44). Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Peter Lang GmbH. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Matanle P (2008) Shrinking Sado: Education, Employment and the Decline of Japan’s Rural Regions In Oswald P (Ed.), Shrinking cities Complete Works 3: Japan Berlin, Germany: Büro Philipp Oswalt. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Matanle P (2006) Beyond Lifetime Employment? Re-Fabricating Japan's Employment Culture In Matanle P & Lunsing W (Ed.), Perspectives on Work, Employment and Society in Japan (pp. 58-78). Basingstoke, UK: PalgraveMacmillan. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Matanle P (2006) イギリス:イギリスの資本主義•日本の資本主義 (Igirisu: Igirisu no shihonshugi nihon no shihonshugi - Great Britain: Japanese Capitalism - British Capitalism) In Kudo A, Kikkawa T & Hook GD (Ed.), 現代日本企業 3 グロウバルレビュー (Gendai nihon kigyō 3: gurōbaru rebiu (The contemporary Japanese enterprise 3: Global review) (pp. 143-166). Tokyo, Japan: Yūhikaku. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers

  • Matanle PC (2001) From Outside-in to Inside-out: The Emergence of Capitalist Modernity in Japan. Anglo-Japanese Academy Workshop Proceedings (pp 449-455). Tokyo View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Matanle P (1999) Coping with Modernity: Man and Company in Contemporary Japan. East Asia Research Review: Proceedings of the First UK Post-Graduate Conference in East Asian Studies, Vol. 1 (pp 1-12). Colchester, Essex, 30 July 1999 - 31 July 1999. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Matanle P, Hyun J-H, Foley JA, Habu T, Gallimore D, Ingerson J, Yamazaki M, Hood. CP & Evans N (1999) East Asia Research Review: Proceedings of the First Post-Graduate Conference in East Asian Studies. East Asia Research Review, Vol. 1 (pp 1-101). Colchester, Essex, 30 July 1999 - 31 July 1999. RIS download Bibtex download


  • Matanle P (2014) Ageing and Depopulation in Japan: Understanding the Consequences for East and Southeast Asia in the 21st Century View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Website content

Theses / Dissertations

  • Matanle P (2001) A study on the nature of capitalist modernity in contemporary Japan Man and company under restructuring and globalisation. University of Sheffield. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Edited books

  • Iles T & Matanle P (Ed.) (2012) Researching Twenty-first Century Japan: New Directions and Approaches for the Electronic Age. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Matanle P & Lunsing W (Ed.) (2006) Perspectives on Work, Employment and Society in Japan. Basingsoke, UK: PalgraveMacmillan. RIS download Bibtex download

Book reviews