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Over the past fifteen years there has been a remarkable growth in the study of Japanese law in the United States. The foundation was laid during the late 1950's when the Harvard-Michigan-Stanford program brought together Japanese legal specialists and their American counterparts for study and research. At the end of this program a major conference was held, and the resulting publication, Law in Japan, continues to serve as a point of departure in descriptive studies of Japanese law.

During the 1960's interest in Japan continued to develop among law faculty members, but an even more important development was the increase in the number of students coming to the law school who already had some Japanese language and area training. With these students as a nucleus, a few law schools have begun to offer work in Japanese law. Some of these courses have been taught by visiting Japanese professors, and a few are taught regularly by Americans trained in Japanese law.

At the same time, the Japanese legal system has been studied by many non-lawyers, such as political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists. Constitutional law, family law, and criminal law have been analyzed as political and social phenomena in studies which have gone beyond legal rules to origins and practices.

The four papers in this volume represent these various developments. One is by a visiting scholar, two were written by students in a course dealing with Japanese law, and one is part of a doctoral thesis in anthropology.

Publication Date



Center for Japanese Studies


Ann Arbor, MI


Japan, Japanese law, strikes and lockouts, police, courts, law


Comparative and Foreign Law


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Current Studies in Japanese Law