Japan's mobile technoculture: The production of a cellular playscape and its cultural implications

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The reception of mobile communication and internet by Japan's youth in the late 1990s has determined the shaping of the mobile communication market in this country. From a business-oriented device, mobile phones were transformed into an intensely personal part of the users' lives, particularly notable for offering a spectacular interactive playscape that challenges the tyranny of everyday life. Rather than being a trivial mechanism of stress release or a means to make the in-between temporalities of everyday life more enjoyable, this playscape has come to be a cultural arena that both reflects as well as induces socio-cultural change. In reconstructing the cultural production of Japan's cellular playscape, this article focuses on two sets of issues. The first is the contextualization of the mobile communication market in Japan within broader cultural processes in which youths have become the new cultural avant-garde of urban lifestyles. The second is an analysis of how the merging of play into everyday life through mobile communication technologies is creating new modes of relating to the social, technological and urban environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)954-971+1033-1034
JournalMedia, Culture and Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Cultural change
  • Emotions as social practice
  • Late consumer culture
  • Urban lifestyles
  • Youth popular cultures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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