Publication Date



In this paper, I wish to discuss two problems. Firstly, I wish to discuss what transformation of the Japanese legal culture is desirable. Secondly, I wish to discuss how such transformation could be brought about. These questions require me to review both the scholarship and the practice. Stewart Macaulay wrote (Macaulay, 1992) that when Joel Handler went to Philadelphia in 1992 to give his presidential address at an annual meeting of the Law and Society Association and criticize postmodernist scholars for their disabling impacts on transformative politics (Handler, 1992), he rattled the cage. Handler actually rattled the cage strongly enough to produce a symposium in Law & Society Review and to make his successor, Sally Engle Merry, present her own vision of socio-legal studies and transformative movements in her presidential address (Merry, 1995). I would be happy if my paper had one tenth of that effect. This means that I will criticize some of the best and brightest of the socio-legal scholarship in both Japan and North America.

Document Type


Publication Title

Zeitschrift für Japanisches Recht

Included in

Law Commons