Globalisation and reconfigured English in Japan

Seargeant, Philip (2005). Globalisation and reconfigured English in Japan. World Englishes, 24(3) pp. 309–319.



This paper examines the role played by the English language in the relationship Japan conducts with the rest of the world. It argues that the history of insularity which kept the country free from international influence for over 200 years has vestigial significance in the way that Japan now regulates both its relations with and image of the outside world. Such an attitude can be illustrated with reference to the phenomenon of the foreign country theme park (gaikoku mura), and also to the separatist nature of the Japanese tourist industry, both of which attempt to control and adapt concepts of foreign culture. The sociological dynamics at work within such practices can be related to the principle of dochakuka, by which local cultures absorb and adapt global forces, and this principle also provides a useful model for analysis of the way that the English language exists and functions within Japanese society. Both the influx of loanwords and the use of an ornamental English in advertising and the media, can be seen to adhere to a process of "Japanisation", thus effecting a use of the language which does not conform to orthodox interpretation of the implications of English as a Global Language.

Viewing alternatives


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions
No digital document available to download for this item

Item Actions