Some scholars would seem to think that methodologies (systems of methods used to focus on particular areas of study) never alter. Other scholars know that the methods change as the area under study enlarges and that ways of looking at the subject are always being transformed by the subject itself.

Scholar Haruo Shirane knows this particularly well and here elucidates some recent methodological arrivals in this interesting collection of papers on the "new horizons" in Japanese literary studies.

He first identifies the areas served by the new perspectives. Among these are the demands of what he terms "material culture," a subject that ranges "from gardens to clothing to food," including a study of "pop lit" and its media following — anything from manga to Hello Kitty to TV commercials.