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Submitting material to SSJJ for publication: A MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
1. Papers
2. Survey Articles
3. Review Essays
4. Book Reviews
Language of Submission
Licence to Publish

Submitting material to SSJJ for publication:


Social Science Japan Journal (SSJJ) is an international semi-annual journal, edited by a board centered on the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo and published by Oxford University Press. It aims at a broad, inclusive coverage of the social sciences as they relate to contemporary Japanese society. SSJJ differs from other English-language journals on Japan in two important ways: firstly, in its focus on social sciences; and secondly, in its high degree of involvement of Japanese academics in what is a truly international cooperative venture. The Editorial Board is a mix of Japanese and non-Japanese scholars, backed by an International Advisory Board that includes some of the world’s most distinguished analysts of Japanese society. We have a full-time Managing Editor, who is an English-speaking Japan specialist, ensuring the highest standards of professionalism in published material.

SSJJ publishes original work in four broad categories: papers, survey articles, review essays and book reviews.

1. Papers

While the editorial board of SSJJ is always delighted to consider submissions from established scholars of Japan, we are particularly keen to see work from young scholars with interesting new ideas, irrespective of academic status or reputation. We especially welcome submissions from parts of the world not often heard from in Japanese studies, such as other Asian countries, Russia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. Papers of a historical nature should have their primary focus on a time frame after the start of the Meiji period, and though international comparative analysis is welcome, the paper’s primary focus should be on Japan. With these provisos, we welcome submissions in any discipline within the broadly-defined social sciences (corresponding to the Japanese category shakai kagaku), and on any aspect of Japanese society: politics, international relations, law, economics, management, labor, education, culture, modern history, etc.

All papers will first be evaluated by the Editorial Board. Priority is given to submissions that utilize both Japanese and other language sources. Authors are expected to demonstrate a familiarity with Japanese language sources when appropriate. We are most interested in such things as original perspectives, innovative methodology and useful international comparative analysis. Papers that pass this first evaluation will be passed on to at least three referees, who will be chosen for their familiarity with the theme or approach of the paper.

Papers must be no longer than 10,000 words long, including notes, tables, charts and bibliography.

2. Survey Articles

SSJJ is read primarily by English-language readers with a keen interest in Japan. We see it as part of our job to keep our reader abreast of latest developments in research on Japanese society, both in Japan and around the world. Survey articles should introduce key issues, important recently published research or empirical data relating to Japanese society. They need not display the same high level of theoretical originality that we expect of a paper, but conversely, a good survey article should demonstrate a really substantial knowledge of published material on the topic covered, including Japanese-language sources where appropriate. Japanese-language submissions stand a particularly good chance in this category.

We are especially keen to publish survey articles in the following areas:

i. Well-organized coverage of key points relating to important social issues that particularly concern Japan. For example, the aging society.
ii. Surveys of research being done on Japanese society in a particular country or area with which the writer is especially familiar. For example, work on Japan in France, or Brazil.
iii. Surveys of materials relating to a particular research theme, based on essential publications and primary materials. For example, post-modernist views of Japanese society.

Survey articles should be no more than 6,000 words long, including notes, bibliography etc. They are subject to evaluation by the editorial board and at least one external referee.

3. Review Essays

Amid the bewildering flood of new research on Japanese society that is being published these days, we look to review essays to isolate particularly important themes and critically review a number of the key writings on those themes—typically, between two and five. We are keen to carry more review essays in future, and are happy to listen to proposals. We can arrange publishers to supply books where necessary.

Review essays should be no more than 3,000 words long. They are subject to evaluation by the editorial board.

4. Book Reviews

There is an urgent need rapidly and accurately to evaluate new publications on Japanese society, whether in Japanese, English or other languages. We generally rely on recommendations from members of the Editorial and Advisory Boards when looking for important books to review. Unsolicited book reviews are not accepted by SSJJ. We see book reviews as an important tool in developing an intellectual network of lively debate on Japanese society, and to that end we are willing to consider publishing replies to reviews from authors whose works are covered, and re-replies from reviewers too. We will also acknowledge all books received from publishers.

Book reviews are normally no more than 2,000 words long, including notes, bibliography, etc. They are subject to evaluation by the Editorial Board.

Language of Submission

As a general principle, material submitted to Social Science Japan Journal should be in English. However, the editorial board is also aware of the huge volume of important research on Japanese society that is currently available only in Japanese, and sees it as an important part of SSJJ's role to introduce the best of that research to an English-reading audience. Accordingly, we will welcome submissions in Japanese where they fulfill the following conditions:

1. The material submitted should be original, written for submission to SSJJ with consideration given to the needs of English-language readers. It should take the form of a paper, a survey article or a review essay. For further guidance see below.
2. Submitted material should demonstrate a familiarity with the non-Japanese-language literature on the topic discussed, and should attempt to further the understanding of that topic of readers who are likely to have read that literature.

Japanese-language submissions will of course be subjected to exactly the same rigorous scrutiny and evaluation as English-language submissions, by the Editorial Board and, if deemed to have a possibility of publication, by a panel of expert referees. However, since the Editorial Board will be responsible for the labor and cost entailed in translating Japanese-language material accepted for publication, the number accepted is likely to be limited. We would like potential contributors to understand that inevitably, the chances of acceptance are likely to be higher for submissions made in good English rather than for those made in Japanese.

To assist anyone thinking of submitting material to SSJJ in Japanese, we suggest the following approximate equivalents for maximum manuscript length. One page of Japanese with 400 characters (genkō yōshi) generally translates at roughly 225-250 words, so we suggest the following as a rule of thumb:

Paper: 10,000 words = approx. 40-45 genkō yōshi.
Survey article: 6,000 words = approx. 24-27 genkō yōshi.
Review essay: 3,000 words = approx. 12-15 genkō yōshi.
Book review: 2,000 words = approx. 8-9 genkō yōshi.

Contributors in either language should remember that all word-lengths apply to the total length of material submitted, including notes, tables, charts, and bibliography.


Manuscript Submission

Submitted manuscripts must not have been previously published, or scheduled or submitted for publication, in any form, printed or electronic. Manuscripts containing material that substantially overlaps with any other existing or scheduled publication are unacceptable. Contributors must draw attention to any overlap which may be viewed as problematic in the covering letter accompanying their submission.

This Journal takes publication ethics very seriously. If misconduct is found or suspected after the manuscript is published, the journal will investigate the matter and this may result in the article subsequently being retracted.

Manuscripts will be reviewed by appropriate readers. While we welcome comparative studies, all manuscripts must relate principally or substantively to Japan. Priority is given to submissions that utilize both Japanese and other language sources. They should be written in English or Japanese and should not exceed 10,000 words or 45 genkū yōshi (including tables, figures, notes, illustrations and references). An abstract of 100-200 words should accompany the manuscript. Tables, figures and illustrations should be of good quality, suitable for digital reproduction. Please identify the word count of the entire manuscript. A cover letter containing the author’s name, institutional affiliation, address, telephone and fax numbers, electronic mail address, and the manuscript title, should also be submitted with the manuscript. A short curriculum vitae may be attached.

Manuscripts should be submitted online at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ssjj. Full instructions can be found here or at the online submission site.

Manuscript Preparation

An anonymous review system is used, so please make every effort to keep the text of the manuscript as anonymous as possible. If you need to cite your own work, please use “Nishida (1990) claimed ...,” rather than “I claimed ...” Acknowledgments should appear on a separate title page with your name(s) and institutional affiliation(s).

In principle, we discourage extensive footnoting and citing of other works in book reviews. (This policy is not promoted as strongly in the case of review essays.) If, however, you decide to refer to other published materials, please follow this style:

References in the text

Please cite the last name of the author(s), year of publication, followed by column and page number(s). If the name of the author is in the text, follow it with year of publication, column and page number(s). If the name of the author is not in the text, enclose the last name and year of publication. Examples:

Okudaira (1990:128-29) concluded...
‘...’ (Ujihara, Takanashi and Yamamoto 1968:15).
Recent work (Yamazaki 1991; Toshitani forthcoming) showed...

References follow the text in a separate section with a heading “References.” Japanese titles should be followed by brief translations.


for books

Ishida Takeshi. 1983a. Kindai Nihon no Seiji Bunka to Gengo Shōchō (Political Culture and Linguistic Symbols in Modern Japan). Tokyo: Tōkyō Daigaku Shuppankai.

_____. 1983b. Japanese Political Culture. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Inc.

Ishida Takeshi and Ellis S. Krauss, eds. 1989. Democracy in Japan. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

for periodicals

Katō Eichi. 1987. ‘Fukushi Kokka to Shakaishugi’ (Welfare State and Socialism). Shakai Kagaku Kenkyū (Journal of Social Science) 38 (5): 113-50.

Lewis, Jonathan R. 1994. ‘Collision of Interests.’ Japan Forum 6 (April): 62-72.

for collections

Yamazaki Hiroaki. 1991. ‘Nihon Kigyōshi Josetsu’ (An Introductory History of Japanese Firms). In Gendai Nihon Shakai, vol. 5: Kōzō (Contemporary Japanese Society, vol. 5: Structure), ed. Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo. Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai: 29-80.

Ishida, Takeshi and Ellis S. Krauss. 1989. ‘Democracy in Japan: Issues and Questions.’ In Democracy in Japan, ed. Takeshi Ishida and Ellis S. Krauss. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press: 3-16.

On Footnotes and Tables

Notes should appear as footnotes at the bottom of each page. Tables, figures and illustrations should be numbered consecutively throughout the text and should appear at the end of the manuscript. Under each item, the author should include a heading for the “Source” and any additional “Notes”. The author must obtain permission to quote from or reproduce copyright material prior to the submission of the final manuscript, and should include proper acknowledgements in the manuscript.

On Spelling, Macrons, Romanization

English or American spelling may be used as long as it is used consistently throughout the manuscript. All personal names, including the author’s, should be written in the customary order in the native language of the person, unless otherwise requested. In the case of Japanese names, then, the family name should be first (e.g., Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichirō); and in the case of Western names, the family name should be second (e.g., President Bill Clinton). Macrons on Japanese words, except for common place names such as Tokyo, should be clearly indicated in the manuscript (e.g., chōsa). Japanese words should be italicized, except when they are so well-known they can be found in a comprehensive English dictionary (ikebana, karaoke, manga, etc.), and except when they are proper names of places, people, companies, and established organizations. Romanization should adopt the modified Hepburn system in Kenkyusha’s New Japanese-English Dictionary (shinbun not shimbun; o not wo; wa not ha, etc.).When the manuscript is accepted for publication, the author is responsible for making the manuscript adhere to these guidelines before submitting the final copy.


Details of all funding sources for the work in question should be given in a separate section entitled 'Funding'. This should appear before the 'Acknowledgements' section.

The following rules should be followed:

  • The sentence should begin: ‘This work was supported by …’
  • The full official funding agency name should be given, i.e. ‘National Institutes of Health’, not ‘NIH’ (full RIN-approved list of UK funding agencies) Grant numbers should be given in brackets as follows: ‘[grant number xxxx]’
  • Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma as follows: ‘[grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]’
  • Agencies should be separated by a semi-colon (plus ‘and’ before the last funding agency)
  • Where individuals need to be specified for certain sources of funding the following text should be added after the relevant agency or grant number 'to [author initials]'.

An example is given here: ‘This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [AA123456 to C.S., BB765432 to M.H.]; and the Alcohol & Education Research Council [hfygr667789].

Crossref Funding Data Registry:
In order to meet your funding requirements authors are required to name their funding sources, or state if there are none, during the submission process. For further information on this process or to find out more about the CHORUS initiative please click here.

Licence to Publish

It is a condition of publication in the journal that authors grant an exclusive licence to the journal, published by Oxford University Press. This ensures that requests from third parties to reproduce articles are handled efficiently and consistently and will also allow the article to be as widely disseminated as possible. In assigning the licence, authors may use their own material in other publications provided that the journal is acknowledged as the original place of publication, and Oxford University Press is notified in writing and in advance.

Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors will be invited to complete an online copyright licence to publish form. This system also allows you to pay online or request an invoice for any Open Access charges that may be applicable.

Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. You agree to notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that OUP does not retain copies of rejected articles.


Social Science Japan Journal authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences.
RCUK/Wellcome Trust funded authors publishing in Social Science Japan Journal can use the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY) for their articles.

All other authors may use the following Creative Commons licence:

  • Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial licence (CC-BY-NC)

  • Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licences.

    You can pay Open Access charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. The applicable open access charges vary according to which Creative Commons licence you select. The open access charges are as follows.

  • Regular charge: £1750/ $2800 / €2275

  • List B Developing country charge*: £875/ $1400 / €1138

  • List A Developing country charge*: £0 /$0 / €0

  • *Visit our developing countries page (click here for a list of qualifying countries).

    Please note that these charges are in addition to any colour charges that may apply.

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    Author Self-Archiving/Public Access policy

    For information about this journal's policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving policy page


    The publisher supplies the first named author with free online access to the article. If authors wish to order any offprints or copies of the issue in which their paper will appear, they can do so via the Oxford Journals Author Services site.

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