I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the many people who
have helped me over the course of my research. First, I would like to
extend my gratitude to the Fulbright-Hays Foundation for the gener-
ous grant that enabled me to conduct my field research, and to the Prize
Fellowship at Yale University for their support while writing the dis-
sertation. I am grateful to the faculty and staff at Edwin O. Reischauer
Institute for Japanese Studies at Harvard University for providing me
with a valuable postdoctoral fellowship.
I thank William Kelly, whose vast knowledge on all subjects related,
even tangentially, to anthropology and Japan has been a true source
of inspiration. His well-directed criticism and ability to synthesize the
messiness of everyday culture have proven invaluable during the pro-
cess of writing a grounded ethnography. I also want to extend a special
thanks to Susan Brownell, who began as an anonymous reviewer of the
manuscript and later became a cherished mentor. Her extensive com-
ments and multiple readings helped shape the ideas that lie within. I
am grateful to Anne Allison, Kathryn Dudley, Merry White, Andrew
Gordon, Allen Guttmann, Sheila Levine, and an anonymous reviewer
from Duke University Press for their constructive comments. I would
like to express my appreciation to Ken Wissoker and the staff at Duke
University Press for their inspiring efficiency in getting the book into
print. In the harried final stages of writing the book, Robert Ulin and
the anthropology department at Western Michigan University offered
me encouragement and, more significantly, granted me a course release
when I needed it most.
To protect the anonymity of the field sites and the people who work
and work out there, I am unable to thank the members, staff, and man-
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