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Japan Research Paper Topics

25 Outstanding Research Paper Topics Related To Japan

Writing on Japan can be so much fun if you have the right topic to work on. Here is a list of some topics you can write your research paper on. The right topic will get you good grades while a poor choice will earn you disapproval from the professor.

You will have to go through some of the contemporary news blogs on Japan to get the best information and topics for your research paper. You will have to go through the archives to get fats about the history of the place and various cultural influences and only then will you get new ideas for your paper.

A list of topics for your paper:


  • Historically significant events in Japan before the beginning of world war.

  • The present day situation in Hiroshima.

  • Why Hiroshima was bombed and was it possible to avoid the massacre?

  • What is the relation between present day Japan and Russia?

  • What happened during the Kamakura period?

  • Describe the Heian period in Japan.

  • How was the Nara period different from rest of the eras?

  • How was the society of the country affected by the consequences of the Second World War.?

  • How did Japan get involved in the World Wars?

  • Imperialism and its profound effect in modern Japan. How are the people coping with it?

  • What are the Sino Japanese conflicts?

  • Feminism in Japan.

  • How is the Japanese parliament different from that of the British Parliament?

  • A brief study and research paper on the policies issued by the Japanese government and the government of the United States.

  • Once known as the land of the rising sun, how has Japan evolved over the centuries?

  • The issue of abortion in Japan.

  • Traditional food of Japan and how it has evolved over the years.

  • The various Japanese movies that have inspired some of the best Hollywood films.

  • How are the peopled in Japan influenced by western culture? Has the influence increased recently?

  • The religious beliefs of the people living in Japan and how is it different from Catholicism?

  • The various types of music prevalent in Japan?

  • The rising fuel prices in Japan and the steps taken by the government.

  • How has the diplomatic relations between China and Japan fared over the years?

  • The fundamental rights enjoyed by people of Japan and how are it different from the ones enjoyed by people of the United States.

  • How has Japan advanced in technology and the technological marvels that help them to live in regions prone to frequent earthquakes?

People often ask me for help with choosing topics for essays and thesis assignments. Anime gives us many, many topics to write about. Sometimes too many. So here is a list of ideas and links to articles I’ve written that have sources you may find useful.

1.Manga and American Comics

Contrast the different themes found in Manga and American Comics. Manga features heroes who overcome their challenges with help from friends. American comics have heroes who overcome challenges through their personal grit and ability. Discuss this difference.

You can also compare art styles: the muscles of American heroes and impossible poses against manga styled bodies. Compare the fixation of bust size in American female heroes and manga. Speaking of bust size this may help.  Anime Breasts looks at the relationship of breast size and character personalities.

2. Goku vs. Superman

Look at the cultural differences between these two iconic heroes. Compare how each represents the ideals of their respective societies. This will let you write about Japanese Confucian ideals and American Judaeo-Christian ideals. For an idea, check out my article about this topic.

3. Anime and Homosexual/Transgender Concerns.

Look at how anime explores homosexuality and transgender concerns. Anime often features transgender and ambiguously gendered characters. Look into how these characters hurt and/or help homosexual and transgender identity.

These articles will help:

4. Manga as literature

I wrote a thesis on this in grad school where I argued how manga helps readers explore issues in their lives, develop literacy skills,  and explore sexual identities. Literature does all this and more. You can write a similar argument.  You may read the paper, What has Cat ears, homework and a love for bishie?to give you an idea of this topic and see my 21 sources.

5. The Influence of Disney on Anime

The work of Walt Disney impacted Astro Boy and other anime/manga. Explain this impact and compare and contrast the art styles. See:

6. The Influence of Anime on Disney

In recent years, Disney has begun producing works that resemble anime more than classic Disney. Examine this trend. Sorry, I don’t have any articles here on JP about this topic, yet.

7. Explain Anime’s Visual Language

Anime’s visual language works….when you understand it. Explain the symbols anime uses to express character emotions. Contrast the methods with how Disney characters express those same emotions. Argue for how anime is more effective (or not!).  See my article about Anime’s Visual Language for ideas on emotions you can write about.

8. Objectifying Women in Anime

Kill la Kill was a great anime that caused a stir about objectification of women in media. The anime doesn’t. In fact, it satirizes fan service and other objectification. Kill la Kill provides a good case study of the problem. Look at how women are objectified in anime and use Kill la Kill to point these problems out. See these articles to help you:

9. Explore the Folklore of Tanuki

Write about Japanese tanuki folklore and how relates to anime. Explain how Studio Ghibli’s movie Pom Poko is one more story in a long line of tanuki stories that show the conflict between change and tradition. I touch on this topic in my book Tanuki: The Folklore of Japan’s Trickster.

10. Explore the Folklore of Kitsune

This isn’t exactly anime related, but you can relate the folklore of the Japanese fox back to Naruto and other popular anime. My eBook, Come and Sleep: The Folklore of the Japanese Fox
covers all there is to know about kitsune folklore, including her origins in Chinese stories and in Ainu stories. Yeah, this is a shameless plug for my book. But you can find some of the stories in Project Gutenberg and other online sources.

I hope these essay ideas help. The links I post should help you get started with your own research. Anime and manga are as legitimate a story telling medium as movies and literature. It is fine to write about them. Manga and anime draw from old Japanese traditions in literature and art. They are also international mediums that pull from Disney. So don’t worry about exploring these art forms. It is identical to writing about Beowulf and Toy Story.

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