Civil Society in Japan: Democracy, Voluntary Action, and Philanthropy

  • Makoto Imada
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)

This chapter describes civil society in Japan: its historical contexts, its present state, and the challenges it faces in the twenty-first century. Civil society is translated as “shimin shakai” in Japanese. Shimin means citizen and shakai means society. Shimin is a rather confusing concept because shimin refers primarily to the resident of a city. Of course, when we talk about shimin shakai or civil society, shimin does not mean resident of a city. In this chapter, I define the term “shimin” or citizen as “any people who participate in civic engagement.” Civic engagement here means participation in public life. I use the term civil society to express the structure or system of society which allows any person to become civilly engaged.


Corporate Social Responsibility Civil Society Voluntary Action Civic Engagement Voluntary Organization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Terchek, R.J. & T.C. Conte (Eds.) (2001). Theories of democracy. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil Society Research InstituteOsakaJapan

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