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Law in Everyday JapanSex, Sumo, Suicide, and Statutes$
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Mark D. West

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226894027

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226894096.001.0001

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(p.89) Chapter Four Karaoke
Law in Everyday Japan
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines leisure though the lens of karaoke-based noise complaints, focusing on the social and legal reasons why people do not sue. It discuss the karaoke phenomenon and the pollution complaint system, and then focus on findings gathered from the Kansai Files and formal and informal interviews of hundreds of complainants, judges, offenders, bar owners, industry representatives, neighbors, police, pollution counselors, and other administrative officials. The evidence suggests the importance of both cost and social norms, and the chapter examines how social capital variables affect a complaint variable using multiple regression analysis. The available evidence suggests that at least in this context, decisions to sue, complain, or settle are a function not of one single factor but of a complex calculus of institutionally determined costs and social capital. Interviews suggest that decisions to complain rather than sue appear to be based primarily, but by no means exclusively, on institutional and monetary factors, and social factors appear to influence greatly decisions to complain rather than settle. Multiple regression analysis further suggests a role for both sets of factors.

Keywords:   noise complaints, karaoke, leisure, law, multiple regression analysis

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