Japan: a Reinterpretation

Japan: a Reinterpretation

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By (author) Patrick Smith

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  • Publisher: Vintage Books
  • Format: Paperback | 378 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 198mm x 23mm | 1,043g
  • Publication date: 1 August 1999
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0679745114
  • ISBN 13: 9780679745112
  • Edition statement: Vintage Books.
  • Sales rank: 591,790

Product description

Winner of the Overseas Press Club Award for the best book on Foreign Affairs. A "New York Times" Notable Book of the year. In 1868, Japan abruptly transformed itself from a feudal society into a modern industrial state. In 1945, the Japanese switched just as swiftly from imperialism and emperor-worship to a democracy. Today, argues Patrick Smith, Japan is in the midst of equally sudden and important change.In this award-winning book, Smith offers a groundbreaking framework for understanding the Japan of the next millennium. This time, Smith asserts, Japan's transformation is one of consciousness--a reconception by the Japanese of their country and themselves. Drawing on the voices of Japanese artists, educators, leaders, and ordinary citizens, Smith reveals a "hidden history" that challenges the West's focus on Japan as a successfully modernized country. And it is through this unacknowledged history that he shows why the Japanese live in a dysfunctional system that marginalizes women, dissidents, and indigenous peoples; why the "corporate warrior" is a myth; and why the presence of 47,000 American troops persists as a holdover from a previous era. The future of Japan, Smit suggests, lies in its citizens' ability to create new identities and possibilities for themselves--so creating a nation where individual rights matter as much as collective economic success. Authoritative, rich in detail, "Japan: A Reinterpretation" is our first post-Cold War account of the Japanese and a timely guide to a society whose transformation will have a profound impact on the rest of the world in the coming years.

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Author information

Patrick Smith has worked as an editor and correspondent for more than twenty years (fourteen of them in Asia) with, among other publications, the "New York Times, " the "Financial Times of London," the "International Herald Tribune, " and "The New Yorker." He is the author of The Nippon Challenge: Japan's Pursuit of the Americas Cup. He lives in Norfolk, Connecticut. "From the Hardcover edition."

Flap copy

Current Affairs/Asian Studies Winner of the Overseas Press Club Award for the best book on Foreign Affairs A New York Times Notable Book of the year "A stimulating, provocative book . . . fresh and valuable." --The New York Times Book Review In 1868, Japan abruptly transformed itself from a feudal society into a modern industrial state. In 1945, the Japanese switched just as swiftly from imperialism and emperor-worship to a democracy. Today, argues Patrick Smith, Japan is in the midst of equally sudden and important change. In this award-winning book, Smith offers a groundbreaking framework for understanding the Japan of the next millennium. This time, Smith asserts, Japan's transformation is one of consciousness--a reconception by the Japanese of their country and themselves. Drawing on the voices of Japanese artists, educators, leaders, and ordinary citizens, Smith reveals a "hidden history" that challenges the West's focus on Japan as a successfully modernized country. And it is through this unacknowledged history that he shows why the Japanese live in a dysfunctional system that marginalizes women, dissidents, and indigenous peoples; why the "corporate warrior" is a myth; and why the presence of 47,000 American troops persists as a holdover from a previous era. The future of Japan, Smit suggests, lies in its citizens' ability to create new identities and possibilities for themselves--so creating a nation where individual rights matter as much as collective economic success. Authoritative, rich in detail, Japan: A Re interpretation is our first post-Cold War account of the Japanese and a timely guide to a society whose transformation will have a profoundimpact on the rest of the world in the coming years. "Excellent . . . a penetrating examination." --International Herald Tribune