This is a tremendous book and should jump the queue of all those books on contemporary Japan you have been intending to read. The editors deserve kudos for putting together a stellar group of specialists and our gratitude for making them abandon the usually scholarly trappings.
The chapters are written in an accessible and thoughtful style and focus on explaining various aspects of culture and society for nonspecialists. This academic-lite approach is a welcome relief from the usual trudge through a specialists’ tome, jettisoning the disciplinary discourse without sacrificing the insights. Lucidly written, this is an ideal book for undergraduate classes as it includes a glossary, bibliography and comprehensive list of relevant websites. Experts will also find this a rewarding collection.
Also check out Things Japanese Vol 1 and 2 for a sampling of modern poetry and stories inspired by Japan.
The volume is divided into three parts: (1) Social Foundations, (2) Class, Identity, and Status, and…
Read the rest of the story: Unraveling the evolution of modern Japan.