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The Japanese Today: Change and Continuity

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The Japanese Today: Change and Continuity

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    Available in PDF Format | The Japanese Today: Change and Continuity.pdf | English
    Edwin O. Reischauer(Author)
Japan, like the rest of the world, has undergone a large number of changes in recent times. The impact of the end of the Cold War has combined with a worldwide recession to create a fluid situation in which long-held assumptions about politics and policies no longer hold. A short history of modern Japan, this book has been brought up to date by Marius Jansen, a distinguished interpreter of Japanese history. Jansen gives an account and analysis of the events that have rocked Japan since 1990, taking the story through the election of Murayama as Prime Minister.

"Praise for the first edition: " Edwin Reischauer displays a novelist's sensitivity in this thorough overview, managing to explain the paradoxes of Japan without diminishing the sense of mystery..."The Japanese Today" offers the broadest available overview of the world's third greatest economic power, sagaciously exploring politics, history, religion, and education.ÝReischauer¨ is one of few Westerners who knows so well the social, cultural, political, and economic developments of Japanese society. -- Badar A. Iqbal "Japan Times""Praise for the first edition: " Edwin Reischauer displays a novelist's sensitivity in this thorough overview, managing to explain the paradoxes of Japan without diminishing the sense of mystery..."The Japanese Today" offers the broadest available overview of the world's third greatest economic power, sagaciously exploring politics, history, religion, and education.politics, history, religion, and education.an almost cosmic arrogance, and who now seem poised to achieve dominance over the global economy.Praise for the first edition: Edwin Reischauer displays a novelist's sensitivity in this thorough overview, managing to explain the paradoxes of Japan without diminishing the sense of mystery... The Japanese Today offers the broadest available overview of the world's third greatest economic power, sagaciously exploring politics, history, religion, and education.[Reischauer] is one of few Westerners who knows so well the social, cultural, political, and economic developments of Japanese society.--Badar A. Iqbal "Japan Times "For many years Americans headed for careers in Japan have been preparing themselves with the books of Edwin O. Reischauer. Few people know the subject better than he.--John Burgess "Washington Post Book World "Born and brought up in Japan and, in the 1960s, American ambassador to Tokyo, [Reischauer] is well placed to analyze the special qualities of a people who down the years have fluctuated between self-deprecation and an almost cosmic arrogance, and who now seem poised to achieve dominance over the global economy.--Alexander MacLeod "London Sunday Times "

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Book details

  • PDF | 472 pages
  • Edwin O. Reischauer(Author)
  • Harvard University Press; Enlarged edition edition (6 Mar. 1995)
  • English
  • 6
  • Science & Nature
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Review Text

  • By Truong Tung on 5 April 2005

    This great book about the Japan's continuity and changing is filled with amazing information and knowledge about the depth and myth of the Japanese sociey, Japanese people, Japanese ways, Japanese history, etc... which mixed together to explain why Japan is gaining its position in the international system from ruins after 1945, and more importantly, why Japan is now the big brother of Asian countries that no one can get higher in terms of business as well as politics.In order to create "a greater democracy and more economic opportunity", I think that countries should adopt Western models of governance. Focusing on Asian countries, I suppose adopting Western models of governance is a most suitable process to achieve a more democratic society as well as fair economic opportunity because in fact, Western styles of governance had developed before the political development of most Asian countries. When people talk about the equality, which is the most important thing in discussing democracy, everyone can recognize that almost Asian traditions contrast with the concept of equality in the modern world. The hierarchy in Asia is one problem that has a negative affect in these aspects of democracy: majority rule, minority rights, and basic human rights. The "interrelationships" between people and the family ties which create all kinds of corruptions are huge obstacles in the process of making a democratic society and government. I think these problems are "effective" enough for everybody to acknowledge the necessity of adopting Western styles of governance to make a greater democracy. Actually a lot of Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, China, etc...have been trying to learn Western ways of governance, but they have been facing a lot of difficulties. Looking at some facts, we can clearly see what those difficulties are. To learn and to adopt Western ways, a lot of Asian people had to move overseas to developed countries to study. But a lot of people don't want to go back to their countries because these people demand a better life and they don't want to come back or at least they don't want to wait for the change of their countries. On the other hand, to adopt the Western styles, young people have had to choose either Western norms and standards or Eastern traditional values. That's why traditional values in some Asian countries can hardly survive. It is impossible to adopt an absolute Western style of governance in Asia. Asian countries need some kind of alternative political systems. Of course there are some kinds of political systems existing in the contemporary world. I think Japanese political system is a good example for an alternative political system which is running vigorously. Although Westerners don't think Japanese politics is that impressive, Japan's political way is still a remarkable phenomenon for most of other Asian countries. In general, the root of democracy in Japan has been following the American type of democracy in the macroscopic range. But in the microcosmic range, I can see there are still a lot of differences in Japanese politics in order to serve traditional values and traditional ways of governance. I would say the "Japanese democracy" appears with a specific characteristic: attaching special importance to "personal restraint" which means that the personalities are put into the interest of the mass and the society. In terms of policy making, the Japanese people perform this process from the bottom. This activity derives from an Asian tradition which is reporting and referring to higher level. The advantage of this activity is that when the Minister makes the last decision, normally no one objects. Other rules like that are also called the "Consensus social" phenomenon. People's activities are judged not only by the law but also by Asian regulations in terms of morality, hierarchy, etc... Besides, if we look at the gap between the poor people and the rich people, ninety percent of the population define themselves the middle class. Measuring other standards, we can see that equality has been built more successfully than in the West. However, Japanese governance has just focused better on the equality in opportunity than the real equality.This book is indispensible for ones who need to research on Japan and even in other domains such as Int' politics, Asian business ways, and etc...

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