Looks at many contemporary concerns and issues in Japan - exploring its history, economy, politics, and culture
Examines what it means to call Japan a 'modern' society, and what 'modern' has meant to the Japanese
Debunks many myths, for example explaining how Japan was never completely isolated from the outside world: even during the long period of so-called sakoku (isolationism, 1601-1853)
Examines the continuity between pre-Pacific War Japan, and post-war Japan
Japan is arguably today's most successful industrial economy, combining almost unprecedented affluence with social stability and apparent harmony. Japanese goods and cultural products are consumed all over the world, ranging from animated movies and computer games all the way through to cars, semiconductors, and management techniques. In many ways, Japan is an icon of the modern world, and yet it remains something of an enigma to many, who see it as a confusing montage of the alien and the familiar, the ancient and modern. The aim of this Very Short Introduction is to explode the myths and explore the reality of modern Japan - by taking a concise look at its history, economy, politics, and culture.
Readership: Anyone with an interest in modern Japan, including tourists, policymakers, business people, students, and academics. The book is a quick way to get up to speed on debates on modern Japan without having to tackle a lot of specialist literature.