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1 Burnside Asia- Japan Contemporary 1945 to Present

Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation

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Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation Cover

ISBN13: 9780385513036
ISBN10: 0385513038
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The worlds second-wealthiest country, Japan once seemed poised to overtake America. But its failure to recover from the economic collapse of the early 1990s was unprecedented, and today it confronts an array of disturbing social trends. Japan has the highest suicide rate and lowest birthrate of all industrialized countries, and a rising incidence of untreated cases of depression. Equally as troubling are the more than one million young men who shut themselves in their rooms, withdrawing from society, and the growing numbers of “parasite singles,” the name given to single women who refuse to leave home, marry, or bear children.

In Shutting Out the Sun, Michael Zielenziger argues that Japans rigid, tradition-steeped society, its aversion to change, and its distrust of individuality and the expression of self are stifling economic revival, political reform, and social evolution. Giving a human face to the countrys malaise, Zielenziger explains how these constraints have driven intelligent, creative young men to become modern-day hermits. At the same time, young women, better educated than their mothers and earning high salaries, are rejecting the traditional path to marriage and motherhood, preferring to spend their money on luxury goods and travel.

Smart, unconventional, and politically controversial, Shutting Out the Sun is a bold explanation of Japans stagnation and its implications for the rest of the world.

Review:

"After its 1990 economic crisis, Japan entered a period of stagnation and has yet to recover. Although at first limited to finances, this depression slowly spread to the country's political system as well as its national consciousness. One extreme example of the problem is the more than one million young men who have given up on school or employment, spending their days in their cramped apartments. In this well-researched and well-organized book, journalist and scholar Zielenziger reveals how these men ('hikikomori') are both a symptom of and a metaphor for Japan's ennui. With compassion and vigor, he presents close-up portraits of the hikikomori, while grounding their stories in the political, economic and historic realities facing Japan today. Zielenziger also suggests that women who avoid marriage and children, men who drink too much and both men and women fetishizing brand names are additional signs of the mass confusion and discontent. Seven years as a Tokyo bureau chief for Knight Rider newspapers has given Zielenziger the necessary access to this closed culture, though his expos is bound to be controversial. His inclusion of both small details and the big picture makes the book as intimate as it is revealing. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A good metaphor is a powerful thing. It can transmit truth instantly with an intuitive clarity that plain exposition can't achieve. But its very elegance can obscure frayed edges of ideas, editing out contradictions and ambiguities to produce an oversimplified image.

In his trenchant examination of declining, post-Bubble Japan, Michael Zielenziger has found such a metaphor. During his seven... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

The world's second wealthiest country, Japan once seemed poised to overtake America. But its failure to recover from the economic collapse of the early 1990s was unprecedented, and today it confronts an array of disturbing social trends.

About the Author

Michael Zielenziger is a visiting scholar at the Institute of East Asian Studies, U. C. Berkeley, and was the Tokyo-based bureau chief for Knight Ridder Newspapers for seven years, until May 2003. He has written extensively about social, economic, and political trends in Japan, Korea, China, and Southeast Asia. After September 11, 2001, Zielenziger also spent long periods in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Israel, covering the aftermath of terrorist attacks.

Before moving to Tokyo, Zielenziger served as the first Pacific Rim correspondent for The San Jose Mercury News, and was a finalist for a 1995 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting for a series on China. He was also a contributor to two other Pulitzer Prizes awarded to the Mercury News.

Zielenziger was a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University in 1991, where he studied in the Asia-Pacific Research Center and Stanford's Graduate School of Business. He is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. He is a 2003 recipient of an Abe Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council of New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett, September 17, 2006 (view all comments by Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett)
First off, full disclosure: I know the author well and read his book in galleys. (I am an experienced reviewer of books on a range of subjects--history, religion, women's studies, etc. I won't be reviewing his work for formal publication because of our long friendship.) I can say, without any hesitation, that Zielenziger's book is very soundly reported, highly readable, very provocative and will engage readers who are very familiar with Japan and its history, as well as newcomers to the subject.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385513036
Subtitle:
How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation
Author:
Zielenziger, Michael
Author:
Michael Zielenziger
Publisher:
Nan A. Talese
Subject:
Ethnology
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Asia - Japan
Subject:
Social values
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
National characteristics, Japanese
Subject:
Japan Social life and customs.
Subject:
Sociology - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20060919
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.32x6.58x1.22 in. 1.50 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Asia » Japan » Contemporary 1945 to Present

Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation Used Hardcover
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$7.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Nan A. Talese - English 9780385513036 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "After its 1990 economic crisis, Japan entered a period of stagnation and has yet to recover. Although at first limited to finances, this depression slowly spread to the country's political system as well as its national consciousness. One extreme example of the problem is the more than one million young men who have given up on school or employment, spending their days in their cramped apartments. In this well-researched and well-organized book, journalist and scholar Zielenziger reveals how these men ('hikikomori') are both a symptom of and a metaphor for Japan's ennui. With compassion and vigor, he presents close-up portraits of the hikikomori, while grounding their stories in the political, economic and historic realities facing Japan today. Zielenziger also suggests that women who avoid marriage and children, men who drink too much and both men and women fetishizing brand names are additional signs of the mass confusion and discontent. Seven years as a Tokyo bureau chief for Knight Rider newspapers has given Zielenziger the necessary access to this closed culture, though his expos is bound to be controversial. His inclusion of both small details and the big picture makes the book as intimate as it is revealing. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The world's second wealthiest country, Japan once seemed poised to overtake America. But its failure to recover from the economic collapse of the early 1990s was unprecedented, and today it confronts an array of disturbing social trends.

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