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Japan: What Everyone Needs to Know(r) (What Everyone Needs to Know)
Synopses & Reviews
Though Japan's trend-setting pop culture often attracts the attention of the international community, the state of its economy and political sphere has not been on the mind of the world for decades. A quarter-century ago, Tokyo's stock exchange was even bigger than New York's, and the Japanese industrial juggernaut was thought to be unsurpassable. Now, Japan is seen as a has-been with a sluggish economy, an aging population, dysfunctional politics, and a business landscape dominated by yesterday's champions. Though it is supposed to be America's strongest ally in the Asia-Pacific region, it has almost entirely disappeared from the American radar screen.
In Japan: What Everyone Needs to Know®, R. Taggart Murphy argues that Japan remains an important global power today. Murphy concedes that Japan has indeed been out of sight and out of mind in recent decades, but he contends that this is already changing. Political and economic developments in Japan today risk upheaval in the pivotal arena of Northeast Asia; Murphy argues that parallels with Europe on the eve of the First World War are not misplaced. America's half-completed effort to remake Japan in the late 1940s is unraveling and, he says, the American foreign policy and defense establishment is directly culpable for what has happened.
Murphy traces the roots of these events far back into Japanese history and makes the argument that the seeming exception of the vitality of its pop culture to the country's supposed malaise is no exception at all; rather, it provides critical clues to what is going on now. He shares insights into everything from Japan's politics and economics to the texture of daily life, gender relations, the changing business landscape, and both popular and high culture. He places particular emphasis on the story of the fraught, quasi-pathological relationship between the United States and Japan, arguing that it is central to understanding Japan today-and to the prospects for continued American global hegemony.
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About the Author
R. Taggart Murphy is Professor and Program Chair of the MBA Program in International Business at the Tokyo campus of the University of Tsukuba. He is the author of award-winning books on modern Japan and a number of articles in publications from The New Republic to the National Interest and The New Left Review. A former investment banker, he has also taught at the university's main campus, was a Non-Resident Senior Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and is a coordinator of the web's leading clearing-house for serious writing on Japan, Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Introduction: Does Japan Still Matter?
Part One: Past
Chapter One: Japan Before the Edo Period
Chapter Two: The Incubation of the Modern Japanese State
Chapter Three: Restoration to Occupation
Chapter Four: The Miracle
Chapter Five: The Institutions of High-speed Growth
Chapter Six: Consequences (Intended and Otherwise)
Part Two: Present
Chapter Seven: Economy and Finance
Chapter Eight: Business
Chapter Nine: Social and Cultural Change
Chapter Ten: Politics
Chapter Eleven: Japan and the World
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