Synopses & Reviews
Japan in Transformation explores the conservative inertias and progressive yearnings that characterise contemporary Japan. The second half of the twentieth century was a tumultuous period that transformed the way Japanese view the world and act in it. This ideological transformation was driven by and reinforced institutional changes, economic development, political ferment and the dynamic tension between prevailing norms and shifting realities.
While focusing on transformation, this book is sensitive to the incremental and cumulative nature of change and howthe past resonates powerfully in the present. Old verities linger and influence the patterns, pace and nature of ongoing changes. As Japan enters the twenty first century, it is in the midst of a third great transformation on a par with the Meiji Restoration (1868) and the US Occupation (1945-52) and it is not yet certain whether Japan will yet again emerge from considerable adversity with the same degree of success it enjoyed in the past. The various forces that are driving the metamorphosis of modern Japan are exposing the limits of the postwar model. The logic of the economic and political arrangements that have prevailed are changing, with profound consequences for society. There is ambivalence about the rapidity of change and the erosion of tenets many Japanese feel have been important to their identity as people, cohesion as a community and success as a renovating democracy, taming militarism and rejoining the community of industrialized societies, but seems to have done a better job in containing and coping with these problems. This interpretive history focuses on the economic miracle, how Japan's troubled past in Asia is debated among Japanese and how it influences its contemporary regional relations, the changing role of women, the implications of Japan's demographic time bomb, the Third Transformation and the Lost Decade of the 1990s.
"His sources are unusally detailed...One finishes this admirable book with not only a deeper understanding of contemporary Japan, but also with a further concept of history's role in revealing and assessing change". Donald Richie, The Japan Times
Investigates the emergence of the 'new Japan' after the changes made by post-war occupying powers, and the enormous social and cultural consequences of this dramatic transformation. Books in this Seminar Studies in History series bridge the gap between textbook and specialist survey and consists of a brief Introduction and/or Background to the subject, valuable in bringing the reader up-to-speed on the area being examined, followed by a substantial and authoritative section of Analysis focusing on the main themes and issues. There is a succinct Assessment of the subject, a generous selection of Documents and a detailed bibliography. Only fifty years after defeat in World War Two, Japan is an influential world power and a dominant player in Asia. How did Japan rise from the ashes to become one of the world's most important powers in the international economy, and what effect did it have on its people? The author shows how Japan's economic 'miracle' was closely linked to the political system established in 1955, and how the unraveling of this system has led the nation into uncharted waters. With the bursting of the economic bubble at the start of the 1990s, and corruption scandals bringing down successive governments throughout the decade, Japan has once again been thrown into a period of revolutionary change. For those interested in modern Japanese history.
Only fifty years after WWII, Japan is an influential world power and a dominant player in Asia. How did Japan rise from the ashes to become one of the world s most important powers in the international economy and what effect did it have on its people? This new book covers the emergence of the "new" Japan, following the the changes made by the Occupation (1945-52), and the enormous social and cultural consequences of this dramatic transformation. Themes covered include:
- post-war politics
- the economic "miracle"
- the family
- the political and economic crisis of the 1990s
The author shows how Japan's economic "miracle" was closely linked to the political system put in place in 1955, and how the unravelling of this system has led the nation into uncharted waters. With the bursting of the economic bubble at the start of the 1990s and corruption scandals bringing down successive governments throughout the decade, Japan has once again been thrown into a period of revolutionary change.
Kingston: Japan in Transformation
Since 1945, Japan has successfully reinvented itself, rising from the ashes of defeat to become a peaceful and prosperous nation. It is seen as an inspiration for other developing nations and contributes significantly to global development. As the third largest economy in the world, with a reputation for technological innovation and cultural creativity, Japan is a country shaping the world we live in.
In this new edition of Japan in Transformation, Jeff Kingston explores the character of the nation as it has evolved since the end of the Second World War. The book:
- Examines the US Occupation and explains the causes of the economic miracle and its demise
- Evaluates the effect of the Lost Decade of the 1990s and the unravelling of the Japan, Inc system that prevailed in the twentieth century
- Analyses such central and topical issues as the demographic crisis, regional relations, security concerns, political change and the role of women
Expanded and thoroughly revised to cover the period from 1945 up to 2010, this second edition of Japan in Transformation provides a succinct and comprehensive study of the recent history of one of the most dynamic nations in the modern world.
Jeff Kingston is Director of Asian Studies and Professor of History at Temple University Japan, and has taught in Japan since 1987. He is the author of three other books, including Japan's Quiet Transformation: Social Change and Civil Society in 21st Century Japan and Contemporary Japan: History, Politics and Social Change Since the 1980s.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Series.
I. THE BACKGROUND. 2. The US Occupation of Japan, 1945-52.
II. ANALYSIS. 3. Postwar Politics.
4. The Economic Miracle.
5. Japan and Asia: Past and Present.
6. Japanese Security.
7. Women in Japan.
8. The Demographic Time-Bomb.
9. The Paradigm Shift in the 1990's.
10. Japan at Century's End.
III. ASSESSMENT. 11. In Retrospect.
IV. DOCUMENTS. Chronology.
Prime Ministers since 1952.