Feb 12, 2001

Forget Big Brother -- it's little brothers that count

ORDER BY ACCIDENT: The origins and consequences of conformity in contemporary Japan, by Alan S. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2000, 156 pp., $25/17.99 pounds(cloth). The title of this book is misleading, although it captures the main idea of the authors, ...

Jan 8, 2001

When two worlds collide

JAPAN AND THE DUTCH 1600-1853, by Grant K. Goodman. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 2000, 304 pp., 40 pounds. Thanks to the Tokugawa shogunate’s decision at the beginning of the 17th century to expel the Portuguese and other Christian missionaries who had started to meddle ...

Nov 28, 2000

When writing Asia-Pacific history, the rhetoric is the reality

JAPAN AND PACIFIC INTEGRATION: Pacific Romances 1968-1996, by Pekka Korhonen. London/New York: Routledge, 1998, 246 pp., $50 (cloth). The title of this book suggests that it is about the integration of the Asia-Pacific area, about regionalism, and about the role Japan plays in this ...

Oct 17, 2000

Japanese will fight for rights

THE RITUAL OF RIGHTS IN JAPAN: Law, Society, and Health Policy, by Eric A. Feldman. Cambridge University Press, 2000, 219 pp., 14.95 British pounds (paper). Debunking myths is a noble endeavor, especially for scientists who are in the business of separating fact from fiction. ...

Aug 26, 2000

Language questions reflect changing times

In times of transition, when the need for reform is felt more keenly than usual, there is heightened openness to bold suggestions. Japan is in the middle of such a period. Public debt exceeds 100 percent of GDP. The social-welfare system needs a drastic ...

Aug 8, 2000

White guys to the rescue

OUTPOSTS OF CIVILIZATION: Race, Religion and the Formative Years of American-Japanese Relations, by Joseph M. Henning. New York and London: New York University Press, 2000, 243 pp., $35 (cloth). U.S. foreign policy has a mission. Many American politicians or diplomats would be proud rather ...

Jun 14, 2000

Japan's path from imitator to world-beating innovator

CULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY IN MODERN JAPAN, edited by Ian Inkster and Fumihiko Satofuka. London/New York: Tauris, 2000, 169 pp., unpriced. The relationship between culture and technology is complex and multilayered. Technological innovations that had profound effects on culture are easy to find: Think of ...

May 30, 2000

Ghost in the political machine

NATION AND RELIGION: Perspectives on Europe and Asia, edited by Peter van der Veer and Hartmut Lehmann. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999, 231 pp., $17.95 (paper). The modern world is characterized by the differentiation and separation of social domains that in ancient and ...

Apr 25, 2000

The 400-year-old bridge

BRIDGING THE DIVIDE: 400 Years The Netherlands — Japan, edited by Leonard Blusse, Willem Remmelink and Ivo Smits. Leiden: Hotei Publishing, 2000, 288 pp., $60. Japan and the Netherlands have a special relationship. No two other European and Asian countries have maintained such long ...

Mar 15, 2000

Fertile soil for Japanese environmentalist groups?

ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS IN JAPAN: Networks of Power and Protest, by Jeffrey Broadbent. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, 418 pp., $13.95, (paper). Given Japan’s economic growth after World War II — a period often termed “miraculous” — it is not surprising that the worst problems ...