Oct 14, 2012

Heterodox views enter mainstream

RETHINKING JAPANESE HISTORY, by Yoshihiko Amino, translated by Alan S. Christy. Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 2012. 317 pp., $20 (paper) It is a testimony to Yoshihiko Amino’s influential legacy that his once iconoclastic views regarding Japanese history have now become mainstream. ...

The long tradition of sanitizing history

Sep 16, 2012

The long tradition of sanitizing history

Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering: Japan in the Modern World, by John W. Dower. New Press, 2012, 336 pp., $26.95 (hardcover) Toru Hashimoto, mayor of Osaka and leader of the Nippon Ishin-no Kai, recently tried to revise the history of comfort women, saying ...

Sep 2, 2012

Filipinas in Japan's 'water trade'

Illicit Flirtations: Labor, Migration and Sex Trafficking in Tokyo, by Rhacel Salazar Parrenas. Stanford University Press, 2011, 336 pp. $21.95 (paperback) Rhacel Parrenas, a University of Southern California sociologist, argues that current government efforts to “rescue” Filipina hostesses from sex trafficking are misguided and ...

Okinawa: between a rock and a hard place

Aug 5, 2012

Okinawa: between a rock and a hard place

Resistant Islands: Okinawa Confronts Japan and the U.S., by Gavan McCormack and Satoko Oka Norimatsu. Rowman and Littlefield, 2012, 312 pp., $29.95 (hardcover) T his year marks the 40th anniversary of the U.S. reversion of Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty, but the long-standing disputes about ...

Jul 22, 2012

The spirit behind Japanese cohesion

Building Democracy in Japan, by Mary Alice Haddad. Cambridge University Press, 2012, 270 pp., $20.34 (paperback) Mary Haddad seeks to refute those non-Japanese scholars who are dismissive of Japanese democracy because it doesn’t measure up to western standards. She argues that they overlook and ...

Sexual policies and politics during the occupation of Japan

Jul 1, 2012

Sexual policies and politics during the occupation of Japan

Occupying Power: Sex Workers and Servicemen in Postwar Japan, by Sarah Kovner. Stanford University Press, 2012, 240 pp., $50.00 (hardcover) Love, Sex and Democracy During the American Occupation, by Mark McClelland. Palgrave MacMillan, 2012, 252 pp., $85.00 (hardcover) Six decades after the U.S. occupation ...

Japan: the history behind its love affair with dogs

Jun 17, 2012

Japan: the history behind its love affair with dogs

Empire of Dogs: Canine, Japan and the Making of the Modern World, by Aaron Skabelund. Cornell University Press, 2011, 312 pp., $39.95 (hardcover) The Japanese fascination with dogs is long-standing, but the pampered pooches of today would cringe at the horrid treatment of their ...

May 20, 2012

Exploring the pathologies of Japan's youth

A Sociology of Japanese Youth: From Returnees to NEETs, edited by Roger Goodman, Yuki Imoto and Tuukka Toivonen. Routledge: Abingdon, U.K., 2012, 191 pp., $51.95 (paperback) New buzzwords about some youth pathology or trend are frequently catapulted into popular discourse by an industry of ...

Apr 29, 2012

Mapping out Asia's future

China or Japan: Which Will Lead Asia?, by Claude Meyer. Columbia University Press, 2011, 195 pp., $35.00 (hardcover) The title poses a question with an obvious answer; a rising China is increasingly eclipsing Japan and seems destined to become the hegemonic power in Asia. ...