Feb 3, 2013

Japan's medical system skewed toward men in treating depression

DEPRESSION IN JAPAN: Psychiatric Cures for a Society in Distress, by Junko Kitanaka. Princeton University Press, 2011, 264 pp., $29.95 (paperback) Twenty-first century Japan is in the throes of a depression epidemic. Until the late 1990s, mental depression was not widely diagnosed or treated ...

Revisiting Asia's past, present

| Dec 23, 2012

Revisiting Asia's past, present

“From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia” (Allen Lane) by Pankaj Mishra. This is the story of the Asian intellectual’s response to Western imperialism. It is an intelligent and rewarding read that crisscrosses time and space, ...

The revenge of Asia against the West

Dec 16, 2012

The revenge of Asia against the West

FROM THE RUINS OF EMPIRE: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia, by Pankaj Mishra. Allen Lane, 2012, 356 pp., £20 (hardcover) The story of Asia’s awakening and response to Western imperialism is well-trodden ground, but Pankaj Mishra masterfully retells this ...

Shedding light on problems with Japan's psychiatric care

Nov 25, 2012

Shedding light on problems with Japan's psychiatric care

MENTAL HEALTH CARE IN JAPAN, edited by Ruth Taplin and Sandra J. Lawman. Routledge, 2012, 148 pp., $155 (hardcover) This collection of seven chapters makes for grim reading because it details the miserable state of mental health care in Japan. One key problem is ...

Giving voice to the survivors of the unprecedented 3/11 disaster

Nov 11, 2012

Giving voice to the survivors of the unprecedented 3/11 disaster

STRONG IN THE RAIN: Surviving Japan’s Earthquake, Tsunami and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, by Lucy Birmingham and David McNeill. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, 256 pp., $27 (hardcover) This is a riveting story about Japan’s March 11 cataclysm told uncommonly well by two veteran Japan-based journalists who ...

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 ...