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. ...

Mar 25, 2012

Plight of women and the young in modern Japan

Demographic Change and Inequality in Japan, edited by Sawako Shirahase. Trans Pacific Press, 2011, 239 pp., $34.95 (hardcover) This stimulating collection of nine essays examines the implications of demographic trends for inequality in Japan. The contributors are sociologists who elucidate how changes such as ...

Mar 4, 2012

Myanmar and the search for democracy

Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma’s Struggle for Democracy, by Bertil Lintner. Silkworm Books: Chiang Mai, 2011, 196 pp. The Lady and the Peacock: The Life of Aung San Suu Kyi, by Peter Popham. Rider: London, 2011, 446 pp. The abrupt shift in Burmese ...

Feb 5, 2012

Nuclear crisis given lightweight treatment

JAPAN’S NUCLEAR CRISIS: The Routes of Responsibility, by Susan Carpenter. Palgrave MacMillan, 2012, 248 pp., $90 (hardcover) Alas, this very important subject gets short shrift in this misleadingly titled, hastily cobbled together assessment of the causes and consequences of the accident at the Fukushima ...

Cultural treasures for all to see

Jan 29, 2012

Cultural treasures for all to see

There are outstanding tourist attractions throughout Tamil Nadu, and visitors to the gorgeous coastline can boost the local economy and enjoy themselves while learning a lot from locals about their post-tsunami experiences. Mahabalipuram, right on the Bay of Bengal, is one place it’s especially ...

Fukushima casts a shadow over India's industrial boom

Jan 29, 2012

Fukushima casts a shadow over India's industrial boom

The ongoing nuclear disaster in Fukushima has quashed once ambitious plans for the construction of new reactors in Japan. The government does, however, remain committed to promoting exports of nuclear reactors and technology as it sees huge potential in overseas markets. Nuclear energy will ...

Tsunami lessons for Tohoku from Tamil Nadu

Jan 29, 2012

Tsunami lessons for Tohoku from Tamil Nadu

On Dec. 26, 2004, a massive tsunami blasted across the Indian Ocean, cutting a swath of destruction through communities in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India that claimed a staggering 230,000 lives. As Japan approaches the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake ...

Call of the powder: sublime snow in Japan

Jan 15, 2012

Call of the powder: sublime snow in Japan

There is nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of hurtling down a steep, untracked slope of knee-deep powder. It is an uncomplicated pleasure, pure and exhilarating; carving turns into the untouched snow and sending up white plumes in your wake. Fortunately, Japan gets masses ...