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 ...

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 ...