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JAPAN IN TRANSFORMATION: 1952-2000, by Jeffrey Kingston. Harlow, Essex, U.K.: Pearson Education/Longman, 2001; 230 pp., b/w plates XII, $12.

This is particularly true of contemporary Japan since prior historical paradigms (Topsy-turvy Nippon; Japan, Land of Contrasts; Japan as Number One) have become irrelevant and the country has developed in a most unexpected manner. In fact, the transformation of Japan over the past five decades has been headlong, recasting all the earlier social, political, economic and cultural landscapes into scenery strange and seemingly unaccountable.

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