Twenty-five years ago, in what was to became known as the bubble economy, many Japanese suddenly found themselves awash in money.

In a book published that year titled “Hokokuron” (“The Theory of National Affluence”), business pundit Taiichi Sakaiya gleefully extolled Japan’s newfound wealth, remarking, “The Japanese view of themselves as not being wealthy is responsible for the general perception that the country is less than affluent; thus by revising the perception, one can alter the reality.”

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