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After decades of stagnation and decline, Japan is trying to break the traditional male-dominated elitism of the bubble days and usher in a new era of growth. We’re talking about golf.

Once the sport that epitomized the business cliques that dominated Japan’s industrial might and global trade, golf has suffered a steady decline. The number of players in the country has slumped 30 percent from its heyday in the early 1990s; the average cost of a round has fallen by a third; sales at courses have shrunk by half.

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