In the 1990s the phenomenal growth of the Japanese economy ground to a shuddering halt and the country was subsequently crippled by enormous and ongoing political, economic and social problems. This accessible and engaging textbook for all students of Japanese studies is beautifully illustrated with striking images of turmoil and change in contemporary Japan. Kingston examines the transformation of Japan, evaluating the social, economic and political challenges it has faced, as well as prospects for the future addressing what is often missed by media's relentless pessimistic coverage. Controversially, it argues that the Japan that emerges from these manifold problems may, in fact, be stronger than before.
Areas covered include:
* The power of bureaucracy
* Information disclosure
* Judicial Reform
* Health, BSE and the struggle for human rights
* Nationalism and 'Japaneseness'
* Social transformation: family, gender, ageing, and work
'Kingston has provided a well researched and also readable synthesis of developments in Japan since the collapse of the bubble economy in 1989....The fact that Kingston happens to be a rare example of an academician who can combine sound analysis with entertaining prose makes it possible to recommend this book to just about anyone interested in contemporary Japan.' - International Herald Tribune