Inside Cover Blurb
- here is Japan as only Edwin O. Reischauer can illuminate it — a brilliantly rounded portrait of the background, culture, and values of a country that may well play a unique role in solving the problems of the twenty-first century.
- After placing Japan and its people in their historical and geographical setting. Reischauer weighs the paradoxes and particularities in contemporary Japanese society. He explores, for instance, the contrast between group emphasis and individualism and the strong sense of hierarchy coexisting with a lack of class-consciousness and a highly egalitarian educational and social system. He offers a penetrating analysis of Japanese personality, identifying the ways in which the Japanese really are different from Westerners. He also provides a revealing description of the Japanese government and an up-to-the-minute discussion of Japanese politics, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of Japanese democracy and assaying its prospects.
- Finally, Reischauer evaluates Japan as a world power. He finds that Japan’s very strengths — strong self-image, exceptional homogeneity, close-knit society — often become handicaps in foreign relations. But, as Reischauer contends, the Japanese could contribute significantly to the future. As an economically successful country that has renounced war and the arms race, as harmonizer of a dynamic cultural mix and developer of effective skills to solve the problems of industrial, urban life and mass democracy, Japan has the opportunity to lead the way toward establishing the “global community’ of the new century.
- Reischauer has given us an elegantly simple and direct work that at once draws fully upon the wealth of his scholarship and experience and is infused on every page with his life-long rapport with the subject. Richly illustrated, The Japanese is certain to delight and reward readers everywhere.
- Edwin O. Reischauer is University Harvard. He was born and grew up in Japan, has been a student of Japanese history and culture throughout his life, and was United States Ambassador to Japan from 1961 to 1966.
- He is the author of numerous books, among them The United States and Japan Japan: The Story of a Nation and Toward the Twenty-First Century: Education for a changing World. He has also published with Harvard University Press a series of audiocassettes entitled Japan.
Charles E. Tuttle Company, Tokyo, 1977: 35th printing 1985
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