Modern Japan: A Very Short Introduction, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Japan is arguably today's most successful industrial economy, combining almost unprecedented affluence with social stability and apparent harmony. Japanese goods and cultural products are consumed all over the world, ranging from animated movies and computer games all the way through to cars, semiconductors, and management techniques. In many ways, Japan is an icon of the modern world, and yet it remains something of an enigma to many, who see it as a confusing montage of the alien and the familiar, the ancient and modern. The aim of this Very Short Introduction is to explode the myths and explore the reality of modern Japan - by taking a concise look at its history, economy, politics, and culture.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area.

These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly.

Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176 pages, 21 halftones
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Asian history
  • ISBN: 9780199235698



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Another very impressive book from this series. Goto-Jones hit just the right note for me, not making assumptions about prior knowledge, nor weighing the book down with unwanted detail. Most importantly, I felt like there was a strong thread of... not exactly argument I suppose, but narrative, through the book that held the sections together into a coherent whole. I was struck by how much the tensions of identity in Japan (as he describes them) seem to parallel discussions in the UK about what British identity actually means, with no Empire and with old traditions and communities fading through time, cultural change and the pressure of capitalism.