Cover image for Japan in transformation, 1952-2000
Japan in transformation, 1952-2000
Kingston, Jeff, 1957-
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Publication Information:
New York : Longman, 2001.
Physical Description:
xii, 230 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
The US occupation of Japan, 1945-52 -- Postwar politics -- The economic miracle -- Japan and Asia: past and present -- Japanese security -- Women in Japan -- The demographic time-bomb - Paradigm shift in the 1990s -- Japan at the century's end -- In retrospect.
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DS889 .K546 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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AUTHOR copy: Japan in Transformation explores the conservative inertias and progressive yearnings that characterise contemporary Japan. The second half of the twentieth century was a tumultuous period that transformed the way Japanese view the world and act in it. This ideological transformation was driven by and reinforced institutional changes, economic development, political ferment and the dynamic tension between prevailing norms and shifting realities. While focusing on transformation, this book is sensitive to the incremental and cumulative nature of change and howthe past resonates powerfully in the present. Old verities linger and influence the patterns, pace and nature of ongoing changes. As Japan enters the twenty first century, it is in the midst of a third great transformation on a par with the Meiji Restoration (1868) and the US Occupation (1945-52) and it is not yet certain whether Japan will yet again emerge from considerable adversity with the same degree of success it enjoyed in the past. The various forces that are driving the metamorphosis of modern Japan are exposing the limits of the postwar model. The logic of the economic and political arrangements that have prevailed are changing, with profound consequences for society. There is ambivalence about the rapidity of change and the erosion of tenets many Japanese feel have been important to their identity as people, cohesion as a community and success as a renovating democracy, taming militarism and rejoining the community of industrialized societies, but seems to have done a better job in containing and coping with these problems. This interpretive history focuses on the economic miracle, how Japan's troubled past in Asia is debated among Japanese and how it influences its contemporary regional relations, the changing role of women, the implications of Japan's demographic time bomb, the Third Transformation and the Lost Decade of the 1990s.

Author Notes

Jeffrey Kingston is Professor of History at Temple University, Japan

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Until quite recently, the years following WW II received only perfunctory treatment in texts on modern Japanese history. Over the last decade, however, there has been a proliferation of general studies of the postwar period. In this latest offering in the genre, Kingston (Temple Univ., Japan) provides a useful and interestingly organized evaluation of this half-century period. The book has a background chapter on the Occupation period from 1945 to 1952; eight topically organized chapters on postwar politics, the economic miracle, Japan and Asia, Japanese security, the position of women, demographic problems, structural problems of the 1990s, and Japan at century's end; and a selection of 31 documents linked to the text's themes. There is also a useful assortment of helpful reference paraphernalia. Kingston's treatment of several areas of new scholarship such as women's changing roles and the issues of demography and political corruption are among the most sensitive treatments of these topics in a general text. This useful addition to college-level syllabi may also be of substantial interest to informed general readers interested in contemporary Asia. W. D. Kinzley University of South Carolina

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Seriesp. viii
Author's Acknowledgementsp. ix
Publisher's Acknowledgementsp. x
Mapsp. xi
1. Introductionp. 1
Part 1 The Backgroundp. 7
2. The Us Occupation of Japan, 1945-52p. 9
Enemies to Alliesp. 9
What Went Wrong?p. 10
Democratizationp. 12
The Reverse Coursep. 13
The Legacies of Occupationp. 14
Hiroshima and Pearl Harbourp. 17
Part 2 Analysisp. 19
3. Postwar Politicsp. 21
The Yoshida Doctrinep. 22
The US-Japan Security Treatyp. 22
The 1955 Systemp. 23
The Decline of Radicalismp. 27
The Changing Logic of Japanese Politicsp. 27
Corruptionp. 30
The Shadow Shogunp. 31
Sagawa Kyubinp. 33
Political Reformp. 33
4. The Economic Miraclep. 36
The Development Statep. 36
Favorable Factorsp. 37
Adversarial Tradep. 41
A Dual Economyp. 42
Shock Absorbersp. 43
Growth as Ideologyp. 43
The Setting Sunp. 43
5. Japan and Asia: Past and Presentp. 45
A Lingering Legacyp. 45
Atonement and War Guiltp. 47
Textbooks and Masochistic Historyp. 49
Comfort Womenp. 50
The Nanking Massacrep. 51
Contemporary Tiesp. 53
Multilateral Participationp. 55
The Futurep. 56
6. Japanese Securityp. 58
The US-Japan Alliancep. 58
The Reactive Statep. 60
Transforming Japan's Security Posture in the 1990sp. 61
A Normal Nationp. 63
North Korea (DPRK)p. 64
People's Republic of Chinap. 65
Lingering Taboos: Article Nine and the Three Non-nuclear Principlesp. 65
7. Women in Japanp. 68
Women and Workp. 69
The Labor Force Peripheryp. 70
The Wage Gapp. 72
Educationp. 73
Recruitmentp. 74
Low Birth Ratep. 75
The Birth Control Pillp. 76
Sexploitationp. 77
8. The Demographic Time-Bombp. 79
Family-based Elderly Carep. 80
Public Policyp. 82
Nursing Care Insurancep. 83
Pension and Medical Care Solvencyp. 85
Reformp. 86
The Labor Shortagep. 87
9. Paradigm Shift in the 1990sp. 90
A System that Souredp. 90
The Changing Employment Paradigmp. 92
Restructuringp. 93
Transformation, Deregulation and Gaiatsup. 95
The Unraveling Nexusp. 98
A Compelling New Logicp. 99
A New Frontierp. 103
10. Japan at the Century's Endp. 104
The Lost Decadep. 104
The Emperor's Deathp. 104
The Burst Bubblep. 105
The Bingep. 108
Hangoverp. 108
Aum Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth Cult)p. 110
The Kobe Earthquakep. 112
Nuclear Mishaps and Misgivingsp. 114
Symbols that Dividep. 116
Social Mores and Delinquencyp. 116
Discriminationp. 118
Part 3 Assessmentp. 121
11. In Retrospectp. 123
Transformation?p. 126
Part 4 Documentsp. 129
Chronologyp. 190
Glossaryp. 195
Prime Ministers since 1952p. 200
Who's Whop. 201
Bibliographyp. 205
Indexp. 215