Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Japan: A Reinterpretation” as Want to Read:
Japan: A Reinterpretation
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Japan: A Reinterpretation

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  10 reviews
For years westerners have viewed Japan as a nation of democratic, hard-working, unabashedly pro-Western people, a viewpoint promulgated mainly by a group of postwar scholars known as the Chrysanthemum Club. Journalist Patrick Smith takes a hard, fresh look at Japan and its relations with the West--particularly the United States--in Japan: A Reinterpretation. Smith asserts ...more
Hardcover, 385 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by Pantheon
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Japan, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Japan

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 424)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I found this book fascinating, and recommended for anyone with a marginal interest in Japan.

Smith provides a convincing case for debunking previous stereotypes of Japanese, held both by Westerners and the Japanese themselves.

Interesting is the power of culture, and how (for the Japanese) accepted culture was essentially something more-or-less synthesized and handed down from above, rather than coming from below. Hence, Smith claims that Japan is a democracy in name only, with a single party ruli
Residual Ninja
I liked this book a teensy bit more than it deserves, I think, mainly because I know so little about Japan that I learned an awful lot from Smith. It was fascinating to learn about Ee ja nai ka, and very helpful to get a more concrete sense of how the United States' colonial shenanigans have stymied the development of an authentic Japanese politics, whatever that would be (shenanigans such as bolstering undemocratic and conservative leaders, recreating Japanese "culture" with the help of all-too ...more
Salah Eddine Ghamri
هذا كتاب غني جدا بالمعلومات القيمة و جد مفيد . نعم لقد سادت نظرة غريبة عن اليابان و اليابانيين عالميا و حتي العرب يسمونها كوكب اليابان . هذا الكتاب جاء ليقدم نظرة جديدةعن اليابان او حقيقة هذا الشعب فهو تحقيق رائع قام به الصحفي باتريك سميث و قسمه الى 11 قسما . القسم الاول اليابني الخفي و يكشف فيه الكاتب عن وجود حقيقة اخرى لليابان خلف الصورة المصدرة الينا . القسم الثاني التاريخ المخبأ و يحكي فيه عن التاريخ الذي لم ترد يابان مابعد الحرب العالمية ان تقدمه لشعبها وللعالم الفسم الثالث تنشئة النيهونجين ...more
It's an interesting read and I would like to say I liked it but like Patrick Smith himself interprets about Japan I think that his book gives me the idea that there is a lot I don't know about Japan inner core because it hides behind a mask of agenda.

I know he was trying to peel away the "Orientialism" of Japan by explaining the history and the modern back story of Japan and it's citizens but he ends up sounding preachy and too mired in his viewpoint of how horrible the Japanese life must be wit
A very well written description of the inequities in postwar Japan, their sources in the distant and recent past, and their ramifications in the present. The author writes from extensive personal experience and several interviews with political and cultural figures, as well as Japanese salarymen, schoolchildren, and anyone else with a perspective on Japan's cultural plight. Smith's portrait of Japan is nuanced and multifaceted, but perhaps his most important theme is Japan's lack of autonomy or ...more
This book helped me prepare for my recent expedition to the land of the rising sun. Patrick Smith, a former FT correspondent and New Yorker contributor, challenges the status quo, by deconstructing the Western, American perspective of Japan and the Japanese. We (Americans) typically see Japan as a country of robots, hard workers, technology, and retired warmongers. This book dives a little bit deeper, and unveils Japan for what it really is. For this, the book is excellent.

Unfortunately, Patrick
Martin Bromirski
had lived in japan five years when i read this book... it was excellent in giving me a fuller understanding of the culture.... plus, an easy read.
Shawn Buckle
Amazing look at contemporary problems in Japan. His metaphor to Hokusai's wave is one of the best.
Excellent book for Westerners hoping to get a more accurate view of Japan as a country and people.
Anyone interested in Japan should read this book. An engaging look at politics and history.
mahmoud gamal
mahmoud gamal marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2015
Christie Dunne-Murphy
Christie Dunne-Murphy marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2015
Aymen Resq
Aymen Resq is currently reading it
Aug 20, 2015
Andrew Patterson
Andrew Patterson is currently reading it
Aug 18, 2015
Levitara marked it as to-read
Aug 09, 2015
Mustafa marked it as to-read
Aug 01, 2015
Pat Elvidge
Pat Elvidge marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2015
Justin marked it as to-read
Jul 18, 2015
Yulya marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2015
Irene Monokandilos
Irene Monokandilos marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2015
Nan Bocho
Nan Bocho marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2015
Khoi Vu
Khoi Vu marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2015
Erasamo Da rotterdam
Erasamo Da rotterdam marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2015
Ana Khalid
Ana Khalid marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2015
Melanie marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • An Introduction to Japanese Society
  • Dogs and Demons: Tales From the Dark Side of Modern Japan
  • Journey Of The Adopted Self: A Quest For Wholeness
  • Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation
  • The Enigma of Japanese Power: People and Politics in a Stateless Nation
  • Penny Red: Notes from the New Age of Dissent
  • The New Black: Mourning, Melancholia and Depression
  • The Making of Modern Japan
  • The Japanese Mind: Understanding Contemporary Japanese Culture
  • Anime: from Akira to Princess Mononoke, Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation
  • Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan
  • Design for Dying
  • Between Equal Rights: A Marxist Theory of International Law
  • Looking for the Lost: Journeys Through a Vanishing Japan
  • Behind the Mask: On sexual demons, sacred mothers, transvestites, gangsters, drifters and other Japanese cultural heroes
  • The Pursuit of Oblivion: A Global History of Narcotics
  • Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale
  • Monkey Brain Sushi: New Tastes in Japanese Fiction
The Smoothie Recipe Handbook - 60 Smoothie Recipes for Coconut Oil Smoothies and Fruit-Vegetable Smoothies (Smoothies, Coconut Oil, Low Cholesterol, Hair ... Smoothie Recipes, Green Smoothie Recipes) Fruit Infused Water - 80 Vitamin Water Recipes for Weight Loss, Health and Detox Cleanse (Vitamin Water, Fruit Infused Water, Natural Herbal Remedies, Detox Diet, Liver Cleanse) Coconut Oil Nutrition Book - 30 Coconut Oil Recipes And 130 Applications For Weight Loss, Hair Loss, Beauty and Health (Coconut Oil Recipes, Lower Cholesterol, Hair Loss, Heart Disease, Diabetes) Speed Reading Techniques: How to Read 300% Faster in 24 Hours and Be More Productive The Fiverr Master Class - The Fiverr Secrets Of A Group Of 6-Figure Power Sellers That Enable You To Work From Home (Fiverr, Make Money Online, Fiverr ... Gigs, Work At Home, Fiverr SEO,

Share This Book