Caroline 's Reviews > Inventing Japan: 1853-1964

Inventing Japan by Ian Buruma
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Jul 13, 11

bookshelves: nonfiction, prose
Read from July 11 to 13, 2011

I've been looking for a concise, readable overview of modern Japanese history, and this fit the bill. It's a little like reading a semester's worth of lectures for a survey course (I imagine that's how the book got started); it's a general overview, sometimes a little dry, but with interesting stories mixed in and a a pretty strong bibliography/ideas for futher reading. The author's point of view is pro-Western style democracy, but he gets into the Japanese perspective and shakes up the myth of Japanese uniqueness/isolationism, pointing out that a lot of Japan's anti-democratic ideas also came from the West.
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07/11/2011 page 65
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