9784805310021

Showa Japan: The Post-War Golden Age and Its Troubled Legacy

Brinckmann, Hans

ISBN 10: 4805310022 / 4-8053-1002-2
ISBN 13: 9784805310021
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Publication Date: 2008
Binding: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
Japan's momentous Showa era began in 1926, when Emperor Hirohito ascended the throne, and ended with his death in 1989. This was a tumultuous period in modern Japanese history—a time of great disaster and tremendous triumph for Japan.

This book focuses on the post-war period in Japan when the nation stood at the zenith of her economic power. Today, the term Showa is shorthand for a glamorous period in which, all too briefly, Japan was the richest nation on earth and the envy of the developed world. A growing nostalgia for this period is now memorialized in Japan in a national holiday. It was an era of stratospheric growth which saw Japan's transition from an isolated, impoverished nation to a peaceful one holding an exalted position as the world's second largest economy.

But what is the true meaning of the Showa era, and what is its legacy for the Japanese today? In Showa Japan, Hans Brinckmann provides a clear-eyed exploration of the Showa period as it really was—not just a time of wondrous change but of wild excesses that would eventually come crashing down with the bursting of Japan's economic bubble—exactly as occurred in the rest of the world, but almost 20 years earlier! From the heights of extravagance to the lean years that followed, Brinkmann, a long-time resident of Japan, examines the impact of the Showa era and its aftermath on every aspect of Japanese society.

Featuring dozens of period photographs, interviews, and a wealth of factual information and personal reflections, this book provides an in-depth portrait of a Japan that once was—as well as a blueprint for one that might still be, if only the lessons of the past could be learned.

Review:
Japan's Showa era began in 1926 when Emperor Hirohito took the throne and ended on his death in 1989. The formative age of modern Japan, it was undoubtedly the most momentous, calamitous, successful and glamorous period in Japan's recent history. Today, Showa is a beacon for nostalgia that is memorialized yearly in a national holiday. An era of growth and prosperity, it saw Japan go from an isolated, embattled nation to a peaceful country holding the exalted position of the world's second largest economy.

Showa Japan is a clear-sighted exploration of the Showa era as it really was—not only a time of wondrous change, security and growth, but also a time of wild spending and excesses in every field that would eventually come crashing to a halt with the bursting of Japan's bubble economy. From the highs of Showa-era extravagance to the lows of the lean years that followed, author Hans Brinckmann, a long-time resident of Japan, examines the impact of the Showa era and its aftermath on every aspect of Japanese society.

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