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Dogs and Demons: Tales From the Dark Side of Modern Japan

Alex Kerr

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ISBN 10: 0809095211 / ISBN 13: 9780809095216
Published by Hill and Wang, 2001
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Ergodebooks (RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Dogs and Demons: Tales From the Dark Side of...

Publisher: Hill and Wang

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title

Synopsis:

The crises--and failures--of modernization in Japan, as seen up close by a resident expert

Japan is a nation in crisis, and the crisis goes far beyond its well-known economic plight. In Dogs and Demons, Alex Kerr chronicles the crisis on a broad scale, from the failure of Japan's banks and pension funds to the decline of its once magnificent modern cinema. The book takes up for the first time in the Western press subjects such as the nation's endangered environment--its seashores lined with concrete, its roads leading to nowhere in the mountains. It describes Japan's "monument frenzy," the destruction of old cities such as Kyoto and construction of drab new cities, and the attendant collapse of the tourist industry.

All these unhealthy developments are, Kerr argues, the devastating boomerang effect of an educational and bureaucratic system designed to produce manufactured goods--and little else. A mere upturn in economic growth will not quickly remedy these severe internal problems, which Kerr calls a "failure of modernism." He assails the foreign experts who, often dependent on Japanese government and business support, fail to address these issues. Meanwhile, what of the Japanese people themselves? Kerr, a resident of Japan for thirty-five years, writes of them with humor and passion, for "passion," he says, "is part of the story. Millions of Japanese feel as heartbroken at what is going on as I do. My Japanese friends tell me, 'Please write this--for us.'"

From the Publisher:

Now in paperback, a surprising assessment of the failures and successes of modern Japan.

In Dogs and Demons, Alex Kerr chronicles the many facets of Japan's recent, and chronic, crises -- from the failure of its banks and pension funds to the decline of its once magnificent modern cinema. He is the first to give a full report on the nation's endangered environment -- its seashores lined with concrete, its roads leading to nowhere in the mountains -- as well as its "monument frenzy," the destruction of old cities such as Kyoto and construction of drab new ones, and the attendant collapse of its tourist industry. Kerr writes with humor and passion, for "passion," he says, "is part of the story. Millions of Japanese feel as heartbroken at what is going on as I do. My Japanese friends tell me, 'Please write this -- for us.'"

Alex Kerr, educated at Yale, Oxford, and Keio Universities, is the author of many monographs and articles in both Japanese and English. He now lives in Bangkok.

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