Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival

Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival


“[A]n very good book...” —The Economist

Financial Times Asia editor David Pilling offers a clean imaginative and prescient of Japan, drawing on his personal deep event, in addition to observations from a move part of eastern citizenry, together with novelist Haruki Murakami, former major minister Junichiro Koizumi, industrialists and bankers, activists and artists, childrens and octogenarians. via their voices, Pilling's Bending Adversity captures the dynamism and variety of latest Japan.

Pilling’s exploration starts with the 2011 triple catastrophe of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. His deep reporting finds either Japan’s vulnerabilities and its resilience and pushes him to appreciate the country’s earlier via cycles of trouble and reconstruction. Japan’s survivalist mentality has carried it via super hassle, yet is additionally the resource of serious destruction: It used to be the nineteenth-century fight to beat back colonial cause that led to Japan’s personal imperial activity, culminating within the devastation of global warfare II. Even the postwar financial miracle—the production and trade explosion that introduced unheard of fiscal progress and earned Japan overseas clout could have been a much less natural victory than it appeared. In Bending Adversity Pilling questions what was once misplaced within the country’s blind, aborted climb to number 1. With an identical rigor, he revisits 1990—the yr the commercial bubble burst, and the start of Japan’s “lost decades”—to ask if the turning aspect may be considered otherwise. whereas monetary fight and nationwide debt are a fact, post-growth Japan has additionally effectively maintained a reliable way of life and social team spirit. And whereas existence has turn into much less definite, opportunities—in specific for the younger and for women—have diversified. 

Still, Japan is in lots of methods a rustic in restoration, operating to discover a manner ahead after the occasions of 2011 and a long time of gradual development. Bending Adversity closes with a mirrored image on what the 2012 reelection of best Minister Shinzo Abe, and his radical antideflation coverage, may perhaps suggest for Japan and its destiny. proficient all through by way of the insights shared by way of Pilling’s many interview topics, Bending Adversity carefully engages with the social, non secular, monetary, and political lifetime of Japan to create a extra nuanced illustration of the oft-misunderstood island kingdom and its people.

The monetary Times
“David Pilling charges a vacationing MP from northern England, dazzled by way of Tokyo’s lighting and awed by means of its bustling prosperity: ‘If it is a recession, i would like one.’ now not the least of the benefits of Pilling’s highly relaxing and perceptive book on Japan is that he areas the denunciations of 2 allegedly “lost a long time” within the context of what the rustic is basically like and its real achievements.”

The Telegraph (UK)
“Pilling, the Asia editor of the Financial Times, is perfectly positioned to be our guide, and his insights are a true rarity while only a few Western newshounds speak the essence of the world’s third-largest economic system in whatever however the such a lot superficial methods. right here, there's a outstanding choice of interview matters combined with nice reportage and truth selection... he does get humans to claim superb things. The novelist Haruki Murakami tells him: “When we have been wealthy, I hated this country”... well-written... valuable.”

Publishers Weekly (starred):
"A probing and insightful portrait of latest Japan."

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