"Knowing Japan and the Japanese better," Louis Frederic states in the introduction to this encyclopedia, "is one of the necessities of modern life." The Japanese have a profound knowledge of every aspect and detail of Western societies. Unfortunately, we in the West cannot say the same about our knowledge of Japan. We tend to see Japan through a veil of exoticism, as a land of ancient customs and exquisite arts; or we view it as a powerful contributor to the global economy, the source of cutting-edge electronics and innovative management techniques. To go beyond these cliches, we must begin to see how apparently contradictory aspects of modern Japanese culture spring from the country's evolution through more than two millennia of history. This concise encyclopedia provides clear and accessible information on Japanese society and institutions, commerce and industry, sciences, sports, and politics, with particular emphasis on religion, material culture, and the arts.
Publisher: Harvard University Press