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Times Higher Education Supplement
What has fascinated scholars of modern Japanese history is how this highly stratified society was moulded into such a uniform one in a relatively short time. While all nation-states have this aim, few have achieved their ends so well as the Japanese. It is this modern construction of sameness that John Lie wants to challenge in his book—and challenge it he does. In a passionately argued text, Lie examines the many sources of difference in Japanese society: from pre-Meiji outcasts and Korean artisans (as well as aristocracy) to postwar Chinese immigrants and the hafu (children of mixed descent): Japan is a society as diverse as any other.
— Dolores Martinez