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From the Publisher
'This is a tremendous book and should jump the queue of all those books on contemporary Japan you have been intending to read. The editors deserve kudos for putting together a stellar group of specialists and our gratitude for making them abandon the usually scholarly trappings. The chapters are written in an accessible and thoughtful style and focus on explaining various aspects of culture and society for nonspecialists. This academic-lite approach is a welcome relief from the usual trudge through a specialists' tome, jettisoning the disciplinary discourse without sacrificing the insights. Lucidly written, this is an ideal book for undergraduate classes as it includes a glossary, bibliography and comprehensive list of relevant websites. Experts will also find this a rewarding collection.' – Jeff Kingston, Director of Asian Studies at Temple University, Japan
'Few books offer such a broad and kaleidoscopic view of the complex and contested society that is contemporary Japan. Students and professionals alike may use this as a stand-alone reference text, or as an invitation to explore the increasingly diverse range of Japan-related titles offered by Routledge.' – Joy Hendry, Professor of Social Anthropology and Director of the Europe Japan Research Centre at Oxford Brookes University, UK
'This is the first reference work you should pick up if you want an introduction to contemporary Japanese society and culture. Eminent specialists skillfully pinpoint key developments and explain the complex issues that have faced Japan and the Japanese since the end of World War II.' Elise K. Tipton, Honorary Associate Professor of Japanese Studies in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney, Australia
'An invaluable interdisciplinary compendium of contemporary Japan. This Handbook contains a series of insightful essays dealing with such diverse areas as aging and social welfare, popular music, religion, sport, law, politics and education. The collection is also informed by theoretically sophisticated analysis of subjects that will be of major interest to all scholars of Japanese society.' – Dixon Wong Heung Wah, School of Modern Languages and Cultures, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
"It is good to have such a uniformly excellent collection of short essays that reflects, by and large, today’s mainstream scholarly opinion in Western Japanology on a wide range of social and cultural issues—and, by doing so, also challenges the often simplistic and stereotypical model of a monolithic "Japan, Inc." that was popular just a few decades ago." -- Roy Starrs, University of Otago, in Asia Pacific World (Spring 2012)
"An impressive array of scholars contributed to the 22 chapters, which present a plurality of viewpoints from many disciplines. Indeed the strength of this handbook is its breadth of analysis... for students and scholars interested in Japan, this well-researched and insightful handbook constitutes essential reading." - Elise Foxworth, La Trobe University; Asian Studies Review; March 2013 - volume 37, issue 1.