“[A]n first-class 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 go component to eastern citizenry, together with novelist Haruki Murakami, former leading minister Junichiro Koizumi, industrialists and bankers, activists and artists, kids 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 unearths either Japan’s vulnerabilities and its resilience and pushes him to appreciate the country’s previous via cycles of quandary and reconstruction. Japan’s survivalist mentality has carried it via large trouble, yet can also be the resource of significant destruction: It was once the nineteenth-century fight to thrust back colonial reason that led to Japan’s personal imperial activity, culminating within the devastation of global battle II. Even the postwar financial miracle—the production and trade explosion that introduced unparalleled monetary progress and earned Japan overseas clout could have been a much less natural victory than it appeared. In Bending Adversity Pilling questions what used to be misplaced within the country’s blind, aborted climb to number one. With an analogous rigor, he revisits 1990—the yr the commercial bubble burst, and the start of Japan’s “lost decades”—to ask if the turning aspect can be seen otherwise. whereas monetary fight and nationwide debt are a truth, post-growth Japan has additionally effectively maintained a solid lifestyle and social harmony. And whereas lifestyles has develop into much less sure, 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 fashion ahead after the occasions of 2011 and a long time of sluggish progress. Bending Adversity closes with a mirrored image on what the 2012 reelection of leading Minister Shinzo Abe, and his radical antideflation coverage, could suggest for Japan and its destiny. trained all through via the insights shared through Pilling’s many interview matters, 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 country and its people.

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

The Telegraph (UK)
“Pilling, the Asia editor of the Financial Times, is perfectly put to be our guide, and his insights are a true rarity while only a few Western reporters converse the essence of the world’s third-largest financial system in something however the such a lot superficial methods. right here, there's a awesome collection of interview matters combined with nice reportage and truth selection... he does get humans to assert incredible 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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The opposite is getting poorer, and doing games and net all day. ’ He had neighbors who he felt can be labeled as hikikomori, those that close themselves away. One, the daughter of a faculty professor, lived with him in a shared condominium. She had additionally spent a 12 months out of the country, yet now she infrequently ventured open air the home. She browsed the web all day and participated in on-line boards reminiscent of 2channel, which attracted a number of million, occasionally incendiary or ultra-nationalistic, postings an afternoon. again in his domestic city of Kira too, one in every of his neighbors had by no means landed a formal activity. although he was once in his overdue twenties, his room used to be embellished like a teenager’s, with posters of pouting ‘idols’, heart-throb girl singers or types. A nomad of our on-line world, he too hardly left the home. ‘It’s now not a mental problem,’ Ishikawa stated, after a protracted pause. ‘He’s just a little scared. ’ He concept a few extra. ‘He doesn’t consider the necessity to paintings simply because he can stay together with his mom and dad. ’ The hikikomori phenomenon was once as a lot a manufactured from affluence as poverty, he stated. ‘Hikikomori humans do come from either wealthy and negative households. but when you’re rather bad, you can't lie round in mattress all day. ’ Affluence wasn’t similar to fiscal momentum. Ishikawa famous that the period of speedy progress, with its feel of nationwide rejuvenation, used to be over. ‘I used to be born in 1983. I didn’t get any enjoy the quick development of Japan. by the point I entered trouble-free university, the economic climate used to be taking place. We don’t think the financial system will develop a lot within the subsequent a long time. It’s unlikely to provide us such a lot of good stuff. i believe that’s whatever all of us are feeling. ’ • • • Masahiro Yamada, a touch saggy sociologist in his mid-fifties, had a special take nonetheless at the post-bubble new release. His used to be virtually comically darkish. I’d met the professor, a pleasant guy with a frightened snort, a number of occasions over the process a decade within which he had succeeded in changing into gradually gloomier. recognized for coining the word ‘parasite unmarried’ to explain twenty- and thirty-year-olds mooching off their mom and dad, he lately wrote an essay with the rather self-explanatory identify ‘The younger and the Hopeless’. three I visited Yamada many years in the past in his cubbyhole of an place of work at Tokyo Gakugei collage the place he then lectured. such a lot eastern teachers are stuffed into tiny areas, smaller than a few walk-in cabinets. Yamada’s appeared extra cramped than such a lot. each on hand little bit of shelf house and masses of the ground have been piled excessive with books and lots of papers. at the method in I approximately tripped over a foot-massage desktop buried someplace within the particles. Yamada was once a a little bit flustered host. each on occasion he could bounce as much as retrieve a record from the encompassing flotsam. He sat contrary me on a moth-eaten sofa and passed me a sheet of paper on which he had typed numerous words in jap. It was once titled ‘Winners and Losers within the New Economy’. regularly he appeared attracted to the losers. most sensible of the checklist was once ‘Sudden raise of Suicides’, a connection with a 35 according to cent leap to almost 33,000 in 1998, a 12 months of huge lay-offs.

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