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The Enigma of Japanese Power: People and Politics in a Stateless Nation Hardcover – 20 Apr 1989

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1st Ed. (U.K.) edition (20 April 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333443217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333443217
  • Package Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,282,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


This is a survey of every aspect of Japanese life, political and economic, social and psychological, unravelling the enigma of Japan in the modern world revealing that Japan's amassed wealth has brought little benefit to the ordinary Japanese. The author shows how the docile conformity , near absence of litigation and lack of individualism - characterising Japanese society and culture - originates in political purpose. Japan has the institutions of a parliamentary democracy, yet is effectively a one-party state and the power of the Japanese prime minister is less than that of any other head of government in Asia or the West. Japan is governed to all appearances with no centre of accountable power. Karl van Wolferen has lived and worked as a foreign correspondent in Japan for some quarter of a century. Last year he won the Dutch equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.

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26 October 2013
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23 May 2011
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Most helpful customer reviews on 3.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews
T. Hooper
5.0 out of 5 starsPower Explained
10 October 2006 - Published on
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5 people found this helpful.
Randall Pennington
5.0 out of 5 starsThis book was banned by the Japanese Gov't when it first came out in Japanese....that is how TRUE it really is!
17 February 2013 - Published on
8 people found this helpful.
Colin R. Glassey
5.0 out of 5 starsBest book on Japanese political culture ever written
7 August 2000 - Published on
10 people found this helpful.
R. Brown
5.0 out of 5 starsBreathtaking
10 April 2005 - Published on
8 people found this helpful.

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