- Taschenbuch: 352 Seiten
- Verlag: Vintage; Auflage: Reprint (4. September 2007)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1400077796
- ISBN-13: 978-1400077793
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,2 x 2 x 20,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 280.567 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation (Vintage Departures) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 4. September 2007
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“Offers a glimpse at an uneasy nation suspended between two worlds.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Full of surprises and fresh discoveries, Shutting Out the Sun convincingly explains why the great Japanese juggernaut has faltered — and it does so with intelligence, insight and verve.”
“Shutting Out the Sun puts a human face on a nation's plight and provides an intriguing point of entry into a consideration of Japan's crisis of confidence.”
—The Washington Post Book World
“Well-researched. . . . Zielenziger gives observers of this reticent country good reason to be concerned.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Michael Zielenziger is a visiting scholar at the Institute of East Asian Studies, UC Berkeley, and was the Tokyo-based bureau chief for Knight Ridder Newspapers for seven years. Before moving to Tokyo, he served as the Pacific Rim correspondent for San Jose Mercury News, and was a finalist for a 1995 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting for a series on China. Find him online at www.shuttingoutthesun.com.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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I'm looking to widen my understanding of Japanese culture, so I bought this book at .01 cent on the used market. I feel it's just as important to examine the darker aspects of a culture (as unpalatable to the eternallly-optimistic-brightsided crowd as that may be), as well as its best aspects. So while quite a few found this book lacking or inaccurate, I still think there's great benefit to weighing Zielenziger's "negative" portrait. It was especially his very wide view of the greater Japanese economy that was much appreciated. This book being published in 2005 during the height of the boom in the US, it's somewhat ironic that at the time of this review, the bank of Japan has instituted negative interest rates.
Quite frankly, I can't imagine painting a happy picture of a country whose economic predicament limits the choices and the futures of its citizens. If the book comes off as pessimistic, it's because the reality is quite stark, which makes it realism, not pessimism, and that's a critical difference. Had Zielenziger chosen to focus on what he found great about Japan, very little is going to obscure the real statistic of a declining population.
If anything, the phenomenon of hikkikomori brings to mind the haunting mouse experiments in overpopulation conducted by Calhoun (which in part inspired O'Brien to write The Secret of Nimh, for those who like useless trivia.) I mention it only because in Calhoun's experiments, mice who chose to no longer participate in the overcrowded mouse utopia withdrew in similar style to the hikkikomori, and the mice who withdrew were dubbed "the beautiful ones". Coincidence? But I digress.
In the end, an easily readable book on the subject, and I would read more from this author.
Yes, Japan is admittedly largely failing to address root causes. US society is equally failing in that regard. Addressing root causes is clearly the better way to go than merely treating symptoms after the fact. But at the same time it is completely inaccurate to state that Japanese society is doing nothing about the problem. The fact that these kids who are clearly suffering with severe PTSD-style trauma are in loving homes with rooves over their heads is proof positive in and of itself that *something* in Japan, however partial it may be, is being done about the problem. Because the same kids here are largely either in institutional hellholes, homeless, and/or dead. So which society is really the one that is sweeping the problem under the rug? It's not the Japanese.