“[A]n very good book...” —The Economist
Financial Times Asia editor David Pilling offers a clean imaginative and prescient of Japan, drawing on his personal deep adventure, in addition to observations from a go component to jap citizenry, together with novelist Haruki Murakami, former top minister Junichiro Koizumi, industrialists and bankers, activists and artists, youngsters and octogenarians. via their voices, Pilling's Bending Adversity captures the dynamism and variety of latest Japan.
Pilling’s exploration starts off with the 2011 triple catastrophe of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. His deep reporting finds either Japan’s vulnerabilities and its resilience and pushes him to appreciate the country’s earlier via cycles of problem and reconstruction. Japan’s survivalist mentality has carried it via large problem, yet is usually the resource of serious destruction: It used to be the nineteenth-century fight to chase away colonial rationale that ended in Japan’s personal imperial undertaking, culminating within the devastation of global conflict II. Even the postwar monetary miracle—the production and trade explosion that introduced unparalleled financial development and earned Japan foreign 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 1. With a similar rigor, he revisits 1990—the yr the commercial bubble burst, and the start of Japan’s “lost decades”—to ask if the turning aspect will be seen another way. whereas monetary fight and nationwide debt are a fact, post-growth Japan has additionally effectively maintained a strong lifestyle and social unity. And whereas lifestyles has develop into much less yes, 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 manner ahead after the occasions of 2011 and many years of gradual development. Bending Adversity closes with a mirrored image on what the 2012 reelection of leading Minister Shinzo Abe, and his radical antideflation coverage, may possibly suggest for Japan and its destiny. knowledgeable all through via the insights shared by means of Pilling’s many interview topics, 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 state 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 it is a recession, i would like one.’ no longer the least of the advantages 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 actually like and its genuine achievements.”
The Telegraph (UK)
“Pilling, the Asia editor of the Financial Times, is perfectly positioned 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 economic climate in something however the so much superficial methods. the following, there's a fantastic collection of interview topics combined with nice reportage and truth selection... he does get humans to claim remarkable 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."