Japan’s past and present

Japanese civilisation and its unique culture has often represented an enigma to the rest of the world. In this anthology a large number of experts explore Japans history and aspects of the Japanese quest for a national identity and what it means to the rest of the world through topics like architecture, religion, manga, Christianity in Japan and the Samurais.

In Japan, the study of nihonjinron became popular after the Second World War in an attempt to explain the uniqueness of the country s culture and character. Some of the essays in this volume deal with these issues and explore aspects of the Japanese quest for a national identity. Today Japan is one of the world s largest economies, but it is facing enormous challenges on a social, cultural, financial and political level. 

These challenges are highlighted and analysed in this book through themes and topics from Japanese history: identity, architecture, religion, manga, Christianity in Japan, the Samurais and many other subjects.