The Burden of Success

Jean-Marie Bouissou

Bibliographic Details
Japan Paperback
September 2002£16.99

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On publication in France, Bouissou’s depiction of modern Japan was acclaimed as `the best of its kind’, and this translation has been updated to cover events up till 1999, and augmented by an overview of the Japanese historical legacy before 1945. In the tradition of French scholarship, which rejects a too narrow focus, this textbook encompasses all the aspects of the transformation that raised Japan from the ashes of defeat to the status of `an economic model’. Bouissou closely relates economic growth to social change and politics – of which he gives a particulary detailed account. He shows how these upheavals affected the Japanese value system, collective mind, way of living and culture, illustrating his argument from post-war Japanese literature and cinema. The combination of this broad approach, and provocative analysis which emphasises social dislocation rather than the much-vaunted Japanese predilection for social harmony, distinguishes this textbook from others in the field.


Jean-Marie Bouissou, a long time resident of Japan, is now a researcher at C.E.R.I. in Paris.

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‘Bouissou’s book […] is well informed and his judgments show good sense. His coverage is impressively broad.’ –– Richard Sims, SOAS