Tuesday, April 08, 2014, 18:15 - 20:30
David Pilling's new book has been described as “the first major book on Japan for many years” and “the first groundbreaking rendition to come out of Japan’s Lost Decades.”
Pilling, Asia Editor of the Financial Times and former Tokyo bureau chief, will discuss what prompted him to write the book and what he was trying to accomplish in producing an account of contemporary Japan. This book argues that the “lost” decades were not quite as lost as is commonly thought and that Japan is a more adaptive, less change-averse society than usually described.
The book allows many individual Japanese from school teachers to prime ministers and from businessmen to artists to express their views, partly in an attempt to challenge the argument that Japan is a uniquely consensual society. As well as introducing the book’s contemporary reporting, Pilling will also discuss the historical origins of Japan’s break with China in the nineteenth century, the cause of its slide into imperialism and its continuing fraught relations with north-east Asian neighbours.
David Mitchell, author of “Cloud Atlas,” says of the book: “Pilling combines a historian’s breadth of vision, an anthropologist’s clearheadedness, an investigator’s knack of knowing what questions to ask, an economist’s grasp of the circuitry of money and a top-notch journalist’s curiosity about the human effects of political causes.”
He is now the Asia Editor overseeing coverage of the region including China, India and Japan. He writes an award-winning weekly column on Asian affairs and frequently interviews leading regional figures from the worlds of politics, business and the arts. He has worked for the FT for more than 20 years, 12 of them in Asia. “Bending Adversity,” published by Penguin Press in March 2014, is his first book.
The library committee is offering a cocktail party - "Meet the Author" - starting at 6:15 pm. Followed by dinner at 6:45pm (Menu: Stewed Chicken with Tomato). Drinks can be ordered on a cash basis from the bar in the room. Book Break charges 2,000 yen (including tax) for the event. Non-members eligible to attend may pay in cash.
Sign up now at the reception desk (03-3211-3161) or on the FCCJ website. To help us plan proper seating and food preparation, please reserve in advance, preferably by noon of the day of the event. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled. Reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be charged in full.