Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Japan in the 21st century

Japan in the 21st Century
Environment, Economy, Society

Pradyumna P. Karan

University Press of Kentucky


ISBN 978-0813191188

This is a geography textbook on Japan. Apparently there hasn't been a new one for a long time.

From beginning to end it is crammed with facts, figures, and statistics. Of course on their own statistics can be quite boring, but the author manages to point to meanings that are illuminating.

The book has hundreds of photos as well as charts, graphs, and maps. The maps in particular are clear and useful.

Being a geography book there are informative chapters on the physical nature of Japan, its landscape, geology, climate and weather etc, and a brief overview of the human history. Each of the regions of Japan are given their own section. The demographics and society chapter covers all of the pressing issues in Japan today,... the aging society, falling birthrate, immigration, etc. Politics, economy, industry and the post-industrial landscape..... it's hard to think of any aspect of Japan and it's society that isnt covered.

A nice feature is sections called "field reports" where a particular aspect is studied in depth.

If you only have time to read one book on Japan, then this would be it.


  1. I enjoyed cruising your blog this morning.

  2. Hi,

    I have been reading some of your posts on Japan and so far I must say I think you do an amazing job. The pictures you use for your posts are splendid, so rich in colors and depth, they are really beautiful.

    Regarding this post in particular... I was wondering if you know where to buy this 21st century Japan-book? I've looked on the English and US amazon sites, but so far I've only been able to find seemingly older versions of this one. Hope you can help!

    Best regards,

  3. Sorry yozora...... all I had was a digital copy so dont know what to suggest. Thanks for your kind words.....