Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival

4.13 avg rating
( 390 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780143126959: Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival

FINANCIAL TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2014

'An affectionate, beautifully written and counter-intuitively optimistic take on the country, which stresses Japan's ability to reinvent itself' (Gideon Rachman, Financial Times)

Despite years of stagnation, Japan remains one of the world's largest economies and a country which exerts a remarkable cultural fascination. David Pilling's new book is an entertaining, deeply knowledgeable and surprising analysis of a group of islands which have shown great resilience, both in the face of financial distress and when confronted with the overwhelming disaster of the 2011 earthquake.

The resulting tsunami, which killed some 19,000 people, and nuclear catastrophe highlighted both the deeply impressive practical resilience of ordinary Japanese and a political culture of extraordinary carelessness and arrogance. Pilling describes the emergency and its aftermath, but then writes far more broadly about many aspects of Japan which are little known to outsiders and which do so much to explain these contradictory responses to the earthquake. Bending Adversity is a superb work of reportage and the essential book even for those who already feel they know the country well.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Product Description:

A pacy, fresh and surprising portrait of Japan and the Japanese - from David Pilling, award-winning writer and Asia Editor of the Financial Times

Despite years of stagnation, Japan remains one of the world's largest economies and a country which exerts a remarkable cultural fascination. David Pilling's new book is an entertaining, deeply knowledgeable and surprising analysis of a group of islands which have shown great resilience, both in the face of financial distress and when confronted with the overwhelming disaster of the 2011 earthquake.

The resulting tsunami, which killed some 19,000 people, and nuclear catastrophe highlighted both the deeply impressive practical resilience of ordinary Japanese and a political culture of extraordinary carelessness and arrogance. Pilling describes the emergency and its aftermath, but then writes far more broadly about many aspects of Japan which are little known to outsiders and which do so much to explain these contradictory responses to the earthquake. Bending Adversity is a superb work of reportage and the essential book even for those who already feel they know the country well.

Review:

Bending Adversity is a superb reappraisal of the so-called 'lost decade(s)' of contemporary Japan. David 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. The result

is a probing, nourishing and independent-minded book for any reader seeking to understand modern Japan and its unsure place in the world

(David Mitchell)

Fascinating and well-researched ... Pilling's experience as a journalist lends Bending Adversity a welcome veracity it might otherwise have lacked ... the six sections are written lucidly and contain a wealth of useful information ... Pilling went to the area where the tsunami struck on several occasions and his reportage from those experiences is the best writing here - poignant, insightful, understated, heart breaking but also often uplifting ... This book does an excellent job of demonstrating just how resilient the Japanese people have been in the face of recent environmental, social, and economic disaster ( Independent)

Bending Adversity does an excellent job of reappraising [Japan's] lost years of economic deflation and social and political stagnation ... There has to be a way, says Pilling, that we can live without growth. This fascinating and timely book shows us where to look for it ( Spectator)

Pilling, like many writers who come to love Japan and enjoy its many eccentricities, wants to rescue it from the standard one-dimensional images of the country as some sort of model or cautionary tale ... we need to read this book and find that Japan is a much more interesting and engaging place, for all its flaws and frustrations, than the drama theorists would have us believe (Bill Emmott Literary Review)

A superb book on contemporary Japan that, better than any other I have read, manages to get the reader inside the skin of Japanese society ... astutely observed ... a great read brimming with insights and ... crafting a colourful and rounded analysis, one that doesn't shy from criticism, but also veers away from shrill harangue. It is evident that Pilling is keen on Japan, but it is not a naive embrace. I admire his knack for finding the fault-line in most any debate about Japan and fairly summarizing both sides... delivering a balanced assessment that sidesteps what he terms the 'sneering bitterness' that animates much analysis of contemporary Japan. Along the way, readers encounter a diversity of perspectives that subvert tropes of uniformity and conformity ( Japan Times)

Pilling draws on his own experiences, as well as interviews with novelists, academics, politicians, former prime ministers, executives, bankers, activists, and citizens young and old to provide a probing and insightful portrait of contemporary Japan ( Publishers Weekly)

Breaking Adversity is a fascinating read for anyone with an interest in economics and politics eager to know more about how a significant world power got to the top tables of international diplomacy. However, it has more to offer than just this. Pilling is every bit as interesting when he tells the stories of the everyday Japanese behind the headlines, and how their self-image as a nation has been forced to change several times during the course of the country's transition into the modern world ( Sunday Business Post)

Eloquent and ambitious ... as a financial journalist, [Pilling makes] coherent and interesting arguments about the real nature of Japanese economic decline and explaining that its huge government debt is not necessarily a portent of doom ... powerful ( Sunday Times)

David Pilling is an Anglo expert on Japan ... authoritative and entertaining ... [Pilling] deftly manages the trick of illustrating grand sweep with small anecdote ( Observer)

Not the least of the merits of Pilling's hugely enjoyable and perceptive book on Japan is that he places the denunciations of two allegedly 'lost decades' in the context of what the country is really like and its actual achievements ( Financial Times)

The first major book on Japan for many years, and an entertaining, knowledgeable and surprising analysis of the country and its culture ( Bookseller)

Pilling, the Asia editor of the Financial Times, is perfectly placed to be our guide, and his insights are a real rarity when very few Western journalists communicate the essence of the world's third largest economy in anything but the most superficial ways. Here, there is a terrific selection of interview subjects mixed with great reportage and fact selection ... Exhilarating ( Daily Telegraph)

An affectionate, beautifully written and counter-intuitively optimistic take on the country, which stresses Japan's ability to reinvent itself (Gideon Rachman Financial Times BOOKS OF THE YEAR)

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Pilling, David
ISBN 10: 0143126954 ISBN 13: 9780143126959
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97801431269590000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.53
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Pilling, David
Published by Penguin Books
ISBN 10: 0143126954 ISBN 13: 9780143126959
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 12
Seller
GIANTBOOKSALE
(HAUPPAUGE, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0143126954 Great book !! Established seller with great ratings! A+ Customer Service! Orders ship from the USA!. Bookseller Inventory # Z0143126954ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.41
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.80
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Pilling, David
Published by Penguin Random House
ISBN 10: 0143126954 ISBN 13: 9780143126959
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Random House. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0143126954

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.64
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.81
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

David Pilling
Published by Penguin Books, United States (2015)
ISBN 10: 0143126954 ISBN 13: 9780143126959
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 214 x 139 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. [A]n excellent book. The Economist Financial Times Asia editor David Pilling presents a fresh vision of Japan, drawing on his own deep experience, as well as observations from a cross section of Japanese citizenry, including novelist Haruki Murakami, former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, industrialists and bankers, activists and artists, teenagers and octogenarians. Through their voices, Pilling s Bending Adversity captures the dynamism and diversity of contemporary Japan. Pilling s exploration begins with the 2011 triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. His deep reporting reveals both Japan s vulnerabilities and its resilience and pushes him to understand the country s past through cycles of crisis and reconstruction. Japan s survivalist mentality has carried it through tremendous hardship, but is also the source of great destruction: It was the nineteenth-century struggle to ward off colonial intent that resulted in Japan s own imperial endeavor, culminating in the devastation of World War II. Even the postwar economic miracle the manufacturing and commerce explosion that brought unprecedented economic growth and earned Japan international clout might have been a less pure victory than it seemed. In Bending Adversity Pilling questions what was lost in the country s blind, aborted climb to #1. With the same rigor, he revisits 1990 the year the economic bubble burst, and the beginning of Japan s lost decades to ask if the turning point might be viewed differently. While financial struggle and national debt are a reality, post-growth Japan has also successfully maintained a stable standard of living and social cohesion. And while life has become less certain, opportunities in particular for the young and for women have diversified. Still, Japan is in many ways a country in recovery, working to find a way forward after the events of 2011 and decades of slow growth. Bending Adversity closes with a reflection on what the 2012 reelection of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and his radical antideflation policy, might mean for Japan and its future. Informed throughout by the insights shared by Pilling s many interview subjects, Bending Adversity rigorously engages with the social, spiritual, financial, and political life of Japan to create a more nuanced representation of the oft-misunderstood island nation and its people. The Financial Times David Pilling quotes a visiting MP from northern England, dazzled by Tokyo s lights and awed by its bustling prosperity: If this is a recession, I want one. Not the least of the merits of Pilling s hugely enjoyable and perceptive book on Japan is that he places the denunciations of two allegedly lost decades in the context of what the country is really like and its actual achievements. The Telegraph (UK) Pilling, the Asia editor of the Financial Times, is perfectly placed to be our guide, and his insights are a real rarity when very few Western journalists communicate the essence of the world s third-largest economy in anything but the most superficial ways. Here, there is a terrific selection of interview subjects mixed with great reportage and fact selection. he does get people to say wonderful things. The novelist Haruki Murakami tells him: When we were rich, I hated this country . well-written. valuable. Publishers Weekly (starred): Aprobing and insightfulportrait of contemporary Japan. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143126959

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.10
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

David Pilling
Published by Penguin Books, United States (2015)
ISBN 10: 0143126954 ISBN 13: 9780143126959
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 214 x 139 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. [A]n excellent book. The Economist Financial Times Asia editor David Pilling presents a fresh vision of Japan, drawing on his own deep experience, as well as observations from a cross section of Japanese citizenry, including novelist Haruki Murakami, former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, industrialists and bankers, activists and artists, teenagers and octogenarians. Through their voices, Pilling s Bending Adversity captures the dynamism and diversity of contemporary Japan. Pilling s exploration begins with the 2011 triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. His deep reporting reveals both Japan s vulnerabilities and its resilience and pushes him to understand the country s past through cycles of crisis and reconstruction. Japan s survivalist mentality has carried it through tremendous hardship, but is also the source of great destruction: It was the nineteenth-century struggle to ward off colonial intent that resulted in Japan s own imperial endeavor, culminating in the devastation of World War II. Even the postwar economic miracle the manufacturing and commerce explosion that brought unprecedented economic growth and earned Japan international clout might have been a less pure victory than it seemed. In Bending Adversity Pilling questions what was lost in the country s blind, aborted climb to #1. With the same rigor, he revisits 1990 the year the economic bubble burst, and the beginning of Japan s lost decades to ask if the turning point might be viewed differently. While financial struggle and national debt are a reality, post-growth Japan has also successfully maintained a stable standard of living and social cohesion. And while life has become less certain, opportunities in particular for the young and for women have diversified. Still, Japan is in many ways a country in recovery, working to find a way forward after the events of 2011 and decades of slow growth. Bending Adversity closes with a reflection on what the 2012 reelection of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and his radical antideflation policy, might mean for Japan and its future. Informed throughout by the insights shared by Pilling s many interview subjects, Bending Adversity rigorously engages with the social, spiritual, financial, and political life of Japan to create a more nuanced representation of the oft-misunderstood island nation and its people. The Financial Times David Pilling quotes a visiting MP from northern England, dazzled by Tokyo s lights and awed by its bustling prosperity: If this is a recession, I want one. Not the least of the merits of Pilling s hugely enjoyable and perceptive book on Japan is that he places the denunciations of two allegedly lost decades in the context of what the country is really like and its actual achievements. The Telegraph (UK) Pilling, the Asia editor of the Financial Times, is perfectly placed to be our guide, and his insights are a real rarity when very few Western journalists communicate the essence of the world s third-largest economy in anything but the most superficial ways. Here, there is a terrific selection of interview subjects mixed with great reportage and fact selection. he does get people to say wonderful things. The novelist Haruki Murakami tells him: When we were rich, I hated this country . well-written. valuable. Publishers Weekly (starred): Aprobing and insightfulportrait of contemporary Japan. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780143126959

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.41
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Pilling, David
Published by Penguin Books
ISBN 10: 0143126954 ISBN 13: 9780143126959
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0143126954 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # SWATI2121942347

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.79
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.20
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Pilling, David
Published by Penguin Books
ISBN 10: 0143126954 ISBN 13: 9780143126959
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 6
Seller
Movie Mars
(Indian Trail, NC, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0143126954 Brand New Book. Ships from the United States. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee!. Bookseller Inventory # 17313182

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.81
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.20
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Pilling, David
Published by Penguin Books (2015)
ISBN 10: 0143126954 ISBN 13: 9780143126959
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 0143126954

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.71
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.40
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

David Pilling
Published by Penguin Books
ISBN 10: 0143126954 ISBN 13: 9780143126959
New Paperback / softback Quantity Available: 4
Seller
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books. Paperback / softback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival, David Pilling. Bookseller Inventory # B9780143126959

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.69
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 5.94
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Pilling, David
Published by Penguin Books (2015)
ISBN 10: 0143126954 ISBN 13: 9780143126959
New Paperback Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # BKTY9780143126959

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.11
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.20
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book