The Nature of the Japanese State
Rationality and Rituality
Routledge – 1998 – 288 pages
Brian J. McVeigh uses a unique anthropological approach to step outside flawed stereotypes of Japanese society and really engage in the current debate over the role of bureaucracy in Japanese politics.
To many in the West, Japan appears as a paradox: a rational, high-tech economic superpower and yet at the same time a deeply ritualistic and ceremonial society. This adventurous new study demonstrates how these nominally conflicting impressions of Japan can be reconciled and a greater understanding of the state achieved.
'It is ambitious in the scale of its topic, informative in its generally meticulously researched content, challenging in its thought-provoking arguments and calls for a new focus within anthropology, and at times provocative in its rejection of cosy widespread assumptions and its sharp criticism of observations deemed to be inaccurate … this is a book that leaves no room for complacency.' - Ken Henshall, Asian Studies Review