A surprising assessment of the failures and successes of modern Japan.
In Dogs and Demons, Alex Kerr chronicles the many facets of Japan's recent, and chronic, crises -- from the failure of its banks and pension funds to the decline of its once magnificent modern cinema. He is the first to give a full report on the nation's endangered environment -- its seashores lined with concrete, its roads leading to nowhere in the mountains -- as well as its "monument frenzy," the destruction of old cities such as Kyoto and construction of drab new ones, and the attendant collapse of its tourist industry. Kerr writes with humor and passion, for "passion," he says, "is part of the story. Millions of Japanese feel as heartbroken at what is going on as I do. My Japanese friends tell me, 'Please write this -- for us.'"
Brand: Hill and Wang
Used Book in Good Condition
Hill and Wang
Hill and Wang
Hill and Wang
Hill and Wang
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An eye opener, but some times very hard on the Japanese and their country.
For example, my country, Costa Rica, is an ecotourism mecca, and by using the same arguments by Mr. Kerr, we would need to keep my country as a jungle in order to preserve its cultural identity as perceived by the foreigners, or stop the construction of tall buildings because it is expected from us to be a small country with a small capital city like a mountain village where everybody knows each other, which isn't the case anymore.
I admit I also have a very similar idea of what Japan must be like, and many of the facts presented in the book are very concerning and I agree with the author on many of those. But what is happening in Japan, is happening all over the world, and I felt very identified with many of the issues.
Kerr, a resident of Japan from his youth, offers a critique of the post-war Japanese mania w/an outta-control obsession w/larding up the formerly beautiful Japanese landscape with, inter alia, millions of tons of concrete. Kerr states the case for Japan having deteriorated into the "world's ugliest country." The cause, unstated by Kerr, comes from Col. Fletcher Prouty (portrayed as "X" in the flick "JFK"), US intel agent stationed in postwar Tokyo: The takeover of Japan by Klan Rockefeller, which, my longheld position after years of research, egregiously corrupts everything it touches.
Why do the Japanese not see that replacing their beautiful, soaring rooflines and spacious wooden frame residences with small, cold, concrete warrens is several steps backwards in architectural development? This book is Alex Kerr's lament. He treasures Japan's craftwork heritages, and laments their ongoing replacement with materials and designs that are uninspired and ugly. The people of Japan who have their feet firmly planted in their creative traditions are still making things beautiful every day. They need help. This book is a start. Make it part of your book club reading and discussion. From that will come welcome change.
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