Japan has always seemed a puzzle to most westerners - so modern, so industrialized, yet somehow so different. Japanese Society and History seeks to initiate westerners to the learning process of making Japan seem a little less mysterious and a little more understandable. This book walks readers through some of the important features of Japanese society to help readers begin slowly forming a more complete picture of Japan.
Japanese Society and History is a unique text and effective teaching tool designed for use in comparative sociology and political science courses, as well as courses in Asian Studies.
Japanese Society and History explores a variety a topics in Japanese society, including geography, language, history, cultural themes, family life, education, religion, politics and government, and the economy.
©2011 University Readers, Inc. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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"Lots of interesting information and easy to follow"
I'd say it's one of the better audio history books I've read. The reason I got this was because I really like listening to The Great Courses audio lectures on history, but they didn't have a course on Japanese history. Japanese is one of my favorite cultures, so I had to get this.
Probably the bits on history. I already know a lot of things about the culture, but the history is all new to me.
I'd just like to say that as a person who studies the language, some of the pronunciation for Japanese words was a bit off. For example, she was talking about Japanese Manga, and she pronounced it "Mane-ga" instead of "Mon-ga" like the Japanese would pronounce it. Other than that, I'm pretty sure this is accurate, because it follows everything I know about the culture, plus other bits of history.
If you take Japan apart you will find each part very interesting but when it is all together then you see something quite amazing. Far from perfect, and changing so fast that you could say this book is already out of date it is a fascinating culture, history, society and almost way of life. This book is well worth the listen to. Eva Wilhelm isn't necessary the best narrator but good enough. Bite size chunks to swallow and only uses the language where necessary. Does get into some not so palatable bits of information but that is what makes this book so good. All the good bits with the not so easy bits to swallow making a beautiful all round book to digest.
"not so exciting"
The narrator sounded uninterested in the subject.
The story was ok but hardly gripping. I would have preferred more on the history of Japan
"An excellent read- highly recommended"
This book was excellent. It was so interesting to listen and learn about Japan. My family will be visiting Japan for the first time soon and I feel so much better prepared for my first visit. The authors offer such interesting observations on so many diverse topics on such things as Japanese history, politics, popular culture, attitudes, and the future. I understand the other reviewers critiquing the pronunciation by the narrator of the Japanese terms, but I did not think that detracted from the book at all. I highly recommend this book. I may listen to it again
"Good way to learn about Japan."
The narrator had a nice voice it was like being in class with a decent teacher. I never feel asleep but I could stop at anytime. I thought the information was good and relevant and some stuff I didn't know I wanted to know
"Fantastic book for Japan-lovers!"
the book is very informative. I like the different chapters on society, history, problems etc very well organised
the people and the problems
I wasn't particularly impressed with the narrator. Quite monotonous. If the book wasnt so interesting i wouldn't have kept listening
Geeking out on Japan
"Good book if you are interested in Japan"
Just because it's easier to listen to it as you do other things (like washing the dishes). The print version seems to have some extra graphics and things that could have been useful.
It is up-to-date and with enough depth not to be superfluous or boring.
Nice voice and speed, (I listened to her 1.25X speed). Next time she should practice Japanese pronunciation (is not nearly as bad as other reviewers say, but yeah... she could have done better).
There were many, this is a very informative book.
This seems to be the one and only good non-fictional book about Japan that is not concerned exclusively with war. Audible should improve their repertoire...
"Very American and academic"
The audiance of this book should be American. nearly every point raised in the book is compared against the american way of life as well as measurements in miles and pounds. This takes up considerable time which could have been spent on the sorely needed analysis.
The voice is well voiced but again strongly American and far from nutural being very nasally. I found this hard to listen to without concentration due to my lack of experience with the tone.
This is a good book for someone who is traveling to Japan and wants a verbose, but not descriptive crash course.
They couldn't find a reader who had some command of Japanese? also, it's super weird to have a comparative history with the USA, and completely ignore the existence of the first nations. But a good coverage overall.
"Textbook approach with worst reader ever"
The books imparts a lot of information about Japan at a high level.It is simply written and comes across as a high school text...not very detailed or abstract. The narrator made listening to the book a chore. The reading was pedantic in style and overall sounded disdainful. It almost seemed as though the narrator regretted taking the job. I will NEVER get another book read by Eva Wilhelm.
The way it was laid out with half devoted to history, and the second half to how the major institutions of the current society function, worked well in giving an overview of contemporary Japan.
Anyone! I have never really paid attention to who was narrating a book before, as they all seemed good. This was sooooo painful.
Reading might be preferable to listening to this book.
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