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With the ever increasing contact between Japan and the rest of the world comes an urgent need to understand a society that is both fascinating and often confusing to the outsider. In this brand new edition of Understanding Japanese SocietyJoy Hendry brings the reader up to date with social developments as Japan moves into the twenty-first century. This welcome new edition of this bestselling textbook provides a clear, accessible and readable introduction to Japanese society which does not require any previous knowledge of the country. Fully updated, revised and expanded, the 4th edition contains new material on: - the effects of the Asian crisis and recession in Japan - the emergence of the millennial cults such as the Aum Shinrikyo - major advances in sport and leisure such as the 2002 World Cup and the amazing global cultural success of Japanese animation, manga and computer games - the tumultuous changes of the Japanese ruling elite - the Ainu and other Japanese minorities - debates about the future of the Japanese constitution and the resurgence of nationalism and militarism. This book will be invaluable to students studying Japan. It will also enlighten those travellers and business people wishing to gain an understanding of the Japanese people.