Japan Through the Looking Glass and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$13.05
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $2.90 (18%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Japan Through the Looking... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Japan Through the Looking Glass Paperback – February 1, 2009


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.05
$9.01 $0.75


Frequently Bought Together

Japan Through the Looking Glass + A Short History of Chinese Philosophy
Price for both: $29.70

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861979673
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861979674
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,973,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A well-informed analysis of Japanese culture and society.”—The Independent

“A disarming, engaging, and provocative book.”—Andrew Barshay, University of California, Berkeley

About the Author

Alan Macfarlane is Professor of Anthropology at Cambridge. He has often visited and taught in Japan. He is the author of The Glass Bathyscaphe and Japan Through the Looking Glass.

More About the Author

I was born in Shillong, Assam, India in December 1941, son of a tea-planter. I was educated at the Dragon School, Oxford, Sedbergh School Yorkshire. I went to Oxford University where I read history (M.A., D.Phil), and then anthropology at London University (M.Phil., Ph.D.). I became a Senior Research Fellow at King's College, Cambridge in 1971 and a Lecturer, then Reader, then Professor of Anthropology at Cambridge. I became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1986 and am now Emeritus Professor of Anthropological Science and Life Fellow of King's College.
I have published about twenty books, put up over 800 films on Youtube, have a large website at www.alanmacfarlane.com
I travel a good deal to Nepal, Japan, China and elsewhere and am interested in filming, computer databases and other things.
My hobbies are walking and gardening.
I work on all my many projects with my wife Sarah.
If you want to see a slice of my life, look for my very recently published volumes of autobiography, 'Dorset Days' and 'Dragon Days'.

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
0
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
3
1 star
0
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My title says it all. This book contains interesting ideas. The author occasionally whips up sentences like "As I came to learn a little more about Japan, I began to have the sense that if the economy dominates America, law dominates England, religion India, culture China, then one of the central threads of Japan is aesthetics." Such statements, though impressionistic and hardly empirical, provide interesting prompts for further reflection on the topic at hand. This may be taken to be a good thing.

However, one gets the impression that the author is romanticising Japan. The overall impression of Japan that he conveys is positive at best and neutral at worst. He often gives a general statement or observation about the country, which is fine. The problem I have with his approach is two-fold: firstly, the way in which he depicts this observation is frequently one-sided; secondly, his observations do not always strike me as painting the full picture of Japan. For the first point, I cannot say for sure whether it is because the author is consciously romanticising Japan, or whether he is just being generous by trying to find explanations for why the Japanese have such-and-such a characteristic. With regards to the second point, I personally feel that it is as though his materials were deliberately selected to portray the Japanese in a sympathetic light. However, as this book appears to be, simply, an account of his experiences, perhaps it was just the result of the way his personal journey played out for him. That I do not know.

Another criticism I have about this book is that the author makes certain claims based on wrong assumptions.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jackal on October 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
There are many books telling us why Japanese are like they are and why they have become like they are. This book is in the tradition of The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, but written just a couple of years ago. Its style is non-scientific but thoughtful. It is a very easy read, but also a good read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A little too superficial. I would have much preferred a clearer discussion of actual beliefs, rather than what I got.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kendra Lawrence on July 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Okay, admittedly I have not read the entire book yet, for I was most interested in the "Beliefs" section. I know some Japanese mythology, but I wanted to learn more about the "real-life" Shinto and Japanese religion. Of course beliefs will vary from person to person, but his claim that the Japanese do not believe in a soul or an afterlife contradicts other things I've read about the religion. Buddhism believes in an afterlife, and while some myths suggest the afterlife, Yomi, is somewhat like Hades, but there is also the idea of returning to nature, becoming a spirit, and so one and so forth, which this book did briefly touch on. I could be wrong, but this book goes against other things I've read, so it was a bit of a disappointment.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chris J. Ott on March 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
I lived in Japan for 3 years and read this after that period. Backwards I guess. Its not a bad book if you are interested about Japan and what makes it tick. For me its a bit of a boring read but I guess thats too be expected with non-fiction books.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?