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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All in One
The main challenges presented, over and again in almost every piece:

- graying/aging population
- low birthrate
- hidebound political system and political actors
- hidebound business practices
- lackadaisical, unambitious, unadventurous, inward-looking youth
- messed up national finances
- inward looking, risk-averse culture
-...
Published on July 13, 2011 by Scott Meredith

versus
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Epic, mostly bland, with some significant omissions and a few bright spots
If you're expecting a book that addresses post-3/11 Japan explicitly, this is not the book for you. Like a seared piece of maguro, only the surfaces of the book -- the introduction, conclusion, and first and last chapters (each chapter being a collection of articles) -- have been significantly affected by those events. Most of the 79 articles pay them lip service, or...
Published on July 16, 2011 by A. J. Sutter


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss "A child left behind by Kumiko Makihara", July 25, 2011
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This review is from: Reimagining Japan: The Quest for a Future That Works (Hardcover)
Reimagining Japan is an extensive look into the "flaws" and "strengths" inherent in Japanese society, infrastructure and institution, with unique perspectives on how best to remedy and recover from these issues. This book gives intelligent and often opposing viewpoints on the Japanese education system, the effects of globalization, remedying Japan's high debt levels, economic perspectives, and the effects of the 3/11 disaster(s), giving the reader a multifaceted look at a this "deeply-complicated" society.

Don't miss A child left behind by Kumiko Makihara, which gives an honest and truly saddening view of the problems with Japanese schooling, as told by the mother of a Japanese elementary school student. The other ones I found interesting are: Dare to err by Yanai & How Shiseido went global by Maeda.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good short essays from a list of notables, August 23, 2013
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In particular I liked Carlos Ghosn of Nissan who writes that in Japan change is attainable and lays out a roadmap for how he has done it. Less inspiring are essays that begin " the problem in Japan is" (founder or Uniqlo) ,

I used it as prep for a trip to Japan to sense what the new challenges are for the business environment.
Interestingly while in Japan, many told me how things are: but not one person mentioned the earthquake and tsunami until I asked.
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4.0 out of 5 stars She's so heavy, February 16, 2012
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This review is from: Reimagining Japan: The Quest for a Future That Works (Hardcover)
This book is surprisingly readable with articles by a wide range of people. For some bizarre reason the publishers have printed the whole thing on the sort of thick glossy paper normally used for pages featuring color prints. It therefore weighs a ton. I'd advise non-body builders to wait for the paperback (assuming, of course, that they select a more normal paper stock for that) as the hardcover is exhausting to hold.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great primer on Japan, past, current and future, July 17, 2011
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This review is from: Reimagining Japan: The Quest for a Future That Works (Hardcover)
I am not an expert on Japan, although I have visited a few times and have closely followed recent events. Due to the breadth of topics and well-known contributors, I thought this book would provide a good overview of the country, its history, politics and culture. Having just completed the book, I am glad to have taken the time to read it and happy to report that it exceeded my expectations on providing me a diverse set of facts and opinions on the country. And it did so in a way that no "textbook" or "history book".

First, a few things readers might want to know about the book: this is not another "earthquake" book; in other words, while the volume has an interesting set of essays about the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami (especially by Mr. Funabashi and Mr. Tricks), the book is focused on a set of broader issues and solutions facing the country. Seeing so many well-known names come together on one topic and country is encouraging.

Second, this is a beautiful book (albeit somewhat heavy!), full of photographs and artwork on every third or fourth page. This is the sort of book that people would want to buy even if you have a Kindle or iPad like me.

Third, with 80 separate essays, many readers may choose not to read every single one. Admittedly, I skipped through a few of them which were of less interest to me. That said, the overwhelmingly majority of the essays are interesting and thought-provoking and rich with information and perspectives. It is difficult to say which essays are the "best": Among my favorites though I would include the essays in Chapters 2 ("Re-thinking Japan's Past and Future"); Chapter 4 ("Re-engaining with the World"); Chapter 8 ("Refreshing the Talent Pool") and Chapter 9 ("Reinvigorating Society"). I particularly enjoyed the contributions on food, sports, society and education and would have wanted even more like this.

This is a great book for anyone with an interest in learning more about Japan; at the same time there are a number of themes within this that arguably are relevant to other countries, including my own, as well.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for anyone who is interested in Contemporary Japan (copied from the Kindle version), July 11, 2011
This review is from: Reimagining Japan: The Quest for a Future That Works (Hardcover)
This book is a great overview of what is happening in Japan now; What are the issues on people's mind and what should be if they are not.
I've actually purchased the Japanese version, the Kindle ver. as well as the hardcover English ver. because I love it so much.
As the book is an overview that cast its coverage over all sorts of topics (e.g.. politics, economics, consumerism, idealism, culture, business, education and technology), there would be some articles that is not of your interest, in fact I have skipped a couple of columns.
But this should not stop you from taking a look at this great juxtaposition of thoughts of current leaders.

What is best about this book is that it is not merely raising the issue but also suggest solutions.

Def. a great read!!

btw, this was apparently written post the big earthquake... impressive!!

Also, the book is super heavy and is full color inside. so will look good on your coffee table, and make you look smart. (
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the 'Must Read' book on Japan in 2011, July 13, 2011
This review is from: Reimagining Japan: The Quest for a Future That Works (Hardcover)
Reimagining Japan is the most important book on Japan since the turn of the century. Japan currently faces unprecedented economic, social and political problems, some of which are related to the Tohoku disasters and some which are firmly founded on the country's inwardly-focused approach to its issues.

Japan needs change and it needs it now if the country wants to retain its position not only as a global leader, but even so much as a global participant. Japan finds itself increasingly irrelevant in world affairs as China, Korea and SE Asia rise to challenges while Japan stagnates.

The book provides an insightful, objective look at Japanese policies, business practices, social norms and existing infrastructure and finds room for improvement in virtually every area. The authors are a diverse mix of prominent Japanese and non-Japanese thinkers, all of whom have a vested personal interests in Japan's future. The authors present common-sense proposals to help address and/or solve the thornier problems in short, concise sections.

In short, this book is a MUST READ for anyone with an interest in Japanese affairs and (in my opinion) should be mandatory reading for every Japanese politician, bureaucrat and business leader.

Kudos the the authors, the editors and everyone on the McKinsey & Co. team for recognizing the need for this book and for having the courage to publish it.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for anyone who is interested in Contemporary Japan, July 11, 2011
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This book is a great overview of what is happening in Japan now; What are the issues on people's mind and what should be if they are not.
I've actually purchased the Japanese version as well as the hardcover English ver. ( not a big fun of the cover image..btw) just because I love this book so much.
As the book is an overview that cast its coverage over all sorts of topics (e.g.. politics, economics, consumerism, idealism, culture, business, education and technology),
there would be some articles that is not of your interest, in fact I have skipped a couple of columns.
but this should not stop you from taking a look at this great juxtaposition of thoughts of current leaders.

what is best about this book is that it is not merely raising the issue but also suggest solutions.

Def. a great read!!

btw, this was apparently written post the big earthquake... impressive!!
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Reimagining Japan: The Quest for a Future That Works
Reimagining Japan: The Quest for a Future That Works by Mark Clifford (Hardcover - July 12, 2011)
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