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Lovesick Japan: Sex * Marriage * Romance * Law Hardcover – Illustrated, April 15, 2011
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"Tranquil, according to Mark D. West, Japanese love is not. Happy it is not. And comforting it is not.... A prolific and brilliant legal scholar, West draws these conclusions from Japanese court opinions. Some of them concern criminal prosecutions for rape or murder. Others involve civil suits for divorce or damages. West carefully and thoughtfully combs these opinions for discussions of love, sex, marriage, and romance, teasing out what judges think about it all.... West reads these court opinions with care and intelligence (with, frankly, extraordinary care and intelligence)."-- J. Mark Ramseyer, Monumenta Nipponica
"Nobody else explores the law in Japan quite like Mark West, bringing it to life and close to home. Lovesick Japan is an entertaining and insightful examination of the courts, pulling eye-popping gems from judges' opinions that speak volumes about their proclivity for peeping, prodding, moralizing and otherwise creeping into the bedroom in adjudicating marriage, divorce, rape, stalking and pornography.... But there is much more to Lovesick Japan than a series of absurd rulings; here we are shown how sermonizing judges try to shape society in their own image.... Often they go well beyond the law to decide cases based on nonfactual, subjective elements, sometimes with unfortunate consequences."-- Jeff Kingston, Japan Times
"In Lovesick Japan, Mark D. West ingeniously bridges the public-private divide to examine how judicial opinions describe and shape the intimate life of a nation. The portrait that emerges is darkly unsettling. In unearthing it, West again displays the care and creativity that have made him an indispensable commentator on Japanese law and society."-- Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University School of Law
- Item Weight : 0.988 ounces
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0801449472
- ISBN-13 : 978-0801449475
- Product Dimensions : 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Cornell University Press; Illustrated Edition (April 15, 2011)
- Reading level : 18 and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,455,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Now, is this book full of legal terms, explanations, and long quotations from court decisions? Yes, indeed it is. That is the entire point of the book: disciphering what love, sex, and marriage mean to the Japanese through legal decisions and practices. I'm a law student, and so I'll admit I'm biased towards works that take the legal route in explaining something. I also happen to think Japanese culture as a whole is quite fascinating, being that it is in many ways the polar opposite of American culture.
Here, Professor West is using Japanese judges as the looking glass through which we peer into the depths of Japanese relationships; sometimes cooky, sometimes sad, and always thought provoking. For someone who is unfamiliar with law or is uninterested in reading legal opinions, this book might not be the best choice. While it is a strength of the book that it focuses so heavily on judicial opinions, it does make it less accessible to a wider audience. But, for anyone who is mildly interested in either the law or Japan (or Japanese law), this book is a must-read. Plus, at a paltry 272 pages, it is hardly a legal tome.
I look forward to reading Professor West's other books about Japanese law.