Apr 4 2013
Colin Marshall: Western Ex-Pats in Post-War Japan
Donald Richie in Tokyo's entertainment district of Asakusa, 1954. | Donald Richie/Stephen Mansfield.
The 1950s through the 80s saw Japan go from post-war disrepair to world-frightening powerhouse, adapting and even improving all manner of Western inventions from cars and consumer electronics to jeans and rock music. While America and Britain observed these developments from afar, a number of expatriate writers registered more thoughtful assessments of the rapidly changing situation on the ground. These Westerners, many of whom first came to Japan during the Second World War, brought outside perspectives to this endlessly fascinating era of unprecedented—and unsurpassed—Japanese development and engagement with the world.
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