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Japan As Number One: Lessons for America

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Japan As Number One: Lessons for America [ペーパーバック]

Ezra F. Vogel
5つ星のうち 5.0  レビューをすべて見る (1 件のカスタマーレビュー)





1979年、日本で70万部を超えるベストセラーとなった『ジャパン アズ ナンバーワン』。日本経済の破竹の勢いを外から分析し、欧米諸国に警戒心を促す1冊であった。


本書は、2つの論旨から成り立っている。1つは前述の問いに対する答えだ。著者が『ジャパン アズ ナンバーワン』を執筆した動機や当時の米国経済の状況に加え、80年代以降に日本は何を間違え、逆に米国は日本から何を学び成長の糧としたのかを述べて同書の正当性を主張する。


(日経ビジネス2000/6/12号 Copyright©日経BP社.All rights reserved.)
-- 日経ビジネス --このテキストは、絶版本またはこのタイトルには設定されていない版型に関連付けられています。


Based on the most up-to-date sources, as well as extensive research and direct observation, Japan as Number One analyzes the island nation's development into one of the world's most effective industrial powers, in terms of not only economic productivity but also its ability to govern efficiently, to eduate its citizens, to control crime, to alleviate energy shortages, and to lessen pollution. Ezra Vogel employs criteria that America has traditionally used to measure success in his thoughtful demonstration of how and why Japanese institutions have coped far more effectively than their American counterparts.


  • ペーパーバック: 292ページ
  • 出版社: iUniverse (1999/06)
  • 言語: 英語, 英語, 英語
  • ISBN-10: 1583484108
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583484104
  • 発売日: 1999/06
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 1.9 x 15.3 x 22.6 cm
  • おすすめ度: 5つ星のうち 5.0  レビューをすべて見る (1 件のカスタマーレビュー)
  • Amazon ベストセラー商品ランキング: 洋書 - 82,911位 (洋書のベストセラーを見る)
  •  カタログ情報、または画像について報告

  • 目次を見る



2 人中、1人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 The must-have book, even now! 2011/11/16
The important book I finally got hold of. Never too late to buy this and enjoy it!
Amazon.com で最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー (beta)
Amazon.com: 5つ星のうち 3.7  6 件のカスタマーレビュー
9 人中、8人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 4.0 A Prescient Essay Which Still Holds Lessons For Today 2008/7/9
By Etienne ROLLAND-PIEGUE - (Amazon.com)
I have just finished Ezra Vogel's Japan as Number One and I found it a surprisingly good book. I say surprisingly good because I had some preconceived notions about the book without having even read it. I thought that it was full of cliches, that it was too positive about Japan and that it ignored the bad aspects of Japanese economy and society, that it wasn't based on serious research and that one could only learn distorted lessons from it.

And in a way all these criticisms proved to be true: the cliches in the book are those generalizations that Japanese love to repeat about themselves, especially in the presence of foreigners; painting a rosy picture was all too natural for a country that had experienced more than two decades of unprecedented growth and overcome the first oil shock; most of the structural weaknesses of the Japanese economy were not already visible (although the book does pinpoint social weaknesses), Western scholars who had studied contemporary Japan were only a handful, and the knowledge base was very thin; and the book proved too pessimistic in its depiction of American ills that it thought could be cured by drawing lessons from the Japanese model.

So what makes it a good book? First, one has to consider the date when it was published: 1979. At that time, an academic pretending that Japan was a number one nation may only have invited incredulity and bewilderment. Americans knew very little about Japan or, if they did, were mostly attracted to the traditional aspects of its culture and national character. But here was a book that was telling the general public that "Japan has dealt more successfully with more of the basic problems of postindustrial society than any other country", and that "Japanese success had less to do with traditional character traits than with specific organizational structures, policy programs, and conscious planning" that America would do well to imitate. One can barely imagine how new and provocative these statements were at that time. But the book came to define the zeitgeist of the following decade, when learning from Japan was all the rage.

Second, at a time when little was known about Japan, the book gathered an impressive array of knowledge spanning all aspects of Japanese economy and society. This knowledge formed the conventional wisdom about Japan that was to be echoed and amplified in numerous publications, seminars, and everyday conversations. Most of this conventional wisdom is no longer true, and some wasn't even accurate at the time the book was published, but these generalizations inherited from the past still influence the beliefs that foreigners entertain about Japan or the image that Japanese hold about themselves. People who specialize in contemporary Japan will only ignore them at their peril.

Third, although the lessons for America that Vogel identified some thirty years ago may no longer hold, the idea that Japan has lessons for other countries is still as true today as when it was first formulated. The reasons listed by the author are as follows. For one, Japan, unlike Western countries, has consciously examined and restructured all traditional institutions on the basis of rational considerations and offers the best example of intelligent design in modern societies. A second reason why Japan is a useful mirror is that of all the industrialized democratic countries, Japan, as the only non-Western one, is the most distinctive, and thus offers must sought-after variance that allows the testing of hypotheses and the validation of theories. Third, circumstance has forced Japan to pioneer in confronting problems that other developed countries later experienced with a time lag. If only by its failures and challenges, Japan still holds lessons for America and other Western countries.
2 人中、2人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 4.0 It's tough to stay on top... 2012/12/29
By John P. Jones III - (Amazon.com)
Ezra Vogel is a Harvard educated and based scholar on the Far East. He has published 10 or so books on the area, including ones on China, Korea, and "the four tigers." In 1979, when this work was published, it advanced the controversial thesis that America had already been eclipsed economically. Japan's success was primarily attributed to the flexibility and willingness of their governing institutions to do what worked, shorn of ideological considerations. And, they had an "industrial policy," with the government picking and supporting likely "winners," and closing down the "losers."

There is an old adage on Wall Street that when a company makes the cover of a popular news magazine, touted as a success, then it is time to sell it short. All the good news has been "fully discounted." Vogel's book was a bit too "cutting edge" to merit the same fate. Japan continued to flourish, as he indicated, for another entire decade, before its ludicrous real estate "house of cards" collapsed in 1989 (as one indicator, the land under the Imperial Palace in Tokyo was valued at more than all the land in California). Hum, real estate "games" does have a familiar ring.

Vogel is knowledgeable. He had been visiting Japan annually, for extended periods, for two decades prior to this work's publication. His first chapter is entitled the Japanese "miracle" and recounts how it quickly recovered from the utter devastation of World War II. In part, the "clean slate" allowed them to have a fresh look, and actually make changes in the way their society was organized, with very real poverty being a constant goad to pragmatism. He says that if there is a single factor that explains their success, it is a group-directed quest for knowledge. Although it has a strange ring to American ears, the phrase "dedicated government bureaucrat," specifically and in particular, those who worked at M.I.T.I. (Ministry of International Trade and Industry) and who ran their "industrial policy" were also an essential component to Japan's success. Vogel devotes chapters to their political institutions and practices (hint: they were no dysfunctional deadlocks), to their large companies that were promoted to be global competitors, as well as chapters on their basic education, crime control and welfare, key societal components whose smooth functioning supported their economic efforts.

A few of the key observations that I noted: Japanese society was far more equalitarian than America's in 1970, with an income ratio of 4.3 between the highest and lowest quintile in Japan compared to 7.1 in the USA( and that was 1970, long before the aggrandizement of the 1%); Japan had 10,000 lawyers compared to 340,000 in the USA; and perhaps most importantly, in the USA, "we have supported egoism and self-interest and have damaged group or common interests" (the Ayn Rand syndrome?)

Vogel was no Pollyanna; he identified the problems, but he was not prescient enough to predict the factors that would led to Japan's stagnation over the last two decades, and even suggest that China might eclipse Japan in turn. I do note his recent book, published in 2011, Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China might provide some insights. Overall, a solid achievement, that is now somewhat dated. 4-stars.
40 人中、27人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 1.0 Closer to Fiction than Non-Fiction 2004/1/26
By Abiola Lapite - (Amazon.com)
This was the book that launched a thousand other efforts in the "Japan Hyping" that marked the Bubble Economy of the 1980s. The very same qualities that Vogel pointed out as key to Japan's success, and thoroughly worthy of emulation, are now attributed as being the cause of the country's post-bubble stagnation, and it is laughable to think that the Japanese edition of this book was an all-time bestseller on the country's non-fiction list. Who still advocates taking lessons from Japan on education, finance or corporate governance today?
Ezra Vogel deserves a place of honor alongside Paul Ehrlich and other would-be prophets of the future whose prophecies ended up being egregiously far off the mark. His book should
be read, if at all, as a caution against buying into journalistic hype, a problem those susceptible to today's China-boosting would do well to take heed of; the future is rarely a straightforward extrapolation of the past.
5つ星のうち 4.0 Older book, but great info 2013/10/12
By Kiandra Foster - (Amazon.com)
Japan as Number One is an older book (originally printed in 1979), but it still provides some really great, pertinent information about Japan.
11 人中、7人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 4.0 True Foresight: The jury is still out 2006/12/13
By Timothy Takemoto - (Amazon.com)
Written in 1979 before the world new just how big that little country on the edge of Asia was going to be, this book prefigured the realisation if not the reality of Japan's rise to economic power by a decade. In that decade many more 'Japan Hype' books came out, and a decade or two later the "Japanese miracle" is seen as a debacle. But Japanese economy remains the second largest in the world and there are still lessons to be learned from the Japanese in various areas such as education (still doing far better than the US despite the lack of inter-school competition), public safety (still way up at the top of the OECD tables), and manufacturing technology and management. Japan has its problems, and so does the US, but who would have thought, when this book was written, that the Japanese economy and Japanese way, would compare almost on a par with that of the USA some thirty years later? Which economy will turn out to be 'number one' is still open to debate, but as a book that started the debate, it deserves to be read for its insight.

Furthermore, despite the initial postwar success of the Japanese economy the Japanese have and continue to import Western economic, educational and management systems wholesale, with decreasing sucess. Who knows, perhaps if this book had been read *more* in Japan, and the Japanese had more confidence in their own convictions, the Japanese way might even still be flourishing. The Japanese themselves, increasingly nationalist and increasingly self-confident, are starting to think so.
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