Happy Youth of a Desperate Country: The Disconnect between Japan's Malaise and Its Millennials (JAPAN LIBRARY) (英語) ハードカバー – 2017/3/27
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Young people in present-day Japan, a socially-polarized society, have been reportedly "unhappy." According to statistics, however, 80 percent of them are currently "satisfied" with life. By drawing attention to this very fact, The Happy Youth of a Desperate Country, a magnum opus by acclaimed sociologist Noritoshi Furuichi, has revoltionized the discourse on youth theory in Japan. Containing more than six hundred footnotes, this work offers a probing examination of the portrait of "young people" and serves as the definitive edition for anyone seeking to attain a wide-ranging grasp of Japan and its "young people," from a defining voice of their generation.
Noritoshi Furuichi was born in 1985 in Tokyo. He is a sociologist and a senior researcher at the Keio Research Institute at Shonan Fujisawa Campus. While still enrolled at The University of Tokyo, where he was as studying in a Ph.D. program, he drew much attention with the publication of Zetsubō no kuni no kōfuku na wakamono-tachi (The Happy Youth of a Desperate Country; Kodansha, 2011). A recipient of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Ikushi Prize, he is also active in a wide variety of fields, including TV shows, in which he makes a ppearances as an emcee and commentator; in the field of publishing; and in politics as a member of a committee of experts at governmental conferences.
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I encountered this book just as I started to question why I feel so comfortable and happy, yet not challenged enough everyday.
This book, I think, answered my question. With interesting facts and figures, I quickly realized that I have bececome a "consummatory" youth,
which led me to feel a certain way about everyday life - comfortable and happy but not challenged.
The interesting thing is that the author captures Japanese youth very objectively and is not even alarmed by their consummatory-ness.
It was an easy read, and I would like to recommend this book to all types of readers, while some sections might be highly culturally-contexted.