Despite years of stagnation, Japan remains one of the world's largest ecomies and a country which exerts a remarkable cultural fascination. David Pilling's new book is an entertaining, deeply kwledgeable and surprising analysis of a group of islands which have shown great resilience, both in the face of financial distress and when confronted with the overwhelming disaster of the 2011 earthquake and resulting tsunami. Bending Adversity is a superb work of reportage and the essential book even for those who already feel they kw the country well. 'If you had time only for one book on Japan, you should start and finish with Pilling's.' Edward Luce, author of In Spite of the Gods 'Whether writing about the bubble and its aftermath, persistent deflation, or the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and Fukushima nuclear disaster, Pilling uses individual stories to starkly reveal the truth about Japan.' Ryu Murakami 'Pilling wants to rescue Japan from the standard one-dimensional images of the country as some sort of model or cautionary tale . . . we need to read this book and find that Japan is a much more interesting and engaging place, for all its flaws and frustrations.' Bill Emmott, Literary Review 'His argument is simple. What happened to Japan is w coming to the West . . . The book emphasises the resilience of the ordinary Japanese . . . There has to be a way, says Pilling, that we can live without growth. This fascinating and timely book shows us where to look for it.' Harriet Sergeant, Spectator 'Hugely enjoyable and perceptive . . . he places the denunciations of two allegedly 'lost decades' in the context of what the country is really like.' Chris Patten, Financial Times 'A superb book that, better than any other I have read, manages to get the reader inside the skin of Japanese society . . . astutely observed . . . a great read brimming with insights.' Japan Times
David Pilling is the Asia Editor of the Financial Times. He was Tokyo Bureau Chief from 2002-08, and has won several awards for his columns on Japan and China. He is currently based in Hong Kong.