Greenfeld, the half-Japanese, half-Caucasian American Tokyo correspondent for The Nation, has written about a little-known, seamy subculture in Japan that became more prominent with the collapse of the ˝bubble˝ economy of the 1980s. In 12 compelling chapters, Greenfeld covers the grimier aspects of Tokyo’s urban society: organized crime, the nightclub scene, motorcycle gangs (the eponymous bosozoku), computer hackers, ultra-right-wing nationalists, and the porn industry. His focus on individuals brings a sense of immediacy as his high-speed narrative highlights the flaws in Japan’s society without bashing it. Steven Wardell’s forthcoming Rising Sons and Daughters: Life Among Japan’s New Young (Plympton Pr. International) focuses on teens in Kyushu and presents a more positive picture of their lives. These two books show Japan as a complex society much more like ours than people may have realized. The absence of an index makes this more suitable for most public libraries.
Katharine L. Kan, Aiea P.L., Hawaii