• Inventing Japan [Modern Library Chronicles]

  • By: Ian Buruma
  • Narrated by: Nelson Runger
  • Length: 6 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Asia
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (107 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

LA Times Book Award winner and expert on the past and present Japan, Ian Buruma examines the transformation of a country. Following Japan's history from its opening to the West in 1853 to its hosting of the 1964 Olympics, Buruma focuses on how figures such as Commodore Matthew Perry, Douglas MacArthur, and Emperor Mitsushito helped shape this complex country.
©2002 Ian Buruma (P)2002 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Inventing Japan [Modern Library Chronicles]

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Primer on Modern Japan

I could have used this audiobook a couple years ago when I took Japanese Politics in college. This covered all of the important developments, social phenomena, etc., that went into the making of modern Japan. The chronology starts at the end of the Tokugawa shogunate and describes clearly the Meiji Restoration, Taisho Democracy, Showa and the militarist war government so that you get a very good sense of how one period flowed into the next to make Japan what it is today -- essentially a one-party corporate state managed by the LDP. The roles of left and right radicals, gangsters, fixers and the American occupation authorities are all discussed. If I'd had this in school, I could have gotten an A+.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not much left in my head after listening

Would you listen to Inventing Japan [Modern Library Chronicles] again? Why?

Maybe

Any additional comments?

I guess, I am not a fan of these kind of fast-paced overviews of the historical events: too many names, too much information. Not much left in my head after the listen.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

okay, but not well organized

okay, but not well organized ...it did have some interesting points. but was just ok

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The epic story of Imperial era Japan

If you could sum up Inventing Japan [Modern Library Chronicles] in three words, what would they be?

Japan is cool.

What did you like best about this story?

This is one of those histories that reads like a story. Eminently listenable.

What aspect of Nelson Runger’s performance would you have changed?

The narrator simply did not know how to pronounce Japanese words correctly.

Any additional comments?

For people looking for a quick introduction to modern Japanese history, look no further.