Japan Unbound is a book by UC Santa Barbara professor John Nathan that examines the underlying identity crisis in Japanese society today. [1]

The author contends that this was brought on by Japan's transformation after its industrialization after the Meiji Restoration, its militaristic expansion during World War II, the Japanese post-war economic miracle and the subsequent collapse of its bubble economy.

Children born during the late 1980s are facing a different future outlook than their parents due to stagnation of the economy. A job no longer means a lifelong career within a company.

This causes unrest that is seen in high school classes where many teens are unsure of their place in society, adopting an aggressive attitude towards their elders and society in general to vent their anger.

Identity crisis among the adult population. During its economic boom, Japanese salarymen could look forward to permanent employment within a corporation. Promotion was guaranteed, and life was secure.

The identity of individual Japanese is derived from their occupation. A corporation is like a clan and absolute loyalty guarantees rewards. But after the bursting of the Japanese asset price bubble, many salarymen are being laid off and this prompts the question "What does it mean to be Japanese?" Many are turning to Japanese nationalism in order to find an identity.

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