The main theme of the book is the complex relationship between the patterns of Japanese modernity and the civilizational legacy on which they continue to grow. The author discusses the East Asian regional context of Japanese civilization, deals with the dynamics of state formation and the attendant cultural transformations in pre-modern Japan, and suggests ways of comparing the Japanese experience to the West. Presenting Japan as a test case for relating the emerging problems of multiple modernities to civilizational perspectives, the book examines the economic foundations as well as the philosophical self-interpretations of Japanese modernity.
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