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Japan's Showa era began in 1926 when Emperor Hirohito took the throne and ended on his death in 1989. The formative age of modern Japan, it was undoubtedly the most momentous, calamitous, successful and glamorous period in Japan's recent history. Today, Showa is a beacon for nostalgia that is memorialized yearly in a national holiday. An era of growth and prosperity, it saw Japan go from an isolated, embattled nation to a peaceful country holding the exalted position of the world's second largest economy.

Showa Japan is a clear-sighted exploration of the Showa era as it really was—not only a time of wondrous change, security and growth, but also a time of wild spending and excesses in every field that would eventually come crashing to a halt with the bursting of Japan's bubble economy. From the highs of Showa-era extravagance to the lows of the lean years that followed, author Hans Brinckmann, a long-time resident of Japan, examines the impact of the Showa era and its aftermath on every aspect of Japanese society.

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