Why and How of this Website

Authors wish to reach an audience, the larger the better. I am no exception.
    I think and write about political and economic subjects, about history and social institutions, with the aim of discovering unexpected connections. But because a large amount of what I have written was in books and articles aimed at a Japanese audience (having lived for most of my life in East Asia), this remained hidden from most of you.
    From the turn of the century onward I have written a lot about what was happening in the world’s most powerful country and what that might mean for the rest of us. But much of that remained hidden as well through vagaries of the publishing trade.There are things I have thought about that may interest you. I hope that you will find some of my hobby-horses worth your time as well.

Why Japan And The Unites States

    You will notice that as far as countries go I appear preoccupied with the United States and Japan. That has a reason. I lived in Japan for all of my career as a foreign correspondent – as a base for journeys to parts of East and South Asia – as well as roughly a decade before and after that. There is no other country that has been more intellectually stimulating to me. Trying to make sense of its political and social life forced me to conceptualize things that otherwise would have remained routine, taken for granted. I concluded some time ago that Japan, when regarded with serious and sympathic curiosity, offers laboratory-like conditions for viewing the human condition. The political culture that developed during centuries of isolation moulded a society that in many respects appears farthest away from social experience based on European and American habits.