After World War II, Japan was a leader in the worldwide movement toward an evolving nationalism, as well as a conversion of its economy into both a wealthy and a decidedly democratic one. In the 1970s and 1980s, cultural nationalism re-emerged, with the claim that economic accomplishment was the product of Japanese cultural eccentricity rather than of the progressive nationalist rules of the former quarter-century.
Japanese society experienced an abundant amount of social changes after 1945. Families were smaller, women gradually partook in paid labor, urban life substituted the rural community as the shared environment in which children were raised and social contact took place. These changes also brought new problems as well, the biggest being industrial pollution. The government answered with new policies, and normal citizens used their old customs to give meaning to the present. Japanese cities become more suitable and safe for everyone.
There were still problems underneath the external prosperity. It masked an uneven distribution of prosperity and there was discrimination against those observed to be "different." An escape from the pressures of contemporary life was the use of films, television, nightlife, and comic books (manga) that are sometimes brash and violent. Classification of social problems as medical diseases seems to concentrate attention on solving personal problems and away from social level causes, such as the underprivileged, gender roles, or the absence of aid in caring for sick and elderly family members.
The speed and pace of life in Japan would feel comfortable to Westerners. However, the Japanese approach it with a distinctive view resulting from an assortment of spiritual and materialistic traditions, accentuating human relations. Many Japanese are prepared to delay rewards in order to put forward their best efforts for their groups and to avoid open conflict. The external world is an arena of intense competition. Family,...