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Bending Adversity, a Portrait of Contemporary Japan

Wednesday, February 12, 2014   19:30 - 21:00

  • David Pilling (Asia Editor of the Financial Times)

David Pilling will talk about his newly released book Bending Adversity, a portrait of contemporary Japan. Throughout its history, Japan has weathered calamities from natural disasters such as the 2011 tsunami to crushing defeat in war and its more recent loss of economic vigour.   Drawing on a wide range of contemporary Japanese voices and on the author’s own experiences living in Japan as a foreign correspondent for six years his book draws together many threads – economics, history, politics and contemporary reportage – together in one volume.  Bending Adversity’s publication coincides with a surge of renewed interest in Japan, still the most important US ally in Asia, as its territorial disputes heat up dangerously with China, as it attempts a radical revival of its economy and as the Fukushima nuclear disaster rumbles on.

Bending Adversity Book Review:

“This is the first, groundbreaking rendition to come out on Japan’s Lost Decades. David Pilling, one of our era’s most perceptive observers and journalists on Asia, has described the age in a manner both profound and engaging – reminiscent in this vein of John Dower’s great opus, Embracing Defeat.”
— Yoichi Funabashi, Chairman Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation and former editor in chief of the Asahi Shimbun

Bending Adversity is a superb reappraisal of the so-called ‘lost decade(s)’ of contemporary Japan.”
— David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

“Whether writing about the bubble and its aftermath, persistent deflation, or the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and Fukushima nuclear disaster, Pilling uses individual stories to starkly reveal the truth about Japan.”
— Ryu Murakami, author of Coin Locker Babies


Date & Time:
Wednesday, February 12, 2014   19:30 - 21:00 (Doors open at 19:00)
2F, Azabu Hall
Temple University, Japan Campus
2-8-12 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Jeff Kingston, Director of Asian Studies, TUJ
If possible, we ask you to register by E-mail (icas@tuj.temple.edu) , but we always welcome participants even you do not register. / 参加登録はなしでも参加できますので、直接会場へお越しください。


David Pilling

Asia Editor of the Financial Times

David Pilling is the Asia Editor of the Financial Times, overseeing coverage of the region, including China, India and Japan. He writes an award-winning weekly column on Asian affairs and frequently interviews leading regional figures from the worlds of politics, business and the arts.  He was FT Bureau Chief in Tokyo from 2002 to 2008. His book Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival will be published by Penguin in January 2014.