Japan today is at an important historical juncture. Buffeted inrecent years by rapid economic, social, and political change, yet stillvery much steeped in custom and history, the nation has become anamalgam of the traditional and the modern. As a result, the country hasbecome increasingly difficult to categorize: how are we to representtoday's Japan effectively, and fairly predict its future? How canthe opposing forces of "change" and "continuity" bereconciled in order to understand the nation as a cohesive whole?This critical, multi-disciplinary collection explores theconvergence of past and future in contemporary Japan. Contributorscomment on a wide range of economic, socio-cultural, and politicaltrends -- such as the mobilization of Japanese labour, the burgeoningAinu identity movement, and the shifting place of the modern woman --and conclude that despite the rapid changes, many of the traditionalfacets of Japanese society have remained intact. Institutional change,they assert, is unlikely to occur quickly, and Japan must findalternate ways to adjust to 21st century pressures of globalcompetition and interdependence. A pleasure to read, this broad volumewill be welcomed by upper level undergraduates, graduates, andspecialists in Japanese studies.