"Mary Alice Haddad's book unravels some of the complex puzzles surrounding Japan's changing norms of democracy and how can coexist with vestiges of often undemocratic traditions. She shows that democracy is about far more than formal political institutions, involving as well the values and social interactions that embed democracy in the day-to-day behavior of people's lives. This book will be welcomed by students of Japan and also those interested in democracy, political institutions, and state-society relations."-T.J. Pempel, University of California, Berkeley
"This book offers a fresh and original perspective on Japan's democratization and on democratic transitions more generally. Surprisingly, given Japan's importance, most theories of democratic change fail to explain why Japan's top-down democracy took root. Mary Alice Haddad offers a new 'state-in-society' model to show how citizens at the grassroots level embraced and advanced an alien set of arrangements and made them work. Haddad offers a compelling argument and at the same time tells a fascinating story. Here is a book that merits a wide readership."-Susan J. Pharr, Harvard University
"At a time when nations like Tunisia and Egypt are embarking on paths toward democracy, Mary Alice Haddad offers us a reminder that nations that have trod this road before have taken a long time to get there. Her fascinating portrayal of the fits and starts experienced by Japan over the postwar period is a reminder that we likely won't see 'real' democracy in these most recent transitions until today's children make up a majority of the voters."-Leonard Schoppa, University of Virginia
"By intensive interviews of Japanese citizens and broad reading, Mary Alice Haddad has found how ordinary Japanese citizens played an active role in shaping a more democratic political structure. The trend toward greater democracy had been developing after World War II. It accelerated when a tipping point was reached as a new generation of young people with different perspectives replaced the seniors and began to take a more active role in expanding democracy."-Ezra F. Vogel, Harvard University
This book explains how Japan became a democracy, a process much more complex and interesting than merely adopting a U.S.-drafted constitution. The book's main purpose is to offer more of a grassroots perspective and holistic understanding of Japan's democratization process and examine what it means for the nation today. The book is primarily focused on understanding contemporary Japan.