Book number: 91742 Product format: Hardback Author: MICHAEL BOOTH

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Bibliophile price £2.50
Published price £20.99

Sub-titled 'A Journey Through the Bitter History and Current Conflicts of China, Korea, and Japan' the book explores the intertwined cultures and often fraught history of these neighbouring countries. Currently China's economic power continues to grow, Japan is becoming more militaristic, and Korea is divided between its westernised South and the dictatorial North. Michael Booth, long fascinated with the region, travels by car, ferry, train and foot, experiencing the people and culture of these nations up close. The burden of history and the memory of past crimes such as the sexual enslavement of women by the Japanese military during World War Two continued to sour relationships. South Korea, Taiwan and Japan ought to be the firmest of allies. All three are democracies with developed economies and significant mutual trade and militarily dependent upon the US. All share grave concerns about China. Although there are obvious ideological and political differences between China and its neighbours, all these countries are deeply intertwined culturally, genetically and historically. China has given its neighbours Confucian philosophy, rice cultivation, Buddhism, porcelain manufacture and tea, as well as the secrets of metallurgy, written language, and the art of calligraphy. In recent times Korea and Japan have also contributed to a great cultural exchange. From Korea have come K-Pop, histrionic TV dramas and very violent movies massively popular throughout China, Japan and beyond constituting the hallyu or Korean wave phenomenon. 'I begin my journey not in a place but a year: 1853. And at this early stage, of one thing I am convinced, if you go back far enough, everything is the fault of the Americans. 315pp, map, US first edition.

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ISBN 9781250114068

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