Cart
  • Free Shipping on all orders in Australia
  • Over 7 million books in stock
  • Proud to be B-Corp
  • We aim to be carbon neutral by 2022
  • Over 120,000 Trustpilot reviews
Item 1 of 0
Pure Invention By Matt Alt

Pure Invention by Matt Alt

Condition - New
$43.79
Only 2 left

Summary

The history of Japan's unprecedented takeover of the global imaginary, as told through the eight packaged fantasies that charmed and changed the world most thoroughly from Hello Kitty and the Karaoke machine to the novels of Haruki Murakami.

Pure Invention Summary

Pure Invention: How Japan's Pop Culture Conquered the World by Matt Alt

'Amazingly well researched, fabulously informative and an awful lot of fun. If you love Japanese culture or are just curious to know more I can't recommend this book highly enough' Jonathan Ross

'A nerd- and generalist-friendly look at how Japan shaped the post-World War II world, from toys to Trump . . . A non-native's savvy study of Japan's wide influence in ways both subtle and profound' Kirkus

The Walkman. Karaoke. Pikachu. Pac-Man. Akira. Emoji. We've all fallen in love with one or another of Japan's pop-culture creations, from the techy to the wild to the super-kawaii. But as Japanese-media veteran Matt Alt proves in this brilliant investigation of Tokyo's pop-fantasy complex, we don't know the half of it.

Japan's toys, gadgets, and fantasy worlds didn't merely entertain. They profoundly transformed the way we live. In the 1970s and '80s, Japan seemed to exist in some near future, soaring on the superior technology of Sony and Toyota while the West struggled to catch up. Then a catastrophic 1990 stock-market crash ushered in the 'lost decades' of deep recession and social dysfunction.

The end of the boom times should have plunged Japan into irrelevance, but that's precisely when its cultural clout soared - when, once again, Japan got to the future a little ahead of the rest of us. Hello Kitty, the Nintendo Entertainment System, and multimedia empires like Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z were more than marketing hits. Artfully packaged, dangerously cute, and dizzyingly fun, these products made Japan the forge of the world's fantasies, and gave us new tools for coping with trying times. They also transformed us as we consumed them - connecting as well as isolating us in new ways, opening vistas of imagination and pathways to revolution.

Through the stories of an indelible group of artists, geniuses, and oddballs, Pure Invention reveals how Japanese ingenuity remade global culture and may have created modern life as we know it. It's Japan's world; we're just gaming, texting, singing, and dreaming in it.

Pure Invention Reviews

A nerd- and generalist-friendly look at how Japan shaped the post-World War II world, from toys to Trump . . . A non-native's savvy study of Japan's wide influence in ways both subtle and profound * Kirkus *
Amazingly well researched, fabulously informative and an awful lot of fun. If you love Japanese culture or are just curious to know more I can't recommend this book highly enough * Jonathan Ross *
A work of startling originality . . . This is a wonderful book, exuberant and joyful, full of love for Japan but a deep appreciation of the sorts of links that get left out of popular accounts - political economies, human-interest stories and technological determinism -- Jonathan Clements * All the Anime blog *

About Matt Alt

Matthew Alt is a writer, translator and reporter. He is the author of several illustrated books about Japan. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Wired, Slate, the Independent and the Japan Times. He is the co-host of the TV show Japanology Plus on NHK World. He lives in Japan.

Additional information

NPB9781472131874
9781472131874
1472131878
Pure Invention: How Japan's Pop Culture Conquered the World by Matt Alt
New
Hardback
Little, Brown Book Group
2020-06-23
368
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a new book - be the first to read this copy. With untouched pages and a perfect binding, your brand new copy is ready to be opened for the first time

Customer Reviews - Pure Invention