Document Type

Book Review


Professor Frank K. Upham's Law and Social Change in Postwar Japan represents a major contribution to Western understanding of the process of legal change in Japan. In four excellent case studies spanning subject matters as diverse as the treatment of minorities and industrial planning, Upham reveals a legal culture of considerable complexity, which challenges simple generalizations. From this material, Upham seeks to derive a number of central themes. Certain of these themes are insightful and solidly supported by Upham's own case studies and other materials on Japanese law. Other themes are more speculative, raising the danger that many of the complexities Upham has so effectively identified may again be lost from sight behind a new set of stereotypes. In any event, this book seems likely to generate considerable debate over the nature of law and legal change in Japan.