If you look from a global perspective, Japan is a country with few differences in income and education opportunities. The literacy rate of Japanese is high, and reading is common practice among many people, despite the necessity of understanding a variety of readings for each of the more than 2,500 kanji it takes to read a newspaper.
There is a category of books whose number of publications is greatly expanding, excluding comic books. These are “Shinsho” or small-sized paperbacks. More than 1,500 Shinsho are published in a year, and the number tends to increase year after year. Shinsho occupy a big shelf area at bookstores and are loved by students, office workers, business managers, housewives and the retired elderly.
The fields covered by Shinsho are a wide variety of subjects including history, sociology, psychology and philosophy, not to mention political economy; and the authors are a wide range of experts in the covered fields, led by university professors. But, as for the writing, it is commonly plain and easy to understand.
This book features the introductions of 126 books published in 2016 which were selected from Shinsho and categorized as politics according to the library classification, then translated into English.
Even among expats who are long time residents in Japan and who are well inversed in Japanese conversation, only a very few people are known to have a fascination of Shinsho.
With the English introductions of these books, please try to look into the fruitful fertility of the intellectual world of Shinsho.
「Shinsho, a Peek into Japanese Intellectual Environment（ES BOOKS）」最新刊