So I just got this book, "The Enigma Of Japanese Power" and the author says in the intro that the book is not about Japan bashing. But then he goes on to do just that.
He bashes the infrastructure "Urban housing is cramped, confined and extraordinarily costly. The cost of living measured against average income, is exorbitantly high. Commuter trains are extremely crowded, the road system is ridiculously inadequate. These and other deficiencies in the infrastructure of daily living leave average Japanese city dwellers with a lower standard of comfort than that enjoyed by their counterparts in less wealthy European countries"
He's right on a few points, the cost of living is crazy high, and trains are crowded. But I like my small apartment and the "cramped" urban environment that gives me quick and easy access to everything I need.
Then he bashes Japanese art "One can hardly say that much emanates from Japan today that enhances the less materialist aspects of life in the way of great music, great literature or even impressive architecture."
Considering Japanese art like video games and anime are the main reason I originally became interested in Japan, I'd say this guy is just a snob with crappy taste. Since living here I've discovered Haruki Murakami, easily my 2nd favorite author after John Green, now Paulo Coelho is only my 3rd favorite, haha.