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This important book translates seven landmark essays by one of Japan's most respected and influential legal thinkers. While Takao Tanase concedes that law might not matter as much in Japan as it does in the United States, in a provocative challenge to socio-legal researchers and comparative lawyers, he asks: why should it? The issue, he contends, is not whether law matters to society; it is how society matters to law. Developing a descriptive and normative theory of community and the law, the author directly challenges the view that legal liberalism represents the pinnacle of legal achievement. He criticises liberalism for destroying community in the United States and for offering false hope for a delayed modernity in Japan.
By applying a distinctive interpretivist methodology, he constructs a communitarian model of law and society that serves as an alternative to legal liberalism. The book challenges conventional understandings of such legal sociological staples as torts, lawyers' ethics, family law, human rights, constitutionalism and litigiousness. This fascinating book will prove a stimulating, thought provoking read for researchers and scholars of law, Japanese and American studies, sociology and jurisprudence.