Fifteenth in the Portraits of the Nations Series, and measuring up to the high standard set by that useful series. The author, with an extensive background on the Orient herself, spent some time in Japan where her husband has a key job in the Occupation. A book such as this is particularly important now, when an up to date view of Japan of today, a backward look at Japan of yesterday, an understanding glimpse of Japan of tomorrow should be part of every young person's background. Against a concise but vivid picture of the physical appearance of the country, she explores the beauties, the natural resources, sharply limited as they are, the aspects of agriculture and industry. She gives us an inside glimpse of the houses and home life, something of the marriage customs, the religious beliefs, the holidays and ceremonials, the superstitions. There is less about education than one could wish, possibly because it is in a state of flux. There is a brief summary of the new constitution. The history falls into three main parts. And the final chapters deal with the chief cities of Japan.