The Guest Cat: Takashi Hiraide
The Sunday Times and New York Times Bestseller A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo. They work at home as freelance writers. They no longer have very much to say to one another. One day a cat invites itself into their small kitchen. She is a beautiful creature. She leaves, but the next day comes again, and then again and again. New, small joys accompany the cat; the days have more light and colour. Life suddenly seems to have more promise for the husband and wife; they go walking together, talk and share stories of the cat and its little ways, play in the nearby Garden. But then something happens that will change everything again. The Guest Cat is an exceptionally moving and beautiful novel about the nature of life and the way it feels to live it. Written by Japanese poet and novelist Takashi Hiraide, the book won Japan´s Kiyama Shohei Literary Award, and was a bestseller in France and America.
This book provides insightful observations and analyses of Asian citizens behaviour associated with requests to get a permit in conditions typically characterized by bureaucratic callousness. Using the AsiaBarometer Survey data on quality of life, it studies various types of behaviour using the multi-level regression models for 32 countries. In doing so, the book provides insights into how these societies cope with the states bureaucratism using Albert Hirschmans concepts of Exit, Voice and Loyalty. Arguments are then juxtaposed with issues such as rampant corruption, government regulatory principles and measures, and calls by international organisations and non-governmental groups for business firms to be more strictly bound. Given the generally receding tide of democracy in Asian societies, this book will be of interest to academics, business, mass media and other professionals. Takashi Inoguchi is a PhD at MIT, Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and former President of the University of Niigata Prefecture and current University Guest Professor of J.F. Oberlin University (Tokyo). His latest works include The Quality of Life in Asia, Japanese Politics Today, Political Parties and Democracy and The Troubled Triangle.