Japan is a country of contradictions. It is a small island nation with immense economic and cultural influence. Modern in so many ways, its society is often constrained by engrained traditions. Despite the limitations of a pacifistic constitution, it remains an important regional military power and ally to the U.S. Once considered a serious rival to the United States at the end of the late 1980’s, Japan has since become a shell of its former economic self, including a recession that has lasted for over two decades. This course is an exploration of Japanese culture and the important economic, societal, and historical issues the nation continues to wrestle with in the aftermath of the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck in March 2011.Every Summer.