HNN has posted an extended version of the Soft and Fuzzy history I posted a few days ago. What I’ve added, for the general readership, is more background on the LDP:
The survival of the LDP as the dominant party in Japan for so many post-war decades was a combination of historical luck, savvy leadership, and the cooptation of successful minor party issues. The collapse of the LDP was a combination of historical misfortune, a leadership vacuum, and the realignment of minor parties to create a viable alternative.
The rise and fall of the Yoshida Doctrine and the factional nature of the ’55 System LDP are at the center of the argument.
Meanwhile, the NYT has a Philip Underwood piece explaining how “In Japan, by contrast, failure traditionally carries a deeper stigma, an enduring shame that limits the appetite for risk, in the view of many of the nation’s cultural observers. This makes the Japanese far less comfortable with choices that increase the prospect of failure, even if they promise greater potential gains.” Ugh.