Friends who read early drafts o f this book commented on how lucky I was to have worked with the HILL researchers. How exciting it must be, they said, to work with those who develop new cultural categories to describe changes in Japanese society. It is, I admit, appealing to imagine that one has stepped backstage in a major example o f the Japanese culture industries, where master manipulators study and shape how the Japanese public sees itself. To be seen as able to explain how the trick is done would be even more delightful. But any such pretence is unsustainable.