Making Meaningful Lives: Tales from an Aging Japan by Iza Kavedžija

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In Making Meaningful Lives, Iza Kavedžija offers a unique, close-up account of the complex issue of aging in Japan. The book’s greatest value is in its anthropological, ethnographic approach, which allows the reader to understand how aging is more than simply a negative process that results in gradual decline, or a societal problem that requires top-down policies to address. Conversely, the text examines a range of phenomena associated with the experience of aging, many of which are Japan-specific or affected by Japan’s distinct sociocultural milieu. This allows Kavedžija to support her overarching argument that “the issues of aging and the good and meaningful life are inextricably connected” (p. 4). Furthermore, the book adopts the perspective of the author’s interlocutors, providing a fascinating range of accounts that convincingly substantiate its central thesis and bring forth first-person insights into how aging permeates the boundaries between state-society relations and personal interactions within individual lived experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-202
Number of pages2
JournalJapan Review
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Japanese Studies
  • Aging
  • Aging Society

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