The Chrysanthemum and the Sword by Ruth Benedict is an essential study of WWII Japan, with an emphasis of understanding the Japanese through their lens, as opposed to an American one. Commissioned in 1944, it is a sympathetic study of 'the enemy' that humanizes the nation while ignoring Japan's own history of conquest. A critique of the book by Sonya Ryang points out this fact, and refered to other critiques, and critiques of those critiques. Some reactions are positive because Benedict's book revolutionized anthropological methodology and it is quoted to this day. Others are critical of its 'new form of racism', seeing the text as only American propaganda disguised as benevolence.
Videogames by James Newman, begins with a chapter that basically tries to defend videogames as something worthy of being taken seriously. I understand the need for that from a scholarly stand point, but as a gamer, it is superfluous. It reminds me of when the late movie critic Roger Ebert decried that videogames can never be considered art (and subsequently recanted that position, having never played them). As he put it, Okay kids, play on my lawn!
Modern Japan: Origins of the Mind - Japanese Traditions and Approaches to Contemporary Life by Aleksandr Prasol is very beneficial to understand the origins of the cultural behavior of modern Japanese. A 1500 year history of the Imperial House of Japan highlights the relationship between leadership and the divine, the loyalties of aristocratic and warrior clans, and the principles of ceremony carried into the modern world. It looks at Japan's mandate to imitate, adapt and innovate, which can perhaps explain the meteoric rise of Nintendo and Sega that took gaming out of the arcades and into your living room.
Note: while creating this post, I messed up and lost my notes. So I kinda had to just wing it.
Benedict, Ruth. The chrysanthemum and the sword N.p.: Marnier, 1946. Print.
Ryang, Sonya. “JPRI Occasional Paper No. 32.” JPRI Occasional Paper No. 32. N.p., July 2004.
Newman, James. Videogames [second edition] N.p.,: Routledge, January 2013. Print.
Prasol, A. F. Modern Japan: Origins of the Mind: Japanese Traditions and Approaches to Contemporary Life. http://login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat00362a&AN=neos.5