This book was originally published in 1974. At the time of publication, the Japanese Parliament, or Diet, tended to be perceived from one of two widely divergent perspectives. On the one hand, it was made to appear as an institution operating according to parliamentary norms, as epitomised by the British model. On the other hand, it was denigrated as being nothing more than the setting for periodic scenes of violence. This introductory study was intended to provide a less stereotyped assessment of this national legislature. Some ten years went into the process of researching the subject. Extensive periods of residence in Japan allowed the author to observe the Diet in action, to interview (in Japanese) many of the members, their administrative assistants, the Diet's Secretariat, Japanese newsmen reporting the legislative process, and Japanese political scientists. Insofar as possible, a conscious effort was made to avoid American and European biases and to present the Diet as an institution operating within Japanese society.