In Japan, beer has been known, since the 1960s, as the “beverage of the masses,” and whisky culture has roots stretching back to the 1950s. Meanwhile, methamphetamine was first developed in Japan and came to be sold commercially by the 1940s, and the country has also experimented with homegrown hangover drugs. By combining studies on each of these products and marketplaces, Drinking Bomb and Shooting Meth explores the efforts of those who brewed, distilled, synthesized, and marketed Western alcohol and innovative pharmaceuticals. Jeffrey W. Alexander asks how these products became so popular, available, and fashionable, and explores what their advertising campaigns say about Japan’s shifting culture, which is often quick to absorb and refine foreign wares. Alexander’s research highlights themes like the seedy reputation of early bars, the style of prewar beer advertising, the scourge of illicit postwar liquor, the promises offered by hangover pills, and the swift campaign to demonize meth and eradicate its use. Examining these products, as well as their innovators and advertisers, offers us unique and rich perspectives on Japan’s experience with drugs and alcohol.