Hirohito And The Making Of Modern Japan

Author: Herbert P. Bix

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061860476

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 832

View: 7364


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize In this groundbreaking biography of the Japanese emperor Hirohito, Herbert P. Bix offers the first complete, unvarnished look at the enigmatic leader whose sixty-three-year reign ushered Japan into the modern world. Never before has the full life of this controversial figure been revealed with such clarity and vividness. Bix shows what it was like to be trained from birth for a lone position at the apex of the nation's political hierarchy and as a revered symbol of divine status. Influenced by an unusual combination of the Japanese imperial tradition and a modern scientific worldview, the young emperor gradually evolves into his preeminent role, aligning himself with the growing ultranationalist movement, perpetuating a cult of religious emperor worship, resisting attempts to curb his power, and all the while burnishing his image as a reluctant, passive monarch. Here we see Hirohito as he truly was: a man of strong will and real authority. Supported by a vast array of previously untapped primary documents, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan is perhaps most illuminating in lifting the veil on the mythology surrounding the emperor's impact on the world stage. Focusing closely on Hirohito's interactions with his advisers and successive Japanese governments, Bix sheds new light on the causes of the China War in 1937 and the start of the Asia-Pacific War in 1941. And while conventional wisdom has had it that the nation's increasing foreign aggression was driven and maintained not by the emperor but by an elite group of Japanese militarists, the reality, as witnessed here, is quite different. Bix documents in detail the strong, decisive role Hirohito played in wartime operations, from the takeover of Manchuria in 1931 through the attack on Pearl Harbor and ultimately the fateful decision in 1945 to accede to an unconditional surrender. In fact, the emperor stubbornly prolonged the war effort and then used the horrifying bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, together with the Soviet entrance into the war, as his exit strategy from a no-win situation. From the moment of capitulation, we see how American and Japanese leaders moved to justify the retention of Hirohito as emperor by whitewashing his wartime role and reshaping the historical consciousness of the Japanese people. The key to this strategy was Hirohito's alliance with General MacArthur, who helped him maintain his stature and shed his militaristic image, while MacArthur used the emperor as a figurehead to assist him in converting Japan into a peaceful nation. Their partnership ensured that the emperor's image would loom large over the postwar years and later decades, as Japan began to make its way in the modern age and struggled -- as it still does -- to come to terms with its past. Until the very end of a career that embodied the conflicting aims of Japan's development as a nation, Hirohito remained preoccupied with politics and with his place in history. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan provides the definitive account of his rich life and legacy. Meticulously researched and utterly engaging, this book is proof that the history of twentieth-century Japan cannot be understood apart from the life of its most remarkable and enduring leader.

The Making of Modern Japan

Author: Marius B. Jansen

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674009916

Category: History

Page: 932

View: 5645


A sweeping history of modern Japan begins in 1600 and retraces the three major upheavals in Japanese history that have helped shape it into a modern Asian nation.

Japan and the Shackles of the Past

Author: R. Taggart Murphy

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199865876

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 6463


Japan is one of the world's wealthiest and most technologically advanced nations, and its rapid ascent to global power status after 1853 remains one of the most remarkable stories in modern world history. Yet it has not been an easy path; military catastrophe, political atrophy, and economic upheavals have made regular appearances from the feudal era to the present. Today, Japan is seen as a has-been with a sluggish economy, an aging population, dysfunctional politics, and a business landscape dominated by yesterday's champions. Though it is supposed to be America's strongest ally in the Asia-Pacific region, it has almost entirely disappeared from the American radar screen. In Japan and the Shackles of the Past, R. Taggart Murphy places the current troubles of Japan in a sweeping historical context, moving deftly from early feudal times to the modern age that began with the Meiji Restoration. Combining fascinating analyses of Japanese culture and society over the centuries with hard-headed accounts of Japan's numerous political regimes, Murphy not only reshapes our understanding of Japanese history, but of Japan's place in the contemporary world. He concedes that Japan has indeed been out of sight and out of mind in recent decades, but contends that this is already changing. Political and economic developments in Japan today risk upheaval in the pivotal arena of Northeast Asia, inviting comparisons with Europe on the eve of the First World War. America's half-completed effort to remake Japan in the late 1940s is unraveling, and the American foreign policy and defense establishment is directly culpable for what has happened. The one apparent exception to Japan's malaise is the vitality of its pop culture, but it's actually no exception at all; rather, it provides critical clues to what is going on now. With insights into everything from Japan's politics and economics to the texture of daily life, gender relations, the changing business landscape, and popular and high culture, Japan and the Shackles of the Past is the indispensable guide to understanding Japan in all its complexity.

The SAGE Handbook of Modern Japanese Studies

Author: James D Babb

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1412962358

Category: Social Science

Page: 672

View: 582


"A welcome addition to any reading list for those interested in contemporary Japanese society." - Roger Goodman, Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Society, University of Oxford "I know no better book for an accessible and up-to-date introduction to this complex subject than The SAGE Handbook of Modern Japan Studies." - Hiroko Takeda, Associate Professor, Organization for Global Japanese Studies, University of Tokyo "Pioneering and nuanced in analysis, yet highly accessible and engaging in style." - Yoshio Sugimoto, Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University The SAGE Handbook of Modern Japanese Studies includes outstanding contributions from a diverse group of leading academics from across the globe. This volume is designed to serve as a major interdisciplinary reference work and a seminal text, both rigorous and accessible, to assist students and scholars in understanding one of the major nations of the world. James D. Babb is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University.

Edwin O. Reischauer and the American Discovery of Japan

Author: George R. Packard

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231143540

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 378

View: 5879


In 1961, President Kennedy named Edwin O. Reischauer the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. Already deeply intimate with the country, Reischauer hoped to establish a more equal partnership with Japan, which had long been maligned in the American imagination. Reischauer pushed his fellow citizens to abandon caricature and stereotype and recognize Japan as a peace-loving democracy. Though his efforts were often condemned for being "too soft," the immensity of his influence (and the truth of his arguments) can be felt today. Having worked as Reischauer's special assistant in Tokyo, George R. Packard writes the definitive& mdash;and first& mdash;biography of this rare, charismatic talent. Reischauer reset the balance between two powerful nations. During World War II, he analyzed intelligence and trained American codebreakers in Japanese. He helped steer Japan toward democracy and then wrote its definitive English-language history. Reischauer's scholarship supplied the foundations for future East Asian disciplines, and his prescient research foretold America's missteps with China and involvement in Vietnam. At the time of his death in 1990, Reischauer warned the U.S. against adopting an attitude toward Asia that was too narrow and self-centered. India, Pakistan, and North Korea are now nuclear powers, and Reischauer's political brilliance has become more necessary and trenchant than ever.

A Companion to Japanese History

Author: William M. Tsutsui

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 047075138X

Category: History

Page: 632

View: 8074


A Companion to Japanese History provides an authoritative overview of current debates and approaches within the study of Japan’s history. Composed of 30 chapters written by an international group of scholars Combines traditional perspectives with the most recent scholarly concerns Supplements a chronological survey with targeted thematic analyses Presents stimulating interventions into individual controversies

History Textbooks and the Wars in Asia

Author: Gi-Wook Shin,Daniel C. Sneider

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113683091X

Category: Education

Page: 305

View: 7705


Over the past fifteen years Northeast Asia has witnessed growing intraregional exchanges and interactions, especially in the realms of culture and economy. Still, the region cannot escape from the burden of history. This book examines the formation of historical memory in four Northeast Asian societies (China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan) and the United States focusing on the period from the beginning of the Sino-Japanese war in 1931 until the formal conclusion of the Pacific War with the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951. The contributors analyse the recent efforts of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese scholars to write a ‘common history’ of Northeast Asia and question the underlying motivations for their efforts and subsequent achievements. In doing so, they contend that the greatest obstacle to reconciliation in Northeast Asia lies in the existence of divided, and often conflicting, historical memories. The book argues that a more fruitful approach lies in understanding how historical memory has evolved in each country and been incorporated into respective master narratives. Through uncovering the existence of different master narratives, it is hoped, citizens will develop a more self-critical, self-reflective approach to their own history and that such an introspective effort has the potential to lay the foundation for greater self- and mutual understanding and eventual historical reconciliation in the region. This book will be essential reading for students and scholars of Asian history, Asian education and international relations in East Asia.

Certain Victory: Images of World War II in the Japanese Media

Author: David C. Earhart

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317475151

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 552

View: 9928


This unique window on history employs hundreds of images and written records from Japanese periodicals during World War II to trace the nation's transformation from a colorful, cosmopolitan empire in 1937 to a bleak "total war" society facing imminent destruction in 1945. The author draws upon his extensive collection of Japanese wartime publications to reconstruct the government-controlled media's narrative of the war's goals and progress - thus providing a close-up look at how the war was shown to Japanese on the home front. Many of these visual and written sources are rare in Japan and were previously unavailable in the West. Strikingly, the narrative remains consistent and convincing from victory to retreat, and even as defeat looms large. Earhart's nuanced reading of Japan's wartime media depicts a nation waging war against the world and a government terrorizing its own people. At once informed, scholarly, and readily accessible, this lavishly illustrated volume offers an accurate representation of the official Japanese narrative of the war in contemporary terms. The images are fresh and compelling, revealing a forgotten world by turns familiar and alien, beautiful and stark, poignant and terrifying.

The Cambridge History of War: Volume 4, War and the Modern World

Author: Roger Chickering,Dennis Showalter,Hans van de Ven

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316175928

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 4923


Volume IV of The Cambridge History of War offers a definitive new account of war in the most destructive period in human history. Opening with the massive conflicts that erupted in the mid nineteenth century in the US, Asia and Europe, leading historians trace the global evolution of warfare through 'the age of mass', 'the age of machine' and 'the age of management'. They explore how industrialization and nationalism fostered vast armies whilst the emergence of mobile warfare and improved communications systems made possible the 'total warfare' of the two World Wars. With military conflict regionalized after 1945 they show how guerrilla and asymmetrical warfare highlighted the limits of the machine and mass as well as the importance of the media in winning 'hearts and minds'. This is a comprehensive guide to every facet of modern war from strategy and operations to its social, cultural, technological and political contexts and legacies.