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The Making of Modern Japan
Author: Marius B. Jansen
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674039106
Pages: 936
Year: 2002-10-15
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Magisterial in vision, sweeping in scope, this monumental work presents a seamless account of Japanese society during the modern era, from 1600 to the present. A distillation of more than fifty years' engagement with Japan and its history, it is the crowning work of our leading interpreter of the modern Japanese experience.
Hirohito And The Making Of Modern Japan
Author: Herbert P. Bix
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061860476
Pages: 832
Year: 2009-10-13
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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: Kenneth B. Pyle
Publisher:
ISBN:
Pages: 195
Year: 1981
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Punishment and Power in the Making of Modern Japan
Author: Daniel V. Botsman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400849292
Pages: 312
Year: 2013-10-24
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The kinds of punishment used in a society have long been considered an important criterion in judging whether a society is civilized or barbaric, advanced or backward, modern or premodern. Focusing on Japan, and the dramatic revolution in punishments that occurred after the Meiji Restoration, Daniel Botsman asks how such distinctions have affected our understanding of the past and contributed, in turn, to the proliferation of new kinds of barbarity in the modern world. While there is no denying the ferocity of many of the penal practices in use during the Tokugawa period (1600-1868), this book begins by showing that these formed part of a sophisticated system of order that did have its limits. Botsman then demonstrates that although significant innovations occurred later in the period, they did not fit smoothly into the "modernization" process. Instead, he argues, the Western powers forced a break with the past by using the specter of Oriental barbarism to justify their own aggressive expansion into East Asia. The ensuing changes were not simply imposed from outside, however. The Meiji regime soon realized that the modern prison could serve not only as a symbol of Japan's international progress but also as a powerful domestic tool. The first English-language study of the history of punishment in Japan, the book concludes by examining how modern ideas about progress and civilization shaped penal practices in Japan's own colonial empire.
The Taming of the Samurai
Author: Eiko Ikegami
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674868080
Pages: 428
Year: 1995
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Modern Japan offers us a view of a highly developed society with its own internal logic. Eiko Ikegami makes this logic accessible to us through a sweeping investigation into the roots of Japanese organizational structures. She accomplishes this by focusing on the diverse roles that the samurai have played in Japanese history. From their rise in ancient Japan, through their dominance as warrior lords in the medieval period, and their subsequent transformation to quasi-bureaucrats at the beginning of the Tokugawa era, the samurai held center stage in Japan until their abolishment after the opening up of Japan in the mid-nineteenth century. This book demonstrates how Japan's so-called harmonious collective culture is paradoxically connected with a history of conflict. Ikegami contends that contemporary Japanese culture is based upon two remarkably complementary ingredients, honorable competition and honorable collaboration. The historical roots of this situation can be found in the process of state formation, along very different lines from that seen in Europe at around the same time. The solution that emerged out of the turbulent beginnings of the Tokugawa state was a transformation of the samurai into a hereditary class of vassal-bureaucrats, a solution that would have many unexpected ramifications for subsequent centuries. Ikegami's approach, while sociological, draws on anthropological and historical methods to provide an answer to the question of how the Japanese managed to achieve modernity without traveling the route taken by Western countries. The result is a work of enormous depth and sensitivity that will facilitate a better understanding of, and appreciation for, Japanese society.
Beriberi in Modern Japan
Author: Alexander R. Bay
Publisher: University Rochester Press
ISBN: 1580464270
Pages: 230
Year: 2012
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The history of the medical and scientific debate about the etiology of the disease as it played out between diet theorists and contagionists from 1880 to 1940.
Kita Ikki and the Making of Modern Japan
Author: Brij Tankha
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
ISBN: 1901903990
Pages: 272
Year: 2006-01
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This study of Kita Ikki, one of Japan's influential pre-war idealogues, focuses on the twin poles of nationalism and socialism that inform his three principal works, located always in the context of the dominance of Western imperialism at that time. The second half of the book contains the first complete English translation of The Fundamental Principles for the Reorganization of Japan.
On Uneven Ground
Author: Hoyt Long
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804778884
Pages: 312
Year: 2011-12-14
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The history of literary and artistic production in modern Japan has typically centered on the literature and art of Tokyo, yet cultural activity in the country's regional cities and rural towns was no less vibrant. On Uneven Ground recovers pieces of this neglected history through the figure of Miyazawa Kenji (1896-1933). While alive, he remained a mostly unknown and unread provincial author whose experiments with narrative fiction, amateur theater, and farmer's art reveal an intense determination to reimagine and remake his native place, in the northeast of Japan, meaningful. Today, Miyazawa is one of the most recognized figures in Japan's modern literary canon. The story of his radical posthumous rise presents an opportunity to examine the larger history of how writing and other forms of artistic practice have intersected with place-based identity and the uneven geography of cultural production. The first book-length study of Miyazawa in English, On Uneven Ground centers on Miyazawa's life and writing to recreate a sense of what it was to write about and remake place from a spatially marginal position in the cultural field.
Mirror of Modernity
Author: Stephen Vlastos
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520206371
Pages: 328
Year: 1998
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This collection of essays challenges the notion that Japan's present cultural identity is the simple legacy of its pre-modern and insular past. Scholars examine "age-old" Japanese cultural practices and show these to be largely creations of the modern era.
Early Modern Japan
Author: Conrad Totman
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520203569
Pages: 593
Year: 1995-08
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This thoughtfully organized survey of Japan's early modern period (1568-1868) is a remarkable blend of political, economic, intellectual, literary, and cultural history. The only truly comprehensive study in English of the Tokugawa period, it also introduces a new ecological perspective, covering natural disasters, resource use, demographics, and river control.
The Human Tradition in Modern Japan
Author: Anne Walthall
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 1461665515
Pages: 241
Year: 2002-01-01
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The Human Tradition in Modern Japan is a collection of short biographies of ordinary Japanese men and women, most of them unknown outside their family and locality, whose lives collectively span the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Their stories present a counterweight to the prevailing stereotypes, providing students with depictions of real people through the records they have left-records that detail experiences and aspirations. The Human Tradition in Modern Japan offers a human-scale perspective that focuses on individuals, reconstitutes the meaning of people's experiences as they lived through them, and puts a human face on history. It skillfully bridges the divides between the sexes, between the local and the national, and between rural and urban, as well as spanning crucial moments in the history of modern Japan. The Human Tradition in Modern Japan is an excellent resource for courses on Japanese history, East Asian history, and peoples and cultures of Japan.
Embodying Difference
Author: Timothy D. Amos
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
ISBN: 0824835794
Pages: 302
Year: 2011
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First published in New Delhi by Navayana Publishing.
Japan's Modern Myths
Author: Carol Gluck
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691008124
Pages: 407
Year: 1985
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Ideology played a momentous role in modern Japanese history. Not only did the elite of imperial Japan (1890-1945) work hard to influence the people to "yield as the grasses before the wind," but historians of modern Japan later identified these efforts as one of the underlying pathologies of World War II. Available for the first time in paperback, this study examines how this ideology evolved. Carol Gluck argues that the process of formulating and communicating new national values was less consistent than is usually supposed. By immersing the reader in the talk and thought of the late Meiji period, Professor Gluck recreates the diversity of ideological discourse experienced by Japanese of the time. The result is a new interpretation of the views of politics and the nation in imperial Japan.
Samurai Revolution
Author: Romulus Hillsborough
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
ISBN: 1462913512
Pages: 608
Year: 2014-03-25
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"When people wonder who they should have as an ally, they're on the wrong track. What you want is an enemy. You can't get anything done without an enemy." —Katsu Kaishu, "The Shogun's Last Samurai" Japan's dramatic rise from a political backwater to a great power; an inside look at the men and their times that shaped a nation. Samurai Revolution tells the fascinating story of Japan's transformation from a backward country of feudal lords and samurai under the control of the shogun into a modern industrialized nation under the unifying rule of the Emperor. Japan's modern revolution spanned the third-quarter of the nineteenth century; knowledge of this history is essential to understand how and why Japan evolved into the nation it is today. Samurai Revolution is divided into two books in one complete volume. Book I chronicles the series of tumultuous and bloody events between 1853 and 1868, collectively called the Meiji Restoration, the "dawn of modern Japan," when the shogun's government was overthrown and the Emperor was restored to his ancient seat of power. Book 2 covers the first turbulent decade of the restored monarchy in which the new Imperial government worked desperately to consolidate its power and introduce innovations that would put Japan on equal footing with Western powers that threatened to dominate it. The government clashed with disgruntled samurai who felt left behind amid the whirlwind of changes toward modernization. Highlighted is the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877, a failed samurai-led uprising that brought the end of the samurai way of life. As the first comprehensive history and analysis in English examining all the key players in this epoch drama, Samurai Revolution is the result of over twenty-five years of research. Throughout the book the author quotes extensively from the journals, memoirs, histories, and letters of Katsu Kaishu, a prolific writer, founder of Japan's modern navy, and later supreme commander of the shogun's military, who earned the epithet "the shogun's last samurai." These original translations give an insider's view, which along with the grand historical narrative provide readers with an unparalleled insight into this most momentous period in Japanese history.
Japan Rising
Author: Kenneth Pyle
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 0786732024
Pages: 240
Year: 2009-04-27
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Japan is on the verge of a sea change. After more than fifty years of national pacifism and isolation including the "lost decade" of the 1990s, Japan is quietly, stealthily awakening. As Japan prepares to become a major player in the strategic struggles of the 21st century, critical questions arise about its motivations. What are the driving forces that influence how Japan will act in the international system? Are there recurrent patterns that will help explain how Japan will respond to the emerging environment of world politics? American understanding of Japanese character and purpose has been tenuous at best. We have repeatedly underestimated Japan in the realm of foreign policy. Now as Japan shows signs of vitality and international engagement, it is more important than ever that we understand the forces that drive Japan. In Japan Rising, renowned expert Kenneth Pyle identities the common threads that bind the divergent strategies of modern Japan, providing essential reading for anyone seeking to understand how Japan arrived at this moment—and what to expect in the future.

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