Modern Japan A History in Documents

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-07-30
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Employing a wide range of primary source materials, Modern Japan: A History in Documents , Second Edition, provides a colorful narrative of Japan's development since 1600. A variety of diary entries, letters, legal documents, and poems brings to life the early modern years, when Japan largely shut itself off from the outside world. A picture essay highlights the tumultuous decade and a half following the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry and the U.S. Navy in 1853, which led to unprecedented changes and a new government. The dramatic rush to modernity in the late 1800s and early 1900s--accompanied by Japan's entry into the imperialist rivalry--is seen through travel accounts, novelists' recollections, and imperial rescripts, while editorial cartoons and prison memoirs recount the early twentieth-century rush, first toward pluralism, then toward war. Japan's recovery after defeat in World War II and its emergence as a vibrant democracy with the second largest economy in the world is chronicled through records as diverse as a funeral eulogy, a comic book description of Adam Smith's economic theories, and an e-journal interview. The documents are woven together in a scintillating narrative that brings to life one of the world's most remarkable national stories. The second edition includes an updated introduction with a note on sources and interpretation and twenty-five new documents including new evidence of Japanese imperialism, especially its expansion into Korea; the role of minorities in modern society; and events since the mid-1990s. There are additional editorial cartoons from the Meiji and Taisho eras, rare photos, archival maps, as well as excerpts from fiction and other literature, and updated further reading and website lists.

Author Biography

H. Orth Hirt Professor of History emeritus, Wittenberg University; author, Japan in World History (OUP, 2009), A Yankee in Meiji Japan: The Crusading Journalist Edward H. House (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), Creating a Public: People and Press in Meiji Japan (University of Hawai'I Press, 1987), Politics of the Meiji Press: The Life of Fukuchi En'ichiro (University of Hawaii Press, 1980); editor, Modern Japan: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture and Nationalism (Garland, 1997)

Table of Contents

What is a Document?
How to Read a Document
Note on Sources and Interpretation

Chapter One: The Land of Shogun and Daimyo
A New Order
Reordering the World
Life Under the Tokugawa
The Shogunate Under Challenge

Chapter Two: Picture Essay: The Old Order Topples: 1853-68
Japan's Sense of the World
Perry's Arrival
A Land in Transition
Symbols of Change
Tumultuous Times
Demise of a Domain Lord

Chapter Three: Confronting the Modern World: 1868-89
Envisioning a New World
Creating a New World
A New Society

Chapter Four: Turning Outward: 1890-1912
Rising Nationalism
An Expansionist Turn
A Modern, Urban Society

Chapter Five: Imperial Democracy, 1912-30
Modern Times
Reining in Diversity

Chapter Six: The Dark Era: 1930-45
The Militarist Turn

Chapter Seven: The Reemergence: 1945-70
An Occupied Land
The Return to Normal Life
The Reemergence

Chapter Eight: Japan as a World Power after 1970
Surmounting Crises
Awash in Capital
Toward a New Century

Further Reading
Text Credits
Picture Credits

Rewards Program

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