A Positivist Approach to Reading Sources on Modern Japan
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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THIS BOOK began as an article in 1997, in between transcribing letters and documents written in the cursive script (sōsho), translating the transcripts as well as published documents on Meiji-Taishō political history, and working with Japanese colleagues on publishing the multivolume Shina-gawa Yajirō Kankei Monjo (SYKM). Its roots, however, can be traced to ...
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A PERSON can be born and earn a master’s degree in a quarter of a century, and one can incur, as well, a lot of on (indebtedness) in that time. The years of support by the granting agencies and their selection committees over the years is acknowledged with gratitude. The deeply felt obligation to repay the accumulated on to them has much to do with the compulsion to continue. ...
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THE UNIVERSITY of Hawai‘i in the late 1940s and 1950s was a small liberal arts college of some four to five thousand students. It could even have been called a “cow college,” given its establishment as a land grant institution. Indeed, cows and pigs...
1. Japan’s Postwar Positivists: The IHKM and YAKM Projects
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In the midst of the imposing edifices in Chiyoda-ku that house Japan’s bureaucratic elites stands the eight-story Shōyū Kaikan, the home of the Shōyū Kurabu. The Shōyū Kurabu had its genesis in the mid-Meiji period when a group from among all the counts and viscounts in the peerage formed the Shōyūkai to streamline and coordinate their selection process. All of...
2. Reading Primary Documents: Letters, Ikensho, Nikki, and Memoirs—the Pitfalls
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Documents, especially those written by the principals involved, are one of the basic building blocks for the historian seeking to reconstruct the past. Paulding notes correctly that these documents are not necessarily what they seem, but the very awareness of the problems they raise enhances their utility and value. There is no...
3. Hara Kei Nikki and Eiin Hara Kei Nikki Compared: Typos and Other Problems
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HARA KEIICHIRŌ followed eight guidelines in transcribing from the original Hara Kei Nikki (HKN) for the Kangensha edition, only one of which needs to be highlighted. He writes that he tried to faithfully follow the original and made changes only in the event of obvious errors.1 For example, Keiichirō used...
4. Now That We Have These Primary Sources
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Kent Calder has exhorted fellow political scientists to “resort to political archaeology,” that is, to engage in the kind of approach favored here, “a systematic search for historical origins of key institutional features.”1 This call for more “political archeology” is seconded by...
5. John W. Dower and Herbert P. Bix
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John W. Dower was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for his Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (New York: W. W. Norton, 1999). In 1975 he wrote a one-hundred-plus-page introductory essay to Origins of the Modern Japanese State: Selected Writings of E. H. Norman (New York: Pantheon, 1975).1 It was praised as “brilliant,”2 “eloquent,”3 and...
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PETER DUUS was also a frequent user of Kensei Shiryōshitsu in the summer of 1981, when he was doing research on what ultimately became his The Abacus and the Sword: The Japanese Penetration of Korea, 1895–1910 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995). He said one day, “George, I would go crazy if I were doing what I see you doing,” to which I replied, “But Peter, I am going crazy!” “Crazy,” “obsessed,” or “possessed” may well be...
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Publication Year: 2008