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The International Minimum

Creativity and Contradiction in Japan’s Global Engagement, 1933-1964

Jessamyn R. Abel

The International Minimum is a history of internationalism, imperialism, and the performance of diplomacy in Japan at a time when new global norms required a minimum level of international engagement. Jessamyn Abel illuminates deep and nuanced connections between modes of diplomacy across periods of aggressive imperial expansion and times of peace from the 1930s to 1960s. Dispelling common assumptions of discordance between imperialism and internationalism, she convincingly demonstrates ways in which these worldviews complement each other. She offers innovative perspectives on the standard narrative of Japan’s approach to multilateral cooperation in three ways: by seriously considering those international activities conducted outside of formal statelevel relations, by exploring cultural forms of international engagement, and by asserting the importance of rhetoric in cultivating what was then referred to as an “international mind.”

In clear and polished prose, Abel identifies a continuous evolution of internationalist thought and activity in Japan that extends across the dark valley of war and the historiographical schism of defeat, bringing new modes of multilateral cooperation. Her book traces the practice and rhetoric of internationalism through epochal moments of Japan’s twentieth-century international history, examining its withdrawal from the League of Nations and admission to the United Nations, the failed and successful attempts to host a Tokyo Olympiad, and wartime and postwar regional conferences in Tokyo and Bandung, Indonesia. Unpublished documents in government and private archives, together with the public discourse found in popular journals, books, newspapers, advertisements, poems, and songs, reveal historical layers of thought that helped delineate the realm of the possible in imperial and postwar Japanese foreign policy.

By bringing together materials of high diplomacy and mass culture, Abel offers a new view of internationalism and Japanese diplomacy since the early twentieth century.

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Interpreting the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal

A Sociopolitical Analysis

Kayoko Takeda

In order to ensure its absolute authority, the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal (1946–1948), the Japanese counterpart of the Nuremberg Trial, adopted a three-tier structure for its interpreting: Japanese nationals interpreted the proceedings, second-generation Japanese-Americans monitored the interpreting, and Caucasian U.S. military officers arbitrated the disputes. The first extensive study on the subject in English, this book explores the historical and political contexts of the trial as well as the social and cultural backgrounds of the linguists through trial transcripts in English and Japanese, archival documents and recordings, and interviews with those who were involved in the interpreting. In addition to a detailed account of the interpreting, the book examines the reasons for the three-tier system, how the interpreting procedures were established over the course of the trial, and the unique difficulties faced by the Japanese-American monitors. This original case study of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal illuminates how complex issues such as trust, power, control and race affect interpreting at international tribunals in times of conflict.

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Japan: A Comparative View

Albert M. Craig

Among the leading specialists on Japan, the authors—both Japanese and Western—represent a range of disciplines from economics, history, and political science, to sociology, anthropology, psychiatry, and literary criticism. Some of the essays draw comparisons with China or Korea, some with England, Europe, or America, and some with countries of the Third World. By showing us how the Japanese experience relates to that of other contexts, the authors provide us with important insights into Japan as well as into other societies undergoing a modern transformation.

Originally published in 1979.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Japan and China as Charm Rivals

Soft Power in Regional Diplomacy

Jing Sun

In international relations today, influence is as essential as military and economic might. Consequently, leaders promote favorable images of the state in order to attract allies and win support for their policies. Jing Sun, an expert on international relations and a former journalist, refers to such soft power campaigns as "charm offensives." Sun focuses on the competition between China and Japan for the allegiance of South Korea, Taiwan, and other states in the region. He finds that, instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, the Chinese and the Japanese deploy customized charm campaigns for each target state, taking into consideration the target's culture, international position, and political values. He then evaluates the effectiveness of individual campaigns from the perspective of the target state, on the basis of public opinion polls, media coverage, and the response from state leaders. A deep, comparative study, Japan and China as Charm Rivals enriches our understanding of soft power by revealing deliberate image campaign efforts and offering a method for assessing the effectiveness of such charm offensives.

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Japan at Nature's Edge

The Environmental Context of a Global Power

Ian Jared Miller, Julia Adeney Thomas, and Brett L. Walker

Japan at Nature’s Edge is a timely collection of essays that explores the relationship between Japan’s history, culture, and physical environment. It greatly expands the focus of previous work on Japanese modernization by examining Japan’s role in global environmental transformation and how Japanese ideas have shaped bodies and landscapes over the centuries. Given the global and immediate nature of Earth’s environmental crisis, a predicament highlighted by Japan’s March 2011 disaster, it brings a sense of urgency to the study of Japan and its global connections.

The work is an environmental history in the broadest sense of the term because it contains writing by environmental anthropologists, a legendary Japanese economist, and scholars of Japanese literature and culture. The editors have brought together an unparalleled assemblage of some of the finest scholars in the field who, rather than treat Japan in isolation or as a unique cultural community, seek to connect Japan to global environmental currents such as whaling, world fisheries, mountaineering and science, mining and industrial pollution, and relations with nonhuman animals.

The contributors assert the importance of the environment in understanding Japan’s history and propose a new balance between nature and culture, one weighted much more heavily on the side of natural legacies. Ideas and culture do shape the natural world, because it, like the poetry of Heian aristocrats, has become a relic of history. This approach does not discount culture. Instead, it suggests that the Japanese experience of nature, like that of all human beings, is a complex and intimate negotiation between the physical and cultural worlds.

Contributors: Daniel P. Aldrich, Jakobina Arch, Andrew Bernstein, Philip C. Brown, Timothy S. George, Jeffrey E. Hanes, David L. Howell, Federico Marcon, Christine L. Marran, Ian Jared Miller, Micah Muscolino, Ken’ichi Miyamoto, Sara B. Pritchard, Julia Adeney Thomas, Karen Thornber, William M. Tsutsui, Brett L. Walker, Takehiro Watanabe.

Ian Jared Miller teaches modern Japanese history at Harvard University. Julia Adeney Thomas is associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame. Brett L. Walker is Regents Professor at Montana State University, Bozeman.

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Japan at the Millennium

Joining Past and Future

David Edgington

This critical, multi-disciplinary collection explores the convergence of past and future in contemporary Japan. Contributors comment on a wide range of economic, socio-cultural, and political trends -- such as the mobilization of Japanese labour, the burgeoning Ainu identity movement, and the shifting place of the modern woman -- and conclude that despite the rapid changes, many of the traditional facets of Japanese society have remained intact. Institutional change, they assert, is unlikely to occur quickly, and Japan must find alternate ways to adjust to 21st century pressures of global competition and interdependence. A pleasure to read, this broad volume will be welcomed by upper level undergraduates, graduates, and specialists in Japanese studies.

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Japan Before Tokugawa

Political Consolidation and Economic Growth, 1500-1650

S. Hall

These papers by leading specialists on sixteenth-century Japan explore Japan's transition from medieval (Chusei) to early modern (Kinsei) society. During this time, regional lords (daimyo) first battled for local autonomy and then for national supremacy.

Originally published in 1987.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Japan's Competing Modernities

Issues in Culture and Democracy, 19001930

Sharon A. Minichiello

Scholars, Japanese and non-Japanese alike, have studied the greater Taisho era (1900-1930) within the framework of Taisho demokurashii (democracy). While this concept has proved useful, students of the period in more recent years have sought alternative ways of understanding the late Meiji-Taisho period. This collection of essays, each based on new research, offers original insights into various aspects of modern Japanese cultural history from "modernist" architecture to women as cultural symbols, popular songs to the rhetoric of empire-building, and more. The volume is organized around three general topics: geographical and cultural space; cosmopolitanism and national identity; and diversity, autonomy, and integration. Within these the authors have identified a number of thematic tensions that link the essays: high and low culture in cultural production and dissemination; national and ethnic identities; empire and ethnicity; the center and the periphery; naichi (homeland) and gaichi (overseas); urban and rural; public and private; migration and barriers. The volume opens up new avenues of exploration for the study of modern Japanese history and culture. If, as one of the authors contends, the imperative is " to understand more fully the historical forces that made Japan what it is today," these studies of Japan's "competing modernities" point the way to answers to some of the country's most challenging historical questions in this century.

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Japan's Financial Crisis

Institutional Rigidity and Reluctant Change

Jennifer Amyx

At the beginning of the 1990s, a massive speculative asset bubble burst in Japan, leaving the nation's banks with an enormous burden of nonperforming loans. Banking crises have become increasingly common across the globe, but what was distinctive about the Japanese case was the unusually long delay before the government intervened to aggressively address the bad debt problem. The postponed response by Japanese authorities to the nation's banking crisis has had enormous political and economic consequences for Japan as well as for the rest of the world. This book helps us understand the nature of the Japanese government's response while also providing important insights into why Japan seems unable to get its financial system back on track 13 years later.

The book focuses on the role of policy networks in Japanese finance, showing with nuance and detail how Japan's Finance Ministry was embedded within the political and financial worlds, how that structure was similar to and different from that of its counterparts in other countries, and how the distinctive nature of Japan's institutional arrangements affected the capacity of the government to manage change.

The book focuses in particular on two intervening variables that bring about a functional shift in the Finance Ministry's policy networks: domestic political change under coalition government and a dramatic rise in information requirements for effective regulation. As a result of change in these variables, networks that once enhanced policymaking capacity in Japanese finance became "paralyzing networks"--with disastrous results.

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Japan's Imperial Diplomacy

Consuls, Treaty Ports and War in China, 18951938

Barbara J. Brooks

In November 1937, Ishii Itaro, head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Bureau of Asiatic Affairs, reflected bitterly on the decline of the ministry's influence in China and his own long and debilitating struggle to guide China policy. Ishii was the most notable member of a group of middle-level diplomats who, having served in China, strongly advocated that Japan adopt policies in harmony with China's rising nationalism and national interests. Japan's Imperial Diplomacy profiles this distinct strain of "China service diplomat," while providing a comprehensive look at the institutional history and internal dynamics of the Japanese Foreign Ministry and its handling of China affairs in the years leading up to and through World War II. Moving from a thorough examination of a wide range of primary sources, including the extensive archives of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, memoirs, diaries, and unpublished speeches, Japan's Imperial Diplomacy offers integrated interpretations of Japanese imperialism, diplomacy, and the bureaucratic restructuring of the 1930s that were fundamental to Japan's version of fascism and the move toward war. Specialists of China, Japan, comparative colonialism, and World War II diplomacy will find this well-conceived and carefully researched and organized work of first-rate importance to the understanding of modern Japanese history in general and Japanese imperialism in particular.

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