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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wide range of primary sources, including the extensive archives of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, memoirs, diaries, and unpublished speeches, Japan's Imperial Diplomacy offers integrated interpretations of Japanese imperialism, diplomacy, and the bureaucratic restructuring of the 1930s that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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Japan's Response to the Gorbachev Era, 1985-1991

A Rising Superpower Views a Declining One

Gilbert Rozman

Gorbachev's transformation of both Soviet socialism and the Cold War world atmosphere kindled a far-reaching debate in Japan. Would Japan at last free itself of its secondary postwar standing? Would a new Soviet system and world order soon be established? Gilbert Rozman argues in Japan's Response to the Gorbachev Era, that Japanese perceptions of the Soviet Union are distinctive and are helpful for understanding what will become an influential worldview. Focusing on diverse opinion leaders and the relationship between the Japanese media, policy-making, and public opinion, Rozman shows how long-standing negative images of Soviet socialism and militarism have been reconsidered since the mid-1980s. His analysis treats burning issues such as the Northern Territories dispute, the Soviet commitment to reform, and the Soviet-American relationship. It also sheds light on Japanese views of Soviet history, modernization, and national character. Such views reveal some of the building blocks for the emergent Japanese worldview.

Originally published in 1992.

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

The Precarious Future

Frank Baldwin

On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 earthquake off Japan’s northeast coast triggered a tsunami that killed more than 20,000 people, displaced 600,000, and caused billions of dollars in damage as well as a nuclear meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Japan, the world’s third largest economy, was already grappling with recovery from both its own economic recession of the 1990s and the global recession following the US-driven financial crisis of 2008 when the disaster hit, changing its fortunes yet again. This small, populous Asian nation—once thought to be a contender for the role of the world’s number one power—now faces a world of uncertainty. Japan’s economy has shrunk, China has challenged its borders, and it faces perilous demographic adjustments from decreased fertility and an aging populace, with the country’s population expected to drop to less than 100 million by 2048. 
 
In Japan: The Precarious Future, a group of distinguished scholars of Japanese economics, politics, law, and society examine the various roads that might lie ahead. Will Japan face a continued erosion of global economic and political power, particularly as China’s outlook improves exponentially? Or will it find a way to protect its status as an important player in global affairs? Contributors explore issues such as national security, political leadership, manufacturing prowess, diplomacy, population decline, and gender equality in politics and the workforce, all in an effort to chart the possible futures for Japan. Both a roadmap for change and a look at how Japan arrived at its present situation, this collection of thought-provoking analyses will be essential for understanding the current landscape and future prospects of this world power. 

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Japan to 1600

A Social and Economic History

William Wayne Farris

Japan to 1600 surveys Japanese historical development from the first evidence of human habitation in the archipelago to the consolidation of political power under the Tokugawa shogunate at the beginning of the seventeenth century. It is unique among introductory texts for its focus on developments that impacted all social classes rather than the privileged and powerful few. In accessible language punctuated with lively and interesting examples, William Wayne Farris weaves together major economic and social themes. The book focuses on continuity and change in social and economic structures and experiences, but it by no means ignores the political and cultural. Most chapters begin with an outline of political developments, and cultural phenomena—particularly religious beliefs—are also taken into account. In addition, Japan to 1600 addresses the growing connectedness between residents of the archipelago and the rest of the world. Farris describes how the early inhabitants of the islands moved from a forager mode of subsistence to a more predominantly agrarian base, supplemented by sophisticated industries and an advanced commercial economy. He reveals how the transition to farming took place over many centuries as people moved back and forth from settled agriculture to older forager-collector regimes in response to ecological, political, and personal factors. Economics influenced demographics, and, as the population expanded, the class structure became increasingly complex and occupational specialization and status divisions more intricate. Along with this came trends toward more tightly knit corporate organizations (village, city, market, family), and classes of servants, slaves, and outcastes formed. In reflecting the diversity of traditional Japan’s economy and society, Japan to 1600 is well suited for both undergraduate and graduate courses and will be a welcome introduction to Japan’s early history for scholars and students of other disciplines and regions.

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Japan Why It Works, Why It Doesn't

Economics in Everyday Life

James Mak, Shyam Sunder, Shigeyuki Abe, & Kazuhiro Igawa (eds.)

This collection of twenty-six essays furnishes concise explanations of everyday Japanese life in simplified economic terms. They begin with such questions as, Do Japanese live better than Americans? Why don't Japanese workers claim all their overtime? Why don't Japanese use personal checking accounts? Why do Japanese give and receive so many gifts? The essays are written in non-technical, accessible language intended for the undergraduate or advanced placement high school student taking an economics course or studying Japan in a social science course. The general reader will find the book a fascinating compendium of facts on Japanese culture and daily life.

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Japanese Culture

Paul Varley

For nearly three decades Japanese Culture has garnered high praise as an accurate and well-written introduction to Japanese history and culture. This widely used undergraduate text is now available in a new edition. Thoroughly updated, the fourth edition includes expanded sections on numerous topics, among which are samurai values, Zen Buddhism, the tea ceremony, Confucianism in the Tokugawa period, the story of the forty-seven ronin, Mito scholarship in the early nineteenth century, and mass culture and comics in contemporary times.

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Japanese Feminist Debates

A Century of Contention on Sex, Love, and Labor

Ayako Kano

Recent years have seen a surge of interest in Japanese feminism and gender history. This new volume brings to light Japan's feminist public sphere, a discursive space in which academic, journalistic, and political voices have long met and sparred over issues that remain controversial to the present day: prostitution, pornography, reproductive rights, the balance between motherhood and paid work, relationships between individual, family, and state. Japanese Feminist Debates: A Century of Contention on Sex, Love, and Labor contributes to this discussion in a number of unique ways.


The book is organized around intellectually and politically charged debates, including important recent developments in state feminism and the conservative backlash against it, spearheaded by the current prime minister, Abe Shinzō. Focusing on essential questions that have yet to be resolved, Ayako Kano traces the emergence and development of these controversies in relation to social, cultural, intellectual, and political history. Her focus on the " rondan"—the Japanese intellectual public sphere—allows her to show how disputes taking place therein interacted with both popular culture and policy making. Kano argues that these feminist debates explain an important paradox: why Japan is such a highly developed modern nation yet ranks dismally low in gender equality. Part of the answer lies in the contested definitions of gender equality and women's liberation, and this book traces these contentions over the course of modern Japanese history. It also situates these debates in relation to modern Japanese social policy and comparative discussions about welfare regimes.


By covering an entire century, Japanese Feminist Debates is able to trace the origins and development of feminist consciousness from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Based on over a decade of research, this wide-ranging, lively, up-to-date book will both spark discussion among specialists grappling with long-enduring subjects of intellectual debate and animate undergraduate and graduate classrooms on modern Japanese women's history and gender studies.

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Japanese Historians and the National Myths, 1600-1945

The Age of the Gods and Emperor Jinmu

John S. Brownlee

In Japanese Historians and the National Myths, John Brownlee examines how Japanese historians between 1600 and 1945 interpreted the ancient myths of their origins. Ancient tales tell of Japan's creation in the Age of the Gods, and of Jinmu, a direct descendant of the Sun Goddess and first emperor of the imperial line. These founding myths went unchallenged until Confucian scholars in the Tokugawa period initiated a reassessment of the ancient history of Japan. These myths lay at the core of Japanese identity and provided legitimacy for the imperial state. Focusing on the theme of conflict and accommodation between scholars on one side and government and society on the other, Brownlee follows the historians' reactions to pressure and trends and their eventual understanding of history as a science in the service of the Japanese nation.

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Japanese New York

Migrant Artists and Self-reinvention on the World Stage

Olga Kanzaki Sooudi

Spend time in New York City and, soon enough, you will encounter some of the Japanese nationals who live and work there—young English students, office workers, painters, and hairstylists. New York City is home to one of the largest overseas Japanese populations in the world. Among them are artists and designers who produce cutting-edge work in fields such as design, fashion, music, and art. Part of the so-called “creative class” and a growing segment of the neoliberal economy, they are usually middle-class and college-educated. They move to New York for anywhere from a few years to several decades in the hope of realizing dreams and aspirations unavailable to them in Japan. Yet the creative careers they desire are competitive, and many end up working illegally in precarious, low paying jobs. Though they often migrate without fixed plans for return, nearly all eventually do, and their migrant trajectories are punctuated by visits home. Japanese New York contributes to international migration studies, to the study of contemporary Japanese culture and society, and to the study of Japanese youth, while shedding light on what it means to be a creative migrant worker in the global city today.

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