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Soft Power in Regional Diplomacy
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.
This is an excellent and versatile textbook, as well as an intervention in the scholarly debate on the Asian economies. During the last few years Lim has paid particular attention to China, realizing that the Chinese and Japanese economies are complementary and dependent on each other. The chapters are free-standing, which makes it easier to use the book as a text, as the instructor can be selective, if needed. — Professor Hans C. Blomqvist, Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Helsinki, Finland"Professor Lim's book is not only a discussion of the Japanese upswing and decade-long plateau. Most of all it is about Japan's position in the interdependent economies of East and Southeast Asia. What this book convincingly demonstrates is that, despite the rise of China, the Japanese will remain a major source of expansion and innovation in ASEAN, in Asia and beyond." — Professor David Reisman, Department of Economics, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Empire and World Order, 1914–1938
Japan joined the League of Nations in 1920 as a charter member and one of four permanent members of the League Council. Until conflict arose between Japan and the organization over the 1931 Manchurian Incident, the League was a centerpiece of Japan’s policy to maintain accommodation with the Western powers. The picture of Japan as a positive contributor to international comity, however, is not the conventional view of the country in the early and mid-twentieth century. Rather, this period is usually depicted in Japan and abroad as a history of incremental imperialism and intensifying militarism, culminating in war in China and the Pacific. Even the empire’s interface with the League of Nations is typically addressed only at nodes of confrontation: the 1919 debates over racial equality as the Covenant was drafted and the 1931–1933 League challenge to Japan’s seizure of northeast China. This volume fills in the space before, between, and after these nodes and gives the League relationship the legitimate place it deserves in Japanese international history of the 1920s and 1930s. It also argues that the Japanese cooperative international stance in the decades since the Pacific War bears noteworthy continuity with the mainstream international accommodationism of the League years. Thomas Burkman sheds new light on the meaning and content of internationalism in an era typically seen as a showcase for diplomatic autonomy and isolation. Well into the 1930s, the vestiges of international accommodationism among diplomats and intellectuals are clearly evident. The League project ushered those it affected into world citizenship and inspired them to build bridges across boundaries and cultures. Burkman’s cogent analysis of Japan’s international role is enhanced and enlivened by his descriptions of the personalities and initiatives of Makino Nobuaki, Ishii Kikujirô, Nitobe Inazô, Matsuoka Yôsuke, and others in their Geneva roles.
The Environmental Context of a Global Power
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.
Information and Nation in the Early Modern Period
A quiet revolution in knowledge separated the early modern period in Japan from all previous time. After 1600, self-appointed investigators used the model of the land and cartographic surveys of the newly unified state to observe and order subjects such as agronomy, medicine, gastronomy, commerce, travel, and entertainment. They subsequently circulated their findings through a variety of commercially printed texts: maps, gazetteers, family encyclopedias, urban directories, travel guides, official personnel rosters, and instruction manuals for everything from farming to lovemaking. In this original and gracefully written book, Mary Elizabeth Berry considers the social processes that drove the information explosion of the 1600s. Inviting readers to examine the contours and meanings of this transformation, Berry provides a fascinating account of the conversion of the public from an object of state surveillance into a subject of self-knowledge.
Japan in Print shows how, as investigators collected and disseminated richly diverse data, they came to presume in their audience a standard of cultural literacy that changed anonymous consumers into an "us" bound by common frames of reference. This shared space of knowledge made society visible to itself and in the process subverted notions of status hierarchy. Berry demonstrates that the new public texts projected a national collectivity characterized by universal access to markets, mobility, sociability, and self-fashioning.
Environment, Economy, and Society
The ancient civilization of Japan, with its Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, is also closely associated with all that is new and modern. Looking outward, Japan sees what it has become since Hiroshima: the world’s second-largest economy, a source of fury and wonder, a power without arms. Looking inward, Japan sees old ways shaken and new ones developing at a hectic pace. Japan in the Twenty-first Century offers compelling insights into the current realities of the country and investigates the crucial political, economic, demographic, and environmental challenges that face the nation. A combination of text, maps, and photographs provides an essential understanding of Japan’s geography, cultural heritage, demography, economic and political development, and of many other important issues. Pradyumna P. Karan explores the obstacles and opportunities that will shape Japan and affect the world community in the coming years. He highlights strategies and policies that will facilitate economic and political change and stimulate the development of effective institutions for long-term, sustainable prosperity and economic vitality. Unique field reports drawn from direct observations of events and places in Japan illuminate Japanese traditions and sensibilities. The first full-length English-language textbook on Japan’s geography, culture, politics, and economy to appear in nearly four decades, Japan in the Twenty-first Century will be a vital resource for researchers, academics, general readers, and students of Japan. Pradyumna P. Karan, professor of geography and Japan studies at the University of Kentucky, is the author or editor of numerous books on Asian geography and culture, including The Japanese City and Japan in the Bluegrass.
Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado