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142 China Review International: Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 1995© 1995 by University ofHawai'i Press choice not to stress Northern and Southern Song discontinuity wholly at the expense of continuity, their collective decision to frame their arguments regarding the Song's "world-ordering" ethos principally in terms ofthe words and actions of die Song men responsible for engendering it, and their genuine commitment (particularly in the cases of BoI, Hymes, and Chaffee) to highlighting the consonant elements in what heretofore was presumed to be a strictly oppositional relationship between the subscribers to Daoxue and die so-called "institutionalists" (or, sometimes, "utilitarians"). For these achievements alone, whether we happen to be assiduous or only casual observers ofthe Song, we owe the authors a great debt. Don J. Wyatt Middlebury College m Akira Iriye. China and Japan in the Global Setting. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992. xii, 156 pp. Hardcover $22.50. This book originated from the Edwin Reischauer lectures delivered by the audior at Harvard University in November 1989. It is an interpretation ofthe complex relationship between China and Japan over approximately one hundred years, beginning with the middle Meiji period. Iriye divides die modern history of Chinese-Japanese relations into three periods , in each ofwhich die power, economic, and cultural factors are examined in turn. It is a veritable multivariate analysis even though no statistical tables are included . The author brings out the point that in international relations the most salient aspect may not be, in retrospect, the most vital, fundamental, or even the most meaningful aspect ofthe relationship in the long run. Iriye portrays the first period, which ended with die start ofWorld War I, as dominated by Japan's and China's preoccupation with military power as the only way to safeguard dieir nationhood and to get die benefit of die strong. He claims that in terms ofresources channeled into armament, China ought to have come out the victor in the war of 1894-1895. He attributes China's defeat to a number of antecedents, the most obvious ofwhich was die growth ofprovincial military power and die consequent lack of centralized direction for the nation's military operations. The second period covers the years between the two world wars. When Western leaders brushed aside Japan's demand for racial equality at the Versailles Peace Reviews 143 Conference, the event justified Japan's self-appointed role as champion of the weaker nations ofAsia. The increasing cross-national economic activities might have provided some stability in East Asia had not the Great Depression cut them short. For Japan, in this period, die concept ofculture functioned as a way to explain her untenable war on the continent, and the author points out that Japanese writings from the late 1930s on were saturated widi cultural themes (p. 87). In China, the New Culture of the May Fourth period became engulfed in the national salvation movement against Japan. In the final analysis, despite Japan's military prowess in China, the moral victory belonged to China. The tragedy was that while China and Japan were attracted to each otìier because of cultural affinity and economic complementarity, they repelled each odier in their confrontations and missed die opportunities to work for mutual benefit in the years between the two world wars. But, the author also queries, was enduring cooperation possible , given Japan's more modernized condition, when China would have to play die second fiddle under Japanese leadership in that period? The tiiird period covers the post-World War II years up to 1989. This period is further divided into five subperiods to delineate Japan's transition from devastation to postwar recovery, to trade surpluses, and to economic domination in Asia and beyond. The primacy ofeconomics in Japanese foreign affairs in the two decades immediately after World War II prepared Japan well to cope widi the global changes of the 1970s and 1980s, and tiiis feat was accomplished in the absence of a Japanese cultural initiative, when American cultural influence was pervasive . Iriye also examines the various schemes China employed to achieve economic prosperity, and how China then became a de facto strategic partner of the U.S. and Japan. These examinations are...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 142-144
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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