Inventing Japan, 1853-1964

Inventing Japan, 1853-1964

4.0 1
by Ian Buruma
     
 

ISBN-10: 0812972864

ISBN-13: 9780812972863

Pub. Date: 11/09/2004

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

In a single short book as elegant as it is wise, Ian Buruma makes sense of the most fateful span of Japan’s history, the period that saw as dramatic a transformation as any country has ever known. In the course of little more than a hundred years from the day Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in his black ships, this insular, preindustrial realm mutated into an…  See more details below

Overview

In a single short book as elegant as it is wise, Ian Buruma makes sense of the most fateful span of Japan’s history, the period that saw as dramatic a transformation as any country has ever known. In the course of little more than a hundred years from the day Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in his black ships, this insular, preindustrial realm mutated into an expansive military dictatorship that essentially supplanted the British, French, Dutch, and American empires in Asia before plunging to utter ruin, eventually emerging under American tutelage as a pseudo-Western-style democracy and economic dynamo.

What explains the seismic changes that thrust this small island nation so violently onto the world stage? In part, Ian Buruma argues, the story is one of a newly united nation that felt it must play catch-up to the established Western powers, just as Germany and Italy did, a process that involved, in addition to outward colonial expansion, internal cultural consolidation and the manufacturing of a shared heritage. But Japan has always been both particularly open to the importation of good ideas and particularly prickly about keeping their influence quarantined, a bipolar disorder that would have dramatic consequences and that continues to this day. If one book is to be read in order to understand why the Japanese seem so impossibly strange to many Americans, Inventing Japan is surely it.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812972863
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/09/2004
Series:
Modern Library Chronicles Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
386,856
Product dimensions:
5.16(w) x 7.94(h) x 0.41(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Tokyo Olympics3
1The Black Ships9
2Civilization and Enlightenment33
3Ero Guro Nansensu63
4Ah, Our Manchuria85
5War Against the West109
6Tokyo Boogie-Woogie129
71955 and All That153
Epilogue: The End of the Postwar169
Glossary179
Bibliography183
Index189

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Inventing Japan, 1853-1964 (A Modern Library Chronicles Series) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago