Spanning Japan's Modern Century / Edition 288

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In 1942, Hugh Borton, then a 39-year-old assistant professor of Japanese history, was called to serve in the State Department. Here he rose rapidly to become one of the principal architects of United States policy toward post-war Japan. Drawn from Borton's personal papers this work provides a fresh and intimate picture of the man who played a pivotal role in defining the meaning of unconditional surrender for Japan, retaining the Emperor, and designing Japan's post-war constitution. It sheds fascinating new light on the development of the United States' post-war Japanese policy and the often fractious relationships between the various agencies tasked with its creation and implementation.
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Editorial Reviews

Richard Sims
Spanning Japan's Modern Century will be greatly welcomed by historians. As one of the first Americans to work seriously on Japanese history, Hugh Borton's account of his career provides absorbing reading for anyone interested in the early development of Japanese studies in the West, but his exceptional experience as a State Department official in the crucial years between 1942 and 1948 give his recollections a further significance of a quite different kind. They offer an insider's view of, among many other things, American wartime planning for post-surrender Japan, relations between Washington and General MacArthur in the early stages of the postwar Occupation of Japan, and the attempts by the Far Eastern Commission to influence the process of Japanese constitutional reform in 1946, and they also throw new light on the problems Washington faced in dealing with Korea in the aftermath of Japan's defeat. Other Americans who were involved in this key period for East Asia have written about their experiences, but the length of Borton's service and his central role in shaping American policy on such vital issues as the treatment of the emperor and Japanese political reform give these memoirs a unique importance.
Akira Iriye
This autobiography by Hugh Borton, published posthumously, is a moving account of one man's quest for truth and wisdom as he pursued a career as a pioneering scholar of modern Japan and as an equally path-blazing official in Washington involved in policy decisions concerning that country. . . . The book will fill the hearts of all readers with warmth and wonder that one person, without any prior connections, should have contributed so much to U.S.-Japanese relations out of the sheer strength of his character and sense of history.
James L. McClain
The Borton memoirs provide fascinating insights into Japan's modern history from a scholar who first traveled to that country in 1928 and later played a key role in designing the political reforms implemented during the Occupation.
Carol Gluck
An engaging memoir of a pacifist Quaker historian of Japan who, during World War II, found himself a principal drafter of US policy for postwar Japan,including the decision to retain the emperor and allow economic reconstruction after the defeat. However larger than life General Douglas MacArthur liked to appear, history in postwar East Asia was also made by quiet, sober figures like Borton, ordinary people working in extraordinary times.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739103913
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 10/16/2002
  • Series: Studies of Modern Japan Series
  • Edition number: 288
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Hugh Borton taught at Columbia University and later served as President of Haverford College. He authored a number of seminal works on Japan, including Japan's Modern Century (1955).

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Abbreviations xi
1 Growing Up a Quaker 1
In Japan with the American Friends Service Committee, 1928-1931
2 First Impressions 15
3 The Growing Crisis 29
Preparing for a Career in Japanese Studies, 1931-1938
4 Graduate Study at Columbia, Harvard, and Leyden 41
5 Research Amid Apprehension: Tokyo, 1935-1936 53
Teaching in a Time of Crisis, 1938-1942
6 On the Columbia Faculty 67
7 The Demands of War 73
Wartime Service in Washington, 1942-1945
8 Early Postwar Planning 89
9 Strengthening the Peace Planning Structure 103
10 Defining Unconditional Surrender for Japan 115
11 Japan's Surrender 133
Making Policy for Postwar Japan and Korea, 1945-1947
12 Problems of Occupation 147
13 Revising Japan's Constitution 163
14 Difficulties in Korea 179
15 Japan and Korea under Occupation 189
16 Barriers to Peace with Japan 209
Return to Columbia, 1948-1956
17 Life at Hidden Springs 223
18 Japan Revisited, 1951-1952 229
19 Japanese Studies at Columbia 243
Home to Haverford, 1957-1967
20 The Challenges of a College President 253
Index 265
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