Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering: Japan in the Modern World

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Brand New - excellent clean condition, hard bound with dust jacket *** Title: "Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering: Japan in the Modern World", Author: John W.Dower, ... Publisher: New Press *** Read more Show Less

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Overview

Historian John W. Dower’s celebrated investigations into modern Japanese history, World War II, and U.S.–Japanese relations have earned him critical accolades and numerous honors, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Bancroft Prize. Now Dower returns to the major themes of his groundbreaking work, examining American and Japanese perceptions of key moments in their shared history.

Both provocative and probing, Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering delves into a range of subjects, including the complex role of racism on both sides of the Pacific War, the sophistication of Japanese wartime propaganda, the ways in which the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is remembered in Japan, and the story of how the postwar study of Japan in the United States and the West was influenced by Cold War politics.

Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering offers urgent insights by one of our greatest interpreters of the past into how citizens of democracy should deal with their history and, as Dower writes, “the need to constantly ask what is not being asked.”

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
No historian writes with more authority than this leading U.S. historian of modern Japan. MIT professor Dower’s new work brings together a number of his essays written between 1993 and 2007 (only one earlier), and they show him at the top of his form. Most deal with Japan since WWII, although Dower (a Pulitzer winner for Embracing Defeat) invokes much earlier history. He’s at his best, and unabashedly critical, when analyzing national hypocrisy and the misuses of history and memory, American as well as Japanese. His topics include Japanese racism along with the enthusiasm with which Japan went to war. He shows, through analyses of such cultural products as comics, playing cards, art, and clothing, how the Japanese themselves could ridicule as well as praise their leaders even in the midst of warfare’s horrors and atomic catastrophe. Searing essays on Hiroshima round out the volume. Dower also tries to apply his knowledge to current policy issues, especially American ease in going to war. On slippery ground here, he walks it as deftly as anyone else. A set of serious, cautionary reflections from a superb historian. Illus. Agent: Georges Borchardt. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews
A series of astute academic essays on the forging of postwar Japan. The winner of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award and Bancroft Prize, Dower (History Emeritus/MIT; Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor / Hiroshima / 9-11 / Iraq, 2010, etc.) is comfortable going against the grain. He was key to bringing back into print the significant work of forgotten Canadian historian E.H. Norman, whose deep research into the Meiji state revealed the authoritarian, feudal legacies that later helped drag Japan into imperial militarism, misery and defeat. In his essay on Norman, Dower shows how this approach contrasted with the postwar modernization theorists then in vogue, who held that Japan's militarism was essentially an aberration and hoped to put a positive spin on accomplishments since the Meiji era. Dower was told in 1970, during his time as a student, that his interest in the postwar occupation of Japan was "too recent to be history," foreshadowing some of the obfuscation he would later encounter. Other essays here, which appeared between 1993 and 2000, are fascinating explorations into Japanese racial theories, intense militaristic and racial propaganda, pervasive sense of "victim consciousness" and eruptions of reactionary language and a faulty sense of responsibility. "The Bombed" is a riveting analysis of the effects of the atomic bombs on the Japanese psyche. Thanks to the collusion of the U.S. government, which aimed for an easy occupation of the country, the Japanese were censored from venting expressions of outrage and grief over their government's rampant militarism and the end-of-war atomic apocalypse. Dower explores the dual role of science as both destroyer and postwar miracle worker, a lesson to be gleaned by both America and postwar Japan in terms of economic growth and military technology. Scrupulously researched and bravely presented scholarship.
From the Publisher
Praise for Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering:

"No historian writes with more authority than this leading historian
of modern Japan. Dower’s new work . . . shows him at the
top of his form."
Publishers Weekly

"Scrupulously researched and bravely presented scholarship."
Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Embracing Defeat:

"A superb history of Japan’s occupation."
The New York Review of Books

"A magisterial and beautifully written book. . . . A pleasure to read."
The New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595586186
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 7/31/2012
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

John W. Dower is professor emeritus of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His interests lie in modern Japanese history and U.S.–Japan relations. He is the author of several books, including War Without Mercy; Japan in War and Peace; Cultures of War; and Embracing Defeat, which was the recipient of numerous honors.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 E.H. Norman, Japan, and the Uses of History 1

2 Race, Language, and War in Two Cultures: World War II in Asia 28

3 Japan's Beautiful Modern War 65

4 "An Aptitude for Being Unloved?": War and Memory in Japan 105

5 The Bombed: Hiroshimas and Nagasakis in Japanese Memory 136

6 A Doctor's Diary of Hiroshima, Fifty Years Later 161

7 How a Genuine Democracy Should Celebrate Its Past 176

8 Peace and Democracy in Two Systems: External Policy and Internal Conflict 185

9 Mocking Misery: Grassroots Satire in Defeated Japan 227

10 Lessons from Japan About War's Aftermath 256

11 The Other Japanese Occupation 261

Sources 270

Notes 272

Index 307

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