Yoshida Shigeru

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The most complete autobiography of Yoshida Shigeru available in English, this expanded translation of his memoirs traces the remarkable life and times of one of Japan's most powerful and influential figures. Yoshida (1878-1967), who served in China and Europe as a career diplomat, closely linked with the key political leaders who shaped the world in Japan's most tumultuous years in the first half of the twentieth century. He returned to politics to rebuild Japan as a five-time prime minister after the devastation of World War II. Yoshida retired from the Japanese Foreign Ministry in 1939 with the intention of leading a quiet life. Yet he knew the winds of war were stirring and presciently began behind-the scenes maneuvering to avoid the calamitous Pacific War. Soon after Japan's defeat, Yoshida amassed the political power to form his own cabinet. Sandwiched between Japan's interests and major reforms advanced by MacArthur's occupation forces, Yoshida boldly pushed through many essential reforms, laying the foundation for his country's reentry into the global community. Richly laced with historical detail, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century Japan. Exploring Yoshida's and Japan's linked histories, the book traces Yoshida's lengthy tenure in China, his travel abroad as a member of Japan's mission to conclude World War I, the interwar years spent as a high-ranking diplomat in Europe, his role in the days leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack, his view on the loss of war, his insights into MacArthur's character, Japan's postwar economic woes, the new constitution, the threat of communism, the imperial system, and the San Francisco Peace Conference in 1958 that guaranteed Japan's sovereignty.

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Editorial Reviews

This new translation of Yoshida's memoirs will be welcome for all who wish to understand postwar Japanese history and leadership better, especially in light of its inclusion of previously unavailable sections on the Korean War, the Japanese imperial household, and other matters. Here are Yoshida's recollections and views on the Occupation and MacArthur, postwar economic recovery and growth, labor activism, and Japan's place in the international community. Here also are insights into the personalities and behavior of key figures in postwar Japan, and on events since 1945 that engaged the attention of both Japanese and Americans. Read in conjunction with such works as John Dower's studies of the Occupation and Yoshida himself, this memoir will give students of postwar Japan an invaluable grasp of what happened and how to evaluate it. A deep debt of gratitude is owed the translators and editors for providing this work. Essential.
Japanese Studies
Yoshida's book remains good political biography.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742539334
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Series: A Pacific Basin Institute Book Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 346
  • Product dimensions: 0.72 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Hiroshi Nara is professor and chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Part I: The Yoshida Memoirs: The Story of Japan in Crisis Chapter 2 Chapter 1: The Unfolding Tragedy Chapter 3 Chapter 2: The Crisis Breaks Chapter 4 Chapter 3: Aftermath of Defeat Chapter 5 Chapter 4: Blueprint for an Occupation Chapter 6 Chapter 5: General MacArthur and His Aides Chapter 7 Chapter 6: My Political Apprenticeship Chapter 8 Chapter 7: The 'Yoshida Era' Begins Chapter 9 Chapter 8: My First Cabinet Chapter 10 Chapter 9: In Opposition-and an Election Victory Chapter 11 Chapter 10: The Last Three Yoshida Cabinets Chapter 12 Chapter 11: The West Revisited Chapter 13 Chapter 12: Old Friends in Britain and the United States Chapter 14 Chapter 13: The Post-War Constitution Chapter 15 Chapter 14: Critics of the New Constitution Chapter 16 Chapter 15: The Purges Chapter 17 Chapter 16: Educational Reform Chapter 18 Chapter 17: Police Reform Chapter 19 Chapter 18: The Self-Defense Force Chapter 20 Chapter 19: Agricultural Reform Chapter 21 Chapter 20: The Post-War Food Crisis Chapter 22 Chapter 21: Labor Reforms and After Chapter 23 Chapter 22: My Views on Japan's Labor Movement Chapter 24 Chapter 23: The Communists as a Destructive Force Chapter 25 Chapter 24: The San Francisco Peace Treaty Chapter 26 Chapter 25: Preparatory Negotiations for Peace Chapter 27 Chapter 26: The San Francisco Peace Conference Chapter 28 Chapter 27: The Territorial Question Chapter 29 Chapter 28: The U.S.-Japan Security Treaty Chapter 30 Chapter 29: The Administrative Agreement Chapter 31 Chapter 30: Postscript Part 32 Part II: New Translation Chapter 33 Chapter 31: Korean War, Peace, and Independence Chapter 35 Chapter 32: My View on the Imperial Household Chapter 35 Chapter 33: Recollections of My Days as a Diplomat Chapter 36 Chapter 34: Recollections of Friends

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