Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II

Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II

by John W. Dower
4.3 7
Pub. Date:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the 1999 National Book Award for Nonfiction, finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize and the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, Embracing Defeat is John W. Dower's brilliant examination of Japan in the immediate, shattering aftermath of World War II.
Drawing on a vast range of Japanese sources and illustrated with dozens of astonishing documentary photographs, Embracing Defeat is the fullest and most important history of the more than six years of American occupation, which affected every level of Japanese society, often in ways neither side could anticipate. Dower, whom Stephen E. Ambrose has called "America's foremost historian of the Second World War in the Pacific," gives us the rich and turbulent interplay between West and East, the victor and the vanquished, in a way never before attempted, from top-level manipulations concerning the fate of Emperor Hirohito to the hopes and fears of men and women in every walk of life. Already regarded as the benchmark in its field, Embracing Defeat is a work of colossal scholarship and history of the very first order. John W. Dower is the Elting E. Morison Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for War Without Mercy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393320275
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 06/28/2000
Pages: 676
Sales rank: 198,640
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Part I.Victor and Vanquished
1.Shattered Lives33
Euphemistic Surrender34
Unconditional Surrender39
Quantifying Defeat45
Coming Home ... Perhaps48
Displaced Persons54
Despised Veterans58
Stigmatized Victims61
2.Gifts From Heaven65
"Revolution from Above"69
Demilitarization and Democratization73
Imposing Reform80
Part II.Transcending Despair
3.Kyodatsu: Exhaustion and Despair87
Hunger and the Bamboo-Shoot Existence89
Enduring the Unendurable97
Sociologies of Despair104
Child's Play110
Inflation and Economic Sabotage112
4.Cultures of Defeat121
Servicing the Conquerors123
"Butterflies," "Onlys," and Subversive Women132
Black-Market Entrepreneurship139
"Kasutori Culture"148
Decadence and Authenticity154
"Married Life"162
5.Bridges of Language168
Mocking Defeat170
Brightness, Apples, and English172
The Familiarity of the New177
Rushing into Print180
Bestsellers and Posthumous Heroes187
Heroines and Victims195
Part III.Revolutions
6.Neocolonial Revolution203
Victors as Viceroys204
Reevaluating the Monkey-Men213
The Experts and the Obedient Herd217
7.Embracing Revolution225
Embracing the Commander226
Intellectuals and the Community of Remorse233
Grass-Roots Engagements239
Institutionalizing Reform244
Democratizing Everyday Language251
8.Making Revolution254
Lovable Communists and Radicalized Workers255
"A Sea of Red Flags"259
Unmaking the Revolution from Below267
Part IV.Democracies
9.Imperial Democracy: Driving the Wedge277
Psychological Warfare and the Son of Heaven280
Purifying the Sovereign287
The Letter, the Photograph, and the Memorandum289
10.Imperial Democracy: Descending Partway From Heaven302
Becoming Bystanders302
Becoming Human308
Cutting Smoke with Scissors314
11.Imperial Democracy: Evading Responsibility319
Confronting Abdication320
Imperial Tours and the Manifest Human330
One Man's Shattered God339
12.Constitutional Democracy: GHQ Writes a New National Charter346
Regendering a Hermaphroditic Creature347
Conundrums for the Men of Meiji351
Popular Initiatives for a New National Charter355
SCAP Takes Over360
GHQ's "Constitutional Convention"364
Thinking about Idealism and Cultural Imperialism370
13.Constitutional Democracy: Japanizing the American Draft374
"The Last Opportunity for the Conservative Group"376
The Translation Marathon379
Unveiling the Draft Constitution383
Water Flows, the River Stays387
"Japanizing" Democracy391
Renouncing War ... Perhaps394
Responding to a Fait Accompli399
14.Censored Democracy: Policing the New Taboos405
The Phantom Bureaucracy406
Impermissible Discourse410
Purifying the Victors419
Policing the Cinema426
Curbing the Political Left432
Part V.Guilts
15.Victor's Justice, Loser's Justice443
Stern Justice444
Showcase Justice: The Tokyo Tribunal449
Tokyo and Nuremberg454
Victor's Justice and Its Critics461
Race, Power, and Powerlessness469
Loser's Justice: Naming Names474
16.What do you Tell the Dead when you Lose?485
A Requiem for Departed Heroes486
Irrationality, Science, and "Responsibility for Defeat"490
Buddhism as Repentance and Repentance as Nationalism496
Responding to Atrocity504
Remembering the Criminals, Forgetting Their Crimes508
Part VI.Reconstructions
17.Engineering Growth525
"Oh, Mistake!"526
Visible (and Invisible) Hands528
Planning a Cutting-Edge Economy536
Unplanned Developments and Gifts from the Gods540
Epilogue: Legacies/Fantasies/Dreams547
Photo Credits651

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Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
HISTORIANJV More than 1 year ago
This winner of the Pulitzer Prize is thought provoking in at least three ways: (1) Readers of military history will find the occupation years 1945-1952 a good closing to their readings on the Pacific War. Policy issues explored in depth include the controversial US occupation decision to retain the Emperor (despite the disagreement of war time allies)and govern through Japanese intermediaries. The occupation's approved rewriting of history to hide the Emperor's involvement in Japanese war policy, and how this influenced Japan's self-image of victim rather than aggressor. The impact of these events on Japan's continued denial of their atrocities is made clear. (2) Contrasts between the occupation of Japan and that of Iraq are unavoidable. The impact of occupational assertiveness and the culture of those conquered might never be better portrayed. (3) The now largely forgotten but real threats of the Cold War years come alive in the events leading up to the Communist take-over of the newly legalized (by the occpation)Japanese governbment and industrial unions. These events, culminating in a planned 1949 nation-wide general strike to bring down the government, was averted only by McArthur's intervention and the subsequent anti-communist actions to control Japenese radio, press, education and the selection of government administrators.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book on what is not a much-written about topic. The book fills the void about what happened after Sept. 2. Definitely recommend it
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book covers everything you could hope to learn about post-WWII Japan with a great focus on cultural change and pop culture. A book I keep refering back to again and again...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walk through the trails