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Look Inside Japanese Society at War

Japanese Society at War
Death, Memory and the Russo-Japanese War

$124.00 (C)

Part of Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare

  • Date Published: April 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521859349

$ 124.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • As the first international conflict of the twentieth century, the Russo-Japanese War attracted much contemporary global interest. This text was the first full-length study to examine the war from the perspective of its impact on Japanese society, and sheds light on its implications for modern Japan. What did the war mean to the Japanese people and how did they respond to it? Naoko Shimazu presents a fascinating and highly innovative account of the attitudes of ordinary Japanese people towards the war through a wide range of sources including personal diaries, letters, and contemporary images. She deals with themes such as conscripts and battlefield death, war commemoration, heroic myths, and war in popular culture. Challenging the orthodox view of Meiji Japan as monolithic, she shows that there existed a complex and ambivalent relationship between the Japanese state and society.

    • Revisionist study sheds light on what the Russo-Japanese war meant to the Japanese people at war and on the home front
    • Deepens our understanding of the social and cultural impact of warfare on modern societies
    • Exposes the previously unheard voices of ordinary soldiers through diaries and letters
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    Reviews & endorsements

    " important work that belongs in most library collections. It opens to the non-specialist a fascinating and rare glimpse of Japan's response to one of the foundational conflicts of the twentieth century." -Gary P. Fox, The Journal of Military History

    "Naoko Shimazu is to be congratulated for widening the lens through which we can now look at the Russo-Japanese War." -Sanda Wilson, Journal of Japanese Studies

    "...a valuable contribution to the literature and should be read widely by all people interested in the period when Japan entered the 20th century." - Reviews in History

    "...anyone studying modern Japan and the workings of modern Japanese nationalism will find much to think about in Shimazu’s thoughtful book. Above all, those with an interest in modern warfare and national identity formation should give this book a serious read." -American Historical Review

    "This work usefully comments on the nature of nationalism in prewar Japan, not only in 1904-5 but after. It is accessible to all post-secondary readers and asks questions extending beyond Japanese history, rendering it of interest to anyone examining issues of war and memory." -Bill Sewell, Canadian Journal of History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521859349
    • length: 354 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.69kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Society in conflict
    2. Journey of farewell
    3. Honourable war death
    4. Local patriots
    5. Love thy enemy
    6. God of war
    7. War in popular cultural memory

  • Author

    Naoko Shimazu, Birkbeck College, University of London
    Naoko Shimazu's major publications include Imagining Japan in Post-war East Asia (co-editor, 2013), Nationalisms in Japan (editor, 2006) and Japan, Race and Equality: The Racial Equality Proposal of 1919 (1998). She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Professorial Associate of the Japan Research Centre at SOAS, University of London, Associate of MEARC at Leiden University, and a former Japan Foundation Fellow. She serves on the editorial boards of Japan Forum, Modern Asian Studies, Reviews in History, and Theory, Culture and Society. Her current major project is a monograph, Diplomacy as Theatre: Asian and African Performances at the Bandung Conference of 1955.

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