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Modern Japanese Thought

Modern Japanese Thought


B. T. Wakabayashi, Hirakawa Sukehiro, Kenneth B. Pyle, Peter Duus, Irwin Scheiner, Tetsuo Najita, H. D. Harootunian, Andrew Barshay
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  • Date Published: June 1998
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521588102

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About the Authors
  • Over the past two centuries, Japan has undergone Westernization not only in the external realm of material culture and sociopolitical organization, but also in the inner realm of thought and morals. This comprehensive intellectual history, consisting of chapters from volumes five and six of the Cambridge History of Japan, plus a new introduction and chapter on postwar intellectual trends, describes the forces that made Japanese thinkers both receptive and hostile to Western ideas and values from the 1770s to the 1990s. Important themes in the book are the potential of Western learning to discredit as well as bolster the existing order, and the perennial tension between indigenous and alien, traditional and modern, and rulers and ruled. More specific topics include: Japan's turn to the West; the Meiji Enlightenment and enthusiasm for Westernization; the mid-Meiji conservative reaction; socialism and nationalism in the prewar years; the shock of defeat; and the growth of democracy since 1945.

    • Western language survey of modern Japanese thought covering late Tokugawa onwards
    • The chapter on postwar Japanese thought is very detailed
    • Clear unifying theme - Japan's Janus-faced response to the modern West
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A valuable contribution to the history of ideas …'. Mutations Asiatiques

    ' … a balanced, full and remarkably objective view of the intellectual basis of modern Japan'. Contemporary Review

    'This volume is certainly a welcome addition to the body of writing on Japanese intellectual history in English … Overall, Modern Japanese Thought is probably the most thorough and accessible overview, not only of Japanese thought, but also of modern Japanese cultural history currently available … this volume must surely constitute an indispensible addition to a personal or university library collection.' New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 1998
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521588102
    • length: 414 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction B. T. Wakabayashi
    2. Japan's turn to the West Hirakawa Sukehiro (translated by B. T. Wakabayashi)
    3. Meiji conservatism Kenneth B. Pyle
    4. Socialism, liberalism, and Marxism, 1901–31 Peter Duus and Irwin Scheiner
    5. Japanese revolt against the West: political and cultural criticism in the twentieth century Tetsuo Najita and H. D. Harootunian
    6. The postwar intellectual history of Japan Andrew Barshay.

  • Editor

    Bob T. Wakabayashi, York University, Toronto


    B. T. Wakabayashi, Hirakawa Sukehiro, Kenneth B. Pyle, Peter Duus, Irwin Scheiner, Tetsuo Najita, H. D. Harootunian, Andrew Barshay

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