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.
Abstract : Revisiting the political and social history of Seoul, Korea, in 1945, this article assesses responses to Japanese defeat and the end of empire in the context of American military occupation. The arrival of the Americans forced Japanese and Koreans alike to rethink their positions in the world. Drawing on past colonial practices, Japanese residents used the immediate post-surrender moment to ponder their future prospects, recording those thoughts in a number of public and private sources. They negotiated the passage from a colonial to a post-imperial society, I argue, by embracing a consciousness of a defeated people while disregarding criticisms of colonial rule. This investigation seeks to interpret the immediate post-World War II moment in Seoul less as a founding moment of the Cold War and more as an important transition in the history of decolonization.
Afro-Asian Solidarity in 20th-Century Black America, Japan, and Okinawa
Author: Yuichiro Onishi
Publisher: NYU Press
“In this exhaustively-researched and beautifully-written book, Onishi uncovers a hidden history of Afro-Asian radicalism and internationalism. He presents bold and generative arguments about the ways in which the affiliation of kindred spirits across the Pacific enabled anti-racist intellectuals and activists from Japan and the U.S. to forge a new philosophy of world history and formulate practical programs for liberation.” —George Lipsitz, author of How Racism Takes Place “This fascinating and ground-breaking book offers a new window into the vital history of Afro-Asian solidarity against empire and white supremacy. Meticulously researched, it recovers the epistemological breakthroughs that emerged at the intersection of radical struggle and geographical reorientation. Through his sharp analysis of cross-cultural and transnational collectivity, Onishi provides a guidepost for all those interested in the study of utopian, boundary-crossing projects of the past, as well as the creation of future ones.” — Scott Kurashige, author of The Shifting Grounds of Race and co-author of The Next American Revolution Transpacific Antiracism introduces the dynamic process out of which social movements in Black America, Japan, and Okinawa formed Afro-Asian solidarities against the practice of white supremacy in the twentieth century. Yuichiro Onishi argues that in the context of forging Afro-Asian solidarities, race emerged as a political category of struggle with a distinct moral quality and vitality. This book explores the work of Black intellectual-activists of the first half of the twentieth century, including Hubert Harrison and W. E. B. Du Bois, that took a pro-Japan stance to articulate the connection between local and global dimensions of antiracism. Turning to two places rarely seen as a part of the Black experience, Japan and Okinawa, the book also presents the accounts of a group of Japanese scholars shaping the Black studies movement in post-surrender Japan and multiracial coalition-building in U.S.-occupied Okinawa during the height of the Vietnam War which brought together local activists, peace activists, and antiracist and antiwar GIs. Together these cases of Afro-Asian solidarity make known political discourses and projects that reworked the concept of race to become a wellspring of aspiration for a new society. Yuichiro Onishi is Assistant Professor of African American & African Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
In this classic text, Peter Maguire follows America's legal relationship with war, both before and after the Nuremberg trials of the 1940s. Maguire argues that the precedents set by the trials were nothing less than revolutionary, and he traces the development of these new attitudes throughout American history. The text has been revised throughout, with a new preface and postscript discussing the George W. Bush administration's attempt to rewrite the laws of war after 9/11. Maguire connects these efforts to the decline in American power and reputation. Praise for the previous edition: "[An] intriguing historical analysis."—Harvard Law Review "Outstanding... impressive... a terrific book."—American Historical Review "A five-star accomplishment that will intrigue the reader and prove that, in history, truth is often more fascinating than fiction."—H. W. William Caming, former Nuremberg prosecutor "Perceptive."—Journal of American History "An important and fascinating study, marked by impressive research and moral passion."—Ronald Steel, University of Southern California "A 'must read' for all those interested in international criminal law, war crimes, and war crime trials."—J. C. Watkins Jr., University of Alabama "A sobering exploration of the hypocrisy and double standards that shape the laws of war. Maguire reveals the conflict between American ideology and American imperialism, the Faustian compromises made by our leaders during their elusive quest for justice."—Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking "A pioneering account.... Law and War goes back to the middle of the nineteenth century to trace the history of modern war crimes, their shock value, and the efforts made to bring their perpetrators to account."—Thomas Keenan, Bardian
With the end of the Second World War, a new world was born. The peace agreements that brought the conflict to an end implemented decisions that not only shaped the second half of the twentieth century, but continue to affect our world today and impact on its future. In 1946 the Cold War began, the state of Israel was conceived, the independence of India was all but confirmed and Chinese Communists gained a decisive upper hand in their fight for power. It was a pivotal year in modern history in which countries were reborn and created, national and ideological boundaries were redrawn and people across the globe began to rebuild their lives. In this remarkable history, the foreign correspondent and historian Victor Sebestyen draws on contemporary documents from around the world - including Stalin's personal notes from the Potsdam peace conference - to examine what lay behind the political decision-making. Sebestyen uses a vast array of archival material and personal testimonies to explore how the lives of generations of people across continents were shaped by the events of 1946. Taking readers from Berlin to London, from Paris to Moscow, from Washington to Jerusalem and from Delhi to Shanghai, this is a vivid and wide-ranging account of both powerbrokers and ordinary men and women from an acclaimed author.
Japanese film is enduringly fascinating, challenging and rewarding. This book provides a cultural, historical and philosophical study of Japanese film, from the silent era to the present-day, focusing on its expansive consciousness. The author examines masterpieces by Ozu, Mizoguchi, Oshima and many other directors, discussing their influence on the Japanese culture of esoteric Zen Buddhism and relating them to recent neuroscientific theories of brain trauma.
In The Long Defeat, Akiko Hashimoto explores the stakes of war memory in Japan after its catastrophic defeat in World War II, showing how and why defeat has become an indelible part of national collective life, especially in recent decades. Divisive war memories lie at the root of the contentious politics surrounding Japan's pacifist constitution and remilitarization, and fuel the escalating frictions in East Asia known collectively as Japan's "history problem." Drawing on ethnography, interviews, and a wealth of popular memory data, this book identifies three preoccupations - national belonging, healing, and justice - in Japan's discourses of defeat. Hashimoto uncovers the key war memory narratives that are shaping Japan's choices - nationalism, pacifism, or reconciliation - for addressing the rising international tensions and finally overcoming its dark history.
From the beginning of the American Occupation in 1945 to the post-bubble period of the early 1990s, popular music provided Japanese listeners with a much-needed release, channeling their desires, fears, and frustrations into a pleasurable and fluid art. Pop music allowed Japanese artists and audiences to assume various identities, reflecting the country's uncomfortable position under American hegemony and its uncertainty within ever-shifting geopolitical realities. In the first English-language study of this phenomenon, Michael K. Bourdaghs considers genres as diverse as boogie-woogie, rockabilly, enka, 1960s rock and roll, 1970s new music, folk, and techno-pop. Reading these forms and their cultural import through music, literary, and cultural theory, he introduces readers to the sensual moods and meanings of modern Japan. As he unpacks the complexities of popular music production and consumption, Bourdaghs interprets Japan as it worked through (or tried to forget) its imperial past. These efforts grew even murkier as Japanese pop migrated to the nation's former colonies. In postwar Japan, pop music both accelerated and protested the commodification of everyday life, challenged and reproduced gender hierarchies, and insisted on the uniqueness of a national culture, even as it participated in an increasingly integrated global marketplace. Each chapter in Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon examines a single genre through a particular theoretical lens: the relation of music to liberation; the influence of cultural mapping on musical appreciation; the role of translation in transmitting musical genres around the globe; the place of noise in music and its relation to historical change; the tenuous connection between ideologies of authenticity and imitation; the link between commercial success and artistic integrity; and the function of melodrama. Bourdaghs concludes with a look at recent Japanese pop music culture.
Women and Democracy in Cold War Japan offers a fresh perspective on gender politics by focusing on the Japanese housewife of the 1950s as a controversial representation of democracy, leisure, and domesticity. Examining the shifting personae of the housewife, especially in the appealing texts of women's magazines, reveals the diverse possibilities of postwar democracy as they were embedded in media directed toward Japanese women. Each chapter explores the contours of a single controversy, including debate over the royal wedding in 1959, the victory of Japan's first Miss Universe, and the unruly desires of postwar women. Jan Bardsley also takes a comparative look at the ways in which the Japanese housewife is measured against equally stereotyped notions of the modern housewife in the United States, asking how both function as narratives of Japan-U.S. relations and gender/class containment during the early Cold War.
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.”