The Quest for Civilization illuminates the origins of modern Japan through the lens of its cultural contact with the Netherlands providing a rare contribution to the field in English-language literature. Following the “opening” of the country in the 1850s, Japan encountered Western modernity through a quest for knowledge personified by Nishi Amane and Tsuda Mamichi, two young scholars who journeyed to Leiden in 1863 as the first Japanese sent to study in Europe. For two years they were tutored by Simon Vissering – one of the leading Dutch economists of the nineteenth century. Following their return home, their work as government officials and intellectuals played a key role in the introduction of the European social sciences, jurisprudence, and international law to Japan, thereby exerting a decisive influence on the establishment of the modern Japanese state and the redefinition of the international and cultural order in East Asia.
Encounters with Dutch Jurisprudence, Political Economy, and Statistics at the Dawn of Modern Japan
Culture and Disaster in Japan
Edited by Roy Starrs
Edited by Roy Starrs, this collection of essays by an international group of leading experts on Japanese religion, anthropology, history, literature and music presents new research and thinking on the long and complex relationship between culture and disaster in Japan, one of the most “disaster-prone” countries in the world. Focusing first on responses to the triple disasters of March 2011, the book then puts the topic in a wider historical context by looking at responses to earlier disasters, both natural and man-made, including the great quakes of 1995 and 1923 and the atomic bombings of 1945. This wide-ranging “double structure” enables an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the issues involved that goes well beyond the clichés and the headlines.
Nogami Yaeko's novel The Labyrinth deals with the doubts and dilemmas of leftwing intellectuals before and during World War II. Rich in social detail and profound in its psychology, it follows the political and sentimental evolution of the protagonist Kanno Shōzō from a humiliating recantation of his socialist creed to a problematic participation in Japan's war against China. Nogami Yaeko (1885-1985) was Japan's longest-lived woman writer and has an assured place in the history of Japanese fiction. Winner of the prestigious Nomiuri prize, The Labyrinth was immediately recognized as a major critical contribution to the understanding of Japanese political and intellectual history.
The Origin of Japan’s Self Defense Forces
Based upon years of research undertaken in the US Occupation archives, this book provides a history of Japan’s National Police Reserve (NPR), the precursor of today’s Ground Self Defense Force (GSDF). It is the first ever comprehensive and exclusively focused history of the force in any language. The book examines the domestic and international origins of the force, the American constabulary model upon which it was based, the NPR's character and operation, and its evolution into the GSDF. This volume provides numerous insights and fresh perspectives on the character of the NPR, the origins of the SDF, the US Occupation of Japan and Cold War era US-Japan relations.