Japan's First Modern War: Army and Society in the Conflict with China, 1894-5 (Studies in Military and Strategic History)

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9780333555545: Japan's First Modern War: Army and Society in the Conflict with China, 1894-5 (Studies in Military and Strategic History)
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This is the first ever English-language study of the war which established Japan's image as a warrior nation, an image which in many ways persists today. Using extensive Japanese materials, including the letters of frontline troops and provincial newspapers, it presents the diverse experience both of soldiers and civilians and reveals how war accelerated the modernization of Japanese society. Included are such topics as the soldiers' impressions of duty, nation, and their 'fellow' Asians; the role of the emperor as commander-in-chief; the use of the war in schools; as well as the activities of small business, institutional religion, and patriotic societies.

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There has been no previous study of Japan's army and society in this the first of its modern wars. Utilising letters and diaries from the battlefield, provincial newspapers and local histories, the study presents the complex and diverse experiences of Japanese soldiers and civilians as war accelerated their entry to the modern world. In addition to explaining the military and diplomatic context of the war, individual chapters assess the impressions of troops as they journey to the front, their attitudes towards their 'fellow' Asians in China and Korea, and their sense of nationalism and duty; at home, we observe the role of the emperor as commander-in-chief, the response of the government at central and local levels, the use of the war in schools, its impact on communications, and the activities of patriotic groups, institutional religion and small business.

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