In this newly revised edition of his readable and thoughtful survey, Mikiso Hane presents the essential facts of modern Japanese history. He integrates political events with the cultural, economic, and intellectual activities of each period, and he is sensitive to the conditions of life in all strata of the population. The new edition covers a variety of important developments through the 1990s, giving special consideration to how traditional Japanese modes of thought and behavior have affected these recent developments.As background for his study of the modern era, Hane summarizes the early history of Japan, with attention to institutions that have molded the nature of Japanese society—including Shinto, the Emperor system, Buddhism, and feudalism. Hane then sets the stage for modern Japan with a detailed and analytical discussion of the Tokugawa period.The survey takes on immediacy as it chronicles the growth of Westernization in the nineteenth century and the ascendancy of militarism in the twentieth. The chapters on Meiji Japan balance politics and economics with a close look at social conditions, education, and religion. The story of Japan’s role in World War II, its defeat in 1945, and the occupation is told dispassionately, but from a Japanese vantagepoint. Hane’s portrait of life in postwar Japan is enriched by material on contemporary literature, Japanese youth culture, and other intellectual developments.The last two chapters, which have been updated and reorganized, focuses on the dramatic economic surge since the end of World War II and the accompanying social changes in life-style and attitudes, particularly for women and the working class. Reiterating themes that permeate the book, a final section reviews Japan’s relations with the outside world, especially with the United States, and the ongoing tension between the old and the new, the traditional and the recent social, intellectual, and cultural developments. A useful, updated bibliography and well-chosen illustrations enhance the text.
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Mikiso Hane is professor emeritus of history at Knox College and has written extensively on Japan for over twenty-five years.Review:
“Since its first edition, Hane’s text has served as an excellent guide to modern Japanese history, thanks largely to the clarity of his writing, unbiased voice, and efforts to humanize the story, most notably by including the experiences of peasants, women, and other minorities too often overlooked. Perez, to his credit, has made the text even more accessible to students and general readers. Not only has he seamlessly woven in updated material and editorially improved the flow of the narrative, but his expansion of the bibliography and chronological chart and inclusion of a new section on internet sources have significantly enhanced the text’s usefulness as a resource.”
—Elizabeth Dorn Lublin, Wayne State University
“Mikiso Hane, with Louis Perez’s updates, provides us once again with a text that treats the political, economic, intellectual, cultural, and, social history of Japan up to current times. Women and minorities are fully included in this readable yet detailed history of modern Japan.”
—Ann M. Harrington, Loyola University Chicago
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Book Description Westview Press, 1986. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0813303168