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The Abacus and the Sword: The Japanese Penetration of Korea, 1895-1910

DUUS, PETER

27 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0520086147 / ISBN 13: 9780520086142
Published by University of California Press, Berkeley, 1995
Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Abacus and the Sword: The Japanese ...

Publisher: University of California Press, Berkeley

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hard Cover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: First Edition, First printing

About this title

Synopsis:

What forces were behind Japan's emergence as the first non-Western colonial power at the turn of the twentieth century? Peter Duus brings a new perspective to Meiji expansionism in this pathbreaking study of Japan's acquisition of Korea, the largest of its colonial possessions. He shows how Japan's drive for empire was part of a larger goal to become the economic, diplomatic, and strategic equal of the Western countries who had imposed a humiliating treaty settlement on the country in the 1850s.

Duus maintains that two separate but interlinked processes, one political/military and the other economic, propelled Japan's imperialism. Every attempt at increasing Japanese political influence licensed new opportunities for trade, and each new push for Japanese economic interests buttressed, and sometimes justified, further political advances. The sword was the servant of the abacus, the abacus the agent of the sword.

While suggesting that Meiji imperialism shared much with the Western colonial expansion that provided both model and context, Duus also argues that it was "backward imperialism" shaped by a sense of inferiority vis-à-vis the West. Along with his detailed diplomatic and economic history, Duus offers a unique social history that illuminates the motivations and lifestyles of the overseas Japanese of the time, as well as the views that contemporary Japanese had of themselves and their fellow Asians.

From the Inside Flap:

"This is a major historical work that, in the field of Japanese imperialism, will set a standard for careful and comprehensive analysis. The Abacus and the Sword is the handiwork of a master historian."—Mark R. Peattie, author of Nan'yo: The Rise and Fall of the Japanese in Micronesia, 1885-1945

"This book . . . deserves a wide readership, especially among East Asia history specialists, for it represents difficult and complex scholarship at its best. . . . It is clear from an analysis of his documentation that he put solid study into the Japan-Korea relationship problem, one of the most complex in modern East Asian history—the equivalent perhaps of the English-Irish relationship in Western History. . . . This book is . . . well worth reading, not only for East Asian specialists but for anyone fascinated by the mysteries of history."

Hilary Conroy, American Academy of Political Science

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