The preeminent society among these — the one people that had seemingly "made it" in the 20th century — was of course Japan. The effort to transform Hirohito from the symbol of Japanese militarism into a symbol of peace and acceptance is truly an amazing feat, and how GHQ worked with the post-war Japanese politicians and bureaucrats is equally impressive. This project came to a horrifying end in the atomic explosions that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ushering in a new Japan in their wake. The idea that, from then on, the democratic ideals of the people became overwhelmed by the interests of these elites often appears to point to a lack of individual agency on the part of the mass of the Japanese population. General MacArthur and SCAP began repealing many of the freedoms bestowed in the early years of occupation. His sources included books, movies, cartoons, articles and letters to newspapers and public officials from the Emperor's surrender announcement through the end of the occupation. This darkly fantastical... To see what your friends thought of this book, It's not patronising. As a kid and military dependent I lived in Japan, in Sasebo, a port near Nagasaki. SHATTERED LIVES It was August 15, 1945, shortly before noon. I am not quite sure that I could’ve gotten through it otherwise. Society itself began to dismantle, as indicated by rises in alcoholism, prostitution, suicides and crime. Refresh and try again. As early as 1955, a former officer in the Civil Information and Education section of SCAP, James B. Gibson, could bemoan the fact that ‘most of the occupation changes are being reversed one by one’. The two reviews that led me to read the book were Max’s very detailed one. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, by John W. Dower, is an excellent history of postwar Japan from 1946 to the end of the US occupation in 1952, and slightly onward. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. We’d love your help. Dower's book is an in-depth study of postwar Japan and how it responded to its crushing defeat at the hands of the allied forces. From part three on, we begin to see an increasingly dominant occupation force working with and through many of the Japanese right-wing elites purged at the very start. Embracing Defeat is an important book for all students of post-war Japanese history. Well written and fascinating book. Start by marking “Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Book Review: Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. Those with the least suffered the mo. At the same time, Dower acknowledges that the Japanese themselves were often concerned with the questions of collectivism and conformity. The author dealt with such subjects as the Japanese having to digest their defeat after they had been told they were winning the war, the Emperor's admission he was not a god (a muddled confession! There is a full exploration of how the constitution was drawn up, for example, which illuminates the thought processes of the Japanese side and the American side. 297 reviews. This is not the book to read if what you are looking for is the typical history of the Occupation Forces in Japan. By the summer of 1942, after the rapid colonisation of most of Southeast Asia, the history of Japan’s experience of modernity was being framed within the context of a ‘world historical’ mission that no longer needed the ‘West’ as a reference. The vibrancy, depth and importance of recent scholarship dealing with the issues raised by his work, along with the recent Japanese concern with the legacy of the period and the numerous unresolved international disputes, means that Embracing Defeat will remain essential reading. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Embracing Defeat – Japan in the Wake of World War II at Amazon.com. Découvrez des commentaires utiles de client et des classements de commentaires pour Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Aftermath of World War II sur Amazon.fr. Embracing Defeat write a book review on Embracing Defeat by John W. Dower. The need to reform the US-written constitution, the cultural degradation, the selfishness wrought by the focus on individualism over the family system and filial piety, the loss of a spirit of self-reliance. This happened even as a record number of women held positions in parliament. Embracing Defeat by John W. Dower, 9780393320275, available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. The book examines the hopes, visions, and dreams, as well as the despair and exhaustion, of the defeated country and its people as they sought to remake their identity and and values in the aftermath of the war. For people who had been indoctrinated to believe that they lived in a unique “familial” country, this dog-eat-dog, predatory post-war world was shocking. What is to be the. Highly nuanced and neutral in tone, it’s an entirely persuasive account of how Japan transitioned from fifteen years of war and defeat to its new and not-so-new nationhood and the American, especially MacArthur’s, role and goals in bringing it about. Free delivery on qualified orders. Embracing Defeat is an important book for all students of post-war Japanese history. Most of society was on board with this mobilization, and those that were not were languishing in prison. This is a long book that extends beyond politics to look at culture, film, literature, gender, and Japanese society. Even with almost 600 dense pages of academic but well-written erudition, it's not easy to tackle how Japan was transformed from a brutal imperialistic aggressor into a docile, cooperative, contrite and eager anti-Communist ally of the US, and how the decision to preserve the Japanese Emperor as a symbol of both Japan's rich cultural heritage and its new peaceful role in the post-war world was a crucial decision by MacArthur and the GHQ. As WWII ended, Japan had lost three million dead, with many more wounded, … If, towards the end, that everyday life seems overwhelmed by economic and political decisions taken out of the hands of the Japanese themselves, his book nevertheless remains the go to English language book on the period. The Americans initially focussed on making Japan a functioning, stable democracy and on eliminating its capacity to wage war. Indeed, later in the book we learn that ‘over-playing starvation’ was among the many items to be deleted and supressed under SCAP’s censorship operation (p. 411). One of my major interests is the sociocultural and political evolution of Asian societies in modernity. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Combining cartoons, newspaper and journal articles, reader’s letters, first-hand accounts of life under occupation, official documents from SCAP and from the Japanese government, Dower brilliantly captures that diversity. Rated 4.12/5 by MouthShut users | Help millions of users by writing reviews on MouthShut.com L. Hein, ‘Revisiting America’s occupation of Japan’, J.C.S 1380/15, BASIC DIRECTIVE FOR POST-SURRENDER MILITARY. He died just before the surrender (p. 33–4). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. While his schol. That this was effected by reinterpretation rather than amendment, that it was not supported by a majority of Japanese citizens, and that the US was cheering the "clarification" from the sidelines will not come as a surprise to anyone who has read Dower's exceptional, and exceptionally readable, history of the US postwar occupation of Japan. This shift, from a perceived liberal democratic idealism in the early years, to a more realist and practical approach to the achievement of US hegemony in the region, lies at the core of John Dower’s book. “For all their talk of democracy, the conquerors worked hard to engineer consensus; and on many critical issues, they made clear that the better part of political wisdom was silence and conformism. Industry had been obliterated leaving few places to live or work. Book Review: Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. Except, that is, as a bankrupt and racist universalism brought to its knees by a truly global conflict. The Communists were winning in China and the Soviet Union was close to obtaining the nuclear bomb. The author describes the Japanese response to finding themselves a defeated nation, occupied by the the U.S. from 1946-1952. Embracing Defeat is a judicious and probing summation of the voluminous documentation and scholarship on the postwar decade in Japan and the United States. Découvrez des commentaires utiles de client et des classements de commentaires pour Embracing Defeat sur Amazon.fr. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. When the occupation ended in 1952, women’s rights were rapidly overwhelmed by a return to a patriarchal view of marriage and gender relationships. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Embracing Defeat at Amazon.com. I think the Japanese, all in all, benefitted from the occupation. They found expression through a great and often discordant diversity of voices’ (p. 23). A summary is balanced with details on the book's writing style and themes. Not a great aftertaste...but I am getting ahead of myself. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, by John W. Dower, is an excellent history of postwar Japan from 1946 to the end of the US occupation in 1952, and slightly onward. Industry had been obliterated leaving few places to live or work. They endured the U.S. censors, their double standard, and their racism. It is a detailed examination of Japan in the aftermath of the war. Interested in reviewing for us? The defeat was Japan's in WWII. (New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company, Ltd, 1999. Dower provides a review of multiple facets of Japanese life: hunger, poverty, uncertainty about many of the soldiers who were still somewhere else at the time of the surrender, culture, and their relationship with Hirohito. John Dower’s combination of socio-economic, cultural, political and diplomatic history was an early attempt to bring out the ambiguities. It is in the fourth section of the book that Dower’s presentation and analysis of the ‘democratic’ reforms carried out by the occupation remains a benchmark for students of the period. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. By subscribing to this mailing list you will be subject to the School of Advanced Study privacy policy. This is a Japanese story. The Japanese constitution, at least in 1999 when the book was written, still remains the one the U.S. wrote for them. Welcome back. Concepts such as democracy, liberalism and equality had their own history in the country dating back to the Meiji Era. It's not patronising. 90) Japan's experience of defeat and occupation at the end of the Second World War has most commonly been examined from the point of view of the conquerors. That's why it loses a star for me. His sources included books, movies, cartoons, articles and letters to newspapers and public officials from the Emperor's surrender announcement through the end of the occupation. In it John Dower brings together various strands of occupation history to offer an overview of the period that foregrounds the experience of the Japanese at the level of everyday life. I would say it's evenhanded. In it John Dower brings together various strands of occupation history to offer an overview of the period that foregrounds the experience of the Japanese at the level of everyday life. Embracing Defeat is a richly researched, beautifully illustrated and elegantly written account of the period of the US-led occupation of Japan from 1945–52, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the US National Book Award, among others. Book is about Japan in the wake of WWII Connect with a professional writer in 5 simple steps Please provide as many details about your writing struggle as possible Academic level of your paper High School Undergrad Masters Doctoral Type of Paper […] The more overtly political and ideological shift to the right in Japan would have to wait until the huge outpouring of protest in 1960 against renewal of the US-Japan security Treaty that ultimately brought down the government of indicted war criminal and US stooge Kishi Nobusuke. Dower's book is an in-depth study of postwar Japan and how it responded to its crushing defeat at the hands of the allied forces. Who is to blame? One of my major interests is the sociocultural and political evolution of Asian societies in modernity. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Winner of the National Book Award. Just a few years into the occupation, the fear of communism and social unrest, driven by high unemployment, lack of basic necessities and the difficulty of reviving the economy, helped to establish a domestic conservative hegemony of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen that remained dominant to the end of the century. If, towards the end, that everyday life seems overwhelmed by economic and political decisions taken out of the hands of the Japanese … Millions had died; millions were disabled, sick and starving; millions were stranded overseas facing reprisals; millions were missing including countless children; and millions were homeless, without family, without jobs, without anything. We have to wonder whether most Japanese people really did so readily welcome democracy in 1945. Last September Japan's never-amended 1947 constitution was reinterpreted to expand the authority of its self-defence force so that it could come to the aid of Japan's allies if they were attacked. Embracing Defeat Japan in the Wake of World War II. The Japanese were an inspiration for reformers from Turkey to China. It's difficult to imagine the devastation that the Japanese experienced following their country's surrender in 1945 and subsequent occupation. Their modern project ultimately led the Japanese to become colonialists just like the Westerners whose civilization they had seemingly mastered. This was exacerbated by runaway inflation and a ubiquitous black market, which in some of the larger cities was run by Mafia-like gangs. The preeminent society among these — the one people that had seemingly "made it" in the 20th century — was of course Japan. In his brilliantly researched work, John Dower narrates Japan's experience of defeat and occupation at the end of WWII from the Japanese point of view. Quite simply the most in-depth, perceptive and brilliant study of the post-war US occupation and reconstruction of Japan after World War II. 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