Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II is a history book written by John W. Dower and published by W. W. Norton & Company in The book. Professor Steven Tolliday, review of Embracing Defeat. massively researched and beautifully illustrated book, John Dower attempts to understand the hopes. Throughout the book John Dower’s writing is elegant, informative and easy to follow. Since its publication, Embracing Defeat has revived interest in this relatively.

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Every form of expression, apart from private conversation, I suppose, was censored. Elections were held and woman given the right to vote, something unthinkable before.

Japan today has problems, but they are the problems of wealth. Dower tackles this theme through twin narratives. Preview — Embracing Defeat by John W. Dower’s parallel ‘political history’ concentrates on the first two years of Occupation and does not stray far into the ‘reverse course’ that followed.

Buddhism as Repentance and Repentance. Just finding a time and place to go to the bathroom was difficult. Communism appealed to many citizens.

Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II

Given the existence of rationing, everyone who ever took any economic course can predict the appearance of a black market. His other histories show that to a certain extent this overestimation was understandable.

Whereas making Japan a more egalitarian country, strengthening labour, breaking nohn concentrations of uohn and power, restoring th A compelling and thorough examination of the Occupation of Japan after World War II.

He smoothly interweaves different historical narratives of post-war Japan. He shows that some of the language of the old regime was simply emptied of its old content and refilled with new meanings like so many suitcases.

Power and pageantry in modern Japan Berkeley, University of California Press, February Due to outstanding work commitments the author has not yet been able to respond to this review.

Embracing Defeat

Unlike prior documents this was translated into simple Japanese. To the extent there is a thesis of the book, it is that the Japanese political character that emerged in the mid s and continued beyond is neither a product solely of longstanding Japanese customs or of American johb what resulted was a unique combination of both. Firstly, Dower’s picture is probably too narrowly focused on life in the cities, and in particular Tokyo. They endured the U.

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The family owned zaibatsu were dismantled a new more efficient oligarchy, the keiretsu, established.

Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II – John W. Dower – Google Books

American-Pacific political and economic relations? As it turns out the focus is even more narrow than I imagined, perhaps to doser detriment of the book.

Jan 21, Mikey B. The top military cadre was blamed for the defeat — and the Emperor was removed from that clique. 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.

The trend was only further exacerbated by the preservation of the highly centralized, bureaucratic industrial system that guided the Japanese war machine and also its ultimate modernization.

Embracing Defeat – Wikipedia

The depth of loss and confusion which the Japanese people experienced is vividly conveyed, notably in Dower’s accounts of the huge scale of social displacement and missing persons, and the long-drawn out period of ‘food-wretchedness’.

This also made the U. 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. The occupation caused a tremendous overhaul of Japanese society.

I have never wholly understood the American insistence on protecting and shielding the Emperor from any serious blame or questioning about his role in Japan’s turn to fascism in the first two decades of his reign.

It’s an amazing encyclopedic history, but it is, as they say in certain assholish circles, not for casuals. The serendipities of fine-grained history. If you are interested in Japanese history, read it.

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. Although he does not provide as complete a history of the industrial, economic, and physical planning as studies of the American homefront, Dower presents a much deeper, more nuanced, and complete view of occupied Japan than a simple planning history could provide.

Retrieved from ” http: He also spends a lot of time painting a picture of sinister “black market” activity, rather than accurately contrasting market prices with the juvenile government price controls and policies. A very few foreigners were granted entry visa. And it was then that the great Japanese companies like Toyota, Sony, and Nikon started to build up their vision of a future far different than what had recently occurred.


There is no doubt that Cold War concerns helped to build and maintain the hegemony of the Liberal Democratic Party in post-war Japan, or that there was a very real shift away from the promotion of democracy and liberal thought just a couple of years into the occupation. Has the hunger situation come under control? Dower uses Hirohito as the prime example of the gap between the concerns of the ruling class and the bulk of the popul First-rate scholarship and writing.

Each chapter is written from the Japanese view; how they reacted to events and changes in their lives, and not from the American position or the post-war Japanese government. There were Japanese factions that thought war with America was a really bad idea. Scholars, poets, movie directors, housewives, philosophers, professors, all had a view and something to say.

Dower’s fine book significantly broadens the scope of studies of Occupied Japan and the impact of war on Japanese society, and it will deservedly attract a wide audience. This is not the book to read if what you are looking for is the typical history of the Occupation Forces in Japan. They saw democracy within the confines of Marxist doctrine.

Upon the arrival of the occupation troops under the command of General MacArthur, the Japanese began to slowly regain their sense of humanity and hope — although this took a relatively long time. Millions of returning soldiers and civilians from China and Korea added to the problem. Something that was more of a militaristic, nationalist dream, not to mention an invention of the critics of mass culture that held sway in the late s, than a concerted effort by US and Japanese power-brokers.

And the suffering, up to starvation, of the poor civilians. By campaigning for a wage that could support a family throughout the s, the unions ultimately forced women out of the workplace and back into the home as dmbracing and mothers. So defet small U. It was the paradox of revolution on high by the Americans, and the oncoming of the Cold War that killed the larger movement toward a freer Dower has put together a great book on postwar Japan, which will undoubtedly remian definitive for quite a while.