Japan Among the Powers, 1890-1990 (Paperback)

By Sydney Giffard

Yale University Press, 9780300068917, 240pp.

Publication Date: May 29, 1997

List Price: 26.00*
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This absorbing book, written by an author who lived in and studied Japan for many years, provides a fresh perspective on Japan's history, politics, and culture over the past hundred years. It traces Japan's phenomenal development into one of the world's great powers, portraying events in Japan and its rapid industrialization as they were shaped by Japanese decision makers rather than as they were perceived by the outside world.

Beginning in 1890, the year in which the country's first modern constitution came into being and the Imperial Diet was first convened, Sydney Giffard describes Japan's determination to gain an equal place with the dominant nations of the West. He examines the complex interplay of forces underlying economic development through the century during peace and war, analyzing the conflicts and contradictions, as well as the achievements. Recognizing the role of individuals in the development of modern Japan, he includes insights into many important leaders—from those who directed comprehensive national transformation at the start of the century to those who inspired economic recovery after World War II. He concludes by analyzing the demand for political reform in Japan up to the spring of 1992 and commenting on its implications for Japan's future as a world power.