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. Japan in Other authors might have treated these themes quite separately, but Dower intertwines them. Published on H-Asia (October, ). Embracing Defeat. Embracing Defeat, John Dower’s magisterial chronicle of Japan under U.S. occupation, is the summa.

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It would be difficult to deny that, partly because prior to defeat in WWII Japan was such a stratified, rigid, closed society even within the ranks of the “pure” Japanese. On the other hand, of course, that same team wrote “Article 9” which, to this day, limits Japan’s military to a purely defensive role, thus forcing the country to reman dependent on U. The Byzantine complexity of Japanese politics. This is a slow reading book, but one that is worthwhile.

Buddhism as Repentance and Repentance.

The government adopted it with minor changes in In consequence, in the case of prostitution, the ‘subculture of defeat’ probably carried even deeper and more charged significance than Dower allows. That’s why it loses a star for me.

Industry had been obliterated leaving few places to live or work. Apr 03, Stuart rated it it was amazing Shelves: What you do get is a really interesting procedure about how Japan’s political system was largely a product of American practicality.

Also when China became communist in the Japanese atrocities in China became more and more overlooked. Simply among the most spell-binding books ever. Dower also points out that there was increasing criticism of the war government during the actual conflict, which helped the Japanese adapt to defeat almost immediately. The Constitution starts as an idealistic and deliberately restrictive declaration of pacifism and becomes an obstacle in the Cold War.


For the same author to investigate the continental European philosophical roots of post-War writings, the content of Japanese Occupation-era erotica, and the double entendres and maneuvering that accompanied translating English language orders in to Japanese, is downright humbling.

Hirohito tried to humanize himself by emulating the British monarchy and going out amongst his people now and then. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Embracing Defeat

Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Japan was being isolated from much of what was widely available in America and the rest of the world. Tanabe was influential, but Japan embraced the first answer, science, and its incumbent rewards. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone interested in Japan. Second, the book said much about American foreign policy – arrogant, alternately idealistic and opportunistic.

Personal tools Log in. Don’t have a Kindle? No nuclear-armed state has ever attacked another since then. With a trip to Japan on my horizon, I’ve wanted to bite off a few works of Japanese history first to get an appreciation for how the country came to be where it is.

The campaigns of late and had become progressively more costly and the Japanese had shown no decrease in determination. He is professor emeritus of history at MIT. Published June 17th by W. Feb 02, Liam rated it it was ok Shelves: The rural populace lived in essential ignorance and found itself vaulted upward in terms of national importance as Japan faced post-war food shortages.


During the occupation there was an astounding growth of new periodicals, newspapers, movies, and new radio shows. After reading this book, I can understand why it won a Pulitzer Prize!

Statements supporting war and subservience to the state were stricken from school texts and replaced with statements extolling democracy.

Japan today has problems, but they are the problems of wealth. And a new urban demimonde channeled nihilism sower hardship into lifestyles of deliberate decadence and a flourishing milieu of pulp literatures which posed forceful challenges to traditional social and sexual roles.

Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II by John W. Dower

Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. It describes the widespread chaos and destruction in Japan, and the extent of personal displacement and feelings of both failure and betrayal.

But it may also help to explain the rather uncritical embrace of fairly wooden sorts of Marxism in certain sectors of university life which emerged from this time. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. My first Dower read. Professor Steven Tolliday University of Leeds.