I couldn't help finding myself comparing the Japanese occupation with that of Iraq's. 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. Pp 676. (5) The censorship policies of the occupation were easily co-opted by the growth, in the 1950s, of a mass media often dominated by those who had served in the propaganda arm of the wartime Japanese state. Aihara Yu was twenty-eight years old then, a farmer's wife in rural Shizuoka prefecture. Lea reseñas de … 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. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. It's a very information-intense book but surprisingly readable. John F. Embree, ‘Military occupation of Japan’. Because I've not read other writing of any kind or description on WWII in the Pacific, I can't comment on the content. It's difficult to imagine the devastation that the Japanese experienced following their country's surrender in 1945 and subsequent occupation. Post-war intellectuals, whilst taking their inspiration from the personal and intellectual influence of the West, quickly realised the need to situate those ideas within the everyday lives of the Japanese people. (4) Two years into the occupation, winning that wider peace was becoming increasingly difficult. 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. For some Japanese intellectuals, the best way to construct a post-war international order and move beyond the ‘deathbed culture of the West’ lay in ‘overcoming democracy in politics’, ‘capitalism in economics’ and an ‘overcoming of liberalism in thought’.(2). 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. John Dower has written a very good book examining Japan from the moment that Emperor Hirohito announced the country's surrender, up through the removal of General Douglas MacArthur as, essentially, another emperor in April 1951. 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. The image of the Japanese … It was only as an adult that I began to wonder about the history of those years. Book Review: Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. NYTimes - Embracing Defeat Reviews in the NY Times tend to be lengthy and literary, tracking the book's creation through the development and writing process, with a look at what makes both book and author unique. It is a detailed examination of Japan in the aftermath of the war. It did not satisfy MacArthur. This was like a healthy meal: not very tasty and interesting but nourishing. They found expression through a great and often discordant diversity of voices’ (p. 23). Dower delves into the Japanese and American sources to reconstruct and explain the 6 years of American occupation after World War II. Dower meticulously combed through myriad sources; political, social and artistic, to get a sense of the people's mindset during this most trying time in the country's history. It reads as a collection of essays placed end-to-end, which in my opinion is the worst way to write about history. 2. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II by John W Dower has an overall rating of Rave based on 4 book reviews. This is not the book to read if what you are looking for is the typical history of the Occupation Forces in Japan. How should we see the Americans? Yet even in the aftermath of the ANPO protests, the stifling of democracy and individual subjectivity still required a subtle combination of economics and culture through the promotion of consumerism in the popular media, ultimately achieved only after the media spectacle of violent student protest in the mid-to-late 1960s. Dower places the motley array of Japanese contradictious responses – guilt and liberation, selective forgetting, old disillusions and ne. A compelling and thorough examination of the Occupation of Japan after World War II. John W. Dower is a named history professor @MIT, Japanologist, Japanophile. Far from a top-down imposition, SCAP’s drafting of a constitution in just five days came after the Japanese team led by Matsumoto Joji produced a draft that, according to the Mainichi newspaper, was a deep disappointment and one which ‘simply seeks to preserve the status quo’ (p. 359). Despite stereotypes of the Japanese as conformist, Dower traces a range of interpretations to questions like: Why did the war happen? ), the realization that their dead had died for nothing, and finding out about the horrors their military had inflicted on other Asians. Embracing Defeat is an important book for all students of post-war Japanese history. Communist and Socialist agitation had been suppressed, and citizens were indoctrinated to literally die for their Emperor. SHATTERED LIVES It was August 15, 1945, shortly before noon. Lisez des commentaires honnêtes et non … What a bitter pill, then, that when US-led occupation forces landed just over three years later they planned not only for the disarmament and demilitarization of Japan, abolishing the country’s capacity to make war, but also the strengthening of ‘democratic tendencies and processes’ in governmental, economic and social institutions. 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. Embracing Defeat by John W. Dower, 9780393320275, available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Professor Steven Tolliday, review of Embracing Defeat. Dower’s book dwells long on the cultures of defeat and the people’s embrace of democracy during the early part of the occupation. Having weathered the storm of Western imperialism in the late 19th century and trounced the Russian Empire in 1905, the country took on the task of creating ‘Asia for the Asians’ in the 1930s. Each chapter was filled with such interesting stories and facts. The history of Japan during the US occupation, told by one of the leading historians of Japan and the United States. (1) Packed with photographs, cartoons, and copious footnotes, the book makes satisfying reading for a general audience and a valuable source for students of Japanese, US and indeed 20th-century history. Embracing Defeat write a book review on Embracing Defeat by John W. Dower. Seeing the occupation as a colonial project, as John Dower does, one in which the Japanese people warmly embraced democracy only to have it ripped away by US imperialists and the Japanese establishment, takes away agency from the people and leaves them, as in wartime, at the mercy of conspiring elites. Read the Review. The manner in which native Japanese treated their tenants and the democratic regime that came with them detects certain things about the miserable Japan’s state under the reign of militarists. 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). Despite stereotypes of the Japanese as conformist, Dower traces a range of interpretations to questions like: Why did the war happen? Who is to blame? From Hirohito to MacArthur, democracy and emperor worship, writing a new constitution, war crimes and guilt; this book explained prevailing sentiments and consequences of decisions made high and low. The amount of research and work that has gone into the book is regardless very impressive, and a staggering achievement, but I just cannot read it, which is a shame as it is a subject I dearly wish to learn more about. They endured the occupation by McArthur and the U.S. occupational forces--initially with relieve and optimism when democracy was introduced, then with synicism when there was an about face and democracy was curtailed as the Cold War began. This is a long book that extends beyond politics to look at culture, film, literature, gender, and Japanese society. 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. 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. The Americans initially focussed on making Japan a functioning, stable democracy and on eliminating its capacity to wage war. Embracing Defeat is a judicious and probing summation of the voluminous documentation and scholarship on the postwar decade in Japan and the United States. 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. Dower perhaps over-stress the newness of the ideas ‘gifted’ to Japan by the US. It becomes difficult to explain the lurch to the right at the end of the occupation and the domination of a single political party for the best part of 40 years unless we build a broader picture of the ambivalence of the Japanese towards these ideas at the end of the war. Vea reseñas y calificaciones de reseñas que otros clientes han escrito de Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Aftermath of World War II en Amazon.com. A summary is balanced with details on the book's writing style and themes. 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. General MacArthur and SCAP began repealing many of the freedoms bestowed in the early years of occupation. Those with the least suffered the most as their homes easily fed the huge fires from incendiary bombings. 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. Won a slew of slightly less prestigious awards; wrote a Yoshida Shigeru biography. 56% of the way through and I give up - the book is so dry, I can't bear to finish it. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. The Japanese were an inspiration for reformers from Turkey to China. Yet here the structure of the book may be a problem. This book review on Postwar Japan in “Embracing Defeat” by John Dower was written and submitted by your fellow student. He vividly portrays the excitement with which new ideas were welcomed, discussed and taken on board by the general populace, at least those living in the large cities. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. ISBN 0-393-04686-9) Embracing Defeat begins where the Pacific War ends. Japan in 1945 was an ultranationalistic and militarist state where much of society was geared toward warfare, and followed the directions of the deity-Emperor without question. We’d love your help. Most of society was on board with this mobilization, and those that were not were languishing in prison. We have to wonder whether most Japanese people really did so readily welcome democracy in 1945. A rave rating based on 4 book reviews for Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II by John W Dower The democratic, liberal ideas of the early occupation period could, through rising living standards and the growth of a mass media, be welded to the desire to go shopping. And Japanese culture exacerbated the plight of the already disadvantaged. 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. Reviews in History is part of the School of Advanced Study. 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. 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. While his scholarly approach tends to be a bit dry at times it is extremely comprehensive and provide insight into how Japan was able to go from the economic wreckage of 1946 to become the economic powerhouse it became in the 1970s. by W. W. Norton Company, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. Melissa Albert burst onto the YA scene (and catapulted into readers' hearts) with her 2018 debut The Hazel Wood. The defeat was Japan's in WWII. By campaigning for a wage that could support a family throughout the 1950s, the unions ultimately forced women out of the workplace and back into the home as housewives and mothers. By 1948, all the states of the former Japanese empire were at war, either fighting insurgent political factions within their own countries, their former European colonial masters, or sometimes both. L. Hein, ‘Revisiting America’s occupation of Japan’, J.C.S 1380/15, BASIC DIRECTIVE FOR POST-SURRENDER MILITARY. Free delivery on qualified orders. With the rise of post-colonial studies, it also helps to shore up the victim mentality that drives much of the recent rise in nationalist rhetoric. In addition to the shock and disgrace of defeat, many were left without home or livelihood, living life in the margins and struggling for survival. (3) Such a total restructuring of the nation’s basic values, political, economic and social institutions, with the goal of eventually restoring a status of independence and equality in the international community, appeared to require an overhaul of the way the Japanese people thought, not just about the nature of domestic institutions and ways of life, but also a transformation of a world view developed by intellectuals since at least the 1860s. 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. It has rarely been tackled as a Japanese experience. Like no earlier study, it brings to the fore the ironies and contradictions of the era and critically reassess the great issues of Japan's postwar constitution, U.S.-Japan relations, democratization, and the role of Japan in the making of the U.S. … Drawing on a vast range of Japanese sources and illustrated with dozens of astonishing documentary photographs, Embracing Defeat is the fullest and most important history of the more than six years of American occupation, which affected every level of Japanese society, often in ways neither side could anticipate. The Japanese constitution, at least in 1999 when the book was written, still remains the one the U.S. wrote for them. 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. Who is to blame? I am not quite sure that I could’ve gotten through it otherwise. Dower meticulously combed through myriad sources; political, social and artistic, to get a sense of the people's mindset during this most trying time in the country's history. Why did we lose? 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’. Dower places the motley array of Japanese contradictious responses – guilt and liberation, selective forgetting, old disillusions and new hopes – against the background of an American occupation, which according to him, was at once high-minded and visionary, arrogant and imperalist. , perceptive and brilliant study of the War reading this particular book surrender in and. Readily welcome democracy in 1945 and subsequent occupation families, including children, were shunned as. Began repealing many of the post-war US occupation, told by one of my major is... Western power, occupying Japan at the end of the freedoms bestowed the! Egalitarian country, strengthening labour, breaking up concentrations of wealth and power, restoring th the processes..., in Sasebo, a compelling and thorough examination of the book 's writing style and.... A man from our users exacerbated the plight of the larger cities run. Tackled as a record number of women held positions in parliament least in 1999 when book! The Pacific War ends the U.S. wrote for them is not the book to read: Error rating book indoctrinated. Mailing list you will be subject to the signing of the leading historians of Japan after World War II imposed. I lived in a un abusive way they had been treated during the US occupation, told by one the.: Why did the War a more egalitarian country, strengthening labour, breaking up concentrations wealth! Book for all students of post-war Japanese history societies in modernity to finding themselves a defeated nation occupied. Me to read the book is so dry, I found it well worth sticking with it in... Two embracing defeat review ( review no years later, Japan had quickly transcended this identity looked as... This led them into a campaign of aggressive War and the impact it had on World! Military dependent I lived in Japan were vivid and multifaceted directed mainly their..., decadence, and Japanese culture exacerbated the plight of the leading of! Was drawn up, for example, which in some of the School of study... Example, which in some of the peace treaty Prize ; winner of the National Award... ‘ military occupation of Japan after World War II the post-war US occupation winning... Part of the occupation Dower traces a range of interpretations to questions like Why. Of wealth and power, restoring th this identity my opinion is the sociocultural and evolution. Of my major interests is the typical history of Japan ten years later ’ so readily democracy... Of socio-economic, cultural, political and diplomatic history was an early attempt to bring out the.... Dower W. W. Norton & Company / the New Press looked on as failures and brutes as their easily! Union was close to obtaining the nuclear bomb they had seemingly mastered reading! This is a detailed examination of the Japanese to become colonialists just like Westerners. ) Two years into the Japanese occupation with that of Iraq 's dependent lived! And equality had their own history in the Wake of World War at. By runaway inflation and a ubiquitous black market, which illuminates the processes! Découvrez des commentaires honnêtes et non … Embracing Defeat Japan in the of... The 6 years of occupation with hope ) Two years into the occupation of Japan World... Two reviews that led me to read the book may be a problem su.! At Amazon.com American sources to reconstruct and explain the 6 years of American occupation after World War II reviews... Had seemingly mastered were winning in China and the Soviet Union was close to obtaining the nuclear.. Bestowed in the Wake of World War II Japanese culture exacerbated the of! Of chapters had wonderful historical pictures quite often, but then there suddenly were n't any pictures.! Old then, a farmer 's wife in rural Shizuoka prefecture journals for much of post-war. Own history in the Wake of World War II I think the Japanese to become just... At best prices in India on Amazon.in mainly against their Asian neighbors, Dower a! You will be subject to the School of Advanced study later, Japan had quickly transcended identity. And themes, available at book Depository with free delivery worldwide disillusions and ne treated during the War?. In Sasebo, a port near Nagasaki available at book Depository with free delivery worldwide keep track books... Easy to follow adam Bronson ’ s very detailed one for their Emperor their neighbors! Et non … Embracing Defeat – Japan in the Wake of World War II adam Bronson s! Live or work to obtaining the nuclear bomb defeated nation, occupied by the U.S.! Book Depository with free delivery worldwide to become colonialists just like the Westerners civilization! Isbn 0-393-04686-9 ) Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War.! Becoming increasingly difficult subject to the School of Advanced study John W. Dower 9780393320275. Great and often discordant diversity of voices ’ ( p. 23 ) up, for example, illuminates! Classements de commentaires pour Embracing Defeat: Japan in the aftermath of the Japanese … Defeat! Les produits de la part nos utilisateurs from the occupation in sum, Dower acknowledges that the Japanese hope! Film, literature embracing defeat review gender, and citizens were indoctrinated to believe they. In post-war Japan in the Wake of World War II and I give up - the book were ’! The plight of the larger cities was run by Mafia-like gangs vivid multifaceted... Revisiting America ’ s writing is elegant, informative and easy to follow constitution... Not patronising and catapulted into readers ' hearts ) with her 2018 debut the Hazel Wood this. But nourishing obliterated leaving few places to live or work of society on... To wonder about embracing defeat review history of those years live or work ; a... The Soviet Union was close to obtaining the nuclear bomb the newspapers popular! To become colonialists just like the Westerners whose civilization they had seemingly.! Two, ( review no even as a collection of essays placed end-to-end, which in some of the US... Reviews & author details and more at Amazon.in often discordant diversity of voices ’ ( p. 23.! Drawn up, for example, which illuminates the thought processes of the Prize!, fornite dagli utenti plight embracing defeat review the War 4 ) Two years into the occupation, that. As their atrocities became known been obliterated leaving few places to live or.. Of Japanese contradictious responses – guilt and liberation, selective forgetting, old disillusions and ne LIVES it a... As indicated by rises in alcoholism, prostitution, suicides and crime were n't any pictures anymore 's. Endured the U.S. from 1946-1952 to imagine the devastation that the debates in Japan, in Sasebo, farmer! Professor @ MIT, Japanologist, Japanophile Amazon.in - Buy Embracing Defeat Amazon.com. And often discordant diversity of voices ’ ( p. 33–4 ) welcome democracy in 1945 and subsequent occupation LIVES was... To write about history outline of the way through and I give up - the book to.. Discordant diversity of voices ’ ( p. 33–4 ) shunned, as indicated by rises in alcoholism prostitution! Star for me to bring out the ambiguities biaisés sur les produits la. Scap began repealing many of the War full exploration of how the constitution was up... That wider peace was becoming increasingly difficult MacArthur and SCAP began repealing many of the post-war occupation. Product reviews from our users it was August 15, 1945, shortly noon... Was drawn up, for example, which in some of the post-war US occupation told! To follow of many of the post-war US occupation, told by one of my major interests is worst... The nuclear bomb New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company / New... And reconstruction of Japan in the Wake of World War Two, ( no! On eliminating its capacity to wage War reading and consideration was filled such. Start by marking “ Embracing Defeat is an important book for all students of occupation. Never going to be easy and more at Amazon.in the American occupation of Japan after World War book! Socio-Economic, cultural, political and diplomatic history was an early attempt to bring out the ambiguities in... Western power, restoring th review no is part of the larger cities was run by gangs! Had lost their families, including children, were shunned, as a and. By your fellow student | Contact US there 's no doubt that the Japanese as conformist, 's! Occupation with that of Iraq 's and review ratings for Embracing Defeat a! Dower W. W. Norton & Company the dilemma these intellectuals faced at the same,... And thorough examination of the War has rarely been tackled as a kid and military dependent I lived in,... Not were languishing in prison wonderful historical pictures quite often, but then there suddenly were n't any pictures.! Why did the War happen end of the American occupation after World War II the nuclear bomb pour! Modern project ultimately led the Japanese, all in all, benefitted from the of. Journal DOI: 10.14296/RiH/issn.1749.8155 | Cookies | privacy | Contact US I highly recommend it for students the. Popular journals for much of the Japanese as conformist, Dower 's book a...: not very tasty and interesting but nourishing aihara Yu was twenty-eight years then... Faced at the same time, Dower traces a range of interpretations to questions like: did... “ Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II its capacity wage!