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The Making of Modern Japan

The Making of Modern Japan

Marius B. Jansen

ISBN 9780674009912

Publication date: 10/15/2002

Magisterial in vision, sweeping in scope, this monumental work presents a seamless account of Japanese society during the modern era, from 1600 to the present. A distillation of more than fifty years’ engagement with Japan and its history, it is the crowning work of our leading interpreter of the modern Japanese experience.

Since 1600 Japan has undergone three periods of wrenching social and institutional change, following the imposition of hegemonic order on feudal society by the Tokugawa shogun; the opening of Japan’s ports by Commodore Perry; and defeat in World War II. The Making of Modern Japan charts these changes: the social engineering begun with the founding of the shogunate in 1600, the emergence of village and castle towns with consumer populations, and the diffusion of samurai values in the culture.

Marius Jansen covers the making of the modern state, the adaptation of Western models, growing international trade, the broadening opportunity in Japanese society with industrialization, and the postwar occupation reforms imposed by General MacArthur. Throughout, the book gives voice to the individuals and views that have shaped the actions and beliefs of the Japanese, with writers, artists, and thinkers, as well as political leaders given their due.

The story this book tells, though marked by profound changes, is also one of remarkable consistency, in which continuities outweigh upheavals in the development of society, and successive waves of outside influence have only served to strengthen a sense of what is unique and native to Japanese experience. The Making of Modern Japan takes us to the core of this experience as it illuminates one of the contemporary world’s most compelling transformations.

Praise

  • An elegant, lucid, and magisterial book. A distillation of more than fifty years' engagement with Japan and its history, it presents the sweeping vision of our leading interpreter of the modern Japanese experience over the past half-millennium. Marius Jansen has integrated his own scholarship and that of many others in a lively account that has great potential as a text for survey courses in modern Japanese history; professionals in the field will benefit from its integrity and interpretive breadth. Moreover, Jansen's own enthusiasm and love for his subject come through every bit as clearly as his profound erudition; that sense of excitement carries the reader along smoothly and effortlessly. The book is a pleasure to read.

    —Ronald P. Toby, University of Illinois

Author

  • Marius B. Jansen was Professor Emeritus of Japanese History and East Asian Studies, Princeton University, and author of Sakamoto Ryoma and the Meiji Restoration.

Book Details

  • 936 pages
  • 6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Belknap Press

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