Cover: Sailor Diplomat: Nomura Kichisaburō and the Japanese-American War, from Harvard University PressCover: Sailor Diplomat in HARDCOVER

Harvard East Asian Monographs 333

Sailor Diplomat

Nomura Kichisaburō and the Japanese-American War

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Product Details


$39.95 • £31.95 • €36.00

ISBN 9780674055995

Publication Date: 07/11/2011


332 pages

6 x 9 inches

24 halftones

Harvard University Asia Center > Harvard East Asian Monographs

World, subsidiary rights restricted

Nomura Kichisaburo is an infamous figure, known primarily as the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. who only notified U.S. officials of Japan’s intent after his country’s ‘sneak attack’ on Pearl Harbor in 1941. This new biography seeks to put Nomura’s ambassadorship in the context of his long career in the Japanese navy. It examines his growth as a navy officer along with his consistent belief that Japan could not defeat the U.S. in an armed conflict, a view that grew out of his naval experience. The author, a historian at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, does not absolve Nomura of responsibility for the diplomatic failures of his mission, but instead seeks to show how his views about Japanese–American relations both before and after WWII were remarkably prescient. Moreover, Mauch shows that Nomura’s actions can only be understood in the context of his naval career—hence the ‘sailor diplomat’ moniker. There is much here that will expand general and professional readers’ understanding of Japan’s disastrous diplomacy, and those same readers will learn much about the organization and character of the prewar Japanese navy.—W. D. Kinzley, Choice

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