Cover: Eleven Winters of Discontent: The Siberian Internment and the Making of a New Japan, from Harvard University PressCover: Eleven Winters of Discontent in HARDCOVER

Eleven Winters of Discontent

The Siberian Internment and the Making of a New Japan

Product Details


$45.00 • £39.95 • €40.95

ISBN 9780674986435

Publication Date: 01/04/2022


384 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

17 photos, 2 maps


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Uncovering and lightening the stories of individual internees is only one part of the history, exploring the reality of why they were buried in the first place is the greater contribution. Muminov here enlightens the personal histories of individuals who existed in some cases for over a decade without a state, against the backdrop of a human–natural geography of labor and transformation in Russia’s Far East.—Tristan Kenderdine, Global Asia

Thorough and well-researched.—Martin Laflamme, Japan Times

The Siberian Internment is one of the forgotten episodes of the Second World War. In this fascinating account, Muminov exploits Japanese memoirs and Russian archives to tell a complex history, attentive both to individual lived experiences and to structural change, including the waning of the Japanese empire and the emergence of the Cold War. A stimulating challenge to the traditional boundaries of Japanese history!—Sebastian Conrad, author of What Is Global History?

This magnificent work is the first transnational and comprehensive treatment of more than 600,000 Japanese POWs captured in Northeast Asia who were transported to forced labor camps in the Soviet Union, where they languished for many years before a fraught repatriation to Japan. Muminov depicts the POWs with sympathy and compassion, yet examines the history with detachment and objectivity. Eleven Winters of Discontent offers impeccable scholarship, forceful argument, and a gripping narrative.—Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, author of Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan

A fresh, new history of the Siberian Internment that goes beyond hackneyed narratives of victimhood. Using a contextually broader and chronologically longer framework, Muminov moves the internment history beyond a national Japanese experience to a larger transnational story shared by various foreign POWs. At the same time, he reminds us how postwar Japan carefully erased the imperial past by remembering a particular set of hardship narratives while averting its eyes from anything that recalled the empire. An outstanding contribution to our reconsideration of the early postwar and Cold War world.—Masuda Hajimu, author of Cold War Crucible: The Korean Conflict and the Postwar World

Muminov renders much-needed complexity and diversity to existing nation-centric narratives of the Siberian internment of over 600,000 Japanese. Giving agency to both Russians and Japanese on the ground, he offers transnational perspectives long called for but rarely achieved. This is a nuanced yet comprehensive treatment of the internment and its sociopolitical life in postwar Japan as well as a riveting read for anyone interested in the global history of war and the making of a postwar nation state.—Sho Konishi, author of Anarchist Modernity: Cooperatism and Japanese–Russian Intellectual Relations in Modern Japan

An extraordinary achievement that connects the communist world with that of wartime East Asia as well as the Cold War, making contributions to the history of World War II, the Soviet gulags, and the postwar politics of life-writing. Muminov deprovincializes both Japanese and Russian modern history, showing they are incomprehensible without knowing the wartime connections that bound them together. In fields that continue to be dominated by narrow national histories, this kind of multilingual, multi-archival approach is extremely rare, and at the cutting edge of historical research.—Aaron William Moore, author of Writing War: Soldiers Record the Japanese Empire

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