A Japanese historian examines why Japan went to war. Alfred A. Knopf, , pages When Japan attacked the United States in Japan Countdown to Infamy. By Eri Hotta. pp. Alfred A. Knopf, $ Why did Japan start a war its top leaders knew it had. In Japan Countdown to Infamy, Japanese author Eri Hotta attempted to discuss this question via use of newly revealed information from.
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You could almost say that Japan went to war because they wanted to sit at the big kids table and the other big kids wouldn’t let them. Isolated societies, as Japan was for much of its history, are often the victim of cultural inbreeding.
Unfortunately I think I was spoilt by her earlier book and had hoped that she would repeat that feat. Such leaders, themselves frustrated with their own quagmire in China, capitalized on the momentum of the German blitzkrieg and used this in order to quell pro-British sentiment throughout Japan. Hotta explains that there were two faction within the Japanese government, a civilian faction that opposed war with the U. And also, I cannot help but sympathized with two diplomats, Saburo and Kurusu, who worked tirelessly to stop Japan going to war with America, with limited time and resource, who were unwittingly used by military leaders to mask Japan’s intention to attack Pearl Harbor.
The economy was in trouble. I would have liked to have heard more on resistance to the Axis alliance. So Japan,by Eri Hotta—a Japanese-American specialist in international relations—was just up my alley. We watch the senior leaders as they ratify successive blurred policy agreements that create an ever-increasing inertia toward war. Trivia About Japan The author’s constant jumping back and forth in time from the s to the s, made it more difficult than it should have been to keep track of the players and events.
How many of us would really stand up and confront a seemingly stupid idea?
Before going any further, I must add that the book would have been much stronger and an easier read if its structure were more linear. Eastern Time on Dec.
For example, the integration of the thoughts of the novelist Nagai Kofu, who represented, in part the anti-militarist sentiment in segments of Japanese society, providing insights into the private thoughts of Japanese citizens who were afraid to make their feelings known publicly.
Yamamoto and Hirohito had insisted that Japan follow international law and declare war before engaging in offensive military actions. Hotta pushes back against a trend of revisionist historians on the pol Study of how Japan’s political leadership blundered into a war with the United States, even after it had been at war with China since The author also seemed to suffer from the dountdown writing approach, covered many things that didnt necessarily have coubtdown to do with the subject.
When I eventually reached its shores on business trips I found that I nifamy the people, culture, and land as much as I had the Monsters, Sci-Fi, and Anime. The later chapters provide a more linear account of the failed efforts infamu diplomacy and the strange way in which the decision was made — or maybe more arrived at than made — to start a war that Japan was certain to lose.
They did not understand U.
What this book does is to show that such a momentous decision was not arrived in a clinical 194 logical fashion, rather readers of this book would not help noticing how illogical, convoluted, and even preposterous countdpwn decision process was. How can its citizens learn to avoid onfamy same mistakes if they don’t know the full story? She also advances a few long debunked ideas, such as Nagumo not sending a third wave to attack Pearl Harbor.
Lists with This Book. Since the middle of the Meiji periodthe civilian and the military functions were officially separated: Countdoan is one that is packed with information carefully written in an engaging way to provide great insights into how the Japanese eventually went into war with the US. As bizarre as it countdowb reading about it over seventy years later, it is also a phenomenon uncomfortably familiar to those of us who have sat on management committees.
Still not sure what the point of the inclusion of the Soviet spy, R 2. The multi-part message declaring an end to talks between the two nations was to have been delivered to Secretary of State Cordell Hull by 1 p.
This is the concept of saying something or saying something is a certain way but carrying with it an intended meaning. This book covers all of these points and more in precise and straightforward language. The attempts to talk about Japanese society at the time are clumsy next to her detailed accounts of cabinet meetings. Japanese leaders thought that the U.
Japan Countdown Infamy, Dec 5 | Video |
I am not sure it presents a lot that’s new I’ve learned much of what Hotta presents here from other books about World War IIbut with its focus on the prelude to the war and the personalities involved, it examines an interesting facet that most histories summarize much more briefly, since people are more interested in what happened once the fighting began. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.
No matter whose government was in charge or at what level people were making choices, the need to appear unified and like-minded overcame all objections, fears, and dissension. By the s Japan was able to defeat China in the Sino-Japanese War, and in the following decade she surprised Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, the first time a non-white power defeated a Caucasian power.
This was less successful than the previous takeovers—at the outset Japan thought it would conquer China in three months, but the war was still going on in First, knowing the racial theories of Nazi ideology and the disparaging remarks in Mein Kempf about the Japanese, how did the Japanese leadership sell the Tripartite Pact? But they hoped that fate would intervene. Honestly facing defeat and assessing its causes are difficult for any country. For the last couple of years I have made pitiful progress in trying to learn a bit of the language.
Japanis not really a counterpoint to that book.
Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy
Hotta makes it very clear how the war started and even why it took the Japanese so long to give up at the end. Japan depended almost entirely on ccountdown for its natural resource products—oil, tin, iron ore, rubber, and so on; over 90 percent of its oil products came from the U.
This was a pattern throughout and coubtdown Japan’s government was divided into multiple factions, with the Imperial Army and Navy acting as independent, sometimes opposing, sides, each wanting to dictate the direction of the coming war according to their own needs and capabilities.
World opinion was increasingly hostile. I picked it up again during April only to leave it once again during another Asian trip. Japanese leaders really had little to no understanding of the western world and how their aggressive actions would be perceived.
Yet they did attempt to find a way out of the situation, initiating many contacts with the US which unfortunately led to nowhere.
Jul 20, Steven Z.