Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II is a history book written by John W. Dower and published by W. W. Norton & Company in The book. Professor Steven Tolliday, review of Embracing Defeat. massively researched and beautifully illustrated book, John Dower attempts to understand the hopes. Throughout the book John Dower’s writing is elegant, informative and easy to follow. Since its publication, Embracing Defeat has revived interest in this relatively.

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This was an exercise in justice that some of the non-U. GHQ writes Constitution But the feudal and family owners are largely gone, new companies prospered, and income inequality is much less than in America.

I couldn’t help finding myself comparing the Japanese occupation with that of Iraq’s.

Embracing Defeat – The Mason Historiographiki

Many were already mal-nourished before the surrender — and their struggle continued. Jun 12, Jerome rated it really liked it. While I believe this book defeaf meant for a general readership it tends to read more like a textbook and contains such detailed information that I found my mind wandering at times.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

It was the paradox of revolution on high by the Americans, and the oncoming of the Cold War that killed the larger movement toward a freer and more democratic society. Informal efforts by the Japanese to notify the victors of the war criminals. Skip to main content. The Constitution starts as an idealistic and deliberately restrictive declaration of pacifism and becomes an obstacle in the Cold War.

Books by John W. American-Pacific political and economic relations? All too often, Dower fall into the trap of this kind of writing – describing things that, for any observer with the slightest knowledge of the society, would seem patently obvious. You have to be impressed with a history that has over 90 pages single space of endnotes, and is still readable and enjoyable.

There are other areas too where Dower does not seem to have paid adequate attention to the pre-history of the ‘moments’ that he focuses on. In the name of keeping Japan non-communist, many Inthe victorious Americans are unprepared dlwer move in and reorganize a venerable but broken society, but they johm sail into Japan and do exactly that.


The John Hersey novel, Hiroshimaa best seller in America, was not allowed in Japanese until Dower uses Hirohito as the prime example of the gap between the concerns of the ruling class and dkwer bulk of the population. As you probably know, Japan does have an entity called the Japanese Defense Force. As such it was assimilated to an almost asexual tradition of family piety and national loyalty.

Suffice it to say, this is a book of real depth and intelligence, and is fully deserving of the many awards and prizes it won. He smoothly interweaves different historical narratives of post-war Japan. Each chapter was filled with such interesting stories and emrbacing. Dower’s highly-refined sense of irony equips johj admirably to illuminate the most ingenious paradox of Japan’s adoption of democracy by fiat, freedom of expression amid heavy defeah, and widespread culpability for war crimes heartily endorsed by the Teflon former-deity who set the conflict rolling.

In some ways I wonder if it is wrong to credit Dower for the success of this book. The author provides a great deal of anecdotes that paint a sensational picture of what was happening, but unfortunately he provides no clue as to why it was happening.

Skip to main content. Whereas making Japan a more egalitarian country, strengthening labour, breaking up concentrations johb wealth and power, restoring the rule of law, and supporting those who had opposed or at least had not actively supported militarism and oppression which mostly meant leftists were priorities jonn the beginning, by the last years of the Occupation, the Americans were actively shutting down dissent and encouraging the return to public life of conservatives and militarists who promised to be more enthusiastic about the Americans’ side in the Cold War.

Japan teaches you these things. Large, Emperor Hirohito and Showa Japan. The author describes the difference between US ambitions to reform Japanese politics and the warm fuzzy approach the US adopted to feed, nurture, and rebuild a ravaged Europe. American expediency overrode moral values, just what America saw in Japan before the war. Not to dowe there were not positives during the occupation. And he places them against the background of an Defaet Occupation which was at once high-minded and visionary, arrogant and imperialist.

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Mostly, Dower stresses that linguistic bridges were transformative and forward looking, ways of escaping from the past.

Embracing Defeat. Japan in the Wake of World War Two | Reviews in History

But the enormity of the task of returning 5. The Japanese themselves almost deified MacArthur ironic given that Hirohito was being stripped of this qualityalthough defea were a little taken aback after he left.

A penetrating analysis of Japan in the aftermath of defeat Only recently has a party other than the Liberal Democratic Party held sway in Japan’s parliament. 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 doqer, history of the US postwar occupation of Japan.

Each chapter is written from the Japanese view; how they reacted to events and changes in their lives, and not from the American position or the post-war Japanese government. Dec 24, Dower tackles this theme through twin narratives. There is also a lot of context for the lives of normal people during this time period; the hardships they faced and the ways that they found to sink or to swim.

Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II

The more overtly political and ideological shift to the right in Japan would have to wait until the huge outpouring of protest in against renewal of the US-Japan security Treaty that ultimately brought down the government of indicted war criminal and US stooge Kishi Nobusuke. They were “functional” experts; not Japan experts. Sep 23, Robert rated it really liked it.

He never did deny that he was a deity, keeping some of his God-like aura.