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Japan Rising: The Iwakura Embassy to the USA and Europe Paperback – Abridged, April 27, 2009


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Book Description

In 1871 Japan sent a delegation to the USA and Europe. The report of this journey played a key role in Japan's transformation into an industrial nation. This abridgement makes the report accessible to a wider range of scholars and students, and those interested in the rise of modern Japan.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 558 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (April 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521735165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521735162
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,474,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This is a one-of-a-kind experience. Somewhat like De Toqueville's "Democracy in America", "Japan Rising" provides a fascinating historical perspective on America, as well as several European countries. Here's the context: Japan has been suspended in time after nearly 250 years of isolation during the Tokugawa shogunate. After Commodore Perry's visit in 1854, Japan is humiliated into signing an "unequal" treaty with the United States. This leads to a revolution and the restoration of the Meiji Emperor who is determined to elevate Japan and match the strengths of the world powers. To do this, they must learn from the West. This is the mission of the Iwakura Embassy, a group of senior diplomats and some of Japan's finest youth (such as Ito Hirobumi, who served as Prime Minister of Japan 4 times), are sent for a lengthy tour of the industrialized nations of the world. From late 1871 until 1873, their views of the world are unalterably changed. Starting in the Wild West of the United States, they document their observations of so many facets of society, industry, government and culture that themselves had only recently been transformed by the effects of modernity, industrialization, and nationalism.
This was an important historical document that contributed to the formation of modern Japan. It has only recently been translated into English, giving us a great resource to view the early 1870s from a most unique perspective. While this has obvious value to the research scholar, the translation of this journal is remarkably readable and provides a most entertaining read for just about anyone who enjoys authentic history.
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Japan Rising: The Iwakura Embassy to the USA and Europe
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