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Japan's American Interlude (Midway Reprint) New edition Edition

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226427751
ISBN-10: 0226427757
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This book deals with the American interlude in the history of Japan during which time that country was not only occupied by American troops and politically controlled by American officials but was subjected to almost every conceivable variety of American influence.
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Product Details

  • Series: Midway Reprint
  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; New edition edition (December 15, 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226427757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226427751
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,449,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Stefani S. Lake on November 4, 2015
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Worth rereading several times. Explores individual acts of barbarism and the greed of the rising Japanese capitalist class. The Americans are seen as innocent and careless as they probably were. People were very hungry and desperate. A horrible time. The Japanese hatred of the Chinese is very evident...even in the midst of the postwar years they were brutalized,
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This book holds an important place in history, as it was the first book that ever looked at the American occupation of Japan from 1946-1952 from the Japanese perspective. much of what Kawai wrote back in 1960 seems absurdly pessimistic about Japan's future, when he said of Japan "she can no longer hope to play a major independent role in world politics". The book features several incredible insights to the Japanese mind of the 1950's, including how the Japanese actually saw Hirohito, the new police and judicial system, the food America imported to feed the Japanese, and how the Japan initially started to recover. kawai believed that the occupation succeeded due to Japanese traditional pragmatism, a pragmatism whose temporary dismissal brought fourth WW2, in Kawai's mind.

This book is made relevant for today's scholar by comparing the events of America's attempts at "nation-building" in 1945 Japan to America's "nation-building" of Iraq in 2005. We had finished the fighting in Japan, but have not yet done so in Iraq. The United States was woefully ignorant to the nutrition necessities of Japan, but knew exactly what to do in Iraq. In both places the American overseers were exceedingly careful about who would govern the country. Perhaps most importantly, we can learn from Kawai's slight pessimism on 1960 Japan, and what it is like today, and remember it as an object lesson whenever one feels pessimistic on what is currently happening in Iraq, or even Afghanistan.

In conclusion, Japan's American Interlude proved to be a very informative and valuable book for learning more about Japanese culture and the immediate aftermath of World War II.
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