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Japan's Imperial Conspiracy Hardcover – November, 1971


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1280 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd (November 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434066907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434066902
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,007,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is an amazing achievment and should be considered mandatory reading for persons interested in Japanese imperial, military, and political history from 1921 to 1945.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By historybuff on November 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bergamini was courageous enough to write this book at a time when it was taboo to even mention the possibility of Hirohito's guilt and the massive post-war coverup of his involvement in the bloodiest war in the Far East. The warped sense of justice which prevails even today which favors letting Japan off lightly while condemning the Germans at every opportunity, is difficult to understand and does not take into account the suffering of Asian peoples and THEIR FEELINGS. It took Iris Chang's book on the Nanking massacre to make us aware of the suffering of the Chinese people during the war, and then some apologists for Japan still insist that the book is not portraying the truth.
Japan got off lightly compared with the intense suffering experienced by the Germans, whose capital Berlin was raped, ravaged and occupied by the troops of four different countries. China, having suffered 35 million dead, its citizens used as experimental rats, its cities bombed to rubble and its economy in ruins did not even rate an occupation force in Tokyo, while the French did in Berlin. Japanese troops in Chinese custody were sent home within 3 months while they languished in Russian prisons for 10 years. Yet Japan continues to deny it did any wrong, claiming it "liberated" SE Asia from colonialism. Isn't it time for truth to be told? This book comes closest to putting the blame where it belongs and to begin to correct 60 years of injustice.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Lohr on January 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Massive book, over 1000 pages. I found it quite readable (had to bury my copy lest I reread it more than I needed to.)

Bergamini claims that Hirohito (1) chose war over peace as Japan's policy, (2) chose the "Strike South" to get the rubber, oil, etc of southeast Asia over a strike north against Russia, (3) chose nasty war (Bataan Death March, Rape of Nanking, etc) over chivalrous war [the Japanese were not especially nasty to the Russians in the Russo-Japanese war before Hirohito became emperor], (4) prolonged the war when he knew Japan had lost so the Japanese people would be too exhausted to investigate his guilt when peace came, and (5) let underlings be punished for his guilt [unlike Jesus Christ who died for his people's sins, add I].

I'm not sure Bergamini proves this, but he makes something of a case. From observing both, he claims the Japanese military, even Tojo, were technocrats doing the will of the smooth aristocracy. The Meiji consitution (somewhat similar to Bismark's German constitution) did give the emperor power to make war and peace, assign officers to posts, etc. Hirohito's wife's uncle commanded the most brutal Japanese division at the Rape of Nanking. He claims the Japanese war crimes trials found 8 conspiracies and he found 6 more. (I wish he'd laid them out more clearly as to who conspired with whom about what when; 'about what' being perhaps the gravest deficiency.)

Bergamini sketches Japanese history from the earliest records to A.D. 1970, with special attention, of course, to 1920-1945, and to earlier factors that led up to what he sees. He interprets plenty of things his way; Prince Saonji, for example (read the book!
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