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Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism (Twentieth Century Japan: The Emergence of a World Power) Paperback – September 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Twentieth Century Japan: The Emergence of a World Power (Book 8)
  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; New Ed edition (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520219341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520219342
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #749,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Young's extraordinary book will force historians of Japan to rethink their treatment of Manchukuo. Young's study also joins the new comparative scholarship on imperialism, which analyzes its transforming power not only on the colony but also on the metropole. She has thus created an essential work of scholarship for students of comparative imperialist history."--Parks M. Coble, "American Historical Review

From the Inside Flap

"A pathbreaking study that situates Manchukuo where it belongs in the center of Japan's imperial project. In an admirably bold and beautifully textured analysis, Young shows how the military, economic, and social aspects of an imperialism that involved more than a million Japanese in the domination of Northeast China emerged as the fateful outcome of modernity and ended as the ground of a terrible war. Total war, total mobilization, total empire—a gripping account of the lessons of twentieth-century history."—Carol Gluck, author of Japan's Modern Myths

"A work of major importance in the study of Japanese imperialism. Louise Young has opened up areas unexplored by research works in the English language, examining them in rich detail and commenting on them on many levels and in many stimulating ways."—Peter Duus, author of The Abacus and the Sword

"A magisterial work, at once comprehensive and penetrating. At home with both statistics and cultural imagery, Louise Young shows that relations with Manchuria galvanized the entire social body of Japan through its emerging mass culture. She stirs the silent memories of a dangerous place, a place that shaped modern Japan much more intimately than we imagined."—Prasenjit Duara, author of Rescuing History from the Nation: Questioning Narratives of Modern China

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is essential reading for any serious student of the Japanese Empire, as well as anyone interested in the history of colonialism or Chinese-Japanese relations. Young shows that Japan's occupation of Manchuria and the subsequent transformation into Manchukuo may have been initially driven by the Imperial Army, but became an effort supported by various other political and economic agencies. She also describes how a perceived Japanese mission of improving fellow Asian nations may have been sincere, but was ultimately destructive. TOTAL EMPIRE is best read in conjunction with THE ABACUS AND THE SWORD, about Japan's colonial relationship with Korea. Military historians will find Young's book weak on details of the military administration, but that doesn't seriously detract from the social and cultural historical value of the work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard F. May on December 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
5 full stars. the elegant writing and scholarship is nearly on the level of John Dower's, "Embracing Defeat". Laura Young's, as did John Dowers, books, have had a lasting effect on my understanding of the "Pacific wars," the lead up and the unwinding.
also as a researcher in a think-tank in Tokyo I found the numerous details about the Manchuko Tetsudou Research Group, the think-tank of the Japanese government giving advice on economic growth in the occupied region, to be quite valuable. the only other coverage I know of is in the writings in Japanese by Marxist and mainstream Japanese economists writing for a Japanese academic audience.
R. May, Japan Consumer Marketing Research Institute
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
A very thorough and generally well written study of the Japanese effort to colonize Manchuria in the interwar period. This is not a narrative history but rather a more thematic and analytic discussion of the interactions between the colonial effort and Japanese life. Young's historiographic point of departure is the prior conception that the colonial effort was a manifestation of the general repression and reaction carried forward by the Japanese Army in the interwar period. While not disputing the important role of the Army, Young argues well for a much more complex interaction between the colonial effort and a number of currents in Japanese life, resulting in broad enthusiasm for and engagement in the Manchurian adventure.

Young points to real popular enthusiasm for the colonization effort, carried forward by the emerging mass media in Japan. This was certainly abetted by military propagandists but Young shows considerable independent action across Japanese society. The Manchurian effort was entirely created by the Army but to some extent was used opportunistically by the Army to recover poltical ground they lost to parliamentary parties in the preceding decades. For several, though not all, segments of the Japanese business community, Manchuria represented a way to maintain growth in the face of Great Depression. In an ambiguous outcome. the goals of the business community, aiming largely at developing markets for Japanese goods, conflicted with the Army's desire to develop heavy industry in Manchuria. In a particularly ironic development, Manchuria became something of a haven for leftist Japanese intellectuals who were the subject of repression in Japan.
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Japan's Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism (Twentieth Century Japan: The Emergence of a World Power)
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