Nomura Kichisaburo is an infamous figure, known primarily as the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. who only notified U.S. officials of Japan's intent after his country's "sneak attack" on Pearl Harbor in 1941. This new biography seeks to put Nomura's ambassadorship in the context of his long career in the Japanese navy. It examines his growth as a navy officer along with his consistent belief that Japan could not defeat the U.S. in an armed conflict, a view that grew out of his naval experience. The author, a historian at the University of Western Sydney, Australia, does not absolve Nomura of responsibility for the diplomatic failures of his mission, but instead seeks to show how his views about Japanese-American relations both before and after WWII were remarkably prescient. Moreover, Mauch shows that Nomura's actions can only be understood in the context of his naval career--hence the "sailor diplomat" moniker. There is much here that will expand general and professional readers' understanding of Japan's disastrous diplomacy, and those same readers will learn much about the organization and character of the prewar Japanese navy. (W. D. Kinzley Choice
About the Author
Peter Mauch is Lecturer of History in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of Western Sydney.