James L. Huffman
Employing a wide range of primary source materials, Modern Japan: A History in Documents provides a colorful narrative of Japan's development since 1600. A variety of diary entries, letters, legal documents, and poems brings to life the early modern years, when Japan largely shut itself off from the outside world. A picture essay highlights the tumultuous decade and a half following the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry and the U.S. Navy in 1853, which led to unprecedented changes and a new government. The dramatic rush to modernity in the late 1800s and early 1900s, accompanied by Japan's entry into the imperialist rivalry, is seen through travel accounts, novelists' recollections, and imperial rescripts, while editorial cartoons and prison memoirs recount the major early twentieth century rush, first toward pluralism, then toward war. Japan's recovery after World War II to become one of the world's most vibrant democracies and its second largest economy is chronicled through records as diverse as a funeral eulogy, a comic book description of Adam Smith's economic theories, and an internet musing.
The documents are woven together in a lively narrative that brings to life one of the modern world's most remarkable national stories. This new edition includes an updated introduction with a note on sources and interpretation, extensive revision of Chapter 1: The Land of Shogun and Daimyo, eleven new documents, seven new sidebars, seven new images, and updated further reading and websites. It revises the interpretation of the Tokugawa period; adds new material on Japanese imperialism, especially its expansion into Korea; has more emphasis on the place of minorities in modern society; quotes additional fiction and other literature; updates the most recent material to include the last 15 years of history; and adds some new editorial cartoons from the Meiji and Taisho eras, a rare 19th century photo from the Meiji era, and archival maps.