By Frank Gibney

ISBN-10: 0804811083

ISBN-13: 9780804811088

This vintage account of the makers of "New Japan" tells the existence tales of a journalist, an ex-Navy vice-admiral, a metal employee, a farmer, and Emperor Hirohito. Frank Gibney used to be a wartime U.S. army intelligence officer who turned Time journal correspondent through the American profession of Japan. He went directly to be an incredible interpreter of Japan to american citizens and the US to jap, often called a educated, genial presence within the PBS sequence Pacific Century.

In the past due Nineteen Forties and early Fifties, Japan used to be a negative, damaged, and stricken society. Many in either Japan and the West assumed that it will constantly be so. yet Gibney suggested on Japan in such telling and readable aspect that we will be able to see during this publication either the now forgotten surroundings of that point and the foundation for the "Japanese miracle" to persist with.

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The mobilization of the aesthetic of cherry blossoms to encourage sacrifice reached its height with the tokko¯tai operation. A single cherry blossom was painted in pink on a white background on both sides of the tokko¯tai airplane, while various Japanese terms for cherry blossoms were used as the names of the special attack corps. Cherry trees were in full bloom in southern Kyu¯shu¯ in April 1945, and some pilots flew off with branches of blossoms on their helmets and uniforms (see photo 10). Others referred to cherry blossoms in their last poems and letters.

Freshmen found it impossible to understand this work, no matter how many times they reread it. The task was intended to make them realize how ignorant they were and how hard they must study. In the dormitory, the new students were told by their seniors to read the entirety of Iwanami Bunko, a well-known series of world classics in philosophy, literature, history, art, music, and religion (Irokawa 2003, 163). This “pocket book series” was inaugurated in 1927 by Iwanami Shigeo, founder of Iwanami Publishers, after the model of the Reclam Introduction series in Germany, which Iwanami had read with passionate engagement.

In Japan, as in Europe, Romanticism became part of the struggle to overcome modernity. The student pilots embodied the Japanese historical experience since the Meiji period: profoundly influenced by modernity, which initially wore a Western face, they tried to overcome modernity, including the colonialist designs with which the Western powers approached Japan, at one and the same time. Japanese intellectuals’ stance toward modernity was similar, but not entirely parallel, to that of European intellectuals during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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Five Gentlemen of Japan: The Portrait of a Nation's Character by Frank Gibney


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