Inventing Japan, 1853-1964 (A Modern Library Chronicles Series)

Cool, informed historical primer from journalist-novelist Buruma (The Missionary and the Libertine, 2000, etc.), tracing Japan from its opening to the West in 1853 through its transformation into a militaristic state to its reemergence as a peaceful, pacifistic host of the 1964 Olympics. From start to finish, this concise narrative unfolds in dense ironies. In the 19th century, Commodore Matthew Perry’s interpreter observed that the … [ Read more ]