Yoshida Shigeru and his time

By: Okazaki, Hisahiko
Contributor(s): Noda, Makito [Translator]
Material type: TextTextSeries: Japan libraryPublisher: Tokyo Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture (JPIC) 2019Description: 303 p. ill. Includes bibliographical references and indexISBN: 9784866580708Subject(s): Yoshida, Shigeru, 1878-1967 | Japan - History - Allied occupation, 1945-1952 | Japan | Prime minister - JapanDDC classification: 952.0330924 Summary: Yoshida Shigeru is widely regarded as a pivotal figure in early postwar Japanese history - someone who guided the nation through those difficult years with a clear vision and a firm hand. Yet much of his success, this book argues, was mandated by circumstances, and he was more a practical politician than an ideologue wedded to any particular "ism". Particularly lauded by Yoshida admirers are his adroit fending off of pressures to remilitarize, including during the Korean War years, and his accompanying focus on economic recovery as the nation struggled to get back on its feet. Yet the decision not to rearm had already been made in the postwar Constitution's Article 9, and Yoshida was more affirming Occupation policy than breaking new ground. Indeed, his policy pronouncements in this area largely channeled MacArthur's thinking throughout SCAP's reign. Pushing that thought one step further, Ambassador Okazaki contends that the widespread acceptance of Article 9 throughout the Japanese leadership ranks was part of a grand bargain with MacArthur: Japan would forsake rearmament and the International Military Tribunal for the Far East would not put the Emperor in the dock for war crimes. Taking issue with the conventional wisdom, Okazaki further maintains that many Occupation policies (e.g., women's suffrage and agrarian reform) would have been adopted in the course of building upon prewar democratization initiatives even were there no Occupation. Significantly, these reforms, unlike zaibatsu dissolution and the purge, for example, were not rescinded once Japan regained its independence in 1952. Pulling together testimony from a wide variety of informed sources, this solidly argued treatise roundly rejects the Tokyo Trials, both their conduct and their verdicts, and paints a picture of Japan laboring under a capricious autocracy in the Occupation years. This is an insightful work that demands serious consideration by everyone interested in Japan past, present, and future.
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Books Vikram Sarabhai Library
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Slot 2435 (3 Floor, East Wing) Non-fiction 952.0330924 O5Y6 (Browse shelf) Available 203862

Originally published in the Japanese language as "Yoshida Shigeru to sono jidai" by "PHP Institute" in "2003".

Table of contents

How Japan-The-Loser Was Treated
Unconditional Surrender: The Winners Take All
Prince Higashikuni Cabinet and General MacArthur
Any Humiliation Is Worth Ending to Maintain the Imperial System
Resurrection of Freedom and Democracy
Shidehara's Devotion to Reconstruct and Reform Japan on Its Own Initiative
Psychology and Logic of the Victors-Occupation Policy Divided: A Thorough Reform of Japan, or an Anti-Soviet Strategy?
Shidehara Kijūrō's Agony
What Did Shidehara and MacArthur Discusss on January 24?
Yoshida Shigeru Comes on Stage
How a Diplomat with No Distinct Idealogy or Ism Became Prime Minister
The First Yoshida Shigeru Cabinet
From Addressing the Food Problem and Agrarian Reform to Promulgation of the New Constitution
The Tokyo Trials (1)
The Worst Hypocrisy in History
The Tokyo Trials (2)
Insight of the Two Who Squarely Argued Against Tokyo Trials' Historical View
Absolute Power of GHQ
The Deep Scars to the Japanese Mentality
Change of the Tide
Japan's Shift from a "Sea of Red Flags" to the Road to Reconstruction
End of the Occupation
The Paradox of Rearmament
Epilogue. The Distorted "History Issue" in Postwar Japan
Japan's Self-Generated Masochistic View of History.

Yoshida Shigeru is widely regarded as a pivotal figure in early postwar Japanese history - someone who guided the nation through those difficult years with a clear vision and a firm hand. Yet much of his success, this book argues, was mandated by circumstances, and he was more a practical politician than an ideologue wedded to any particular "ism". Particularly lauded by Yoshida admirers are his adroit fending off of pressures to remilitarize, including during the Korean War years, and his accompanying focus on economic recovery as the nation struggled to get back on its feet. Yet the decision not to rearm had already been made in the postwar Constitution's Article 9, and Yoshida was more affirming Occupation policy than breaking new ground. Indeed, his policy pronouncements in this area largely channeled MacArthur's thinking throughout SCAP's reign. Pushing that thought one step further, Ambassador Okazaki contends that the widespread acceptance of Article 9 throughout the Japanese leadership ranks was part of a grand bargain with MacArthur: Japan would forsake rearmament and the International Military Tribunal for the Far East would not put the Emperor in the dock for war crimes. Taking issue with the conventional wisdom, Okazaki further maintains that many Occupation policies (e.g., women's suffrage and agrarian reform) would have been adopted in the course of building upon prewar democratization initiatives even were there no Occupation. Significantly, these reforms, unlike zaibatsu dissolution and the purge, for example, were not rescinded once Japan regained its independence in 1952. Pulling together testimony from a wide variety of informed sources, this solidly argued treatise roundly rejects the Tokyo Trials, both their conduct and their verdicts, and paints a picture of Japan laboring under a capricious autocracy in the Occupation years. This is an insightful work that demands serious consideration by everyone interested in Japan past, present, and future.

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