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Imperial Japan at its Zenith: The Wartime Celebration of the Empire's 2,600th Anniversary (Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University) Paperback – 18 Sep 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; Reprint edition (18 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801479789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801479786
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,101,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Back Cover

"Kenneth J. Ruoff is the most distinguished historian of his generation writing about the modern Japanese monarchy. His latest book, looking at the extraordinary celebrations of the 2,600th anniversary of the Japanese royal dynasty and the Japanese empire, is his most powerful and original yet. It is a tour de force of research, scholarship, and exposition, and anyone, anywhere, who is interested in the complex and controversial history of modern Japan or, indeed, the history of the modern world should read it."--Professor Sir David Cannadine, Princeton University and Institute of Historical Research, University of London



"In describing the mass mobilizations that accompanied the celebration in 1940 of the putative 2,600th anniversary of Japan's founding by the mythical emperor Jimmu, Kenneth J. Ruoff brilliantly illuminates issues related to war, nation formation, modernization, and the relationships among them. Imperial Japan at Its Zenith contributes a great deal to our understanding of the interplay of history and memory and the role of historical commemoration in the formation of national identity."--Julien Victor Koschmann, Cornell University



"A brilliant conception, deeply and deftly executed, Imperial Japan at its Zenith is a fascinating and colorful panorama of the Japanese empire in 1940 in its own terms and on multiple levels of description and argument. A must- and marvelous read for anyone interested in modern Japan, as well as Korea, China, and Asia more generally."--Carter J. Eckert, Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History, Harvard University



"Kenneth J. Ruoff has identified a fascinating moment to serve as a focus for his reassessment of modernity in the Japanese Empire. The 2,600th anniversary celebration, as he so vividly shows, was an enormous and richly choreographed event, but it has been largely neglected by historians. Imperial Japan at Its Zenith is full of compelling information based on a prodigious amount of archival research."--Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Australian National University



"In this deeply researched book Kenneth J. Ruoff offers an intriguing new perspective on wartime Japan. His sweeping survey of the cultural landscape in 1940 demonstrates the many ways, from song contests to colonial tourism, that cultural consumption sustained popular morale and support for the war effort on the Asian continent."--Peter Duus, Stanford University



"In this richly documented book, Kenneth J. Ruoff offers a fresh look at wartime mobilization in Japan before Pearl Harbor. Far from being a horde of mindless drones, Japanese people actively 'consumed' the national cause. They devoured media reports of the fighting, volunteered for labor service projects, and spent their money on group tours to patriotic sites throughout Japan, Korea, and Manchuria."--Sheldon Garon, Dodge Professor of History and East Asian Studies, Princeton University



"Imperial Japan at Its Zenith reveals with aplomb and style the world of ordinary Japanese during wartime. The year is 1940, when the Japanese empire was at the height of its power. Across the empire-from islands in the south Pacific to the northern reaches of Manchuria-and in communities as far away as Brazil, Japanese were celebrating the putative 2600th anniversary of the imperial line. In the skilled hands of Kenneth J. Ruoff, this year of anniversary becomes a moment to examine the largely untold ways Japanese subjects participated in the mobilization for war, whether through reading new histories that promoted a multiethnic vision of the national past or by buying Korean souvenirs during a bus tour of the colonial capital. In this fascinating account, Ruoff shows how tourism and consumption were not stemmed by the onset of total war but became woven through the very social, economic, and cultural fabric that enabled the war itself."-Andre Schmid, Director, Centre for the Study of Korea, University of Toronto --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Kenneth J. Ruoff is Professor of History and Director of the Center for Japanese Studies at Portland State University. He is the author of The People's Emperor: Democracy and the Japanese Monarchy, 1945-1995, the Japanese translation of which was awarded the Osaragi Jiro Prize in 2004 for the best book in the social sciences published the previous year. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Zangiku on 21 May 2014
Format: Hardcover
thanks to Prof Ruoff for bringing the little-known "2600th anniversary" celebrations to world attention and for being one of the very few western scholars to examine in depth the widespread enthusiasm of the japanese consumer for the imperial mission. a fascinating, jargon-free read with top-class scholarly apparatus. shame on the publishers for being too cheap to include a full-length bibliography or reproduce the great illustrations in higher quality. we are lucky to have it in any case, a fine and unique addition to the store of historical knowledge.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
eye-opener 21 May 2014
By Zangiku - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
thanks to Prof. Ruoff for bringing the little-known "2600th anniversary" celebrations to world attention and for being one of the very few western scholars to examine in depth the widespread enthusiasm of the japanese consumer for the imperial mission. a fascinating, jargon-free read with top-class scholarly apparatus. shame on the publishers for being too cheap to include a full-length bibliography or reproduce the great illustrations in higher quality. we are lucky to have it in any case, a fine and unique addition to the store of historical knowledge.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
and typically brilliant prose. A treat to read 3 Dec. 2014
By Michael D Schmidli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dr. Ruoff's history of the 26th centennial of the Emperor Jemmu is a triumph of intricate research, fascinating subject matter, and typically brilliant prose. A treat to read, and an important historical work.
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