The Story of a Nation
In this major revision of his classic history of Japan—from the tribally divided state under the leadership of Yamato in the fifth century through centuries of dynastic rule to the death of Emperor Hirohito in 1989—the eminent Harvard historian and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Edwin O. Reischauer incorporates nearly a decade's worth of new scholarship.
His book is divided into three parts: the first part examines traditional Japan from the early Chinese influences to the flowering of a native culture and the establishment of a feudal system and society; the second looks at Japan in transition from the beginnings of the modern state to the rise of militarism and the advent of World War II; the third section, extensively rewritten to reflect Japan's drastically changed role in world affairs since 1984, deals with postwar Japan from the American Occupation and years of political division and instability to Japan's gradual metamorphosis into an economic giant. The Nakosone and Takeshita years are discussed at length, and the transformation of Japan's economy, hinged upon surging exports to the West, is analyzed.
Clear, concise, and enormously informative, Reischauer's Japan: The Story of a Nation encompasses political, social, economic, and cultural history in a superbly readbable narrative.