Japan After World War II Book Review by Jessie

Japan After World War II
A critical review of Dower's text, "Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II".
# 149581 | 753 words | 1 source | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Dec 25, 2011 in History (Asian) , History (U.S. World Wars) , Asian Studies (General)

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This paper begins by identifying the five major ideas of the book "Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II". The paper discusses the book's relevance and educational value and includes a recommendation of this book for readers interested in learning more about the history of Japan following World War II.

Five Major Ideas of Embracing Defeat
Educational Value

From the Paper:

"One of the important ideas of Embracing Defeat was the important role of MacArthur. In overseeing American interests in Japan, General Douglas MacArthur became a "new, imperious figure of authority" (Dower, 1999, p. 40). It is ironic that Japan was criticized by Americans for having a ruler who was believed to hold deity-like powers but then have MacArthur act in a similarly seemingly omnipotent manner. Even American cartoonists noticed this when they "frequently resorted to a virtually identical hand of God iconography by depicting little Japan in the palm of the Allies or receiving MacArthur's orders from on high" (Dower, 1999, p. 69).
"A second important point made by this book is the profound impact of American occupation upon Japanese culture. American attempts to establish democracy in the nation extended beyond the political realm to include reforms aimed at changing the nation's culture. The American society was constructed as an example of a "mature, Western society" whereas Japan was the epitome of "a feudalistic, Oriental culture that was cancerous in and of itself" (Dower, 1999, p. 80).
"A third major premise of the book is that this is a unique moment in history. Certainly, there have been other occupations in history, but this moment in Japan is unique for several reasons. First is the relative difference in the level of experience of the conquered and the conqueror. While America had only been involved in World War II for a few short years, Japan had been waging war for over a decade. Furthermore, this is an example of the two groups having little cultural bonds. The difference in language and customs forced America to rule Japan only indirectly because the utilization of American power directly was simply not possible."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Dower, J. (1999). Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Company.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Japan After World War II (2011, December 25) Retrieved May 27, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/japan-after-world-war-ii-149581/

MLA Format

"Japan After World War II" 25 December 2011. Web. 27 May. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/japan-after-world-war-ii-149581/>