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The Japanese Empire
Grand Strategy from the Meiji Restoration to the Pacific War


  • Date Published: May 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107011953

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About the Authors
  • The Japanese experience of war from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century presents a stunning example of the meteoric rise and shattering fall of a great power. As Japan modernized and became the one non-European great power, its leaders concluded that an empire on the Asian mainland required the containment of Russia. Japan won the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–5) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) but became overextended in the Second Sino-Japanese War (1931–45), which escalated, with profound consequences, into World War II. A combination of incomplete institution building, an increasingly lethal international environment, a skewed balance between civil and military authority, and a misunderstanding of geopolitics explains these divergent outcomes. This analytical survey examines themes including the development of Japanese institutions, diversity of opinion within the government, domestic politics, Japanese foreign policy and China's anti-Japanese responses. It is an essential guide for those interested in history, politics and international relations.

    • Explains the transformation of Japan from the model developing country of the late-nineteenth century to a pariah state of the mid-twentieth century
    • Analyzes Japanese choices in terms of policy objectives and strategies to attain their desired goals
    • Places Japanese choices in the context of the changing international and institutional environment
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In clear and vibrant prose, Paine leads the reader through a tumultuous century and a half of Japanese history, focusing on the way Japan's leaders positioned their country in the world, from the Meiji period, through the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and into the period of stunning growth after WWII. A vital contribution not just to the history of Japan, but to the study of global geopolitics and grand strategy.' Tonio Andrade, Emory University, Atlanta

    'Professor Paine has produced a comprehensive, very readable book that examines Japan's precipitous decline into a century of militarism from the 1860s to 1945. Her sophisticated and nuanced scholarship would serve as an excellent companion to a standard historical textbook. Students would profit from reading assignments in Paine's book that correspond to historical periods. Paine's excellent summaries of Japanese sources are clear, concise, and eminently understandable. Her arguments are carefully reasoned and abundantly annotated. In short, Paine's slim book should be required reading for any scholar of modern Japanese history.' Louis G. Perez, Illinois State University

    'After a series of wars drawing upon a maritime strategy of limited intervention in regional affairs, the Japanese shift towards a strategy of unrestrained continental expansion across the confines of East Asia led the country to international political isolation, military overextension, and Imperial implosion. This book will offer an ideal introduction to the strategic challenges and military history of one of East Asia's most crucial actors to students of East Asian security, strategy, and international history alike.' Alessio Patalano, King's College London

    '… the book's interpretation of the Japanese case as a cautionary tale in the history of international relations is compelling.' Tak Matsusaka, H-Diplo

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107011953
    • length: 220 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus. 12 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The Meiji generation
    2. The First Sino-Japanese War (1894–5)
    3. The Russo-Japanese War (1904–5)
    4. The transition from a maritime to a continental security paradigm
    5. The Second Sino-Japanese War (1931–41)
    6. The General Asian War (1941–5)
    7. Japan betwixt maritime and continental world orders
    Selected bibliography

  • Author

    S. C. M. Paine, United States Naval War College, Rhode Island
    S. C. M. Paine, William S. Sims Professor at the United States Naval War College, has spent eight of the last thirty years engaged in research and language study in Japan, Taiwan, China, Russia, and Australia. Her funding has included two Fulbright Fellowships along with fellowships from Japan, Taiwan, and Australia. She is the author of The Wars for Asia (Cambridge, 2012), which received the Richard W. Leopold Prize and the PROSE Award for European and World History, and was longlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize, and Imperial Rivals (1996), which received the Barbara Jelavich Book Prize.

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