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A thoughtful and richly detailed survey of modern Japanese history from the Tokugawa period to the present.
“The late scholar Mikiso Hane firmly believed that the story of modern Japan should not be just about political leaders, business tycoons, and military commanders, but should include the rural population, urban workers, the poor, and the story of women. Japan’s modern transitions often brought suffering as well as opportunity to these latter groups. In his updating of Hane’s text, Perez has both retained the essential spirit of Hane’s vision yet provided insights from recent scholarship. In the fifth edition of this work, Perez has added details on the negotiations over rendition of Okinawa gleaned from WikiLeaks documents and provided full coverage of the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear incident at Fukushima.” – Parks Coble, University of Nebraska“Lou Perez has performed heroic service to keep Mikiso Hane's highly readable Modern Japan in print and updated. Prof. Hane's commitment to bringing the voices of Japan's dissident and downtrodden women and men to our attention, contextualized within detailed narratives of political and international developments, permeates the entire text. Both authors not only make Japan intelligible to general readers, but also make clear that, along with its benefits, modernity came with attendant costs that the Japanese people continue to bear.” – E. Taylor Atkins, Northern Illinois University From the previous edition: “Since its first edition, Hane’s text has served as an excellent guide to modern Japanese history, thanks largely to the clarity of his writing, unbiased voice, and efforts to humanize the story, most notably by including the experiences of peasants, women, and other minorities too often overlooked. Perez, to his credit, has made the text even more accessible to students and general readers. Not only has he seamlessly woven in updated material and editorially improved the flow of the narrative, but his expansion of the bibliography and chronological chart and inclusion of a new section on internet sources have significantly enhanced the text’s usefulness as a resource.”