Provincial Life and the Military in Imperial Japan

The Phantom Samurai

By Stewart Lone

© 2009 – Routledge

168 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415673068
pub: 2011-05-10
US Dollars$54.95
x
Hardback: 9780415497510
pub: 2009-10-23
US Dollars$150.00
x

About the Book

In contrast to the enduring stereotype of a ‘nation of samurai’, this book uses provincial newspapers and local records to hear the voices of ordinary people living in imperial Japan through several decades of war and peace. These voices reveal the authentic experiences, opinions and emotions of men, women and children. They show that the impression of a uniquely disciplined, regimented, militaristic society, which took root in the Western imagination from the 1890s and which helped bring about the Pacific war of 1941-5, is a gross illusion.

Stewart Lone challenges the long-standing view of prewar Japan as a ‘militaristic’ society. Instead of relying on the usual accounts about senior commanders and politics at the heart of government, he shows the realities of provincial society’s relations with the military in Japan at ground level. Working from the perspective of civil society and both rural and urban life in the provinces, Lone investigates broader civil contacts with the military including schools, local businesses, leisure and entertainment, civic ceremonies and monuments, as well as public attitudes towards the military and its values.

This book will be of interest to upper undergraduates, postgraduates and academics interested in military history and Japanese history.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. On the Periphery: Provincial Life and the Military 1890 2. The Profits of War: The Conflict with China 1894-95 and Beyond 3. The Costs of War: The Conflict with Russia 1904-05 4. The Business of Bases in Late Meij 5. ‘Good Soldiers, Good Citizens’: The Local Military in the Public Gaze 6. The Discontents of Taisho: Wars and Peace in the 1910s 7. Under Reconstruction: The Civil-Military Contract in the 1920s Era of Army Rationalization

About the Author

Stewart Lone is professor of Asian social history at the Australian Defence Force Academy campus of the University of New South Wales, Australia.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Asia has undergone immense and far reaching changes: war, revolution, occupation, industrialization. This series includes in-depth research on aspects of economic, political and social history of individual countries as well as more broad-reaching analyses of regional issues.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS003000
HISTORY / Asia / General
SOC008000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General