Best japanese history books according to redditors

We found 675 Reddit comments discussing the best japanese history books. We ranked the 291 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Japanese History:

u/sotonohito · 3252 pointsr/AskHistorians

Yes, absolutely.

To begin with, don't forget that the romanticized Western image of samurai as hyper honor focused warrior monk types is pure exoticism with no real historic backing.

More to the point, like with the knights of Europe, while there was an official ideal of honor it was more prescriptive than descriptive and when you have a large group of heavily armed men some are going to be scumbags.

Further, "samurai" simply meant "person from the caste permitted to carry weapons", towards the end of the Tokugawa period (1600-1868) a great many samurai class men had no real weapon training, a minimal pension from the government, and generally survived by running up debts which were nullified every few years by government edict.

The Seven Samurai takes place earlier, in the Sengoku period (aka the Warring States Period), at a time of chaos and general confusion. There was no centralized government, no rule beyond what the local warlord decreed and could enforce, and samurai (again, meaning "people who carried weapons", not "super highly trained and deeply honorable warrior monk types") were thugs enforcing the will of their local warlord, which usually meant stealing whatever they could from the peasants and calling it taxes.

Or, worse, they were ronin. When a warlord was defeated his soldiers (samurai) often just wandered off and turned to banditry to survive. There's a lot of mythology and several stories involving deeply honorable ronin seeking adventure and vengeance for the people who betrayed their lords, but mostly in real life they were just armed and trained men who took whatever they could from the people least likely to fight back.

You might check out State of War, it's more about the somewhat earlier times than the Sengoku period, but most of what it covers applies to the later periods as well.

For an interesting, often funny, first hand, primary source, account of daily life for a poor man of samurai class during the mid Tokugawa period check Musui's Story, it's a very quick read, an autobiography written by Musui himself, who lived a quite disreputable life and busts a lot of myths of the noble honorable samurai.

TL;DR: even at the best of times, samurai were just soldiers, and historically soldiers weren't what you'd call very nice. In the worse times they were just bandits. The idea of samurai as super honorable warriors is just a myth.

u/happybadger · 825 pointsr/todayilearned

It was a fucked up event. One account in John Hersey's Hiroshima, non-fiction mind you, was of a survivor who walked past an anti-aircraft battery. They had been watching the sky as the plane flew over. Not only did it shear their faces off, but their eyes had boiled and the liquefied remains were pouring down their cheeks. Still alive.

u/Cawendaw · 35 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

We can go more pedantic!

Up until WWII, katakana/hiragana standards were sort of a mess. Hiragana was the "standard" syllabary for formal purposes, but katakana was considered easier to write and read. This possibly a legacy from when hiragana was more complex and had more strokes per character than katakana.

So katakana was used for notes, some official purposes (e.g. military orders, or meetings from a town hall meeting), various kinds of "officialese," and a lot of kid-oriented literature. So the book Requiem for Yamato (an account of the sinking of the battleship Yamato during the battle of Okinawa) is written in a mix of katakana and kanji, to evoke how military reports were written at the time. This wartime kids' balloon is written mostly in katakana, because it was aimed at kids. If you look at kids' textbooks from the 1870-1940 period (which I'm too lazy to google right now) you'll see a lot of katakana in them.

Foreign words were sometimes written in katakana (which makes sense from the above uses; it could communicate "here is a hard to pronounce word, I shall write it in katakana to spare your brain" or "here is an official, important scientific (tm) word, which I shall emphasize by writing it in katakana"), but not always.

But katakana was also thrown in willy-nilly in a lot of situations for random aesthetic reasons, sort of like all-caps in English today. Go look around at some English signs and labels, and try to come up with a coherent standard from when something is all caps, when it's all lower case, and when it's a mix; good luck!

After WWII, the Japanese government reformed the language's orthography, and there was a mostly-successful attempt to bring order to the katakana chaos. It was then that the "foreign words get written in katakana" became official. This applied to all foreign words, by the way, not just English.

Scientific and technical terms also got written in katakana. Partly this was probably a legacy of "officialese," partly it's because a lot of them are loan words. It's also because a lot of the words that do have kanji spellings use super obscure kanji, and it's important to be able to read an intro to biology textbook without having a PhD in etymology.

Everyday names of plants and animals (even if they're not scientific names) get written in katakana for the same reason.

Finally there's emphasis. Katakana was also used for emphasis pre-WWII, but it was dialed way, way back after the spelling reform. There's just a lot less use of katakana for emphasis in post-WWII writing. Partly this might have been simply a change in style, similar to how in English writers like H.P. Lovecraft might put the entire final sentence or even paragraph of their extremely verbose horror story in italic!!! but this would be considered old fashioned and melodramatic by a writer in the 60's. But it also might have been a formal change in standards, I'm not sure.

The "katakana is kid-friendly" thing completely disappeared, so far as I can tell.

Katakana in labelling and signage, though, remains a chaotic mess that defies anything resembling order or logic. So that tradition remained intact.

u/Tangurena · 28 pointsr/AskHistorians

> In my view, the second certainly wasn't

According to Rhodes [1], the Japanese command knew what affected Hiroshima was an atomic bomb [2] but concluded that since it took 4 years to build the first atom bomb, it would take the Allies 4 years to build the next. The folks at the top kept believing that they could force the Allies to a negotiated peace and that westerners were too weak - hence the suicidal efforts in Okinawa/Saipan and kamikaze to demoralize Allied troops.

The Yalta conference required Stalin to enter war against Japan within 90 days of the end of the German campaign. Depending on how you do the math and count timezones, Russia declared war against Japan and entered combat on day 89, 90 or 91.

According to Cook in Japan at War there were 4,335,500 Japanese soldiers at the time of the surrender with about 3,500,000 stationed outside the "home islands" (mostly stuck in Korea and Manchuria). This was a lot more than the Allies thought that Japan had.

1 - I forget whether it was in Dark Sun (most likely because it was the followup written after the fall of the Soviet Union which opened up a lot of their secret archives) or The Making of the Atomic Bomb.
2 - The Japanese had 2 atom bomb projects: a chemical separation project in Tokyo and a gaseous diffusion project in what is now called North Korea around the Chosin Reservoir.

u/Mister_Donut · 27 pointsr/AskHistorians

This article is a fairly succinct summation of the revisionist argument.

This book by a Japanese historian is the long form.

EDIT: Since I was asked to be a bit more explicit about the context of these links, I'll summarize. The basic argument here is that the dropping of the atomic bombs and Japanese surrender coming so close together is, in a way, coincidental. Japanese cities had basically been flattened (see this link for a comparison of Japanese cities destroyed to similar-sized American ones. Sorry I can't find a better page on short notice) and many of the conventional attacks were just as destructive as the atomic ones.

The Japanese high command weren't idiots, although some of them were nationalist fanatics. They knew they were losing the war, and indeed always stood very little chance of winning. However, they were hoping that a deal mediated through the Soviets, with whom they had a non-aggression pact, would allow them to hold on to some of their colonial possessions. Remember they had ruled Korea for decades, and were accustomed to it being fully in their control. They didn't see why surrender should necessarily end that.

The Soviets ultimately decided to break their pact with the Japanese, though and attacked Manchuria (with many many atrocities committed against Japanese colonists, btw. Read Japan at War for some first person accounts.) Their massive war machine, having been done with Germany for months, could have been in Hokkaido in weeks, rather than the months it would have taken to mount the American invasion of Kysushu. The Japanese military had been fortifying Kyushu with its best veteran troops in anticipation of American landings there. They would have been completely rolled in the north and Tokyo would have fallen by December.

The argument is that it was the prospect of occupation by the hated Russians that drove the high command to surrender, not the atomic bombs.

u/zwadishi · 22 pointsr/totalwar

I ended up asking quite a few knowledgeable people and reading up on why they did not use shields. Turns out its because their armor did one of the main jobs of a shield well enough:blocking arrows.

Early japanese(like 0-500 AD) used shields, but then as far as I can tell nobody used shields because they transferred to the early O-yoroi armor(shoulderpads would act as shields)...which is the same armor used in your picture. So I guess it was under some use but as far as I could tell very rare due to the armor quality. I saw references to shields as in mobile barricades similar to pavises but nothing like hand shields, simply because the armor was good enough to block arrows and would let more people use full 2 handed weapons which are better than 1 handed weapons generally speaking(bigger pointy stick beats smaller pointy stick).

My favorite source so far is: State of War.

Some more cool things from the book:

-Twenty arrows were required to kill Imagawa Yorikuni, and it was widely regarded that decent armor would easily stop "tens of arrows"

-Two days after one soldier was shot through the hand, he showed up in service records on the front lines.

-That same guy was later shot in the foot and the arrowhead caused infection, so he was relegated to guard duty forever(soldier was called Beppu Michizane).

-Mounted warriors refrained from using swords due to skittish mounts being frightened by the shadows of them apparently? [3 written sources, but good luck finding "Buki kara mita nairanki no sento" on your own]

-Battle axes were used, and broken weapon hafts were an actual problem(part of why the giant 7 foot swords existed)

Also in mildly related topic another great book is Warriors of the Steppe which talks about horse archers. I was interested to know why they are so magically good in real life, but its mostly because Nomads are just a very tough group of people with no lands you can raid, so they can travel a long distance to burn your stuff and own no territory that you can siege traditionally, not so much magical archer powers.

u/Da_Jibblies · 21 pointsr/AskHistorians

Well first and foremost, the "Axis" that you referred to is not a monolithic entity, but rather, an alliance of world powers with their own vested interests, their own reasons for war, and their own justifications for military expansionism. So judging from how your question is framed, by "Axis" you seem to be referring specifically to Germany, but I will attempt to unpack your answer in as nuanced and comprehensive way as possible.

Many in the Japanese military saw the expansion of their empire as a means of becoming a modern state in the eyes of the world, on par with great European powers at the time. Furthermore, Japanese framed the rhetoric of this expansion within a dialogue of "Pan-Asianism", and the protection of Asian interests from white imperial powers in the West (namely Britain and the United States). Many Asian countries, be it the Philippines, China, Thailand, etc. had a long history of both military and economic subjugation at the hands of European and American imperialism. In this regard, the Japanese fighting allied troops in the pacific did not see themselves as agents of genocide, but rather, as protectors of a sort of paternalistic guidance of Asian independence and progression, with conveniently, Japan as the father figure protecting their fellow Asian "wards" within that paternalistic setting.

In regards to Germany, I think it is instructive for us to use an approach similar to Mary Renda's in her account of the U.S occupation of Haiti by asking the question: How does one imagine themselves when they pull the trigger of a gun? Again, engaging directly to your question, is it likely that the common German soldier saw himself as a vessel of genocide? Or, is it more likely that the background of the soldier in a prewar context (their class, their regional identity, their experiences with Jews before the war, the relationship to economic depression and recovery, etc.) shaped their attitudes and motivations going into the war? Some surely did see themselves as actors in the genetic purification of the German race, however, I would postulate that these were the minority of soldiers. Some saw themselves as restoring the glory of the German empire. However, as [Stephen Fritz] ( suggests, many others saw themselves upholding the less sinister values of National Socialism against the forces of communism and capitalism. National Socialism was more than just the idea of ethnic purity. We have to remember the context of post WWI German society; its political unrest of the Weimar Republic and its economic hardships. The soldiers of Germany experienced this context, it memory was palpable and vivid, and thus, many saw the country's renewed glory as intrinsically connected to the class, economic and political ideologies of National Socialism.

I do not have a comprehensive background in Italian history or Italian fascism, so I won't attempt to postulate on the motivations of soldiers in that context. However, I would just like to end by cautioning you of the approach that leads to questions like this. What you are doing is taking a presentist mindset, the knowledge and context of the present and imposing it on your inquiry of the past. In so doing, you devoid the subjects of your presentist thinking of their historical contexts, and in turn, pass judgment onto these historical actors and ascribe motivations that were either nominal or secondary to their lives and beliefs. This is not an attack on you, or, an attempt to scold you in an academic sense. Rather, it is simply an attempt to illuminate some the fallacies that everyone (including professional historians) bring with them that shape their historical scholarship. In the future, try to refine your inquires by identifying possibly presentist ideas and analysis. Again, I don't want this to seem like an attack, I am glad you are attempting to think about the motivations of the other in a historical context.

I hope this answer shed some light on your question and the historical contexts the shaped the more forgotten actors of the Second World War.

Further Reading:

[Japan at War] (

[The Programme of NSDAP] (

[Japan's Total Empire] (

EDIT: Spelling and formatting and junk.

u/nikovich · 17 pointsr/PoliticalDiscussion

> Do you have a source where I can read more about this?

Embracing Defeat is a great book about Japan's rapid transition to democracy and constitutional pacifism in the post-war period. I recommend it.

u/Pennsylvasia · 13 pointsr/worldnews

Hmm, well my point is that Western outlets definitely play up the Weird Asia angle when covering it. That extends throughout the region. My local paper has a piece at the moment about Taiwan running out of toilet paper, for example, and reporters were obsessed with North Korean cheerleaders, Kim Jong-un's sister, and "garlic girls" this month in Korea. Treatment of Japan has been the worst, it's true; most people who study Japanese do so because of anime, and you can't have a Japan-related thread here without hearing about tentacles, people refusing to have children, body pillows, or World War II. But as someone currently living in the West who pays close attention to Asia and how it's covered, coverage of the whole region definitely favors the weird.

A big part of that is insecurity and ethnocentrism, a fear of admitting one's own weaknesses, and John Dower's book Embracing Defeat (about Japan immediately after WWII) spends some time talking about the transformation, in the American mind, from Japanese men being depicted as animals and savages during the war to being imagined as soft and effeminate. I suspect that still plays a role in how the region is imagined.

u/white_light-king · 13 pointsr/AskHistorians

> The planning and execution of the attack on Pearl was rooted deeply in the Japanese doctrine of the decisive battle. The objective of IJN battle plans throughout the war was to bring their enemy into a single large battle and defeat them in one blow.

This is a key point. For more on it, I recommend Kaigun and the website.

u/matts2 · 13 pointsr/AskHistorians

Easter Island cut down their trees. This meant they could no longer build boats for decent fishing and their food supply dropped. That and some nasty wars meant a big drop in population and so technology.

Japan gave up the gun in the 16th century. It was not a wholesale reversion of technology but it was a step backwards.

There are various particular technologies that have been lost. The Greeks and Romans had a universal joint, but it was mostly lost until the 16th century.

u/werewolfchow · 13 pointsr/AskHistorians

Ok two disclaimers: I'm working off of my course work from my degree in Japanese history and on my phone so I can't look up sources, but here goes:

Imperial Japan had developed a virtual cult of the emperor. That's why nobody surrendered until Hirohito's radio broadcast. Because of this worship and his agreement to acquiesce to terms set by the US, it was decided that leaving him as a figurehead would go further toward stabilizing and westernizing Japan, especially with the dangerous military leadership eliminated and US occupation a going concern.

edit: Ok, so I'm home now and I can get you a source. The book Embracing Defeat points out that during the meeting with MacArthur following the surrender, Hirohito expected to be deposed, but MacArthur and the provisional government decided that Japan would be easier to govern if they kept their emperor, who was also a religious leader as much as a dictator. In the end, Prime Minister Tojo and General Matsui took the blame for the emperor and killed themselves, and MacArthur left Hirohito in power, more or less.

u/Ater_Deus · 12 pointsr/ShitAmericansSay

Do people really believe that the destroying both Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the only way to get the Japanese emperor to surrender?

The Japanese recognized that defeat was inevitable. By summer 1945 Japanese Navy was unable to conduct major operations, oil supplies were running short, Japanese factories were struggling or unable to keep up with military demands.

Japan was provably ready and willing to surrender.

Nothing can excuse the deaths of so many civilians.

Further info for those interested. Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam by Gar Alperovitz.

u/sixish · 12 pointsr/korea

This mostly lines up with what I know as well, as a heavy East Asian history student myself.

One thing I want to point out though is that Christian missionaries from the West came much much earlier than the 1800s, in fact, they were there in the 1500s. Francis Xavier, Marco Polo, and many other Portuguese and Spanish explorers/missionaries crossed over via South America and up through the Philippines. Random tidbit of information unrelated to this conflict is that they brought guns to the Japanese and the Japanese adopted them for use and as a nation abandoned them and implemented sakoku, a closed-country policy.

edit: I read about the guns being more advanced than the ones used in World War 1, but after some failed googling I can't find any sources to refute/support my claim. I am certain I read it in a book, perhaps one (1) of (2) these (3), but I am not sure. If you're really interested, I'll contact my professor and ask him which source it was because it's really a ridiculous fact.

u/synternia · 12 pointsr/HistoryPorn

Excerpt from Ensign Yoshida Mitsuru's account of the battle's opening phase:

>1220 hours: our air search radar picks up three blips, each apparently a large formation.

> In his usual guttural voice Petty Officer Hasegawa, chief of the antiaircraft radar room, gives a running commentary on their range and bearing. “Contacts. Three large formations. Approaching.”

> Once the P.A. passes on word of the approaching planes, the ship, quiet already, becomes quieter still. As the radar tracks the blips, the data is transmitted to us moment by moment over the voice tube: … range 30,000 meters, bearing 160 degrees … second raid, range 25,000 meters, bearing 85 degrees…

> How many times, in target practice, have we conducted such tracking? I am possessed by the illusion that we have already experienced searches under the same conditions, with the same battle positions, even with the same mood.

> The blips are not an imagined enemy but an enemy poised for the kill. The location: not our training waters, but hostile waters.

> A large squadron appears out of a gap in the clouds.

> “More than one hundred enemy planes attacking!” Is it the navigation officer who calls this out?

> Inevitable that both torpedoes and bombs will focus on Yamato. The captain orders: “Commence firing.”

> Twenty-four antiaircraft guns and 120 machine guns open fire at the same moment. The main guns of the escort destroyers, too, flash in unison. The battle begins.

> The tracks of the torpedoes are a beautiful white against the water, as if someone were drawing a needle through the water; they come pressing in, aimed at Yamato from a dozen different directions and intersecting silently. Estimating by sight their distance and angle on the plotting board, we shift course to run parallel to the torpedoes and barely succeed in dodging them.

> Opening her engines with their 150,000 horsepower to full throttle, straining at her top battle speed of twenty-seven knots, and turning her rudders hard to either side, Yamato continues her desperate evasive maneuvers...

After sustaining more than a dozen hits from torpedoes and bombs, Yamato's ammunition magazine exploded. The sight and sound of the blast could be seen as far as 100 miles away.

u/Sixteenbit · 9 pointsr/history

John Dower's Embracing Defeat anwers these quesitons in a good amount of detail with an understanding of Japanese culture and perspective. It's a great read.

u/sBcNikita · 9 pointsr/WorldOfWarships

Well, the obvious immediate go-to would be Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941, which is pretty much exactly what you're looking for.

In addition to describing the design philosophies driving Japanese naval architecture during their buildup to the Second World War, it also describes the evolution of the strategy, tactics, organization, culture, and technology developed by the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The book also has a fairly broad chronological focus, encompassing the entire era between the foundation of the IJN and the opening battles of the Pacific War.

It's considered one of the more prominent Western works on the topic in recent years. It's also fairly engagingly written, so I'd recommend you check it out.

If you're interested in naval air power's development by Japan, I'd also check out Sunburst, by one of the same authors, as well as the acclaimed Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway by Parshall and Tully, which both provide in-depth analysis of Japanese carrier doctrine and tactics. The latter book is particularly groundbreaking in the Western scholarship of the battle for overturning several longstanding myths surrounding Midway.

EDIT: Fun fact - Kaigun is the only reason why I know who the heck Emile Bertin was :)

u/SublethalDose · 9 pointsr/japan

Embracing Defeat is about social, cultural, and political change in Japan in the aftermath of World War II. It may be too narrow in its focus if you're trying to quickly get an overview of all of Japanese history, but it's a fascinating read.

u/t-o-k-u-m-e-i · 8 pointsr/japan

Well, what era are you interested in?

Hands down, the best English overview of the modern era available is A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present by Andrew Gordon. If you want WWII and after, John Dower's War Without Mercy and Embracing Defeat are good places to start. Chalmers Johnson's MITI and the Japanese Miracle isn't fun reading but does a good job of explaining the post war economic boom.

I don't know of any single volume works that are good overviews of specifically the Edo/Tokugawa period. As far as more focused, intelectual histories go, I'm fond of Ooms' Tokugawa Ideology and Najita's Visions of Virtue in Tokugawa Japan

I have no recommendations for the Muromachi, Kamakura, Heian, Nara or Asuka periods. I don't study them and only know them in passing from survey courses.

Faris's Sacred Texts and Burried Treasures does a good job of teaching the controversy about ancient Japanese history, and the origins of the peoples on the islands.

I'm coming at this as someone who is working on a PhD in modern Japanese history right now, so some of these (Najita, Ooms, Faris, Johnson) might be heavier reading than you're looking for.

u/whisperHailHydra · 8 pointsr/japan
u/arrjayjee · 8 pointsr/AskHistorians

I'd like to take a moment to plug Hiroshima by John Hersey, which deals with first-hand accounts of survivors of Hiroshima. It does touch on reactions from the general populace but mostly follows a handful of survivors in the aftermath of the attack and what happened to them decades later. One of the best books I've read in recent years and a must for anybody remotely interested.

Sorry if this sort of thing isn't explicitly permitted but it's a great book I thought would be relevant to anyone interested in this question.

u/mannoroth0913 · 7 pointsr/todayilearned

Another fantastic book that recounts stories of survivors is "Hiroshima" by John Hersey.

u/Domwashburn · 7 pointsr/todayilearned

Amazon is wonderful.

Hiroshima by John Hersey

u/celinesalon · 7 pointsr/bangtan

Sadly there was no single textbook for this class, since it was a one of a kind thing, and I took it nearly a decade ago so I don't have my old school papers from it anymore. The professor is a huge advocate against nuclear power/weapons and spent many years searching for documents in both American and Japanese archives to make the course, so many of the materials were photo-copied articles or translations of articles. I'm kind of shocked she hasn't written her own textbook on the topic, but it appears that after Fukushima she has been focusing more on writing books that address the long-term and devastating effects of nuclear radiation in general rather than simply atomic bomb literature.

Some quick googling pulled up this book though :
I haven't read it but the summary seems like it may follow a similar narrative to what I was taught. It looks like it focuses heavily on Soviet Union-related politics so perhaps you might enjoy reading it.

u/shinkouhyou · 7 pointsr/AskHistorians

Clavell's Shogun is loosely based on actual history. Very, very loosely. Decades of history are blended together, and various historical figures are conflated into new characters. It's not even close to an accurate reflection of the political and cultural situation at the time, and of course it shoves in a white guy hero... Yeah, it's an entertaining read, but it also tends to make historians froth at the mouth.

The issue with ninjas is that most of the ninja mythology was invented during the 1800s... a good 200 years after the end of the "Warring States" period when much of this ninja action supposedly took place. A whole slew of popular novels were written featuring Sanada Yukimura (a samurai commander known for his cunning tactics) and his "Ten Braves," who were all legendary ninja. Sarutobi Sasuke is probably the most famous of the Ten Braves. Although Sanada Yukimura and the Ten Braves ultimately lost to Tokugawa Ieyasu (whose dynasty would rule Japan for the next 250 years), they were made out to be folk heroes with almost supernatural skill and cleverness.

...However, there's virtually zero evidence that any of these ninja ever existed outside of novels. The whole "ninja" mythos was invented in the 1800s, partly because it sounded cool and partly because the descendents of Sanada's samurai compatriots had suffered two hundred years of oppression under the ruling (but declining) Tokugawa regime, so there was still plenty of simmering resentment. Those two factors together sold a hell of a lot of books.

Samurai did use spies and saboteurs, but they weren't dudes who ran around in black Cobra Kai outfits slinging shuriken at each other. They were basically normal samurai. Political tensions were high during the Warring States era, but most samurai were surprisingly blatant about their backstabbing. Why go through the trouble of using ninja when you can simply lie, bribe, and threaten your way into power?

The biggest influence on modern ideas about ninja was actually the theatre. Kabuki stage plays and bunraku puppet plays both make use of stagehands who dress all in black and cover their faces with black cloth. Since the actors were brightly dressed and painted, these black-clad stagehands were "invisible." So a "ninja" character could creep around the stage in a stagehand's uniform, totally ignored by the audience until they revealed themselves.

Anyway, you were asking for books! The real history of the samurai is, at least to me, much more interesting than made-up ninja stories. It's full of power struggles and epic battles and tragic miscalculations and dirty tactics. It's good stuff. If you're interested, I highly recommend basically anything by Stephen Turnbull. He's written several visual guides to major battles of the samurai era, with tons of illustrations and analysis. He even has a book on ninja, although as I mentioned, ninja are a pretty contentious point among Japanese historians and any modern "ninja training school" that claims authenticity is full of pure bullshit.

Turnbull's War in Japan 1467-1615 is a good place to start. Osaka 1616 and Sekigahara 1600 (by Anthony Bryant) are the real source for Clavell's "Shogun" novel. Europeans actually did have a pretty significant role in Japan's civil wars, but not to the romanticized extent of "Shogun."

Those are probably the most accessible and easy-to-read books on the Warring States era. Taiko by Eiji Yoshikawa is a semi-fictionalized but very well researched novel that covers some of the same time period, but it's a much more challenging read. Most of the other academic books I have are pretty dry, so start with Turnbull for the fully illustrated action version~

u/[deleted] · 7 pointsr/japan

Hmm, I wonder why it's not showing up in the thread... was it reported as spam or something? I'll repost it here then.

I'm going to assume that you're pretty serious about learning more about Japanese history/culture... these are pretty hefty books. I'm also listing them in (roughly) chronological order.

The Tale of the Heike -- It's required reading for all students in Japan and will give you a nice look at Japan's past (12th century). It should be required reading for all Japanese literature students, too. It's basically historical fiction gathered from a number of sources close to that time. There's a lot of history and a lot of embellishment.

Giving Up the Gun: Japan's Relationship to the Sword -- This book covers the creation and fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate, but it focuses especially on (surprise, surprise!) the relationship Japan has with the sword (as opposed to the gun). The katana is almost a legendary weapon for a number of reasons, and this book is a good read because it looks at why Japan never really had the same epiphany Europe did with respect to warfare -- or at least, not in the same way.

A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present -- I read this a few times and it's not a bad summary of how Japan changed over the years, though I'm not a huge fan of this book. The Tokugawa Shogunate lasted long enough that I feel that it deserves its own (series of) books, followed by one on the Meiji Restoration and another on the post-war period. Since it's all rolled up in one, this ends up being a dense Cliff Notes version of Japanese history. That having been said, though, this is not a bad book at all for what it is.

Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II -- I'd probably consider this the definitive post-war Japan book. If you read only one book out of all of these, you should read this one.

Shift: Inside Nissan's Historic Revival -- I consider this a very important modern Japan book, even if you don't give a shit about cars. Japan has always been a very, very closed society and the corporations are no different. So when Carlos Ghosn came in and took over Nissan -- and turned it around -- it was a huge, huge thing. It still is, in many ways. If you want to read something about modern Japan being internationalized, this is one of the books to read.

Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan -- This is a pretty famous book for a lot of reasons. Jake Adelstein studied Japanese and became a reporter for the crime section of Yomiuri Shinbun, which is one of the largest newspapers in Japan. He wrote this book; it's filled with dramatization, self-aggrandization, and one-sided reporting, but it's still worth reading. Japan isn't the seamy mess of crime and slavery he makes it out to be, but it's not the technology and beautiful girl paradise a lot of other people want it to be either.

On the "fictional" side of things...

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword -- This was one of the seminal works on Japan, back during World War II. The problem is that there are so many bad assumptions and things that we now know are incorrect... but it was a seminal work for so long that it has really, really affected Western stereotypes of Japan. It's worth it just for that; not as a commentary on Japan itself, but as a critical reading of how the West did (and continues) to see Japan. Use it to focus your critical lens, so to speak.

u/VolrathEvincar · 6 pointsr/history

I read , and that's how I got into it, but people seem to like , although I've never read it. Actually, this is one of those rare moments when I will vouch for YouTube channels like Extra Credits ( It's a great and insightful overview to start with, and then go to the books for details.

u/umashikaneko · 6 pointsr/japan

This English book includes historical facts, opinion and proofs in line with right wing point of view. This book is good example of you can cherry picking facts in favor of right wing point of view. If you are only familiar with "comfort women =inherently bad" view point then read it, it can give you alternative view point which also supported by facts.

Ad for comfort women on Korean newspaper


Learn both sides of arguments, think yourself.

u/shadowboxer47 · 6 pointsr/WarshipPorn

Excellent analysis. I've been reading Kaigun and it goes into depth on this. You can attribute this primarily to Japan's complicated range and targeting scheme. Funnily enough, Japan's system was pretty terrible, so all the effort had been for naught.

u/One_Catholic · 6 pointsr/AskHistorians
u/laofmoonster · 5 pointsr/new_right

Excuse my ignorance, but what does this have to do with the subreddit? Not that it isn't interesting; I just finished Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II and recommend it.

u/ikaruja · 5 pointsr/japan

This is what we studied in my upper level course:

Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present: Andrew Gordon

u/maineblackbear · 5 pointsr/worldnews

John Dower has an excellent account of American patronage of Japanese comfort women (with full knowledge and approval of both US top brass as well as Japanese civilian authority). The reason? The comfort women's souls were already ruined, so lets keep using them instead of Americans wading into the general population with all its attendant consequences. Both American military and Japanese civilian authorities agreed with this exact line of reasoning.

u/meesan · 4 pointsr/india

Related Wallpaper.

Ancient Ages (BC)

You can actually pick up any history book and see that every ancient civilization reached a zenith beyond which it stopped growing and evolving, becoming complacent in its agrarian economy and eventually becoming a target of invaders who repeated the cycle.

Example: Egyptians, Assyrians, Indus (not much is known as facts, several theories exist), Greeks, (Western) Roman Empire - was destroyed by Huns under Atilla and later invaders, the Muslim/Caliphate/Arabian empire was almost destroyed by Tataric Invasion aka Mongolian Invasion (Mongols under Genghis Khan) etc.

Medieval Ages (5th -15th century AD)

Only in the later Medieval Ages and the Renaissance, when transport and trade became the lifeblood of empires, civilizations no longer were bound by the fertility of their lands. Other factors became the culprit, at the ending years of the Medieval Ages, for the fall of the other kingdoms and empires.

Political instability, unchecked feudalism, scientific stagnation, social collapse, religious-social taboos and might I add arrogant narrowmindedness (as well as the murder of the scientific spirit) were the primary evils which led to the downfall of non-western empires.

Imho, if you want to understand why eastern empires lagged in science and technology, read up on late medieval middle east/arabia and the fall of the caliphate. They were the direct connection to the Indian subcontinent from Europe and their collapse left us disconnected, even isolated.

Industrial Age (1760-1840)

China was efficient enough in the early days of industrialization to not need to industrialize. The same way one can hire cooks and cleaners to keep up their housework, in India, instead of relying on (initially) costlier home and cooking appliances, as in the 1st world nations. It is called Equilibrium Trap.

Japan instead had the Meiji Restoration, under which the Emperor consolidated his power, had an eye-opening encounter with Americans and embraced foreign technology and science to keep up with the world, in 1868. Before that Japan too was regressing in science and technology and blind superiority complex.

Giving Up the Gun: Japan's Reversion to the Sword, 1543-1879 should be an interesting read. I've only skimmed first few chapters of it. I found this on my professor's desk while waiting for some appointment.

While (foreign) science was either taboo, dismissed or outlawed by other Asian empires. The first printing press was made in 1468, by Gutenberg while it was instantly outlawed by the clergy in the Ottoman empire, claiming it to be a sin invented by infidels, and was finally allowed in 1727, for non-religious books. The Muslim caliphate/empire had begun it's slow downfall in education and science with the Sacking of Baghdad, by the Mongols, in which entire libraries were set on fire. Countless information was lost in handwritten unduplicable books, many of which were the only copies.

Hard work is also in Agrarian economies but, Industrial Work Ethic and Scientific Revolution missed by the other Asian empires have had given them a slower lifestyle.

Sorry, you'll have to look up and see the articles and books for yourself. Remember to read books written by a western author or sources on eastern nations with caution as they are biased and corrupt recorded history, at times. Same goes for eastern writers, who might be oblivious to their own biases.

u/Richard_Sauce · 4 pointsr/Documentaries

Many of those figures were exaggerated and fabricated after the war, as historians have known for around fifty years.

Even the pre-war figures were also based on faulty, often racist assumptions, about the unwavering tenacity and fanaticism of the Japanese population, in which they argued that much of the civilian population would either fight invaders with their bare hands, or commit suicide rather than be conquered.

Both left out the fact that eight straight years of war, and being completely cut off from their empire in the last year, the Japanese were only months away from being completely without the resources, gasoline/oil/rubber/steel etc... necessary to continue the war. A fact which was not unknown to us, nor does it mention that Japanese were seeking conditional surrender for months before we dropped the bomb.

Edit: For further reading on the topic, I would recommend John Dower's War without Mercy, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa's Racing the Enemy, Gar Alperovitz's Atomic Diplomacy and The Decision to use the Atomic Bomb

u/McWaddle · 4 pointsr/history

Not an expert but I've a couple of good reads for you:

The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori by Mark Ravina

Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan by Herbert Bix

This one is in my backlog:

Japan at War: An Oral History by Haruko Taya Cook and Theodore Cook

u/sloam1234 · 4 pointsr/TheGrittyPast

Fantastic recommendation, I got to read Junger's memoir last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Absolutely horrifying and enlightening.

One of my favorite WWI books is A World Undone, by G. J. Meyer. Which is ironic since I don't think I've ever posted a single anecdote from it (an error I need to severely correct).

It's super dense, but probably one of the best overviews of the war, encapsulating a deep amount of academic research, primary sources from soldiers, civilians, leaders- all the while providing important historical context and background for the many many actors/nations involved, their motives, and goals.

I recommend this book to ANYONE interested in WWI besides a passing understanding. At 816 pages it can be daunting to most readers, but if you have the interest, absolutely check out this book.

Another great book is Max Hastings's Inferno, which is one of the best "social histories" of the war IMO. The wide-range of intimate, tragic, surprising, and sometimes funny testimonies collected in the book, along with Hastings's excellent prose, is one of the most "human" retellings of WWII, I've ever read and is a must for anyone who is interested in the war beyond just the military and political aspects.

Edit: I also want to include Hastings's Retribution which covers the Pacific campaign (1944-45) in equally masterful prose and heartwrenching testimony. Learned not only a lot about the Japanese perspective but also of people's lives under Japanese occupation.

Also Rick Atkinson's Liberation Trilogy, which is a fantastic (American POV) of the war and incredibly well written.

u/KnockerZ · 3 pointsr/worldnews

...after the war ended and ... was taken home, she told no one what had happened to her. She said she felt ashamed, afraid and isolated. She had no idea that her ordeal had been shared by thousands of other young women at dozens of military “comfort stations” throughout the Pacific. Unable to confide in her family, she remained single and childless for life.

But in 1991, when another comfort woman(Kim Hak Sun) broke a half-century of silence, ... realized that she had not been alone. She registered with the government and traveled to the base where she had been held, accompanied by Japanese historians. She was able to learn the fate of crucial individuals, including a Japanese military officer who took pity on her and was later killed in combat. And finally, she began to talk.

Why do many of women who were raped never come forward? Shame, fear no one would believe them, lack of faith in the justice system. It's easier to come forward when other women come forward. The greatest strength is knowing you're not alone. Like with what happened with the Weinstein incident.

She's a 90 year old asian lady, she passed away at the beginning of this year. She really has nothing left to gain.

Who is Yoshida? I can't find any woman name Yoshida comfort woman story.

I can't read and/or write in korean or japanese, so i won't be able to discern her names among the records that are available on amazon, and i don't have access to all the transportation records, provided that they are all still kept after 60 years.

Footage of Korean women sexually enslaved by Japanese soldiers in WWII revealed for the first time

KBS News Comfort Women Video

u/vladesko · 3 pointsr/AskAnthropology

Well, I'd hope so, since that's what I'm trying do to! Hahaha

But, seriously, yes, they do. A little bit on the side of production¹, but a lot on the side of consumption of Japanese Pop Culture.
In fact, there's a whole new field called otakuology, which is dedicated to the study of , well, the otaku subculture.

And many "otakuologists", myself included, understand that a vital aspect of the "otaku experience" is how the internet is used. This ranges from BBS forums to twitter usage (that would be me), passing through blogging, "youtubing", fansubbing, and, of course, image boards (2ch and 4chan).

So, yeah, it is definitely possible to intersect digital anthropology and the study of Japanese Pop Culture.

¹ For instance, Michael Fisch's analysis of Densha Otoko and Ringu, Daniel Black's works on Vocaloid (or, as he says, "Virtual Idols"), and, one could argue, Hiroki Azuma's "Database Animals".

u/cassander · 3 pointsr/CredibleDefense

>: Did the Japanese ever study how they'd get the raw materials from the captured islands back to Japan? It is my recollection that the Japanese merchant fleet was ill suited to transport significant quantities of oil even before the war began. I am less sure about the Japanese ability to transport large quantities of other materials.

I've read extensively about the IJN and IJA, and by and large, they did not. the Japanese military in general was incredibly bad at logistics and combat support.

> nothing suggests the US public would support a declaration of war on Japan.

I tend to feel the same way, but the Japanese military leadership did not. Perhaps they did not understand the degree to which american leadership was constrained by public opinion.

>With that said, I still think the mistake was attacking Pearl Harbor.

The mistake was going to war with the US, period. The japanese were not a first rate power in the 1930s. they had benefited for years from their geographic isolation and lack of local opposition, which gave them delusions of grandeur, but they were third rate at best. When the best of the Japanese army got absolutely pasted by second rate russian divisions, this should have been a huge wakeup call to japanese leadership. Instead, it was used by the navy as a justification for making war on the US and UK simultaneously.

>the Japanese would have surely cut off China's supply lines and forced the Chinese to surrender or agree to an advantageous peace treaty

Unlikely. resistance by Mao and Chang would have continued, if perhaps much more weakly. China was simply too large for japan to control, a bottomless pit capable of swallowing endless numbers of japanese soldiers and, perhaps more importantly, supplies that they could not spare.

>Japan could have improved upon the Zero fairly easy if its vulnerabilities were discovered - at the very least the generational changes such as a supercharger, pilot armor, self sealing tanks, and larger ammo capacities could have been implemented

Again, not very likely. It is important to remember that while japanese progress at modernization was very impressive, they were no where near the level of the west. My favorite story to demonstrate this is the zero. when it was first built, it was arguably the most advanced plane in the world, but the first prototypes were carried from the factory to the airfield in wooden, horse drawn, hay carts. Japanese industrial development was very shallow, and concentrated in a few frontline areas, with an overall capacity only about that of Italy. the zero was such a lightweight plane because of the inability of japanese industry to build engines of sufficient power density and reliability for heavier planes.

On a more philosophical level, the Japanese were unlikely to discover the weaknesses in their strategy because they would have been spending most of their effort fighting the the chinese and colonial garrisons. Their enormous weaknesses in mechanization and, for lack of a better term, weight, would not have been made apparent battling enemies who were even more industrially deficient than they were. Meanwhile, the US would still have been building big, heavy planes capable of surviving over germany.

>Everything in Hawaii had to be shipped from the United States.

this cuts two ways. the US had a considerably easier time, and much more capacity, for delivering supplies to Hawaii than the Japanese could ever have for delivering ordinance. And in the eastern pacific, there are no islands for bases for subs, planes, etc. to raid those supply lines

>they could have repeatedly sortied 8-10 carriers worth of aircraft on Hawaii's military installations, rendering it unusable for a long period of time.

repeatedly only in the sense of months apart, which would give the US more than enough time for the US to pour far more into Hawaii than the Japanese could ever hope to bring against it. As for invading the islands, it was almost a complete impossibility. The Pearl Harbor operation really represented the limit of japanese logistical capabilities. They did not have the manpower or amphibious transport to mount an invasion on the scale needed to take islands with so many american troops (tens of thousands even before the war). And given the japanese deficiencies in material, artillery, etc, I cannot imagine them storming beaches marine style without truly enormous casualties.

Anyhow, don't mean to be rude, you were asking good questions, I just happen to have read a lot about this particular topic. If you are interested, I would recomend Kaigun and its companion book Sunburst as the single best resource on the IJN. They are masterful books.

edit: several points for clarity.

u/toryhistory · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

There is also the fantastic Kaigun, which is a complete history of the IJN and how it developed its tactics, technology, strategy, organization, everything from day one until the end. Amazing book

u/brian5476 · 3 pointsr/AskHistory

There is one big factor at play as to why the Japanese did it: It was the only chance they had for an "honorable" ending to the war. Early on, Roosevelt had insisted, over the early objections of Churchill, on demanding nothing less than unconditional surrender from both Germany and Japan. The result of this was that the US effectively told Japan that no matter the circumstances, if they surrendered they were to become a subject people.

This had the massive problem of leaving the Japanese without an honorable "out." Thus they saw that their only option, starting in 1944 when it became resolutely clear that there was no way to win or even fight America to a draw, was to make the price of unconditional surrender so steep that the Americans would change their mind. This is why sacrificing a few barely trained pilots and poorly made planes to sink even one American warship became a beneficial trade-off.

Therefore in reality, all the talk about Bushido and the honor of Seppuku was merely a ploy by the top Japanese generals to convince the soldiers into fighting to the absolute and bitter end.

If you would like to know more, my best suggestion is the book Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45 by Max Hastings. He interviewed many soldiers and witnesses to the events of that time including Japanese soldiers.

u/CaesarBrennius · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians
u/lowflash · 3 pointsr/history

Pulitzer Prize winner John Hersey's Hiroshima is a gripping account of survirors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in the first year after the weapon's use. The first edition follows the survivors for the first year. A newer edition from 1985 covers the subjects in the ensuing decades.

Highly recommended!

u/Smoke_Me_When_i_Die · 3 pointsr/HistoryPorn

Sure! I recommend:

I Saw Tokyo Burning by Robert Guillain, a Frenchman who lived in Japan throughout the war.

War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War, another one by John Dower.

Retribution by Max Hastings

Japan at War: an Oral History by Haruko and Theodore Cook

u/Reinaryu · 3 pointsr/japan

I just got this series for Christmas and it seems awesome, about 20 pages in so far :D it's an older book, but still relevant.

u/Thelonius_Monk · 3 pointsr/japan

The Making of Modern Japan by Marius B. Jansen is excellent.

u/coinsinmyrocket · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

I'm not as well briefied in Japanese domestic policy during either World War so I can't really answer your question on school policy, but as far as book recommendations about the Japanese homefront, I highly recommend Japan at War: An Oral History by Haruko Taya Cook and Theodore Cook.

u/ClockworkOrenji · 3 pointsr/Documentaries

You mean bosozoku and post-bubble economy?

I found a link for the book (

The unfortunate thing about these types of books is that, while they may offer an interesting insight into the time the book was written, the information is perishable. Speed Tribes of Japan was written over 20 years ago, so a LOT has changed in Japan since then.

u/shakespeare-gurl · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

I'm glad you're thinking about this period and these issues, so please take my reply as encouragement to continue rather than discouragement. I've discussed the problems with the idea of "sakoku" and what you're calling the Christian samurai revolt here and here. Please read over those and then come back to this.

So you have some fundamental problems with your premise that you would need to rethink (and get away from popular history books on Japan, they're terrible and misleading). But I think you can still make a paper out of the contact end. At this point, there's little point on focusing on isolation because almost no culture group is entirely isolated from every other culture group. It rarely happens, and in Japan's case, never happened.

Your example with the system of alternating attendance had more to do with the centralization and control needed post Sekigahara as well, so to warn you up front, you can't connect that to "isolation." Though, keeping all of that in mind, you might look at the Satsuma clan. I think that could lead you to a very interesting paper, but that's all the hint I'm going to give you since this is for homework. If you want to ask about resources you can start with, or if you have any questions about my other comments, I'm happy to help and answer, but I'm going to leave you on your own for making connections past that. This book is probably your best place to start.

Hope that helps.

u/kami232 · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

> Perhaps being starved out and bombed constantly was enough to convince them though.

Unfortunately, that wasn't strictly speaking the case. The Japanese Empire captured the Wake Island atoll on December the 23, 1941 after a two week long struggle for the island. Wake is approximately 1000 miles from Hawaii; While not strategically significant to the island-hopping campaign, the US Navy and the USMC bypassed the island for the entirety of the war. The garrison did not surrender during the roughly four years of a naval blockade and periodic aircraft bombardment.

The Japanese military knew the occupations of any island were intended for the long haul, so the garrisons were stocked with supplies to last for months at a time, especially Wake with its six month stock of supplies (Spennemann). But, as the Japanese lost naval superiority, American naval actions would make resupplying the garrison at the distant, blockaded Wake Island into a very difficult task for the IJN: "The losses of the Japanese submarine fleet in the beginning of 1944 were so considerable, eight boats [83] between February and June 1944, that the attempts were eventually abandoned, save for the resupply of the garrison on Wake Atoll, which continued until June 1945. [84] Each of these 2000 ton submarines dropped sufficient rice to supply 5,000 men for a period of 7 to 10 days [85]" (Spennemann).

But for all of the difficulties at obtaining supplies, especially as the war grew desperate, Wake Island was finally transferred to American control on September 4, 1945 during a brief ceremony. This happened two days after the signing of the official surrender aboard the USS Missouri two days earlier. So, Wake was held by the Japanese during the entirety of the war despite the blockade and occasional bombings. They were not starved or bombed out.

Japan's War is a book I liked reading that chronicles the growth of the modern Japanese military and how the militarists particularly embodied bushido and other nationalist ideals to further their expansionist agenda to become the power in the Pacific. It's a fascinating insight on the mentality of the Japanese people and military.

A good documentary on the Battle of Wake in particular is featured on the History Channel is called "Wake Island: Alamo of the Pacific" that takes from both Japanese and American accounts of the island during the war, but particularly the battle. Note: I did not use this source in my post, but it is a good documentary all the same with an interesting take on the island.

Secondary Source used: Spennemann, Dirk H. R., To Hell and Back: Wake During and After World War II,, (2000), accessed 5 July 2013

u/jnj1 · 3 pointsr/woodworking

Here is the canonical westerner's guide to taking care of Japanese woodworking tools, which has sections on sharpening, maintaining chisels, etc.

u/muzukashidesuyo · 3 pointsr/worldnews

I recommend reading "Embracing Defeat." It's really well done and goes into a lot of detail about what happened in Japan after the war.

u/DarthContinent · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

"Treatise on the Gods" by H. L. Mencken is great, studies religion and its origins and very matter-of-factly spells out how it has been used to obtain and maintain power over people. You might find a cheaper used copy on

If you're into WW2 stuff, there's "Tigers In The Mud", a story about the war from a German Tiger tank commander's perspective. Similarly there's "Hiroshima", tells about the bomb and its devastation from some different peoples' perspectives.

u/poiyurt · 2 pointsr/WarCollege
u/Hello_Gomenasai · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

If you are into IJN operations I can't recommend Requiem for Battleship Yamato by Yoshida Mitsuru enough.

u/Cutlasss · 2 pointsr/AskHistory

You could try Japan's War

I read that several years ago. Long enough unfortunately that I don't recall it in detail.

u/fc3s · 2 pointsr/history

The Shame of the Cities by Lincoln Steffens. A muckraking book about urban corruption in the gilded age.

Embracing Defeat by John W. Dower. Insights into the American occupation of Post WWII Japan.

Homeward Bound by Elaine Tyler May. A close examination of American life during the Cold War era.

In Pharaoh's Army by Tobias Wolff. Absolutely fantastic first person account of the Vietnam War. Better even, than "The Things They Carried."

u/joke-away · 2 pointsr/listentous

That's interesting. I've only torrented music once, and that's because it wasn't available otherwise.

Growing up in a place where there wasn't a live music scene at all, I've never looked at music in anything but the long-term sense, comparing crystallized recordings from across wildly different musical eras and contexts. It's this that allows me to look at a chill-out track by Yoshinori Sunahara and say, hey, this sounds a bit like Lofticries by Purity Ring . That's probably a pretty useless connection to make, but I enjoy making it. The converse of this is that I've never learned to enjoy music as a moment, as a unique personal expression that comes only once between you and the players and then is forever lost. There might be something truly magical in that, that I will never know. I'm just a database animal.

Anyway, it's good that you've found music that speaks to you, but be aware that when I am elected next month I will get back at you by raping your ears with The Protomen, indie game soundtracks, and mod tunes.

e: also klezmer, Balkan brass, and Balkan folk. And a better example of comparing different musics might be Vlastimir Pavlović Carevac playing the Serbian folksong Bojarka vs. Smetana's Vltava/Die Moldau. Turns out, Vltava is based on an Italian melody that spread to Czech and became a folk song there. In fact, it became a folk song in a bunch of places. I'm just an amateur, but I'd hazard a guess that Bojarka has the same origin.

u/refudiat0r · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Taken from this.

Also, Manchukuo was in existance until the unconditional surrender of Japan.

The fact that some of their gains had been taken during the war doesn't mean that Japan had no intention to argue for them during peace negotiations. The notion of a settled peace agreement to the Japanese did not include peace on the Allies' terms.

u/RESERVA42 · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

There is a very interesting book called Giving Up the Gun by Noel Perrin. Read it if you like philosophy of technology.

u/endymion32 · 2 pointsr/history

This, really, is what you want. Hiroshima by John Hersey. Yes, you can read it online for free; I recommend you buy it from Amazon for 8 dollars, because then you'll also get the fascinating Afterward.

This is a real classic of American journalism. You follow the lives of six people who were all living in Hiroshima at the time: what their lives were like just before the bombing; what they were like for the next few minutes, for that morning, that day, and the days afterwards. The hard copy comes with an Afterward: Hersey went back to Japan 40 years later to follow up on all six survivors.

Strongly recommended.

u/ParallelPain · 2 pointsr/worldnews

>Take a look at multiple sources and history books... Japan is not as blood thirsty of a country as you seem to think. They do not have a military anymore. They do not sit around threatening every south east Asian country anymore (that privilege belongs to a few other countries in the area)

Japan is an incredibly peaceful country right now. They sure weren't in the days of the samurai. Most of the period of the samurai they weren't even represented by the Katana. Only in the Edo when samurai became neo-Confucian bureaucrats did they use the Katana to represent themselves.

Unless you have a Masters or PhD on Japanese history, I'm pretty sure I have read more books on the subject than you have.

Nitobe Inazo is a Meiji politician, not a feudal lord or samurai. It was Meiji people that codified Bushido, just like Chivalry was codified by Victorians. In their actual time period of practice (people started romanticizing about the samurai in 13th century), they were simply various collections of fictional or semi-fictional stories (Heike, Heiji, Hougen) and moral family lessons (Katou, Kuroda, Kasuga - who first used the term Bushido some time in the late 16th century) that greatly varied in content and are not reflective of the average samurai or daimyo.

>In the world of the warrior, seppuku was a deed of bravery that was admirable in a samurai who knew he was defeated, disgraced, or mortally wounded. It meant that he could end his days with his transgressions wiped away and with his reputation not merely intact but actually enhanced. The cutting of the abdomen released the samurai’s spirit in the most dramatic fashion, but it was an extremely painful and unpleasant way to die, and sometimes the samurai who was performing the act asked a loyal comrade to cut off his head at the moment of agony.

Seppuku was rare, and by far the most common reason for it was execution, either for breaking the law in times of peace or forced on a rival in times of war.

What did Ronin do in times of civil unrest? Rape, burn, murder, and pillage. At least in "peaceful" times they might just resort to farming, craft, and other odd jobs, or if that didn't work banditry. Heck Ronin and Samurai were probably the biggest human cause of civil unrest in "peaceful" periods with their debt riots.

You can search r/Askhistorians, and you'll get the same answer from every other Japan specialist. If that's not enough for you, you can listen to these podcasts:

Busting the Myths of the Samurai Part 1 and Part 2
You can't Spell "Bushido"without "Bull"

If that's still not enough, there's always these books:
Inventing the Way of the Samurai: Nationalism, Internationalism, and Bushido in Modern Japan
Samurai, Warfare and the State in Early Medieval Japan
State of War: The Violent Order of Fourteenth-Century Japan

u/Bobalobatobamos · 2 pointsr/BetterEveryLoop

I'd say they should read this book, but you'd have to get them to actually read.

u/emloh · 2 pointsr/history

Japan At War: An Oral History by Haruko Taya Cook and Theodore F. Cook offers great insight on the lives of ordinary Japanese citizens after the war and their feelings.

u/Mr-Stalin · 2 pointsr/communism101

Leon Trotsky's Collaboration with Germany and Japan

u/fotoford · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

John Dower's Embracing Defeat is about Japan and the US occupation in the years immediately following WW2.

u/llordlloyd · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

The Japanese raised military units in their occupied territories, and I understand the Japanese-raised army was the basis of the resistance to the Dutch when they returned, so this is possible to some degree.

Some sources Link 1 Link 2. But these don't explain a great deal about the adaption of the 19th Century Japanese militaristic classes into their modern army. Sorry I can't specifically help here, perhaps someone
else can?

u/When_Ducks_Attack · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

Embracing Defeat by John Dower is a fascinating look at what happened after WWII ended and the Americans occupied Japan, and how the people adjusted and adapted.

u/hillsonn · 2 pointsr/japan

Wow, that is a huge topic.

A few books to look at:

u/SakuraMobileJP · 2 pointsr/JapanTravel

I've heard great things about "Showa", a graphic novel that covers Japanese history between 1926 and 1989:


Also recommend "Speed Tribes" By Karl Taro Greenfield. Easy read:

u/six_legged_heaven · 2 pointsr/japan

not a movie, but Sansom's 'A History of Japan' is an epic read:

u/dowlinmp · 2 pointsr/woodworking

These are my first fine woodworking tools, yes, however I used to build sets so I am familiar with basic wood work. In the months leading up to my purchase I read two books on Japanese tools and woodworking. There are links to both at the bottom. Both have extensive chapters on the use and set up of all japanese tools. I recommend checking them out if these tools interest you!! Also the samurai carpenter has some killer how to videos on the subject. Thanks for the advice and good luck setting up your kanna. Take a sick day and knock it out haha... 🌲🌲

u/onezerotwo · 2 pointsr/rpg

Heh. "Systemless Sourcebook" ... I would honestly say textbooks.

Like I have a fantastic 1951 "psychology" textbook which I read as heavy influence for running Mage: The Ascension and eventually Paranoia. There's huge numbers of niche "sourcebooks" for every setting if you're willing to look in to old or out of date textbooks on Amazon (the newest edition: $300! two editions ago? $30).

e.g. This'un or perhaps this social studies classic or like if you want it dry I've got u fam

Just a thought! You might be surprised the massive amount of inspiration that can be got just by trawling through a few local Salvation Army/Good Wills and looking through the stacks of dusty textbooks they may have.

u/LaoBa · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

A must-read is The Fire: The Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945 by Jörg Friedrich

For five years during the Second World War, the Allies launched a trial and error bombing campaign against Germany's historical city landscape. Peaking in the war's final three months, it was the first air attack of its kind. Civilian dwellings were struck by-in today's terms-"weapons of mass destruction," with a total of 600,000 casualties, including 70,000 children.

In The Fire, historian Jörg Friedrich explores this crucial chapter in military and world history. Combining meticulous research with striking illustrations, Friedrich presents a vivid account of the saturation bombing, rendering in acute detail the annihilation of cities such as Dresden, the jewel of Germany's rich art and architectural heritage. He incorporates the personal stories and firsthand testimony of German civilians into his narrative, creating a macabre portrait of unimaginable suffering, horror, and grief, and he draws on official military documents to unravel the reasoning behind the strikes.

Japan at War: An Oral History by Haruko Taya Cook and Theodore F. Cook is an oral history and contains harrowing descriptions of the bombardments on Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

u/ArthurMacArthur · 2 pointsr/PurplePillDebate

This is probably the best book to start with. This is also good.

u/science_diction · 2 pointsr/atheism

The last one isn't a "miracle" it's coincidence. There was a guy who was in Hiroshima hospital who just happened to duck down and tell himself to be brave when the bomb hit. The flames ripped the glasses off his face and burned the entire hallway, but he was unharmed due to DUMB LUCK. Was that a miracle? Is Buddha the real god now? Read the non-fiction account "Hiroshima" for more stories like that.

As far as Fatima goes, there have been dancing plague epidemics in Europe and many other examples of mass psychosis due to water contamination / etc. There have also been laughing epedemics and PLENTY of people who mistake high up atmospheric phenomenon like red sprites for UFOs.

u/SlimeWithAKeyboard · 2 pointsr/yokai

Thank you so much for posting this!

If you want a simple to understand guide, I would recommend "The Book of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore", which is also by Michael Dylan Foster. It dosen't go in depth that much, but it has a wide variety.


Here is a link to the book OP is talking about.

u/GhostTemple · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

The Book Of Yokai. Cool book about creatures of Japanese folklore

u/rhedwolf · 2 pointsr/japan

Speed Tribes is a fascinating book about the Japanese underworld.

u/daijobu · 2 pointsr/japan

Here are a few good ones that I have read and would definitely reccomend.

Speed Tribes: Days and Night's with Japan's Next Generation
by Karl Taro Greenfeld


Confucius Lives Next Door: What Living in the East Teaches Us About Living in the West
by T.R. Reid


Black Passenger Yellow Cabs: Of Exile And Excess In Japan
by Stefhen F. D. Bryan


those should keep you busy for a while.

Jake Aldenstein (first non Japanese reporter for a major Japanese newspaper) wrote a book called Tokyo Vice, which has elements of what you are looking for. Its mostly about his life as a gaijin reporter, versus just being a gaijin.

u/SecretCatPolicy · 2 pointsr/evangelion

>writings on NGE's impact on anime and western culture

I don't know whether this will be any good to you as I've only seen the first volume of this (I think there are six so far) but if you can find this, it's probably your best bet for that kind of stuff. Not really sure on contents of any given issue, but you can probably find that info somewhere. 'Essay' probably means university, and that means university library, which means inter-library loan is an option too.

Another one to definitely read: Otaku - Japan's Database Animals, by Hiroki Azuma. Don't worry, it's translated very well. This is dense stuff but fascinating, and reads like a design doc for TVTropes; it also focuses significantly on Eva. A must-read for you, I think, given your focus. Certainly a favourite of mine - it changed how I see all media.

u/sankarean · 2 pointsr/BosonMassachusetts

You should distinguish cases army personnel did rape/abduction and civilian agency did illegal recruitment.

Why the hell those brothel owners pay so much money to women who were kidnapped. About 20 times of factory workers. By the way those brothels korean women were working for were operated by korean owners, while Japanese women working for were operated by Japanese owners.

Did you read? This is mostly wartime records of American, Duch, Australian. Do you think they down play comfort women issue for imperial Japan?
wartime military records on comfort women

u/kingwi11 · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Thanks for the comment, very interesting to read. I'm now slightly more knowledgeable, and just a hair more dunk to make this a great impulse buy!

u/TDBraun · 1 pointr/WorldOfWarships

A great book on this is, "Requiem for Battleship Yamato" by one of the survivors, an officer on the bridge.

u/PhaetonsFolly · 1 pointr/kancolle

The shitstorm makes perfect sense when it you recognize it is the type of mistake KanColle made rather than the mistake itself. The problem is that Kantai Collection is a game that is almost five years old, and that thrives on its community interactions. Most of the endearment towards characters are generated by fan-made content. I have changed my opinions on many different characters based on reading various fan manga and artwork. Kantai Collection is the best example you can find of the database model work put forward by Hiroki Azuma in his book.

The collective interaction that is Kantai Collection means that the developers need to be responsive to fan feedback if they want the work to be successful. Intrepid's character design was a tone deaf move that was dismissive of fans' desires. It showed that the developers either didn't listen to their fans, or thought they could get away with ignoring their fans. It breaks the illusion that the fans are partners in this enterprise as opposed to subordinates.

To put it in perspective, the feelings that fans experienced over Intrepid is the same feeling that causes rebellions and revolts in the real world. The Stamp Act of 1765 is what galvanized many of the American colonialist into opposing the Crown, and British inability to effectively respond and compromise resulted in the American Revolution.

I don't use that example to say that Intrepid's design is the same as the American Revolution, but to say that humans have clear and predictable psychological responses to actions by those in authority. This incident won't cause a revolution or revolt, but it could very well destroy the Kantai Collection franchise if the developers can't effectively respond. KanColle's saving grace is that there isn't strong competition. Azur Lane is the closest thing, but it has its own flaws and isn't in a position to exploit Kantai Collection.

u/ItsAConspiracy · 1 pointr/Futurology

There's a popular book which claims that the Japanese did make that argument, and gave up the gun for a century. Apparently though it's not all that accurate.

u/raffyoh · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I remember reading a book on it, i think it was this one but it was quite some time ago. I remember being really disturbed as a kid reading about it. I think this was probably around the age of 12 or so.

u/ExOttoyuhr · 1 pointr/worldnews

If you haven't read Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of WWII yet, you might find it interesting -- an in-depth picture of how things changed after the war.

The most important take-aways, I thought, were that the elites failed the people badly; that the US occupation administration (SCAP) basically installed itself as a shogunate; and that the Japanese populace was horrified when it discovered all the atrocities that the authorities had covered up during the war. I'm sure you could name plenty of countries that don't feel any guilt at all about their past crimes; this sense of guilt is very much to the Japanese people's credit, and I think their timidity today probably has to do with fear of committing similar horrors again.

u/TheRiddler78 · 1 pointr/samharris

B = "certain death" all things change, evolution is change over time. the universe is evolution, fighting to preserve a certain way of life is a doomed project. embrace change or succumb

the question is the wrong one.

A= fight to keep things as they are/where an ultimately fail

B= embrace a new way of life

u/tpodr · 1 pointr/woodworking

I wouldn't say "as described my me", more me trying to do as I was shown. At one point, one of the older Japanese woodworkers was asked how long it would take me to master my kanna. And without any hesitation, he answered "Five years". And that was only three months ago.

I don't know of any videos in particular. I will recommend Toshio Odate's book: Japanese Woodworking Tools: Their Tradition, Spirit and Use
I was re-reading it the other day and everything he wrote was the same as what I was told.

u/Keksus_ · 1 pointr/anime

not really sure in what grade or class you are, but i don't think these 5 questions will cut it. if you want to go into the topic why people like anime i recommend you giving Otaku - Japans Database Animals a read:’s-Database-Hiroki-Azuma/dp/0816653526

u/White2345 · 1 pointr/japan

There is also a book on comfort women based on military records, which seems quite factual, unemotional and journalistic.

u/RoombaCultist · 1 pointr/woodworking

I don't know about anything locally where you are, but I'm finding there are some great resources available online and in books.

u/joelav · 1 pointr/woodworking
u/lolwatzki · 1 pointr/WritingPrompts

To OP: there is a book about first hand recollections of the bombings already written, in case you were not aware.

u/maak_d · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook
u/BobasPett · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive
u/Ursinefellow · 1 pointr/Paranormal

I wouldn't be able to do the topic much justice through a reddit post, but I'll reccomend you some great books on the topic

The encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology

The Dictionary of Demons: Names of the damned

The Vengeful Djinn: Unveiling the Hidden Agenda of Genies

The book of Yokai: Mysterious creatures of Japanese folklore

That oughta be a good start, because believe me the topic is as interesting as it is detailed.

u/SwashbucklinChef · 1 pointr/history

I've got a couple suggestions for you:

First up is a historical fiction called the Samurai's Tale by Erik Haugaar. This story covers a young Uesugi retainer who is taken in by the Takeda after his clan is bested in a battle and details his rise from the ranks to becoming a low ranked retainer for the Takeda. Ends right around the Battle of Nagashino and the fall of Takeda Katsuyori (

The second one is War in Japan 1467 - 1615 by Stephen Turnbull. This one is a non-fiction that covers from the Onin War all the way up to the Siege of Osaka, ending the Sengoku Jidai. This was required reading in a Japanese history course I took. It covers a pretty broad range so it doesn't go over anything too thoroughly, but I think it'll be a good primer for you (

Happy studying!

u/LetsGetTea · 1 pointr/japan

I, too, was looking for some really good Japanese history books and in my searches I found that these are among the best: A History of Japan, by George Sansom.

They start with pre-history and go up to 1867. Sansom's stated reason for not continuing his history beyond this year is that he had lived too close to events of the Meiji Restoration (1868) for him to develop a perspective that only distance could supply. For later events, The Making of Modern Japan (Amazon), by Marius B. Jansen, another outstanding scholar of Japanese history, would be a good choice. Since this history begins at 1600, there are overlapping accounts of the Edo period, but from two quite different perspectives.

An alternative presented by t-o-k-u-m-e-i:
>The best overview text in terms of presentation and interpretation for 1600 to the present is Gordon's A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present.

>The Jansen book is also good, but I (and most of the profs I know) feel that Gordon's interpretation is better

In short, this set is a good buy and is likely to remain a standard text for decades to come.

I've only just recently started reading the first book of the series and I find it very insightful. It starts by describing the geography of Japan and how that shaped and molded the early Japanese and their sensibilities.

Amazon Links:
A History of Japan to 1334
A History of Japan, 1334-1615
A History of Japan, 1615-1867

Google Books Previews:
A History of Japan to 1334
A History of Japan, 1334-1615
A History of Japan, 1615-1867

Sir George Bailey Sansom

The author also has a shorter book published earlier which focuses primarily on culture.
Amazon - Japan: A Short Cultural History
Google Books - Japan: A Short Cultural History

Added an alternative suggestion for the history from 1800 onward given by t-o-k-u-m-e-i.

u/dokool · 1 pointr/Tokyo

Is Speed Tribes still considered relevant? Dunno.

u/NonsensicalRambling · 1 pointr/history

Hi, "Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II" deals with this very subject and talks about the five years immediately following the surrender. It is a fascinating book and won the Pulitzer. I read it in conjunction with "Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945" that deals a bit more expansively with the same subject in Europe and also won the Pulitzer. I cannot recommend either enough.

u/Unimagi · 1 pointr/hoi4
Yeah fuck him, and exactly how was Lenin too authotorian? Because of dictatorship of proletariat? That's fucking prerequisite for democracy. You. Cannot. Build. Socialism. Within. Liberal. Democracy. And how conviently Trotsky discovered Lenins papers just as he got expelled for trying overthrow Soviet goverment and oh did western press buy it up because they wanted to keep up red scare. That's just Bourgeoisie 101.

And now as to myself, no credit is due to me for discovering the existence of classes in modern society or the struggle between them. Long before me bourgeois historians had described the historical development of this class struggle and bourgeois economists, the economic anatomy of classes. What I did that was new was to prove:
(1) that the existence of classes is only bound up with the particular, historical phases in the development of production,
(2) that the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat,
(3) that this dictatorship itself only constitutes the transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society.

Marx, Letter to Weydemeyer (1852)

Freeing of proletariat must be done by proletariat. In liberal democracy the bourgeoisie has the power and they are never going to give it up no matter how nicely you ask them as it's against their class interest and don't even try to say but TrOtSkY it's almost as if literally everybody else actually understood what is to be done. Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Otto W Kuusinen... I can go on.

u/smokesteam · 1 pointr/Cyberpunk

> Looking at China's history, specifically it's occupation by the British Empire, and subsequently Hong Kong, I see their culture as fairly pliable.

By the time the British started doing British things in Asia, China was well on the way to becoming the failed state that lead to the conditions which made it easy for Imperial Japan to setup colonial operations. The more Chinese history I study and by this I mean reading their own and outside perspectives, the less pliable I see them in the long term.

>Now that's not fair, because I didn't say that ;)

Wasnt trying to put words in your mouth, just running with the idea and stating what I think is an important point. We cant be tricked into viewing all of humanity as a mirror of ourselves.

>If China can move through this stage, they'll come out ahead.

Since there has never in history been any movement in that culture away from what amounts to central governance by an all powerful state, and since historically this limits innovation, my money is not on them "moving through" but rather extending empire without cultural change. Their real challenge is a fight against internal collapse.

>If they can find or generate an issue to unify their citizenry under, they'll at least catch up to the western world, if not overtaking it.

So far all they got is jingoistic rhetoric & whipping up anger over past perceived injustice.

>The more history I take in, the more "full" the world feels. I get a sense of where things are coming from, and understand a context to events and places that I used to take for granted.

Thats the whole thing about people who dont understand the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them.

>If you don't mind my asking

American living here for almost 17 years. I have permanent resident status here but I wont ever go for citizenship. Came here on what was supposed to be a 3 month work assignment fully expecting to go back to NYC at the end. There's an old Yiddish saying: "Man plans and God laughs". Story of my life.

Just about all what you see in the Western media regarding Japan is exaggerated and at least a little if not a lot disingenuous. Life is hard for foreigners here because the local culture just never developed a real model of integrating immigrants. The entire social system is so different that if you didnt grow up in it you can never be fully part of it in many ways. It is so different that many Westerners just cant adjust themselves or their mental model of life vs the realities of life just cant align. I can explain how its hard for many to live here or tell you that things are different but honestly its not something you can understand without personal experience.

I guess politics here is like anywhere, especially anywhere with a parliamentary system, that is to say, a mess. When God was handing out stupid to the nations of Man, He certainly was equally generous to all and extra generous to the politicians. If you are curious or just want to read some true history that will surprise you, check Embracing Defeat about post war Japanese history.

u/R3MY · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I have four. I believe they are books that everyone should read.

Invisible Man

To Kill a Mockingbird


The Catcher in the Rye

Each one of these have changed the way I see the world. They all have amazing stories for the perspective of characters I normally would not have been able to identify with.

u/lalapaloser · 1 pointr/japan

I'm about to graduate with a degree in Japanese History so I can recommend a lot of books on different topics, but I need to know something more specific. For a broad summarization of Japanese history, I recommend Andrew Gordon's A Modern History of Japan.
Since you're interested in Okinawa (which has been a big part of my focus), I'd recommend Okinawa: Cold War Island ed. by Chalmers Johnson, this book is more rooted in poli-sci. I found Christopher Nelson's Dancing with the Dead an extremely fascinating anthropological account of war memory and trauma in Okinawa. The first chapter of Norma Field's In the Realm of a Dying Emperor focuses on Chibana Shōichi, an Okinawan who burned Hi no Maru at a national sporting event (the rest of the book is really interesting and well written as well). I can plenty of other books depending on what you're interested in. Just let me know :)

u/RuneFactoryAnna · 1 pointr/anime

Here's the image I printed off.

From GeGeGe no Kitarou ep 9

^^^This ^^^is ^^^the ^^^book ^^^i'm ^^^reading~

u/Ohtoko · 1 pointr/ColorizedHistory

That's true, but they've also embraced peace (even though it was imposed upon them). The book Embracing Defeat by John Dower is a very good read on this subject; especially the beginning of the book, which talks about the reversal in attitudes toward war and peace, since both the US and Japan needed to scapegoat the military regime as the culprits of aggression.

u/Nikkeh · 1 pointr/TheRedLion

Today I'm mainly working, but I'm really enjoying it lately so it's really not so much of a chore.

On the music front I'm really enjoying Olly Murs at the moment, it may be a bit wushu washy but it's super catchy and makes you smile

Reading wise I have almost (last 10 pages) finished Hiroshima by John Hersey and although it is obviously a bit grim, it's a fascinating read and I would definitely recommend it to you if you are at all interested in what happened to the people of Hiroshima after the bomb dropped. Once I've finished it I've got the entire Hitchikers collection by Douglas Adams to power through (sans the first one which I have already read)

As far as thoughts, I went good shopping yesterday and bought honey cured bacon on a whim (it was only 10p more in lidl) and holy crap! I was sceptical at first but the honey actually caramelised as I cooked it this morning and it is by far the greatest bacon I have ever had!

To answer your bonus question, I am with EE, from an old Orange contract, and although their phones and signal are alright, their customer service is shite! I have been double charges multiple times and have only been able to get a refund for one or two...

u/DarthDammit · 1 pointr/history

Giving up the Gun

Cool book about feudal Japan's mastering of, then subsequent abandonment of firearms.

u/solyanik · 1 pointr/changemyview

I am sorry, but where do you even get your facts? Hiroshima was in fact chosen not for military (there were plenty of much bigger military targets), but because it was unbombed, and allowed to assess the impact on civilian population.

Terrorists do not choose civilians because they are defenseless, but because in democratic societies they directly influence - and therefore are responsible for - policy. For instance, in Imperial Russia terrorist attacks were directed at Czar and his henchmen.

u/jerseycityfrankie · 0 pointsr/worldnews

Crack open a book once in a while Glue Boy. Using motion pictures as a guide is a waste of time. I recommend the book Japan at War, an Oral History.
Which is a series of transcriptions of interviews with japanese who were alive during and participated in the war. As close to the truth as I am likely to get. A theme in the book is how reluctant the interview subjects were to tell their stories, since the prevailing mood since the end of the war was to gloss over every negative aspect.

u/citaworvk · -2 pointsr/history

This book is pretty relevant...

I should also point out that some discredit this work.

u/capableclerk3 · -9 pointsr/worldnews


Japanese view on comfort women mostly correspond with war time records by allies, why did they need to distort fact in favor of Japan?

Including who did recruitment and who owned business, how business work.