History of Japan/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about History of Japan.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.

Surveys and reference

  • Allinson, Gary D. The Columbia Guide to Modern Japanese History. (1999). 259 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Beasley, W. G. The Modern History of Japan (1963) online edition
  • Clement, Ernest Wilson. A Short History of Japan (1915), 190pp online edition
  • Cullen, L. M. A History of Japan, 1582-1941: Internal and External Worlds (2003) online edition
  • Edgerton, Robert B. Warriors of the Rising Sun: A History of the Japanese Military. (1999). 384 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Goedertier Joseph M. A. Dictionary of Japanese History. 1968.
  • Gordon, Andrew. A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present (2003) online edition; also excerpt and text search
  • Hall John W. Japan: From Prehistory to Modern Times. 1970.
  • Hane, Mikiso. Modern Japan: A Historical Survey 2nd ed Westview Press, 1992, 474pp online edition
  • Huffman, James L., ed. Modern Japan: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Nationalism. (1998). 316 pp.
  • Hunter Janet. Concise Dictionary of Modern Japanese History. 1984.
  • Jansen, Marius B. The Making of Modern Japan (2002) excerpts and search online
  • McClain, James L. Japan: A Modern History. (2001). 512 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Mosk, Carl. Japanese Industrial History: Technology, Urbanization, and Economic Growth. M. E. Sharpe, 2001. 293 pp.
  • Najita, Tetsuo. Japan: The Intellectual Foundations of Modern Japanese Politics (1980), 200 year interpretation excerpt and text search
  • Perez, Louis G. The History of Japan (1998) 244pp online edition
  • Perkins, Dorothy. Encyclopedia of Japan: Japanese History and Culture, from Abacus to Zori. (1991). 410 pp.
  • Reischauer, Edwin O. Japan: The Story of a Nation. 1990.
  • Reischauer, Edwin O., and Albert M. Craig. Japan, Tradition and Transformation 1978.
  • Sims, Richard. Japanese Political History since the Meiji Renovation, 1868-2000. (2001). 395 pp.
  • Stockwin, J. A. A. Dictionary of the Modern Politics of Japan. (2003). 291pp online edition
  • Tipton, Elise. Modern Japan: A Social and Political History (2002) excerpt and text search
  • Totman, Conrad. A History of Japan. (2nd ed. 2000). 620 pp.; stress on environment online excerpts and search
  • Totman, Conrad. Early Modern Japan: A Short History (1995) excerpt and text search
  • Totman, Conrad. Japan before Perry (2nd paperback ed. 2008) excerpt and text search
  • Umesao, Tadao. An Ecological View of History: Japanese Civilization in the World Context. Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press, 2003. 208 pp.

to 1860

  • Hall, John W. ed. Cambridge History of Japan, Vol. IV, Early Modern Japan. (1991). 831pp
  • Hane, Mikiso. Premodern Japan: A Historical Survey (1991)
  • Hayami, Akira; Saito, Osamu; and Toby, Ronald P., eds. The Economic History of Japan, 1600-1990. Vol. 1: Emergence of Economic Society in Japan, 1600-1859. (2004). 420 pp.
  • Jansen, Marius B., ed. The Cambridge History of Japan. Vol. 5: The Nineteenth Century. (1989). 828 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Sansom, Sir George B. A History of Japan, 3 vols. 1963, in dense, sophisticated prose excerpts and search vol 1 to 1334, excerpts and search vol 2 to 1615 excerpts and search vol 3 to 1867
  • Totman, Conrad. "Tokugawa Peasants: Win, Lose, or Draw?" Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 41, No. 4. (Winter, 1986), pp. 457-476. in English; in JSTOR
  • Wilson, George M. Patriots and Redeemers in Japan: Motives in the Meiji Restoration. (1992). 201 pp.
  • Yamamura Kozo, ed. Cambridge History of Japan, Vol. III. Medieval Japan. (1990).
  • Yamamura, Kozo. "Toward a Reexamination of the Economic History of Tokugawa Japan, 1600-1867." Journal of Economic History 1973 33(3): 509-546. Issn: 0022-0507 Fulltext: in Jstor

1860 to 1945

  • Cohen, Jerome B. Japan's Economy in War and Reconstruction (1949) 545 pp. online edition
  • Dower, John W. War without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War. Pantheon, 1986. 398 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Duus, Peter, ed. The Cambridge History of Japan: Vol. 6: The Twentieth Century. (1989). 866 pp.
  • Ericson, Steven J. The Sound of the Whistle: Railroads and the State in Meiji Japan. (1996). 506 pp.
  • Iriye, Akira. Power and Culture: The Japanese-American War, 1941-1945 (1981),
  • Jansen, Marius B. and Rozman, Gilbert, eds. Japan in Transition, from Tokugawa to Meiji. (1986). 485 pp. modernization models
  • Keene, Donald. Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World , 1852-1912. (2002). 928 pp.
  • LaFeber, Walter. The Clash: A History of U.S.-Japan Relations. (1997). 544 pp.
  • Sims, Richard. Japanese Political History since the Meiji Renovation, 1868-2000. Palgrave, 2001. 395 pp.
  • Sugihara, Kaoru. Japan, China, and the Growth of the Asian International Economy, 1850-1949 - Vol. 1 (2005) online edition

Occupation: 1945-1952

  • Buckley, Roger. Occupation Diplomacy: Britain, the United States and Japan, 1945-1952. (1982). 294 pp.
  • Cohen, Jerome B. Japan's Economy in War and Reconstruction (1949) 545 pp. online edition
  • Cohen, Theodore. Remaking Japan: The American Occupation as New Deal. (1987). 526 pp.
  • Dower, John W. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. (1999). 688 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Eldridge, Robert. The Origins of the Bilateral Okinawa Problem: Okinawa in Postwar US-Japan Relations, 1945-1952 (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Finn, Richard B. Winners in Peace: MacArthur, Yoshida, and Postwar Japan. (1992). 413 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Hane, Mikiso. Eastern Phoenix: Japan since 1945 (1996)
  • Harvey, Robert. American Shogun: General MacArthur, Emperor Hirohito, and the Drama of Modern Japan. (2006). 480 pp.
  • Hellegers, Dale M. We, the Japanese People: World War II and the Origins of the Japanese Constitution. (2 vol. 2002). 826 pp.
  • Hewes Jr., Laurence I. Japan -- Land and Men: An Account of the Japanese Land Reform Program, 1945-51 154 pgs. (1955) online edition
  • Hirano, Kyoko. Mr. Smith Goes to Tokyo: The Japanese Cinema under the American Occupation, 1945-1952. (1992). 400 pp.
  • Koseki, Shoichi. The Birth of Japan's Postwar Constitution. (1997). 257 pp online edition
  • Koshiro, Yukiko. Trans-Pacific Racisms and the U.S. Occupation of Japan. (1999). 295 pp.
  • Molasky, Michael S. The American Occupation of Japan and Okinawa: Literature and Memory. (1999). 244 pp.
  • Moore, Ray A. and Robinson, Donald L. Partners for Democracy: Crafting the New Japanese State under MacArthur. (2002). 409 pp.
  • Orbaugh, Sharalyn. Japanese Fiction of the Allied Occupation: Vision, Embodiment, Identity. (2007). 515 pp.
  • Sandler, Mark, ed. The Confusion Era: Art and Culture in Japan during the Allied Occupation, 1945-52. (1998). 112 pp.
  • Schonberger, Howard B. Aftermath of War: Americans and the Remaking of Japan, 1945-1952 (1989)
  • Schaller, Michael. The American Occupation of Japan: The Origins of the Cold War in Asia (1987) excerpt and text searcj
  • Shibata, Masako. Japan and Germany under the US Occupation: A Comparative Analysis of Post-War Education Reform. (2005). 212 pp.
  • Sodei, Rinjiro. Dear General MacArthur: Letters from the Japanese during the American Occupation. (2001). 308 pp., primary sources
  • Takemae, Eiji. Inside GHQ: The Allied Occupation of Japan and Its Legacy. (2002). 800 pp.
  • VanStaaveren, Jacob. An American in Japan, 1945-1948: A Civilian View of the Occupation. (1995). 286 pp. primary course
  • Ward, Robert E. and Yoshikazu, Sakamoto. Democratizing Japan: The Allied Occupation. (1987). 456 pp.
  • Williams, Justin, Sr. Japan's Political Revolution Under MacArthur: A Participant's Account. (1979). 317 pp. primary source
  • Yoshida, Shigeru. The Yoshida Memoirs: The Story of Japan in Crisis 1961, primary source online edition

Since 1952

  • Allinson, Gary D. Japan's Postwar History. (2nd ed 2004). 208 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Duus, Peter, ed. The Cambridge History of Japan: Vol. 6: The Twentieth Century. (1989). 866 pp.
  • Hane, Mikiso. Eastern Phoenix: Japan since 1945 (1996) online edition
  • LaFeber, Walter. The Clash: A History of U.S.-Japan Relations. (1997). 544 pp.
  • Ohtsu, Makoto. Inside Japanese Business: A Narrative History, 1960-2000. (2002). 459 pp.

online edition

  • Sims, Richard. Japanese Political History since the Meiji Renovation, 1868-2000. Palgrave, 2001. 395 pp.
  • Sugihara, Kaoru. Japan, China, and the Growth of the Asian International Economy, 1850-1949 - Vol. 1 (2005) online edition
  • Sumiya, Mikio, ed. A History of Japanese Trade and Industry Policy. (2000). 662 pp.

Cultural history

  • Dumoulin, Heinrich. Zen Buddhism: A History. Vol. 2. Japan. (1989). 509 pp.
  • Duus, Peter, ed. The Japanese Discovery of America: A Brief History with Documents. (1997). 226 pp.
  • Earhart, H. Byron. Japanese Religion: Unity and Diversity (1974).
  • Guttmann, Allen and Thompson, Lee. Japanese Sports: A History. (2001). 368 pp.
  • Harootunian, Harry. History's Disquiet: Modernity, Cultural Practice, and the Question of Everyday Life. (2000). 182 pp.
  • Keene, Donald. Japanese Literature: An Introduction for Western Readers (1955)
  • Morris, Ivan. The World of the Shining Prince: Court Life in Ancient Japan (1964)
  • Kitagawa Joseph M. Religion in Japanese History. 1966.
  • Kuitert, Wybe. Themes in the History of Japanese Garden Art (2002). 283 pp.
  • Leiter, Samuel L. A Kabuki Reader: History and Performance. (2002). 430 pp.
  • Mason, Penelope. History of Japanese Art. (1993). 431 pp.
  • Morris-Suzuki, Tessa. A History of Japanese Economic Thought (1991) online edition
  • Munsterberg, Hugo. The Arts of Japan: An Illustrated History (1957)
  • Roberts, Laurance P. A. Dictionary of Japanese Artists. Tokyo: 1976.
  • Sansom, Sir George B. Japan, A Short Cultural History. 1978. online edition
  • Siever, Sharon Flowers in Salt: The Beginning of Feminine Consciousness in Modern Japan (1983)
  • Standish, Isolde. A New History of Japanese Cinema: A Century of Narrative Film. (2005). 452 pp.
  • Wakabayashi, Bob Tadashi. Modern Japanese Thought. (1998). 403 pp. excerpt and text search

Historiography

  • Allinson, Gary D. The Columbia Guide to Modern Japanese History. (1999). 259 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Beasley W. G., and E. G. Pulleyblank, eds. Historians of China and Japan. 1961. online edition
  • Hardacre, Helen and Kern, Adam L., eds. New Directions in the Study of Meiji Japan. (1997). 782 pp.


Primary sources

  • Cook, Haruko Taya and Cook, Theodore F. eds. Japan at War: An Oral History. (1992). 504 pp., World War II homefront excerpt and text search
  • Huffman, James L. ed. Modern Japan: A History in Documents (2004)
  • Tsunoda, Ryusaku, W. T. de Bary, and Donald Keene, eds. Sources of Japanese Tradition. 1958.
  • Yoshida, Shigeru. The Yoshida Memoirs: The Story of Japan in Crisis 1961, on Occupation, 1945-51 online edition