Dr. Reischauer’s book provides up-to-date his audible and authoritative history of Japan, Dr. Reischauer, a leading American scholar born in Tokyo, The difficulties of the language, of Shinto, of imperial regulation, of the recent disastrous military dictatorship, of the American profession, and of present day Japan are all elucidated. He clarifies how the closing of Japan below the Tokugawa cut her off from Western development for 2 and a about half of centuries, and how the belated westernizing of her institutions finally resulted into military regulation and the wars on China so the West. Since the postwar occupation more than a decade has passed.
After the eruption of war, there seemed in pro-fusion a flood, or at best a considerable stream, of books about Japan, chiefly of up-to-date ointment interest. Some of these were interesting and useful. Other individuals, even so, were of a different type. Reasonably, but nevertheless regrettably, they belonged to that class of emotional work, all too common recently few decades, of which the intention is not to learn or expound truth but to boost one of those perversions of systematic thought that are recognized by the highly ill-sounding name of ‘ideologies.’ I think that Dr. Reischauer has excellent accreditation for task — knowledge with the country he explains, a first-class linguistic devices, a good training as an historian, and most important of all an approach to his expression which is none prejudiced nor sentimental.
During the war and first postwar period I used four years in Washington, at which time I forgot much of the detailed details about Japanese history I had once known, but to my surprise I discovered that the fading of unessential detail had helped to clarify for me the main describes of Japanese history on the whole. This experience thought the option of a matching presentation of Japanese history in turn out. The result was the original version of this book, which I wrote for the most part during the autumn of 1945 while still in Washington. This post, it offers appeared to me that, since this book continues to be widely read by persons aiming to learn about Japan, right now there is even less scholarly propriety in our leaving it with such a giving false hope to description of the “present.” Consequently, I have taken advantage of a matter of days of holiday from my duties in Tokyo to make the shifts embodied in this modification.
Keywords: Dr. Reischauer’s book, Japan Past and Present, Tokyo.