BOOKS / 出版物

The Political History of Modern Japan

The Political History of Modern Japan

Foreign Relations and Domestic Politics

Kitaoka Shinichi
Translated by Robert D. Eldridge with Graham Leonard

Political Science

Published by Routledge | ISBN 978-1-138-33765-7 (Hardcover) | ISBN 978-1-138-33767-1 (Paperback) | 286 pages | 234mm (h) x 156mm (w) | October 2018

About the Book

Spanning the 130-year period between the end of the Tokugawa Era and the end of the Cold War, this book introduces students to the formation, collapse, and rebirth of the modern Japanese state. It demonstrates how, faced with foreign threats, Japan developed a new governing structure to deal with these challenges and in turn gradually shaped its international environment. Had Japan been a self-sufficient power, like the United States, it is unlikely that external relations would have exercised such great control over the nation. And, if it were a smaller country, it may have been completely pressured from the outside and could not have influenced the global stage on its own. For better or worse therefore, this book argues, Japan was neither too large nor too small.

Covering the major events, actors, and institutions of Japan’s modern history, the key themes discussed include:

-Building the Meiji state and Constitution.
-The establishment of Parliament.
-The First Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars.
-Party Politics and International Cooperation.
-The Pacific War.
-Development of LDP politics.
-Changes in the international order and the end of the Cold War.

This book, written by one of Japan's leading experts on Japan's political history, will be an essential resource for students of Japanese modern history and politics.

To purchase directly from Routledge, click here.

About the Author

KITAOKA Shinichi

Kitaoka Shinichi is President of Japan International Cooperation Agency and Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo and Rikkyo University, Japan.


"The Political History of Modern Japan is an outstanding introduction to Japanese political history and a worthy textbook for classes on Japanese political or diplomatic history. I also believe it would make a good recommended reading or a companion reader for courses on Japanese politics. Moreover, although Kitaoka’s discussion ends in 1989, the book still feels timely for a more general audience. Given the rise of China and the uncertain future of American power in East Asia, it provides an important reminder that the international environment has time and again channeled Japanese behavior, and that foreign relations may continue to shape the course of Japanese domestic affairs."

Jeremy A. Yellen, August 4, 2020

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Contemporary Japan









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Original Japanese Edition / 原書情報

日本政治史:外交と権力 増補版

日本政治史:外交と権力 増補版

北岡伸一 著

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