A Japanese historian examines why Japan went to war. Alfred A. Knopf, , pages When Japan attacked the United States in Japan Countdown to Infamy. By Eri Hotta. pp. Alfred A. Knopf, $ Why did Japan start a war its top leaders knew it had. In Japan Countdown to Infamy, Japanese author Eri Hotta attempted to discuss this question via use of newly revealed information from.

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Japanese leaders really had little to no understanding of the western world and how their aggressive actions cluntdown be perceived. The note itself was taken as an ultimatum, which it was not.

Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy

The positions of men like Konoe, Tojo, Nagano and the bakuryo officers, mid-level bureaucrats who prepared most of the positions taken are analyzed and one can witness how difficult it was to achieve any consensus on policy in this environment.

As long as Japan covers up its terrible transgressions against humanity, it will always be a nation afraid and insecure. We read history in the sometimes vain hope of learning from it, so that we do not repeat it. This sort of thing happened a lot, and did much to convince the U. He worked for a non-aggression pact with the Soviets in to get himself in the news countown, and then, after Germany invaded in June of that year, then wanted to invade them from the east.

He encouraged Japan’s withdrawal from the League of Nations to gain a bigger audience. Sign In Forgot password? Japan’s motivation to go to war with the US was based on the trade sanctions that the US placed on Japan because of their continued escalation of their wars of aggression with China and French Indo-China; these sanctions the US cut off petroleum and steel exports to Japan were impacting both Japan’s economy and their war effort.

To subscribe, click here. Gripping and deeply disturbing insights into decision making in Japan. Hotta doesn’t really interject her own viewpoint very often, other than acknowledging that Japan’s leaders bore responsibility for their decisions, and that they were frequently guilty of wishful thinking and ignoring what they didn’t want to hear.


This is a tale that is less tragic than it is stupefying.

Book Review: Japan Countdown to Infamy , by Eri Hotta – Inverarity is not a Scottish village

Japanis not really a counterpoint to that book. Of course outside of Japan’s far right nationalist circles, hardly anyone today tries to defend Japan’s imperialism in the first half of the 20th century, let alone their conduct during World War II, but much of modern Japan prefers to look away from that entire time period.

First, knowing the racial theories of Nazi ideology and the disparaging remarks in Mein Kempf about the Japanese, how did the Japanese leadership sell the Tripartite Ihfamy She details the insistent clamor for war from the middle and lower echelons of Japanese leadership. Aug 29, Sean Chick rated it really liked it. They did not understand U.

This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve. I cant comment on whether or not the history is correct in terms of how much the Japanese vacillated on their decisions on if and how to japaj. The author also seemed to suffer from the shotgun writing approach, covered many things that didnt necessarily have anything to do with the subject.

For the last couple of years I have made pitiful progress in trying to learn a countdowb of the language. Slavery after Rome, — The young leaders exerted enormous pressure on higher ups to take what they felt was rightfully theirs. In short, Hotta emphasizes the multitude Eri Hotta injects vivid life into the hugely complicated process, so bound up in the Japanese cultural imperative of consensus and warped by profoundly dysfunctional political and military power structures.

Hotta makes it clear that while diplomats were feverishly negotiating, the Japanese always had one sticking point: Most damningly, during the frantic last ditch efforts to negotiate peace with the U.


Book review: ‘Japan Countdown to Infamy,’ by Eri Hotta | Books | Dallas News

Still not sure what the point of the inclusion of the Soviet spy, Richard Sorge, has to do with the decision to go to war with the US. According to the records she presents, the home government had no say in the decision and was against it.

Eastern Time on Dec. The United States was a stumbling block on their plans. This book is, oddly enough, is a unfamy argument for well-formulated constitutional law.

We see a ruling cadre rich in regional ambition and hubris: And many a times it was used to good effect by those who advocated war while everyone else looked helplessly at each other, hoping that someone else would find this one small gap to exploit so that they could heap on more doubts and hoped that it snowballed into something big enough for all to decide that war was a bad idea, apparently even the army faction was hoping for that while advocating war p.

In this environment, what happened was a tragic farce of high ranking officials saying one thing in public meetings while expressing the opposite opinion in private. This was not a result of a crisis as it often is in Western governments it was the normal behavior of those in every level of the military, the government and even, for the most part, private citizens.

From the Emperor on down, the nail that stuck up squatted down before it was hammered there. Those who are interested in understanding of the events that led to Japan’s fateful decision to attack Pearl Harbor will find this book an important one to read.

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