Agony of choice : Matsuoka Yōsuke and the rise and fall of the Japanese Empire, 1880-1946 /
David J. Lu.
Lanham, MD : Lexington Books, c2002.
xvii, 309 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
More Details
added author
Lanham, MD : Lexington Books, c2002.
general note
Rev. and abridged ed. of: Matsuoka Yōsuke and his times, 1880-1946.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 275-291) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
David J. Lu is Emeritus Professor of History and Japanese Studies at Bucknell University.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-07-01:
Originally published in 1981 in a Japanese edition, this fascinating study of Matsuoka Ysuke, Japan's well-known prewar foreign minister, will be a welcome addition to literature on Japan and its international relations from the turn of the century to the outbreak of the Pacific War and beyond. In the West, Matsuoka is perhaps best known for leading the Japanese delegation out of the League of Nations in 1933 after the League refused to recognize the Japanese-sponsored regime in Manchuria. During Matsuoka's brief tenure as foreign minister, ending in July 1941, Japan entered into the Neutrality Pact with the USSR and joined Germany and Italy in the Tripartite Alliance. Matsuoka was educated in the US and had a passionate love for the country, a deep understanding of its culture, and near-native fluency in English; how did he end up helping to lead Japan into its disastrous war? This is but one of many questions Lu (emer., Bucknell Univ.) addresses in this detailed study of Matsuoka's life, personality, character, education, political career, and worldview. Lu ends with vital, open-ended questions about the many Japanese and Americans who have become comfortable in both cultures, and wonders how Matsuoka's career might have differed had he lived at a different time. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels/collections. C. L. Yates Earlham College
Review Quotes
As a richly textured study of a pivotal figure . . . it belongs in the library of all serious students of modern Japanese history and diplomacy. As a product of the best of 'old school' sensibilities and training, it is a real gem and should be required reading for graduate and undergraduate seminars on modern Japanese history, historiography, and diplomacy.
. . . a standard work on the colorful Japanese leader . . . a rounded and engaging narrative.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2003
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Long Description
Agony of Choice, the life of Japanese statesman and diplomat Matsuoka Yosuke, offers a vivid narrative of twentieth-century Japanese diplomatic history. Matsuoka was an American-educated Japanese foreign minister who became a vocal advocate of Japanese expansionism in echo of the America he so admired. His promotion of alliances and relationships with countries such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, however, not only led Japan to war with the United States but also led to Matsuoka's involvement with and eventual indictment for atrocities committed during the war. Through extensive archival research and fascinating personal interviews, David Lu explores Matsuoka's pivotal role in the drama of Japan's withdrawal from the League of Nations, empire-building in Asia, and the development of interwar Japanese politics.
Main Description
Agony of Choice, is the biography of Japanese statesman and diplomat Matsuoka Yosuke, offering a vivid narrative of twentieth-century Japanese diplomatic history.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Notes on Japanese and Chinese Namesp. xvii
Early Life in Yamaguchip. 1
The First American Experiencep. 6
Diplomat in China, Russia, and Americap. 17
From Tokyo to Versaillesp. 29
Railway Politics in Manchuriap. 43
Revolutionary China, SMR, and Japanese Politicsp. 52
Seiyukai Politics and Shanghai Assignmentp. 66
Withdrawal from the League of Nationsp. 77
Political Party Dissolution Movementp. 106
Manchukuo, Guandong Army, and the SMRp. 120
Becoming Master of Kasumigasekip. 138
Alliance with Germanyp. 154
China and Southeast Asiap. 173
European Tour and Neutrality Pact with USSRp. 197
Approaches to the United Statesp. 213
The Later Yearsp. 246
Reflections and Assessmentp. 261
Books by Matsuoka Yosukep. 275
Bibliographyp. 277
Indexp. 292
About the Authorp. 308
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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