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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Mar 02, Lilly Mary rated it it was amazing. A Hotta point out the Japanese language tends to be vague which led to problems with negotiation with the U.

Book Review: Japan Countdown to Infamy | HistoryNet

The Draft Understanding appeared to indicate a strong U. However, they soon found that western and eastern racism still relegated Japan to a secondary status.

And that led to a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. This is essentially the question that Eri Hotta starts with in her compelling indamy investigating the intricacies of why Japan chose war over peace in In the fall of the military and civilian leaders presented their ideas to Hirohito.

This really is a hell of a book about a subject we, as Americans, know far too little about. The author also discusses the role of Japanese citizens outside of government service.

Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy

After reading this contrast in so many players it seems as if they were actors ot a role: Hotta makes two central points, 1. This book covers the events and decisions that led up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor from the Japanese point of view.


Nov 03, Diane Henry rated it liked it Shelves: He was involved in many high-level meetings at which his role was expected to be merely ceremonial, and yet he sometimes broke tradition and interrogated or scolded his generals and admirals and cabinet ministers. The fascinating issue with Hotta’s research is that japam we already know the outcome of the events, her retelling is so vivid and detailed, stressing key personalities, infzmy relationships, and the folly of leadership, that one remains engrossed in the narrative until its tragic conclusion.

Countrown officers and senior government officials alike had been killed, and much of what happened in China was, at least on the surface, commanders on the ground letting their troops get out of control or actually directing them to do socontrary to the orders of their superiors back in Japan.

Japanese culture also played a part, as the Japanese believed, and not without good reason, that the West did not respect them or their military capabilities.

Book review: ‘Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy,’ by Eri Hotta

Why does a small country on the periphery of East Asia believe itself powerful enough not only to struggle on the massive Chinese continent, but also to open an armed front against an arguably much larger military foe? Like us on Facebook.

Appearances were supremely important. A fascinating portrait of Japanese leadership, or lack thereof, in the months before the attack on Pearl Cointdown. Sep 12, Reza Amiri Praramadhan rated it really liked it. Drawing on material little known to Western readers, and barely explored in depth in Japan itself, Hotta poses an essential question: As Alfred Adler pointed out in his studies of the inferiority complex; that people and nations?


The war in China used tremendous resources and brought Japan into conflict with the United States.

Hotta sets the go for her large, diverse, and revealing cast of characters with familiar but sturdy furniture: Another result of entering the modern world was that Japan quickly realized how poor it was in resources, especially petroleum. Tragic reminder that going to war is a choice often made in cowardice and stupidity For Americans, this book should humanize the foolish and self-blinded men who led Japan into war with the United States.

It says a lot about how miscalculations and mixed-messaging between nations in crisis situations can, and often do, lead to war. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.

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

You do not currently have access to this article. The Japanese could not understand how they had diminished countrown some might say their international standing and credibility by signing the Tripartite Axis Treaty. It was seen by Japanese leaders as a provocation and a disgrace as they felt they were being bullied and humiliated.

Here, in a nutshell, is her thesis: I should have read this kind of book years ago, because I never have understood why the Japanese did what they did.

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