East Asia, and particularly Japan, is often omitted from both popular and academic accounts of the First World War. This is evident not just in the Western historiography of the conflict, but also in the Chinese and Japanese histories of the war. Yet, if the First World War is to be truly understood as a ‘world war’, it has to be seen in its global context. The events in the East Asian theatre and the ways in which the conflict profoundly influenced its political, economic and socials histories in both the domestic and international spheres therefore have to be looked at and analyzed accordingly. This is particularly relevant because, as specific memories of the conflict have receded into time, the orthodox factual and ethical foundations of the Western interpretation of the war are crumbling on different fronts and the stress on the military aspects alone is broadening out; thus new aspects of the conflagration can now be identified. Both Japan’s experience within the war and its observations of the impact that the conflict had others were major catalysts for change and that its effects went beyond merely the further expansion of Japanese political and military influence in continental East Asia. The conflict, for example, provided a major stimulus to the Japanese economy by creating fresh export markets and forcing the country to establish new import-substitution industries, in areas such as chemicals and optics, to make up for the loss of trade with Germany. In doing so, it also stimulated the rise of a credit boom that would mean that Japan entered the inter-war period with an over-extended and unstable banking system. In the realm of governance, Japan was faced with the question of how it should respond to the great expansion of state activity that the war had precipitated in Europe in regard to both economy and society. Then there was the challenge in the world of ideas where the Bolshevik Revolution and the Allied victory brought it with cries for democracy and greater labour rights at home (even to the extent of calls for female suffrage) and internationalism abroad. In order to look at some of these issues, nine scholars who are experts on Japanese and Asian history have come together as a working group to look at various aspects of the Japanese experience during and after the First World War. The topics covered are original and include innovative methodological approaches. In overall terms, the working group members have focused their attention on the way in which Japan and the Great Powers responded to the extension of hostilities to East Asia, as well as how the war influenced the evolution of social and economic policy within Japan and its empire.

Frattolillo, O. (a cura di). (2015). Japan and the Great War. London & New York : Palgrave Macmillan.

Japan and the Great War

FRATTOLILLO, OLIVIERO
2015

Abstract

East Asia, and particularly Japan, is often omitted from both popular and academic accounts of the First World War. This is evident not just in the Western historiography of the conflict, but also in the Chinese and Japanese histories of the war. Yet, if the First World War is to be truly understood as a ‘world war’, it has to be seen in its global context. The events in the East Asian theatre and the ways in which the conflict profoundly influenced its political, economic and socials histories in both the domestic and international spheres therefore have to be looked at and analyzed accordingly. This is particularly relevant because, as specific memories of the conflict have receded into time, the orthodox factual and ethical foundations of the Western interpretation of the war are crumbling on different fronts and the stress on the military aspects alone is broadening out; thus new aspects of the conflagration can now be identified. Both Japan’s experience within the war and its observations of the impact that the conflict had others were major catalysts for change and that its effects went beyond merely the further expansion of Japanese political and military influence in continental East Asia. The conflict, for example, provided a major stimulus to the Japanese economy by creating fresh export markets and forcing the country to establish new import-substitution industries, in areas such as chemicals and optics, to make up for the loss of trade with Germany. In doing so, it also stimulated the rise of a credit boom that would mean that Japan entered the inter-war period with an over-extended and unstable banking system. In the realm of governance, Japan was faced with the question of how it should respond to the great expansion of state activity that the war had precipitated in Europe in regard to both economy and society. Then there was the challenge in the world of ideas where the Bolshevik Revolution and the Allied victory brought it with cries for democracy and greater labour rights at home (even to the extent of calls for female suffrage) and internationalism abroad. In order to look at some of these issues, nine scholars who are experts on Japanese and Asian history have come together as a working group to look at various aspects of the Japanese experience during and after the First World War. The topics covered are original and include innovative methodological approaches. In overall terms, the working group members have focused their attention on the way in which Japan and the Great Powers responded to the extension of hostilities to East Asia, as well as how the war influenced the evolution of social and economic policy within Japan and its empire.
9781137546739
Frattolillo, O. (a cura di). (2015). Japan and the Great War. London & New York : Palgrave Macmillan.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/287129
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