chapter  1
16 Pages

Sho-wa-era Japan and beyond: from Imperial Japan to Japan Inc

ByPeter Duus

In 1968, on the 100th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration, two out of three respondents to an Asahi Shimbun poll chose World War II as the most important event of the preceding century. It may be surprising that they did not choose the Restoration itself, the event that launched Japan on the fast track to modernity, but war and defeat loomed large in public memory. The surrender in 1945 was a moment of trauma, dislocation, and change in the lives of most adult Japanese, and two decades later, it still felt like a major rupture in the fl ow of the history.