On Sunday, December 12, 2010, Jeff Kingston reviewed Imperial Japan at Its Zenith: The Wartime Celebration of the Empire’s 2,600th Anniversary by Kenneth J. Ruoff in The Japan Times. Here’s an excerpt:
“Ruoff has done yeoman’s work in unearthing a vast array of sources and interesting anecdotes that enliven the narrative, serving up a fascinating social history that helps readers today understand what it must have been like to live in wartime Japan, an account that challenges narratives of unrelenting tribulation.
His captivating book explains how tens of millions of Japanese reveled in the orchestrated jingoism of the celebrations, cheered on by the media, intellectuals and all the businesses cashing in on patriotic consumption. In doing so, he reveals the extensive web of complicity and mobilization that belies assertions Japan was hijacked into war by a small coterie of military hotheads.”
Read the whole review here: Wartime Japan Celebrates