What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Discussions on all aspects of the Japanese Empire, from the capture of Taiwan until the end of the Second World War.
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williamjpellas
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by williamjpellas » 20 Feb 2011 04:47

I concur that Herbert P. Bix's Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan is a very important and revealing work. Bix's book is to some degree a further and more comprehensive development of the thesis found in an earlier book, Japan's Imperial Conspiracy by David Bergamini. I found Codename: Downfall by Thomas B. Allen and Norman Polmar quite good, and still hold it in high esteem, despite only fairly good reviews in some quarters. I really loved Tennozan: The Battle of Okinawa and the Atomic Bomb by George Feifer. Despite the controversy surrounding it, as well as the determined attempts by the John Dower crowd to discredit it, I highly recommend Robert Wilcox's provocative work of investigative reporting, Japan's Secret War.

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Peter H
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by Peter H » 19 Mar 2011 03:48

Hata Ikuhiko's work,now in English

Hirohito: The Showa Emperor in War and Peace
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hirohito-Shwa-E ... 1905246358

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Peter H
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by Peter H » 30 Apr 2011 06:34

A new Schiffer book.

Japanese Generals 1926-1945 Richard Fuller
http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Generals ... 0764337548

Or just an update of Fuller's Shokan:Hirohito's Samurai?
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Sporkmaker
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by Sporkmaker » 17 May 2011 12:33

florida wrote:"Japan's Imperial Conspiracy" by David Bergamini

don't be put off by thye "C" word....."strategy" would be a better term, these days.

two volumes in hardback, one really big paperback.

ties in the Imperial family to the War, and has an excellent general overview of the Imperial Family from c.1800 on to the post war era.

I've found it to be indespensable.
I'm currently working on volume two - up to page 1142 now. Really a fascinating look into the Emperor's inner circle. It touches on a little bit of ancient Japanese history to give the reader a sense of how Japan became what it was and then dives into detail about the war era, including the secret political maneuvering and intrigue at the highest levels, the invasion and occupation of China - sparing no harsh reality, the decision to make war on the west including the long term goal of a final decisive third world war with Germany for complete domination, and the eventual defeat and occupation by the allies when the only thing left was to somehow preserve the throne at all costs.

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The_Strategic_Digger
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by The_Strategic_Digger » 03 Jul 2011 07:45

When looking at Japan's involvement in WWII I am interested in the broader historical and geopolitical factors underpinning events. I do not think Japan's actions can be fully understood without considering how European and American encroachment on Asia destroyed the pre-existing China centric regional order and authority of traditional power structures. With that in mind, I recommend in the following works. ( I also wanted to insert Rising Sun and Tumbling Bear, Russia's War with Japan by Richard Connaughton, but I reached my attachment limit)
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pinnerguest
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by pinnerguest » 18 Jul 2011 20:21

Hi folks

This is my first post so go easy!


I have a few and I would recommend Richard fullers Japanese officer bio collection Shokan http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shokan-Hirohito ... 694&sr=8-3

The time life series of WW2 had some great volumes with excellent photos.

I will post more.

J

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wstraka
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by wstraka » 04 Sep 2011 01:28

I have started reading The Battle for China (Mark Peattie, Edward Drea & Hans Van De Ven). So far--still not very far into it--it seems a very thorough overview of the war.

Bill

cstunts
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by cstunts » 04 Sep 2011 02:34

Hello,

Greetings Pinnerguest: Fuller's SHOKAN is replete with errors that may mislead, however, and some are inexcusable. In particular regarding IJN officers. All buyers beware.

I went easy...

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kgbudge
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by kgbudge » 05 Sep 2011 04:22

William J. Pellas,

I have some background in nuclear physics, and my feeling is that Wilcox' book is deserving of all the scorn that has been heaped upon it. He simply doesn't understand the science, he gets crucial dates wildly wrong, and he is far too believing of sources that lack all credibility. For example, the Spanish Fascist who claimed he set up a spy network against Los Alamos also claimed he transported Martin Bormann to South American by U-Boat as Germany collapsed. The other participants of this forum can elaborate on why that claim is ludicrous.

Bix's book actually steps back a bit from Bergamin's claims, which have been resoundingly rejected by the great majority of historians knowledgeable about Imperial Japan. Bix has his own flaws but is at least to be taken seriously, which is more than can be said of Bergamini.

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The_Strategic_Digger
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by The_Strategic_Digger » 05 Sep 2011 08:10

I thought I would mention 'Oba the Last Samurai' by Don Jones. It is an account, written by an American, of a Japanese officer who holds out in Saipan with his men after surrender is announced. I am mentioning it here now because there is a movie based on the book now available on DVD. I haven't see it yet, and is often the case I suspect the book will be more informative, but am hoping the movie will be worth watching.

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Peter H
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by Peter H » 19 Oct 2011 07:13

HEITAI: Uniforms, Equipment and Personal Items of the Japanese Soldier, 1937-1945
Agustin Saiz,2011
http://www.amazon.com/HEITAI-Uniforms-E ... 1935149423
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Panzermahn
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by Panzermahn » 12 Nov 2011 13:34

I think this is one of the most definitive book in English with regards to Sino-Japanese War from 1937-1945

Image


http://www.amazon.com/Battle-China-Mili ... 093&sr=1-1

donsor
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by donsor » 20 Dec 2011 17:08

I'd like to read more about what happened to top as well as low ranking Japanese soldiers who were involved in the atrocities throughout the Pacific War. For example, I've heard what happened to Tojo (suicide) and Gen.Yamashita (hanged) but how about the lower echelon Japanese officers and enlisted men who were equally barbarous and cruel to Allied forces as well as the occupied country civilians?

Don

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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by Squad » 29 Jan 2012 03:34

Japan at War by Haruko and Theodore Cook.

Brings a personal touch to the Japanese soldier.
Against man's stupidity even the gods struggle in vain.

ShindenKai
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Re: What Books do you Think are Essential About WWII Japan?

Post by ShindenKai » 29 Jan 2012 06:26

David/"Akira", seems we've been reading the same books! I gotta add a few...

"Advance Force Pearl Harbor" -By Burl Burlingame
"Silent Siege III" -By Bert Webber
"The Eagles of Mitsubishi" -By Jiro Horikoshi (Written by THE DESIGNER of the ZERO!)
"Oba the Last Samurai" -By Don Jones
"I-Boat Captain" -By Zenji Orita with Joseph D. Harrington
"Tales by Japanese Soldiers" -By Kazuo Tamayama & John Nunnley
"ZERO" -By Masatake Okumiya, Jiro Horikoshi with Martin Caidin

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