Peasants, Rebels, Women, and Outcastes

Peasants, Rebels, Women, and Outcastes : The Underside of Modern Japan

3.83 (77 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This compelling social history uses diaries, memoirs, fiction, trial testimony, personal recollections, and eyewitness accounts to weave a fascinating tale of what ordinary Japanese endured throughout their country's era of economic growth. Through vivid, often wrenching accounts of peasants, miners, textile workers, rebels, and prostitutes, Mikiso Hane forces us to see Japan's "modern century" (from the beginnings of contact with the West to World War II) through fresh eyes. In doing so, he mounts a formidable challenge to the success story of Japan's "economic miracle."

Starting with the Meiji restoration of 1868, Hane vividly illustrates how modernization actually widened the gulf, economically and socially, between rich and poor, between the mo-bo and mo-ga ("modern boy" and "modern girl") of the cities and their rural counterparts. He interlaces his scholarly narrative with sharply etched individual stories that allow us see Japan from the bottom up. We feel the back-breaking labor of a typical farm family; the anguish of poverty-stricken parents forced to send their daughters to Japan's new mills, factories, and brothels; the hopelessness in rural areas scourged by famine; the proud defiance of women battling against patriarchy; and the desperation of being on strike in a company town, in revolt in the countryside, or conscripted into the army.

This updated edition is enhanced by a substantive new introduction by Samuel H. Yamashita. By allowing the underprivileged to speak for themselves, Hane and Yamashita present us with a unique people's history of an often-hidden world.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 392 pages
  • 158 x 238 x 26mm | 676g
  • Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • Updated Second Edition
  • 2 Maps
  • 1442274166
  • 9781442274167

Table of contents

Contents

Japanese Weights and Measures

Preface to the Second Edition

Preface to the First Edition

Maps

Introduction

MODERNIZATION AND THE PEASANTS

FARMING AND FARM LIFE

MORALS AND MORES

RURAL WOMEN

THE STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL

THE OUTCASTE IN JAPAN

THE TEXTILE FACTORY WORKERS

POVERTY AND PROSTITUTION

THE COAL MINERS

WOMEN REBELS

EPILOGUE: THE POSTWAR YEARS


Notes

Index
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Review quote

This intense study is a moderate upgrade of a classic work. When Hane revised his original book in 2003, he added an important chapter that focused particularly on three female rebels. Thus, republication makes available to a new audience a pathbreaking study of earlier Japan. The modern Japan readers think they know can be traced back a mere generation to the years after WW II. The introductory pages provide a useful assistance for neophyte readers who might otherwise become overwhelmed by new materials and topics that require a whole new way of looking at Japanese history before 1945. In addition to the multiple authors since Hane's death in 2003, this version retains the sense that readers are receiving and coping with a complex presentation of life in pre-WW II Japan. What makes the book a classic is the careful interweaving of massive research materials and Hane's original insights mingled with source materials supporting his arguments. These apparent deviations from the narrative invite 2017 readers to participate in both the discovery and the discussion.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. * CHOICE *
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About Mikiso Hane

Mikiso Hane (1922-2003) was professor emeritus of history at Knox College. Samuel H. Yamashita is Henry E. Sheffield Professor of History at Pomona College.
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Rating details

77 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 22% (17)
4 43% (33)
3 31% (24)
2 4% (3)
1 0% (0)
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