The Meiji Restoration at 150

A critical gaze falls on Meiji sloganeering. JASON MORGAN In 1853, American ships under the command of U.S. Navy Commodore Matthew Perry appeared in Uraga Bay off the coast of Japan. Their purpose was to deliver to the Japanese authorities a list of demands, couched...

A Samurai’s Hidden Gospel

A Christian Samurai: The Trials of Baba Bunkō by William J. Farge, SJ; Foreword by Kevin M. Doak. The Catholic University of America Press, 2016. Hardcover, 336 pages, $35. For decades, the standard American academic treatment of Japanese Christianity has been that...

Re-introducing Japan’s Conservatives

Japan’s Love-Hate Relationship with the West by Hirakawa Sukehiro. Global Oriental (Kent, UK), 2005. Hardcover, 400 pages, $90. Conservatives are often portrayed as an insular lot. Blinded by tradition and preternaturally bigoted in constitution, so goes the standard...

Five Girls, Two Nations, One Historical Imagination

Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back by Janice P. Nimura. W. W. Norton, 2015. Hardcover, 352 pages, $28.Two days before Christmas, 1871, a delegation of Japanese pioneers left the port of Yokohama on the paddlewheel steamship SS America,...

The Marxist Jeremiah

Culture and the Death of God by Terry Eagleton. Yale University Press, 2014. Hardcover, 234 pages, $26.There are few polemicists writing in the English language today as erudite, or as pugnacious, as Terry Eagleton. Nor are there many public intellectuals who so defy...

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