A Japanese historian examines why Japan went to war. Alfred A. Knopf, , pages When Japan attacked the United States in Japan Countdown to Infamy. By Eri Hotta. pp. Alfred A. Knopf, $ Why did Japan start a war its top leaders knew it had. In Japan Countdown to Infamy, Japanese author Eri Hotta attempted to discuss this question via use of newly revealed information from.

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The great question that students of World War II have asked is how could Japan, with the fraction of the population, resources, and manufacturing capabilities of the United States, attack that country and seriously think it would win, or at least force a stalemate. Writing style left much to be desired for me. It was a turf war—a war between nations built on different assessments of national and world interests.

To view it, click here. All in all, a book with flaws, but well worth a read. Military pressures on civilian leadership did not help. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. It is one that is packed with information carefully written in an engaging way to provide great insights into how the Japanese eventually went into war with the US.

Book review: ‘Japan Countdown to Infamy,’ by Eri Hotta | Books | Dallas News

You could not be signed in. He was involved in many infaky meetings at which his role was expected to be merely ceremonial, and yet he sometimes broke tradition and interrogated or scolded his generals and admirals and cabinet ministers.


But each was faced with bitter disagreement within its ranks. This series of tit-for-tat measures between the U. Sign In or Create an Account.

Third, and very important, during the attack the U. This was taken by Japan as tantamount to a declaration of war.

The author also seemed to suffer from the shotgun writing approach, covered many things that didnt necessarily have countdoan to do with the subject. The Japanese could not understand that the West US was not going to yield on certain points that Japan thought it could continue to play out into the future when trying to reach some common understanding.

Most damningly, during the frantic last ditch efforts to negotiate peace with the U. The political structure was basically no structure at all: The the time-frame spans from January infam December, and describes the international and domestic power countrown from a Japanese perspective. This expansion became a key issue in the decision-making process. And also, I cannot help but sympathized with two diplomats, Saburo and Kurusu, who worked tirelessly to stop Japan going to war jwpan America, with limited time and resource, who were unwittingly used by military leaders to mask Japan’s intention to attack Pearl Harbor.

It’s probably very difficult to try to re-create the thought-process of the major Japanese players leading up to Pearl Harbor and this is a valiant effort.

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Book review: ‘Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy,’ by Eri Hotta

Coutdown we have to be careful; as illogical and unimaginable as they have behaved inwould we not have done the same? This is a fresh and invigorating look at how a nation can stumble into a painful and debilitating war, and one that Japan barely survived.


How can its citizens learn to avoid the same mistakes if they don’t know the full story? And we will go out of the meeting whispering to each other that the decision taken in the meeting was a wrong jqpan. Like us on Facebook. Lastly, how did the militarists convincingly sell a war to a population already wary of fighting an unsuccessful war in China?

World opinion was increasingly hostile.

The great question that students of World War II have asked is how could Japan, with the fraction of the population, resources, and manu The surprise attack by Japanese naval forces on Pearl Harbor on Dec. Some blame must also be assigned to the US and its infamu behavior in the mid to late ; the Japanese believed that the US was militarily and culturally weak, and would not have the stomach for a protracted war. This book explained why my father was a torpedoman on a Fletcher class destroyer in WWII, participating in the battle for Iwo Jima among others.