Mutsu Munemitso and Identity Formation of the Individual and the State in Modern Japan

Author: Perez, Louis G.
Year:2001
Pages:342
ISBN:0-7734-7366-1
978-0-7734-7366-9
Price:219.95
Assembles in one convenient volume seven chapter-length articles about Matsu Munemitsu, the foreign minister of Japan who led Japan into war in 1894, the same summer that he successfully negotiated the end of the Unequal Treaties with the West; and examinations of identity formation. It examines the formation of Mutsu’s identity, and then the reinvention of his character and persona in the face of ostracism and rapprochement with his feudal domain, the new Meiji government, and the political parties in Japan. Similarly, three Japanese identities are also examined: Kido Takayoshi; Furuno Inosuke, and the national press. The articles reconsider the importance of self-reference, national and regional ethos, homeland and furosato, ideology, and nationalism in the formation of identity.

Reviews

“. . . brings together for English-speaking audiences a body of strong scholarship from Japan, the United States and Europe concerning Mutsu Munemitsu and relates it to the critical issue of national identity formation in Japan. . . . the work is very strong and certainly will provide a valuable contribution to the field of Meiji studies and the critical examination of national identity formation.”
– Lane Earns
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

“This work offers various perspectives of an important figure in Japanese history and his contributions. . . . there is no other information on Mutsu that I am aware of. . . . there are many Meiji figures that have been forgotten by historians, and the spotlight was given to a select few. This manuscript addresses this gap, and informs us that we need to expand our scope when examining personalities in Japanese history. This work will make a contribution to scholarship, and it should be useful for students interested in Meiji Japan as well as those studying diplomatic history.”
– Roy S. Hanashiro
University of Michigan-Flint

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Introduction (Hilary Conroy)
Preface and Editor’s Introduction (Louis G. Perez)
Part One: Mutsu Munemitsu
• The Mutsu Family (Ian Mutsu)
• Mutsu Munemitsu (Marius B. Jansen)
• Mutsu Munemitsu in Europe, 1884-85: The Intellectual in Search of an Ideology (Hagihara Nobutoshi)
• Mutsu Munemitsu and the Diet Crisis of 1893 (Louis G. Perez)
• The Sino-Japanese War: Britain and Mutsu Munemitsu (Ian Nish)
• A Treatise on Mutsu’s Diplomacy (Nakatsuka Akira, trans. by Roger Thomas)
• Mutsu Munemitsu and Wakayama (Takeuchi Yoshinobu, trans. by Roger Thomas)
Part Two: Other Identities
• Kido Takayoshi and the Iwakura Embassy (Sidney DeVere Brown)
• Nationalism and the Taming of Japan’s Early 20th-Century Press (James Huffman)
• Fanning the Flames or Holding the Blaze at Bay? Furono Inosuke and Japan’s Wartime Press (Roger W. Purdy)
Index