History of Japan from an anti-imperial decolonial perspective
May 4, 2024 7:38 PM   Subscribe

What sources, books, essays, can I read or watch that explain Japanese history from an anti-imperial and decolonial perspective. Is there a book for Japan like what Howard Zinn did for the U.S. or the Indigenous Peoples history of the U.s. but for Japan?

I'm interested in demilitarizing Okinawa and Ainu issues, which seem easier to pinpoint when I search. Japan is basically a defense strategy for the U.S. military... Where are the anti-imperial struggles happening in Japan or throughout their history?

The fact that the government suppresses any negative history doesn't help. What Japan did in Korea, China, colonizing Taiwan, etc.
posted by mxjudyliza to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
This absolutely isn't the scholarly resource you are looking for, and has lots of fictional aspects, but maybe watch 'Golden Kamuy' (Crunchyroll, also Netflix soon I think) - it will at least show a modern anti-imperialist interpretation of historical events and is also great fun.
posted by BinaryApe at 12:53 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

You may have better luck reading individual articles and seeking out books by their authors.

Here's what appears to me to be a promising start to that search.
posted by rabia.elizabeth at 3:46 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

I don’t know that this is directly on target, but you may be interested in the history of Dejima, which formed a very early chapter in Japan’s relationship with the West. For 220 years it was the only official contact point between Japan and Europe. A bulwark against cultural imperialism, if you will.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:38 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

(One reason I mention that is that if you want early unfiltered accounts of Japanese history, you should probably look to the Dutch.)
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:10 AM on May 5 [3 favorites]

Warriors of the Rainbow is a movie about the Japanese rule in Taiwan.

posted by NickPeters at 2:13 PM on May 5 [1 favorite]

I'm reading Palo Alto by Malcolm Harris right now and he's got a great chunk about the foothold anti imperial/leftist Japanese intellectuals found in the bay area in the 1910s and 1920s. Good info on its own merits, and his footnotes might have more places to look.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 1:19 PM on May 8 [1 favorite]

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