War and Stereotypes

The Image of Japan’s Military Abroad

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Advisors:
Jürgen Angelow
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,
Christian Gerlach
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,
Martin Clauss
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Verena Moritz
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Stefan Rinke
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,
Stefanie Schüler-Springorum
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,
Roman Töppel
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, and
Jorit Wintjes
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Volume Editors:
Frank Jacob
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and
Sepp Linhart
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Contributors:
Olavi K. Fält
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Joseph Fonseca
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Henna-Riikka Pennanen
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,
Adam Rock
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, and
Aiko Otsuka
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Japan has always been fascinating for foreign observers. This volume will show, how its military has been perceived abroad and what image about the Japanese Army existed between 1853 and 1945 in the minds of those who read and heard stories from the Far East.
When forcefully opened by a US mission in 1853, Japan was transformed by its ruling elites into a strong nation state, whose military and political forces wanted to avoid a colonization by foreign powers. Therefore, Japan’s military capacities were of special interest and the army and navy were westernized very fast. Japanese soldiers became known as “Asia’s Prussians”, and were often described as “gallant enemies”. This image, however, should rapidly change after the First World War. During the battles in China since 1937, and the Pacific since 1941, the Japanese soldiers were often referred to as “devils.“ This volume will take a closer look at the images of Japan’s military abroad to show how these images were created, how they changed and what stimulated the differences with regard to the foreign perception of Japan and its military between 1853 and 1945.

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