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The Long Defeat

Aug 6, 2016

The Long Defeat

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In “The Long Defeat,” Akiko Hashimoto explores how Japan’s World War II loss has been remembered. More sociologist than historian, she does this by looking beyond political speeches and newspaper editorials and examines how memories manifest in the media, in classrooms and in the ...

Bushido: Soseki, 'Star Wars' and the samurai

Jul 30, 2016

Bushido: Soseki, 'Star Wars' and the samurai

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In September 1912, Gen. Maresuke Nogi — a hero of the Russo-Japanese War — committed ritual suicide. His sensational death took place on the day of Emperor Meiji’s funeral, making it an act of junshi (following one’s lord in death) and a high-water mark ...

Bushido: The samurai code goes to war

Jul 23, 2016

Bushido: The samurai code goes to war

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In a scene from the 1957 film “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” a haughty British Col. in a prisoner-of-war camp confronts the camp’s Japanese commandant. Citing the Geneva Convention as justification, he argues that his officers should not be forced into manual labor, ...

Bushido: The awakening of Japan's modern identity

Jul 16, 2016

Bushido: The awakening of Japan's modern identity

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Opinions are divided when it comes to Japan’s current Constitution, issued during the U.S. Occupation of 1945 -52: Is it an American imposition that unfairly refuses to recognize the nation as a “normal country” or a precious war-renouncing document that reflects Japan’s unique status ...

'Strange Glow': A grounded, intelligent look at radiation

Jul 16, 2016

'Strange Glow': A grounded, intelligent look at radiation

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“Strange Glow” hits all the notes you’d expect from a book described as “the story of people’s encounters with radiation” — from physicist Ernest Rutherford’s overturning of the”plum pudding” model of the atom to the “radium girls” who were poisoned by the glow-in-the-dark radium ...