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THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF OZAKI YUKIO: The Struggle For Constitutional Government in Japan. Translated by Fumiko Hara. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2001, 455 pp., $35 (hardback)

Well into this fascinating account of Japanese politics, which spans the period from the beginning of the Meiji Era to the end of the U.S. Occupation, Yukio Ozaki recalls several associates who were assassinated in the struggle to build constitutional democracy in Japan. The large number of high-ranking politicians who died for this cause reflects just how violent politics were at the time and how courageous one needed to be to stand up for one’s principles. More than a few times the author penned death poems in anticipation of a bloody end, a morbid habit that says a lot about the sacrifices of political office in those days.

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