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KABUKI’S FORGOTTEN WAR: 1931-1945, by James R. Brandon. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2008, 466 pp., with photographs, $52 (cloth)

The role that Japan’s “classic” drama, kabuki, played during the 15-year “Sacred War” is largely undiscussed, and even in Japan itself it is usually ignored. Indeed, as the author of this fascinating account says, “that era of military horrors is so embarrassing or painful, even after some seventy years, that most Japanese do not wish to confront it.”

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