Japan, Past and Present

Japan, Past and Present

Japan, Past and Present

Japan, Past and Present

Excerpt

Few countries have been more copiously described than Japan, and perhaps few have been less thoroughly understood. In the last century there were a number of works dealing with the picturesque or the exotic aspects of that country, most of which, though sometimes a trifle deceptive, were passable books of travel. During the same period there were written a few important studies of Japanese political and social history which are still standard works, though they are used only by a few specialists. But it is a remarkable fact, which I think will be accepted by any teacher who has been responsible for instruction in schools or colleges, that before the outbreak of the war in the Far East there was no single short book which gave a lucid and tolerably complete picture of Japan's early history and her development in modern times. There were plenty of learned treatises on this or that, but nothing to give the average educated reader what he needed.

After the outbreak of war, there appeared in profusion a flood, or at least a considerable stream, of books about Japan, chiefly of topical interest. Some of these . . .

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