This book presents the governments of China and Japan. These governments in their present form are the successors of other, past governments which--when interpreted--explain a great deal of the continuity of civilization in China and Japan and of the background to the present-day political behavior of Chinese and Japanese. Furthermore, a study of the governments of China and Japan in the past is illuminating not only as to the present character and intentions of the leaders and followers in these two countries, but as an explanation of the relationships of each country with the other and with other Asian and Western powers in the past.
This is a study in comparative government, historically applied. It is not a political history. Bibliographical footnotes in the appropriate sections of the book will give the reader a considerable number of leads from which he can follow political history as such.
The reason for this is a simple one. There are many excellent political histories of Japan and almost as many of China in various Western languages. On the other hand, it is rare for these two countries to be described in a comparative government text. So far as the authors know, this is the first serious work in comparative government which covers both China and Japan without attempting to cover all the major nations of the world; it is also the first, so far as they know, to attempt to present the comparative government pattern of each country by displaying well known governments which have existed one after the other.
The purpose of the authors is, in the first instance, to fill a long-empty gap in the field of political science textbooks. They hope that their colleagues in the teaching profession will welcome this book as a work on Far Eastern politics, supplementing the many basic introductions to the politics and area study of the Far East which already exist. They hope that, as such, it will serve either as an introductory guide to the Far Eastern tradition of the governing of men, or as an advanced survey, based on Far Eastern language materials, for the specialist in area studies.
In the second place, the authors hope to be of service to the general reader --particularly to the general reader who wants to go behind the way things seem today and to find out how political customs and political habits came to be what they are. This purpose will be fulfilled if these portrayals of ancient and modern Chinese and Japanese governments are accepted for what they are: descriptive presentations of actual systems of government, with some reference to the historical events which led to the foundation of each system and to its supersession by another.
PAUL M. A. LINEBARGER
March, 1954 DJANG CHU
ARDATH W. BURKS