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Escape from impasse : the decision to open Japan. [Perī raikō ペリー来航 . English]
AuthorMitani Hiroshi 三谷博, 1950-
Nihon Rekishi Gakkai 日本歴史学会
Noble, David
Pub. LocationTōkyō 東京PublisherInternational House of Japan
Date2006Phys. Desc.xxxiv, 332 pages : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
LocationDir. Office GalleryCall NumberDS881.3.M4813 2006
Escape from impasse : the decision to open Japan / Mitani Hiroshi ; translated by David Noble ; edited by Nihon Rekishi Gakkai (Japan Historical Association).
Translation of: Perī raikō ペリー来航.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 329-332).

Foreign policy at the end of the early modern period. Changing principles of foreign policy ; Tensions with Russia in the early nineteenth century -- Perceptions of the outside world. The entrenchment of sakoku and the rise of jōi ; Collecting foreign intelligence ; The Bureau of Astronomy and the shogunal academy -- The opium war and the struggle over domestic reform. The defense issue and internal political conflict ; The faiulure of reform and the rejection of Kaikoku ; News of the world and its dissemination -- The debate on foreign policy : conflict and conciliation. Attempts to revive the order to repel foreign ships ; Conciliation between shogunate and daimyo ; Three templates for the discourse on foreign policy -- The West looks toward Japan. Abortive missions to Japan ; The American vision of a transpacific steamship route -- Japan at an impasse -- The arrival of Perry -- Policy debates and playing for time. The death of Ieyoshi and Nariaki's bid for power -- Stalling the Russians -- Perry returns : acceptance of limited kaikoku -- The multivalence of The Treaty of Peace and Amity -- Opening ports and defining borders : treaties with Britain and Russia. The Anglo-Japanese convention : opening ports by accident ; The Russo-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Amity -- Escape from impasse. Approval of trade relations and gradual liberalization ; The leap to diplomatic and commercial treaties.

Mitani Hiroshi redefines the policy shift in the 1850s to open Japan to the West as an archetypal process of resolving political deadlock and indecision that offers comparative lessons for scholars of contemporary history. The new title, and framing, of this English translation and somewhat revised version of the original Japanese-language monograph, Perii raiko (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 2003), provide an interesting revision of conventional studies of the Bakumatsu (1853-67) period. Instead of casting the late Tokugawa diplomatic quagmire as idiosyncratic and the result of a unique, secluded culture, Mitani constructs the process of opening Japan as a universal historical experience of "blundering into a dead-end and groping for the way back out" (p. xix) that can be seen not only in Japan's World War II experience but also in the United States' involvement in the Iraq War and international approaches to global warming. from http://www.jstor.org (May 22, 2015).

Subject(s)Japan--History--Restoration, 1853-1870
United States Naval Expedition to Japan, 1852-1854
SeriesLTCB international library selection ; no. 20
Rec. TypeBookLanguageEnglish
CollectionRicci Institute LibraryEdition1st English ed.Rec. #18984
ISBN4924971197 ; 9784924971196LCCN2006553214OCLC65485694