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Japan Documents Handbook titles

This series focuses on the broad field of Japanese Studies, aimed at the worldwide English language scholarly market, published in Tokyo in English. Each Handbook will contain an average of 20 newly written contributions on various aspects of the topic, which together comprise an up-to-date survey of use to scholars and students. The focus is on Humanities and Social Sciences.

Reconsidering Postwar Japanese History: A Handbook (Edited by Simon Avenell)

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After war defeat in 1945, Japan underwent historic political, economic and social transformations resulting in the country’s rebirth as an economic powerhouse and exemplar of liberal democracy in East Asia. This handbook expands and enriches our understanding of this tumultuous contemporary era in Japan’s modern history. Chapters in the volume ask novel theoretical questions and present fresh empirical perspectives on the era. How, for example, has the postwar era been chronologized to date and how might we rethink or enhance such interpretations? What can we learn by rethinking established moments and phases like the Allied Occupation, the period of high-speed economic growth, the 1970s, the Bubble Economy, and the “lost decades” of Heisei Japan (1989-2019)? What new issues might we introduce to subvert accepted understandings of the postwar era and its various sub-eras? Moreover, how might Japan’s internal postwar be expanded by rethinking the era through novel historical frameworks and regional imaginaries such as East Asian history, Cold War history, environmental history and transnational history? Contributors attempt to transcend temporal, geographical, intellectual and other boundaries inherent in our current understandings of Japan’s postwar experience to provide a compelling compilation of perspectives. Showcasing the work of historians and leading scholars from other disciplines, chapters cover thematic areas including the origins of the postwar era, postwar politics, society and popular culture, transnational and international interactions, and historical memory. The volume’s extensive chronological coverage, combined with the innovative perspectives of the contributors, make it essential reading for both researchers and learners interested in the multifaceted dynamics of Japan’s fascinating contemporary era.

March 1, 2023 406p. Hardback

ISBN: 978-4-909286-20-8

¥28,875 (tax included)


Simon Avenell

Simon Avenell is professor at the Australian National University. He specializes in modern Japanese history, with a particular interest in civil society, social activism, and the history of ideas in postwar Japan. His latest book, Asia and Postwar Japan: Deimperialization, Civic Activism, and National Identity, was published by Harvard University Press in 2022.  


Simon Avenell, Professor, Australian National University; James Babb, Professor, The University of Tokyo; Janet Borland, Assistant Professor, International Christian University; Adam Bronson, Lecturer, Durham University; Julia Bullock, Professor, Emory University; Simon James Bytheway, Professor, Nihon University; Peter Cave, Senior Lecturer, University of Manchester; Deokhyo Choi, Lecturer, University of Sheffield; Katarzyna Cwiertka, Professor, Leiden University; H. D. P. (David) Envall, Senior Lecturer, Australian National University; Luke Franks, Associate Professor, North Central College; Kimie Hara, Professor, University of Waterloo; Aya Homei, Lecturer, University of Manchester; Seong Un Kim, Assistant Professor, Seoul National University; Helen Macnaughtan, Senior Lecturer, SOAS University of London; Emily Chapman, SOAS University of London; Akiko Naono, Associate Professor, Kyoto University; Eiji Oguma, Professor, Keio University SFC; Philip Seaton, Professor, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies; Eiko Maruko Siniawer, Professor, Williams College; Rebecca Suter, Associate Professor, University of Oslo;

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