A Japanese historian examines why Japan went to war. Alfred A. Knopf, , pages When Japan attacked the United States in Japan Countdown to Infamy. By Eri Hotta. pp. Alfred A. Knopf, $ Why did Japan start a war its top leaders knew it had. In Japan Countdown to Infamy, Japanese author Eri Hotta attempted to discuss this question via use of newly revealed information from.

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It seemed a series of bad decisions made by extremely fallible men who were unwilling to question each other openly and really test as What was scary about this book is how easily momentum and the inability to change one’s mind once coundown statement was made led to a senseless act of war that Japan could then not support.

The great question that students of World War II have asked is how could Japan, with the fraction of the population, resources, and manufacturing capabilities of the United States, attack that country and seriously think it would win, or at least force a stalemate. Pay attention to all the conversations in the jaapn in the book, pick a character who disagreed with the war, then ask what you would do if you were him.

Japan shows us not only why but how, ushering us much farther inside Japanese decision-making than prior accounts.

But they hoped that fate would intervene. Sep 03, Emmanuel Gustin rated it really liked it Shelves: It is an interesting fact that the decision to expand the territory in Manchukuo and ultimately into China proper was one made by the generals in Manchukuo.

It reminded me of this fall’s government shutdown. But ultimately the timing of Japanese response didn’t matter. You do not currently have access to this article. But above all, Hotta has unearthed evidence that byalmost all top-tier leaders, who outwardly professed accord with their juniors, feared that tackling the United States would bring catastrophic defeat.


Book Review: Japan Countdown to Infamy , by Eri Hotta – Inverarity is not a Scottish village

After the national celebration after the successful Pearl Harbor attack, many in Japan shook their heads in disbelief, even Prime Minister Hideki Tojo. In addition, there was the very common jpaan cost argument for continuing war: This is the concept of saying something or saying something is a certain way but carrying with it an intended meaning. The note itself was taken as 19441 ultimatum, which it was not.

This expansion became a key issue in the decision-making process. They felt they had to choose between waging a reckless war and giving up all of Japan’s imperialistic conquest of many years in order to stave off war.

Japan relied heavily on imports of strategic materials. This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. She taught at Oxford from The author pain staking guides the reader through a convoluted mesh of personalities and principles. Refresh and try again. Hotta dismisses that argument, laying the fault in the laps of Japanese civilian governmental leaders who failed to confront the militarists when they insisted on a deadline to go to war.

The author also seemed to suffer from the shotgun writing approach, covered many things that didnt necessarily have anything to do with the subject.

Book review: ‘Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy,’ by Eri Hotta

That it go a bad decision was not only clear in hindsight, you will see from the book that there were more people including the emperor who believed that it was a bad decision to go to war with the US than those who believed it was right, which only makes it more perplexing.

In an intimate account of the increasingly heated debates and doomed diplomatic overtures preceding Pearl Harbor, Hotta reveals just how divided Japan’s leaders were, right up to and, in fact, beyond their eleventh-hour decision to attack. Don’t already have an Oxford Academic account? This book explained why my father was a torpedoman I should have read this kind of book years ago, because I never have understood why the Japanese did what they did.


The Japanese economy did not “suddenly” feel pressured after the US oil embargo in August Some blame Roosevelt for turning his back on Japanese diplomatic initiatives and not ckuntdown peace talks a chance. Reads like jnfamy thriller. They were too aware of Japan’s limited resources and were convinced that the country would be annihilated in xountdown end.

Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy

In the fall of the military and civilian leaders presented their ideas to Hirohito. This is a consistent theme throughout the book. The war in China used tremendous resources and brought Japan into conflict with the United States.

It’s more an indictment than an apologetic – you can sense Hotta’s desire to be as even-handed as possible while acknowledging that Japan’s actions were short-sighted, ill-advised, and driven by petty egos, intercultural blunders, jaoan, arrogance, delusion, and multiple failure Eri Hotta, countvown Japanese historian, tackles a subject that much of her country, even today, has difficulty talking about – the events leading up to Japan’s disastrous decision to go to war with the United States.

Even as Japanese diplomats continued to negotiate with the Roosevelt administration, Matsuoka Yosuke, the egomaniacal foreign minister who relished paying court to both Stalin and Hitler, and his facile supporters cemented Japan’s place in the fascist ihfamy with Germany and Italy–unaware or unconcerned that in so doing they destroyed the nation’s bona fides with the West. Related articles in Google Scholar.

A Hotta point out the Japanese language tends to be vague which led to problems with negotiation with the U.