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  • By Ian Ruxton
    Mar 23, 2010
    A long but very interesting piece of work which helps to fill the gaps in common knowledge about U.S.-Japan relations in the early part of the 20th century. The first 50 years saw broadly friendly relations, beginning with the visit of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry's black ships in 1853 and 1854 to open Japan to the world. The period from 1905 to 1945 was a steady downward spiral culminating in the dropping of the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Since World War II until now the relationship has been good again, and one of close allies, though Japan has been the junior partner. This book is therefore right at the first turning point in relations, when the U.S. first became aware, as did many other countries, that Japan's military might was growing and was a potential threat after its stunning victory over Russia, followed by the diplomatic defeat of the Treaty of Portsmouth (September 1905). This is by far the longest of the three translations from Japanese which I have... More > attempted so far. It was hard work but very rewarding. There is some connection between my first one, "Japanese Students at Cambridge University in the Meiji Era", and this one in that Suematsu Kencho who studied at Cambridge was given an almost identical and simultaneous mission in Europe to that of Kaneko Kentaro in the USA. They both fought hard against Yellow Peril prejudices and propaganda! (By the way, Baron Suematsu is likely to be the central figure of my next book, another translation of Professor Matsumura's work.)< Less
  • By Josh Rogan
    Aug 5, 2009
    "USA, Japan - Kentarō and Roosevelt - (the other Roosevelt) " What goes around, comes around, according to the old adage; and - in the context of this book by Masayoshi Matsumura, translated by our good Lulu friend and expert in Japanese history, Ian Ruxton; there is also often an ironic twist. In this book, Masayoshi Matsumura and Ian Ruxton, (who extended the content as well as providing the translation), cover the events preceding and surrounding the Russo-Japanese War; 1904 - 1905. The period prior to the war saw frantic diplomatic efforts by the Japanese government, to befriend, assuage, bend to their way of thinking, in fact, anything and everything, to ensure the USA was left with a clear idea that Japan's stance on its ruptured relationship with Russia, was understandable from the Japanese standpoint. Although war broke out anyway in the meantime, they duly sent member of the House of Peers, Baron Kaneko Kentarō, to the USA, be assisted by Minister to the United... More > States Takahira Kogorō, with these ends in mind The ultimate aim was to persuade America to come out firmly on Japan's side in, initially, the diplomatic 'cold' war, then of course, the tragic and very real war. It is all very familiar but of course, ironic, when compared with events 40 years later; the same two countries, with a Roosevelt to boot, in each era, but with very different scenarios playing out. The Japanese diplomatic mission to bring such understanding to the USA, was overall very successful. Helped along by President Teddy Roosevelt, Kentarō and Kogorō were to gain the strong support of the vast majority of the American people, and this helped pave the way for vital foreign / war loans to be made to the Japanese government. But, it is worth noting some important dissentions; some of America's strong ethnic bodies were more inclined to side with Russia; this was especially true of most of the Chicago area, and most Irish Americans. But, in the end, Kentarō, and of course, Japan, won out. Masayoshi Matsumura and Ian Ruxton have between them, provided further and fascinating insight into a world we probably do not know much about, and would surely know far less if it were not for the valiant efforts of these two academics and writers. -- John Haines ( aka Josh Rogan )< Less
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Product Details

First Edition
Ian Ruxton
February 8, 2010
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.97 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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