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From Party Politics to Militarism in Japan, 1924–1941

Kitaoka Shinichi
From Party Politics to Militarism in Japan, 1924–1941
ISBN: 978-1-62637-857-5
ISBN: 978-1-62637-916-9
2021/374 pages/LC: 2020047232
Published in association with the Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture
Also of interest: History, Memory, and Politics in Postwar Japan by Iokibe Kaoru, et al
Includes extensive photographs
"Offer[s] fresh perspectives...on a unique historical event—the sudden transformation of Japan, a feudal backwater virtually cut off from the rest of the world for hundreds of years, into a modern imperial power."—Michael Neale, Asian Affairs


The years in Japan between June 1924, when a coalition cabinet of three political parties was established, and December 1941, when the country declared war on the United States and Britain, were characterized first by nearly a decade of domestic and international cooperation—and then a period of oppressive militarism. Kitaoka Shinichi captures the essence of these years in Japan's political history, stressing not only the discontinuities, but also the connections, between the two periods.

Kitaoka pays particular attention to the interaction of domestic and foreign affairs. He equally explores the conflicts between political parties and the military—as well as those among internal factions in both spheres. Connecting political issues to economic and social developments, his book serves as a comprehensive history of the period, a history that, in his words, "exemplifies the horrific damage that can result when a modern nation-state goes off course."


Kitaoka Shinichi is president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Previously, he was president of the International University of Japan, and he has held posts, among others, as professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, and deputy permanent representative of Japan to the United Nations.


  • The Beginning of the Shōwa Period.
  • Japan in the Era of Party Politics.
  • Japan in Crisis.
  • Wartime Japan.
  • Chronology.