Curse on this country: The rebellious army of imperial Japan

Danny Orbach*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Imperial Japanese soldiers were notorious for blindly following orders, and their enemies in the Pacific War derided them as "cattle to the slaughter." But, in fact, the Japanese Army had a long history as one of the most disobedient armies in the world. Officers repeatedly staged coups d'états, violent insurrections, and political assassinations; their associates defied orders given by both the government and the general staff, launched independent military operations against other countries, and in two notorious cases conspired to assassinate foreign leaders despite direct orders to the contrary. In Curse on This Country, Danny Orbach explains the culture of rebellion in the Japanese armed forces. It was a culture created by a series of seemingly innocent decisions, each reasonable in its own right, which led to a gradual weakening of Japanese government control over its army and navy. The consequences were dire, as the armed forces dragged the government into more and more of China across the 1930s-a culture of rebellion that made the Pacific War possible. Orbach argues that brazen defiance, rather than blind obedience, was the motive force of modern Japanese history. Curse on This Country follows a series of dramatic events: assassinations in the dark corners of Tokyo, the famous rebellion of Saigo Takamori, the "accidental" invasion of Taiwan, the Japanese ambassador's plot to murder the queen of Korea, and the military-political crisis in which the Japanese prime minister "changed colors." Finally, through the sinister plots of the clandestine Cherry Blossom Society, we follow the deterioration of Japan into chaos, fascism, and world wa.

Original languageAmerican English
PublisherCornell University Press
Number of pages367
ISBN (Electronic)9781501708343
ISBN (Print)9781501705281
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by Danny Orbach. All rights reserved.

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