Home / A&E / Books / Curse on This Country: The Rebellious Army of Imperial Japan (Cornell University Press), by Danny Orbach

Curse on This Country: The Rebellious Army of Imperial Japan (Cornell University Press), by Danny Orbach

May. 16, 2017
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The Imperial Japanese Army is legendary for its obedience, but discipline seems to have been more pronounced in the lower ranks than the officer corps. In Curse on This Country, Danny Orbach from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem describes a military that launched wars on its own initiative, assassinated public officials and fomented coups against its own government. He locates the roots of the problem in the rōnin, those masterless samurai of early 19th-century Japan who swore allegiance only to an unseen emperor, whose will could be interpreted to one’s taste because few ever heard him speak. The officers’ adventurism and unwarranted assumption of moral superiority put Japan on the perilous track that led to the rape of Nanking, Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. 

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