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Christopher Harding

Infantrymen of Japan’s Self-Defence Forces parading in Tokyo, 3 November 1966.

After a disastrous Second World War, Japan abolished its armed forces and embraced pacifism. With renewed tensions in East Asia, can it last?

Natsume Sōseki, c.1910

The visit of Natsume Sōseki to London at the turn of the 20th century suggested ways of successfully combining western industrialism with ‘Japanese Spirit’.

According to western stereotype, the Japanese at the time of the Second World War were passive and obedient automatons. Yet the realities of daily life in imperial Japan were complex and politically charged.