BD. Edmund Blunden

91. [Blunden]. ‘Japanese History’. Review of Japan in World History, by George Sansom, and The Occupation of Japan, by Robert Fearey. TLS, 21 December 1951, p. 815.

Often Blunden’s writing in the early post-war period insists upon the validity of Japanese society and culture independent of European or American representation. Here he begins with the proposition that ‘at times . . . the Western reader of Japanese history may forget that the Japanese have their own historians’. Sansom’s work (see also D22) is important in part for its knowledge of Japanese scholarship and its ‘lines of speculation’ about Japanese history that do not condescend to the Japanese, whom Blunden believes do not need further Western ‘advice’, for if ‘any country . . . has received more political advice than Japan, we do not know it’. Fearey’s work, though ‘making no claim to eloquence, and containing no glimpses of the actual life of the Japanese’, remains a ‘useful handbook’. Includes reference to Ernest Satow (Ap), Oda Nobunaga (Ap), and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Ap).





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