Japanese History, Post-Japan

George Lazopoulos, University of California, Berkeley

Jason Ānanda Josephson, The Invention of Religion in Japan. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2012. 408 pp. $90 (cloth), $30 (paper).

Hwansoo Ilmee Kim, Empire of the Dharma: Korean and Japanese Buddhism, 1877–1912. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2012. 444 pp. $50 (cloth).

Jung-Sun N. Han, An Imperial Path to Modernity: Yoshino Sakuzō and a New Liberal Order in East Asia, 1905–1937. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2012. 244 pp. $40 (cloth).

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The three recent works on Japanese history discussed in this essay are connected only tenuously in terms of their subject matter: the construction of the category of “religion,” Buddhism in colonial Korea, and the evolution of liberalism in prewar Japan, respectively. What unites these studies is, rather, their approach. Highlighting the vital links between their subjects and other areas of the world, these studies yield a composite portrait of Japan as viewed through the transnational lens that now characterizes historical studies more generally...