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'Win or lose- What matter? We fight for freedom of spirit.' Thus writes Ienaga Saburo, preeminent Japanese historian and courageous plaintiff in three lawsuits (1965D1997) against the government seeking to end Ministry of Education OcertificationO of textbooks, which even today constrains discussion of Japan's actions in China and elsewhere in the Pacific. The cases arose specifically from government censorship of Ienaga's forthright textbook accounts of the Pacific War and of such controversial events as the Nanjing massacre. The questions he has forced into the public arena are central both to the nature of Japanese democracy and to issues of war and memory. They have shaped Japanese politics and frictions with its Asian neighbors and with the United States for half a century. Spanning Japan's watershed twentieth century, this compelling autobiography traces Ienaga's childhood, education, wartime experience, academic career, and the two major battles that occupied his later years. One was the fight against the relocation of Tokyo University of Education to a new Oresearch cityO outside Tokyo; the other was the fight against Ocertification.O Neither battle ended in victory for Ienaga, but as he eloquently expresses in the short poem above, defeat did not make them any less worth fighting. Minear provides a masterly introduction of the man and his times and brings the story to the present with excerpts from Ienaga's court testimony and recent interviews. Illustrated with photos and textbook extracts, this volume brings to life the experience and intellectual odyssey of one of the leading shapers of contemporary Japan. It will be widely read and used by Japan specialists as well as all scholars and general readers concerned with issues of academic freedom and war and peace.
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
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