Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World, 1852-1912


Product Details

Columbia University Press
Publish Date
6.5 X 2.21 X 9.6 inches | 3.13 pounds

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About the Author

Donald Keene is Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature and University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. He is the author of more than thirty books, including the definitive multi-volume history of Japanese literature. He lives in Tokyo and New York City.


This is a monumental work, the result of years of painstaking research and meticulous scholarship, unlikely to be superseded by any book about the Emperor Meiji in this century and destined to be required reading for all foreign students of the Restoration and the growth of modern Japan.--Hugh Cortazzi "The Japan Society "
This book is as close to being a definitive biography of the Emperor Meiji as we are likely to see in Western languages. It is an important contribution to our understanding of Japan's modernizing experience.--W. Dean Kinzley "The Historian "
Few scholars are as well qualified to undertake this tremendous project.... [Keene's] special gifts are on display in Emperor of Japan... [which] brings us as close to the inner life of the Meiji emperor as we are ever likely to get.--New York Times Book Review
Utterly brilliant... the best history in English of the emergence of modern Japan.--Los Angeles Times
Keene gracefully marshals evidence to illuminate [an] astonishing transformation.--New Yorker
Keene does a heroic job of painting a personal picture of the Meiji Empire, which is an impossible task.--The New York Review of Books
Distinguished and massively authoritative... This book probably comes as close as we shall ever get to the man himself.--Times Literary Supplement (London)
Despite the book's massive scale, Keene's graceful writing holds the reader's interest throughout.... This should become the Meiji biography against which all others are judged.--Booklist
A fresh and fascinating portrait.--Choice
The first reliable and full biography of the Japanese monarch in any language.... Carefully crafted, judicious, balanced, authoritative, it is another remarkable gift from a distinguished American author.--Washington Post
One comes away from Keene's lively account with the feeling that one person made an extraordinary difference in Japan's history.--Foreign Affairs
Eminently readable... a staggering achievement.--Seattle Times/Post Intelligencer
The most complete picture possible of a sovereign who remains as distant as a proper Confucian ruler should.--Publishers Weekly
Keene... is a master narrator with an eye for fascinating details.--Library Journal