In this extraordinary collection of writings, covering the period from 1878 to 1989, a wide range of Japanese visitors to the United States offer their vivid, and sometimes surprising perspectives on Americans and American society. Peter Duus and Kenji Hasegawa have selected essays and articles by Japanese from many walks of life: writers and academics, bureaucrats and priests, politicians and journalists, businessmen, philanthropists, artists. Their views often reflect power relations between America and Japan, particularly during the wartime and postwar periods, but all of them dealt with common themes—America’s origins, its ethnic diversity, its social conformity, its peculiar gender relations, its vast wealth, and its cultural arrogance—making clear that while Japanese observers often regarded the U.S. as a mentor, they rarely saw it as a role model.
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