#FenCon: A few places to get started on modern Japanese history/culture

Once again I want to apologize to everyone who attended the Tao and Again panel at FenCon. I had no idea I was going to be moderator and thus was woefully unprepared. (And it didn’t help there were only two of us on the panel, so I didn’t even have a big group of other panelists to cower behind!) As promised, here are some recommendations of places to get started on research for modern Japanese history/culture. This list is in no way definitive or exhaustive, particularly considering “modern Japan” is a giant subject in and of itself, but hopefully it’ll help bring up questions and ideas that will lead to both research and stories!

If I think of anything else, I’ll be sure to add it to the list! (And please, drop any recommendations you might have in the comments.) For the most part I tried to grab books that are fairly easy to find in libraries or bookstores.

Factual
Shinohata – Ronald P Dore
Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II – John Dower
A Modern History of Japan (second edition) – Andrew Gordon
The Prison Memoirs of a Japanese Woman – Kaneko Fumiko [Memoir]
Gendering Modern Japanese History – Barbara Molony (ed)
Office Ladies and Salaried Men – Ogasawara Yuko
A Man With No Talents – Oyama Shiro [This is a memoir]
The Weak Body of a Useless Woman: Matsuo Tasuko and the Meiji Restoration – Anne Walthall
Patriots and Redeemers in Japan: Motives in the Meiji Restoration – George M. Wilson

Fiction
Rashomon and Other Stories – Akutagawa Ryunosuke
Black Rain – Ibuse Masuji
The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa – Kawabata Yasunari
Barefoot Gen – Nakazawa Keiji
Kokoro – Souseki Natsume
I Am a Cat – Souseki Natsume

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