Historical narratives on modern Japan have long neglected the First World War in comparison to other events such as the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 and the Manchurian Incident of 1931. Until the 1990s, analyses that stressed the importance of the Great War as a catalyst of change came mainly from economic and social historians, who pointed at the manifold effects of the wartime boom and the subsequent recession. In most cases, however, these authors touched on the war years simply as a background for discussion of the following decades, or within broader examinations of trends of long duration. The result was a scarcity of works that dealt specifically with the First World War. Meanwhile, in the field of political history, the dominant approach was that of investigating Japan’s role in the war from the standpoint of power relations between states. Prominent themes were the 21 Demands to China and the Shandong question; the consequent frictions between Japan and the United States, as well as the decline of the Anglo-Japanese alliance; and the Siberian Intervention of 1918-1922. The latter expedition, which in terms of military and financial effort far exceeded that of all previous engagements from 1914, continued well past the official conclusion of the Great War at the Paris Conference. The withdrawal of troops from Siberia (except Northern Sakhalin, which remained occupied until 1925) followed closely the establishment of a new set of international treaties at the Washington Conference (1921-1922), which eased tensions over China and the Pacific. This explains why many studies have taken the period 1914-1922 as their time frame.
This brief article aims to provide an overall picture of major shifts in research approaches rather than a detailed evaluation of the originality and impact of individual contributions. The following paragraphs illustrate the development of historiography on the Japanese experience of the First World War by dividing the literature into three periods. The first period covers the latter part of the imperial age, when political constraints and limited access to sources posed major barriers to critical enquires into the recent past of the country. The second coincides with the Cold War, a time of ideological divisions in which Marxist theory exerted a strong influence on Japanese historians. There was a widespread tendency to define the Great War as a step in the leadup to the Sino-Japanese conflict and the Pacific War. The current stage, which began in the 1990s, has been marked by a reappraisal of the First World War in its global dimension. Japan’s national case has been re-examined to highlight entanglements with other countries and responses to cross-border issues. Although most of the literature now available was written in Japanese for a domestic readership, there is a growing body of research published in English in order to reach an international public.
In 1914, Japanese observers labelled their country’s brief intervention against Germany in China and the Pacific as the “Nippo-German War” (NichiDoku sensō), suggesting a lack of commitment to fight on the side of the Entente beyond the sphere of national interests. This did not mean, however, that public opinion was either unaware of or unconcerned with the consequences of the “European War” (Ōshū senran/sensō) on a global scale, even at an early stage. Press coverage, as in the illustrated magazine Ōshū sensō jikki (1914-1917), fed a profusion of analyses of the conflict, including discussions of Japan’s place in the future world order. As these essays dealt with the war and its settlement in terms of current affairs, they do not belong to the realm of historiography proper. Nevertheless, they have become key sources for research on the domestic impact of the war, as presented further here.
The interwar period saw the publication in Japan of an appreciable number of books on the Great War. The Army General Staff, in particular, edited a series that focused on the military aspects of the conflict in Europe, to be used as reference material. In 1916, the same authority provided an illustration of the Nippo-German War to the general public, while keeping for itself a fuller account. A short narrative followed in 1925. In similar fashion, officers wrote separately a classified record of the Siberian expedition and two purged histories for the public. The navy edited an account of its 1917 mission to the Mediterranean. Other authors who wrote on Japan’s involvement in the conflict did so within broader works on military, diplomatic, or financial history. While the style of these books was mostly descriptive, their tone was sympathetic with the course of action that the government in Tokyo had taken. For their sources, writers had to rely on what was already available to the public, such as press articles, parliamentary debates, and relevant passages in a few memoirs and celebrative biographies of statesmen. Open criticism at the scholarly level came only from the Marxists, who followed Vladimir Il’ich Lenin’s (1870-1924) interpretation of depicting the Great War as the inevitable clash of competing imperialisms. Meanwhile, a wider range of opinions appeared in books for the general public and academic works published abroad in English.
The Cold War Era↑
Democratic reforms carried out in the wake of the Second World War in Japan laid the foundation for vigorous academic debate on the country’s modern history. Marxist scholars, who played a leading role in this field until about the 1970s, initially framed their analysis of the Great War in terms of maturation of the “emperor’s system” (tennōsei) to the stage of monopolistic capital. According to this thesis, an aggressive foreign policy and domestic exploitation of the working class were interconnected aspects of the same regime. In retrospect, it seemed a logical necessity that imperial Japan would eventually take an even more militaristic turn, wage war on China, and meet with disastrous defeat in the second world conflict. Primary sources available for scrutiny grew considerably over time, thanks to the disclosure and editing of both official documents and private papers. While retaining a holistic approach, Marxist historiography grew more creative in its interpretation of the rise and fall of the Japanese empire. By stressing the socioeconomic impact of the First World War, and the intellectual challenges posed by the Russian Revolution, this current pushed other scholars to move beyond the study of foreign policy. It also spurred a further shift towards social and cultural issues, which emerged more clearly at the turn of the century. Although the focus of less ideologically committed scholarship remained primarily on diplomacy, and to a lesser extent on military affairs, historians developed a keen awareness of the interplay between domestic and international factors. This led to sophisticated analyses of the motives of different actors in policy-making. Regardless of their political sympathies, in this period researchers shared a concern for explaining the origins of conflict with China and the United States. They were compelled to address this issue as they faced a tense international environment, which was the outcome of a relatively recent war.
From the 1950s, specific studies explored Japanese policy towards each of the main national counterparts of the war, as well as negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference. Relations with China, starting from the issuance and reception of the 21 Demands in 1915, occupied a prominent place in the literature. Research that tackled bilateral exchanges with either Great Britain or the United States also largely revolved around the issue of Japan’s interests in China. Concerning Russia, most of the attention was on Japan’s interference in the civil war that followed the Bolshevik Revolution and the negative legacy it left for diplomatic relations with the main powers. Within the stream of military studies, scholars detected in the Imperial Army and Navy the emergence of “total war” strategic thinking as a lesson from the European and American experiences. Their findings, which offered a key to understanding the logic behind the military’s engagement in politics, would later turn useful for enquires into the wider influence of the Great War on Japanese society. Although several studies touched on public opinion in order to add context to the study of diplomacy and state institutions, at this stage society’s response to war remained on the side lines of non-Marxist research. The main contribution of foreign scholars lay in their analysis of diplomatic relations.
1990s to Present↑
The fluid international scenario that arose from the end of the Cold War stimulated new approaches to the study of modern Japan. Teleological views of history appeared ever less adequate to explain long-term processes, especially as in the 1990s economic stagnation and political instability challenged previous assumptions of patterns of development in Japan. Although investigating the causes of militarism and war remained an important concern for scholars, the reign of the Taishō emperor (from 1912 to 1926) was widely reappraised as a crossroad period rich with possibility. In other words, instead of portraying it as just a station on the “path to Pearl Harbor”, historians endeavoured to trace a well-rounded picture of the diverse trends running through the early decades of the twentieth century. Research on foreign relations led to a more positive assessment of the shift towards cooperative diplomacy that had occurred in the wake of the First World War. It also stressed the interdependence between this policy change and developments in domestic politics, such as the advance towards parliamentarianism in government practice.
Since the turn of the century, a number of publications that dealt directly with the Great War years have enriched the literature on diplomatic and military history, shedding further light on the linkages between international and domestic issues. The framework for analysis has remained largely centred on bilateral relations, but there is a growing effort to encompass the regional and multilateral spheres. Military studies have continued to explore the strategic visions of the army and navy with respect to politics. There has also been some progress in the editing of first-hand accounts of the experience of war. The most innovative side of research, however, lies in the exploration of how the Great War not only changed the Japanese perception of the country’s place in the world, but – as elsewhere abroad – also raised questions about national identity and the organisation of the state. Scholars have demonstrated that such debates unfolded both within the elites and among wider society. Multi-authored books published on the occasion of the Great War’s centennial bear evidence that it has by now become standard to appreciate the multi-faceted significance of this conflict as a turning point in Japanese history, and place it firmly in its global context.
Historiography on the First World War as related to Japan has developed in roughly three stages. In the imperial age, despite the importance of the subject in current affairs, academic production remained limited in scope and quality. Next, during the Cold War, elaborations on the Marxist paradigm encouraged the inclusion of economic and social aspects in empirical research on diplomatic and military history. Finally, since the 1990s there has been a steep rise in interest for interdisciplinary approaches and perspectives that highlight entanglements between the national, regional, and global dimensions. These changes, which are in tune with the broader trends of the historical discipline internationally, find support in the growing mutual understanding and cooperation between Japanese and foreign scholars.
Andrea Revelant, Ca' Foscari University of Venice
- For a bibliographic essay arranged by theme, see Burkman, Thomas W.: Japan. In: Higham, Robin / Showalter, Dennis E. (eds.): Researching World War I. A Handbook, Westport, CT et al. 2003, pp. 293-313. Also: Jan, Schmidt / Shimazu, Naoko: A Historiographical Turn: Evolving Interpretations of Japan during World War I, 1914–2019, in: Cornelissen, Christoph / Weinrich, Arndt: Writing the Great War. The Historiography of World War I from 1918 to the Present, New York 2021.
- Sanbō honbu (ed.): Ōshū sensō sōsho [European War Series], 38 volumes and 25 special issues, Tokyo 1915-1932. Digitised volumes are available here: http://iss.ndl.go.jp/books?locale=en&any=%E6%AC%A7%E6%B4%B2%E6%88%A6%E4%BA%89%E5%8F%A2%E6%9B%B8&ar=4e1f&display=&op_id=1
- Sanbō honbu (ed.): Taishō 3 nen NichiDoku senshi [History of the Nippo-German War of Taishō Year 3], 4 volumes, Tokyo 1916 http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/956838, http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/956839, http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/95684, http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/3441845. For a reprint of the secret version, with the addition of a critical essay, see Saitō, Seiji (ed.): Hi Taishō 3 nen NichiDoku senshi [Secret History of the Nippo-German War of Taishō Year 3], 6 volumes, Tokyo 2001.
- Sugahara, Sagae (ed.): Seitō kōryaku shōshi [A Short History of the Offensive on Qingdao], Tokyo 1925 http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/942013.
- Sanbō honbu (ed.): Hi Taishō 7 nen naishi 11 nen Shiberia shuppeishi [Secret History of the Siberian Expedition from Taishō Year 7 to Year 11], 3 volumes, Tokyo 1972 [reproduction of the original text, compiled in 1924]; Sugahara, Sagae (ed.): Shiberia shuppei shiyō [An Essential History of the Siberian Expedition], Tokyo 1925 http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/980716; Nishikawa, Torajirō: Shiberia shussei shishi [A Personal History of the Siberian Expedition], Tokyo, 1925 http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/980945.
- Dai 2 tokumu kantai seiribu (ed.): Nihon kaigun Chichūkai enseiki [Record of the Japanese Navy Expedition to the Mediterranean Sea], Tokyo 1919.
- See, for instance: Ōkuma, Nobutsune: Taisen no gaikō [Diplomacy of the Great War], Tokyo 1918 http://www.dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/953262; Habu, Shunsuke: Sekai taisenshi [History of the World War], 2 vols, Tokyo 1919 http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/953116; Mitsukuri, Genpachi: 1914 nen-1919 nen sekai taisenshi [History of the World War 1914–1919], 2 volumes, Tokyo 1919 http://www.dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/953214; Ōrui, Noburu: Sekai taisen gaishi [A Brief History of the World War], Tokyo 1919 http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/960928; Shinobu, Junpei: Taishō gaikō 15 nenshi [15 Year-History of Taishō Diplomacy], Tokyo 1927 http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/1877857; Shiga, Tadashi: Sekai taisenshi gaisetsu [An Overview History of the World War], Tokyo 1930 http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/1190338; Nakano, Hidemitsu: Saikin kyokutō gaikōshi [Recent History of Diplomacy in the Far East], 2 volumes, Tokyo 1931 http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/1449863; Ōkurashō (ed.): Meiji Taishō zaiseishi [History of Meiji Taishō Finance], 20 volumes, Tokyo 1936-1940 http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/1446683.
- Among the latter sources, see Itō, Masanori (ed.): Katō Takaaki, 2 volumes, Tokyo 1929 http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/1878429; Ishii, Kikujirō: Gaikō yoroku [Diplomatic Memoirs], Tokyo 1930 http://dl.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/1464308.
- For a seminal work, see Tanaka, Yasuo: Sensōshi [History of Wars], in: Masanosuke, Akisasa et al.: Nihon shihonshugi hattatsushi kōza [Lectures on the History of the Development of Japanese Capitalism], vol. 5, Tokyo 1932.
- As an early example of anti-Japanese discourse in the United States, see Millard, Thomas F.: Democracy and the Eastern Question. New York 1919 https://www.questia.com/read/6154291/democracy-and-the-eastern-question-the-problem-of. For a realist acknowledgement of Japanese policy, see Young, Morgan A.: Japan under Taisho Tenno 1912–1926. Abingdon and New York 2011 [reproduction of the 1928 edition]. For a meticulously documented critique by a liberal Japanese scholar, see Takeuchi, Tatsuji: War and Diplomacy in the Japanese Empire. Abingdon et al. 2011 [reproduction of the 1935 edition].
- Representative of the early production are Shinobu, Seizaburō: Taishō seijishi [Taishō Political History], 4 vols, Tokyo 1951-2; Tōyama, Shigeki / Imai, Seiichi / Fujiwara, Akira: Shōwa shi [Shōwa History]. Tokyo 1955; Koyama, Hirotake / Asada, Mitsuteru: Nihon teikokushugishi [History of Japanese Imperialism], 3 vols., Tokyo 1958.
- For diplomatic correspondence, see Gaimushō daijin kanbō bunshoka gaikō bunsho han (ed.): Nihon gaikō nenpyō narabi ni shuyō bunsho. 1840–1945 [Chronology and Main Documents of Japanese Diplomacy], 2 vols, Tokyo 1955; Gaimushō (ed.): Nihon gaikō bunsho. Taishō ki [Japanese Diplomatic Documents. Taishō Period], 57 vols (30 vols for 1914-19), Tokyo 1962-87 http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/annai/honsho/shiryo/archives/mokuji.html. For selected translations in English with interspersed explanations, see Kajima, Morinosuke: First World War, Paris Peace Conference, Washington Conference, vol. 3 of The Diplomacy of Japan, 1894–1922, 3 vols., Tokyo 1980.
- See, for instance, Minoru, Andō: Daiichiji taisen to Nihon teikokushugi [The First World War and Japanese Imperialism], in: Naohiro, Asao et al. (eds.): Iwanami kōza. Nihon rekishi [Iwanami Lectures. Japanese History], vol. 18: Kindai 5 [Modern Age 5], Tokyo 1975, pp. 1-42; Kaichirō, Ōishi (ed.): Daiichiji taisenki [The First World War Period], volume 1 of Nihon teikokushugishi [History of Japanese Imperialism], 2 volumes, Tokyo 1985.
- For a sampling of major topics, see Kokusai seiji number 6, Nihon gaikōshi kenkyū. Taishō jidai [Research on Japanese Diplomatic History. The Taishō Period] 1958 https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/browse/kokusaiseiji/1958/0/_contents/-char/ja/, and number 23 Nihon gaikōshi kenkyū. Daiichiji sekai taisen [Research on Japanese Diplomatic History. The First World War] 1963 https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/browse/kokusaiseiji/1963/0/_contents.
- See, among others, Horikawa, Takeo: Kyokutō kokusai seijishi josetsu. 21 kajō yōkyū no kenkyū [An Introduction to the International Political History of the Far East. Research on the 21 Demands], Tokyo 1958; Nagaoka, Shinjirō: TaiKa 21 kajō yōkyū jōkō no kettei to sono haikei [The Definition of Clauses in the 21 Demands and Its Background], in: Nihon rekishi 144 (1960), pp. 66-80; Katsumi, Usui: Nihon to Chūgoku. Taishō jidai [Japan and China. The Taishō Period], Tokyo 1972; Yamamoto, Shirō: Sansen, 21 kajō yōkyū to rikugun [Intervention, the 21 Demands and the Army], in: Shirin 57/3 (1974), pp. 1-33; Kitaoka, Shin’ichi: Nihon rikugun to tairiku seisaku [The Japanese Army and Continental Policy], Tokyo 1978.
- As in Hosoya, Chihiro: 21 kajō yōkyū to Amerika no taiō [The 21 Demands and America’s Response]. In: Hitotsubashi ronsō 43 (1960), pp. 28-50; Nagaoka, Shinjirō: Ishii-Ranshingu kyōtei no seiritsu [The Making of the Ishii-Lansing Agreement], in: Kokusai seiji 37 (1968), pp. 54-71 https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/browse/kokusaiseiji/1968/0/_contents; Kurobane, Shigeru: NichiEi dōmei no kenkyū [A Study of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance]. Sendai 1968.
- Hosoya, Chihiro: Shiberia shuppei no shiteki kenkyū [A Historical Study of the Siberian Expedition], Tokyo 2005, original ed. 1955; Hosoya, Chihiro: Roshia kakumei to Nihon [The Russian Revolution and Japan], 1972; Hara, Teruyuki: Shiberia shuppei. Kakumei to kanshō 1917–1922 [The Siberian Expedition: Revolution and Interference 1917–1922], Tokyo 1989.
- For example, Yamaguchi, Toshiaki: Kokka sōdōin kenkyū josetsu. Daiichiji sekai taisen kara Shigen kyoku no setsuritsu made [An Introduction to Research on National Mobilisation. From the First World War to the Establishment of the Resources Bureau], in: Kokka gakkai zasshi 92/3-4 (1979), pp. 266-285; Tobe, Ryōichi: Daiichiji taisen to Nihon ni okeru sōryokusenron no juyō [The First World War and the Reception of Total War Theory in Japan], in: Shin boei ronshū 7/4 (1980), pp. 1-16.
- As specific studies, see Ōta, Masao: Daiichiji sekai taisen o meguru hisenron. Kirisutosha shakaishugisha o chūshin toshite [Anti-war Discourse concerning the First World War. Chiefly on Christians and Socialists], in Kirisutokyō shakai mondai kenkyū 14-15 (1969), pp. 94-129 https://doors.doshisha.ac.jp/duar/repository/ir/9081/?lang=0; Okamoto, Shunpei: Ishibashi Tanzan and the Twenty-One Demands. In: Iriye, Akira (ed.): The Chinese and the Japanese. Essays in Political and Cultural Interactions, Princeton 1980, pp. 184-198; Masuda, Hiroshi: Ishibashi Tanzan no daiichiji taisen sansen oyobi 21 kajō yōkyū hihanron [Ishibashi Tanzan’s Criticism against Intervention in the First World War and the 21 Demands], in: Keiō gijuku daigaku hōgakubu (ed.): Keiō gijuku daigaku sōritsu 125 nen kinen ronbunshū [Collected Essays for the 125th Anniversary of the Foundation of Keiō University], vol. Keiō hōgakukai-seijigaku kankei, Tokyo 1983, pp. 253-276 http://koara.lib.keio.ac.jp/xoonips/modules/xoonips/download.php/BN01735019-00000005-0253.pdf?file_id=121675.
- Fifield, Russell: Woodrow Wilson and the Far East. The Diplomacy of the Shantung Question, Hamden, CT 1952; Lowe, Peter: Great Britain and Japan, 1911–1915. A Study of British Far Eastern Policy, London 1969; Nish, Ian H.: Alliance in Decline: A Study in Anglo-Japanese Relations 1908–23, Basingstoke 2002 (original ed. 1972); Beers, Burton F.: Vain Endeavor. Robert Lansing’s Attempts to End the Japanese-American Rivalry, Durham, NC 1963. Another remarkable work on official policies is Morley, James W.: The Japanese Thrust into Siberia, 1918, New York 1957.
- As in Kawada, Minoru: Hara Takashi. Tenkanki no kōsō. Kokusai shakai to Nihon [Hara Takashi. Vision in a Time of Change. International Society and Japan], Tokyo 1995; Itō, Yukio: Hara Takashi. Gaikō to seiji no risō [Hara Takashi. Ideals in Diplomacy and Politics], 2 volumes, Tokyo 2004. For a path-breaking work from an earlier period, see Mitani, Taichirō: Nihon seitō no keisei. Hara Takashi no seiji shidō to tenkai [The Formation of Japanese Parties. Hara Takashi’s Political Leadership and Its Unfolding], Tokyo 1995, first ed. 1967.
- Kawamura, Noriko: Turbulence in the Pacific. Japanese-US Relations during World War I, Westport, CT 2000; Nimmo, William F.: Stars and Stripes across the Pacific. The United States, Japan, and the Asia/Pacific Region, 1895–1945, Westport, CT 2001; Izao, Tomio: Shoki Shiberia shuppei no kenkyū [A Study on the Early Phase of the Siberian Expedition]. Tokyo 2003; Takahara, Shusuke: Uiruson gaikō to Nihon. Risō to genjitsu no aida, 1913–1921 [Wilson’s Diplomacy and Japan. Between Ideal and Reality, 1913–1921], Tokyo 2006; Bārishefu, Edowarudo (Baryshev, Eduard): NichiRo dōmei no jidai 1914-1917 nen. Reigaitekina yūkō no shinsō [The Epoch of the Russo-Japanese Alliance, 1914 to 1917. The Truth about an Exceptional Friendship], Fukuoka 2007; Berton, Peter: Russo-Japanese Relations, 1905-1917. From Enemies to Allies, Abingdon 2012; Naraoka, Sōchi: TaiKa 21 kajō yōkyū wa nan datta noka. Daiichiji sekai taisen to Nicchū tairitsu no genten [What Were the 21 Demands to China? The First World War and the Starting Point of Sino-Japanese Confrontation], Nagoya 2015; Asada, Sadao: Shiberia shuppei. Kindai Nihon no wasurerareta 7 nen sensō [The Siberian Expedition. Modern Japan’s Forgotten 7-Year War], Tokyo 2016. For a study centred on domestic debates, see Dunscomb, Paul E.: Japan’s Siberian Intervention, 1918–1922. A Great Disobedience Against the People, Lanham, MD 2011.
- Burkman, Thomas W.: Japan and the League of Nations. Empire and World Order, 1914–1938, Honolulu 2008; Chiba, Isao: Kyūgaikō no keisei. Nihon gaikō 1900–1919 [The Formation of Old Diplomacy: Japanese Diplomacy 1900–1919], Tokyo 2008; Hattori, Ryūji: Higashi Ajia kokusai kankyō no hendō to Nihon gaikō, 1918–1931 [The Transformation of the International Environment in East Asia and Japanese Diplomacy], Tokyo 2001; Shin’ichi, Yamamuro: Fukugō sensō to sōryokusen no dansō. Nihon ni totte no daiichiji sekai taisen [The Rift between Composite War and Total War. The First World War for Japan], Kyoto 2011; Miyata, Masaaki: EiBei sekai chitsujo to Higashi Ajia ni okeru Nihon. Chūgoku o meguru kyōchō to sōkoku 1906–1936 [The Anglo-American World Order and Japan in East Asia. Cooperation and Conflict over China], Tokyo 2014. For a narrative for the general reader, see Inoue, Toshikazu: Daiichiji sekai taisen to Nihon [The First World War and Japan]. Tokyo 2014.
- Hirama, Yōichi: Daiichiji sekai taisen to Nihon kaigun. Gaikō to gunji tono renretsu [The First World War and the Japanese Navy. The Relation between Diplomacy and Military Affairs], Tokyo 1998; Schencking, J. Charles: Making Waves. Politics, Propaganda, and the Emergence of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868–1922, Stanford 2005. On later developments, see Kurosawa, Fumitaka: Taisen kanki no Nihon rikugun [The Japanese Army in the Interwar Period]. Tokyo 2000.
- Nikoru, C.W. (Nicol, Clive W.) (ed.) / Kakutarō, Kataoka: Nihon kaigun Chichūkai enseiki. Wakaki kaigun shukei chūino mita daiichiji sekai taisen [The Japanese Navy Expedition to the Mediterranean Sea. The First World War Seen by a Young Lieutenant, Purser in the Navy], Tokyo 2001; Saitō, Seiji: NichiDoku Chintao sensō [The Nippo-German Qingdao War], Saitō, Hi Taishō vol. 4 2001; Naraoka, Sōchi: Hachigatsu no hōsei o kiita nihonjin. Daiichiji sekai taisen to Uemura Hisakiyo Doitsu yūheiki [The Japanese who heard the Guns of August. The First World War and Uemura Hisakiyo’s Diary of the Internment in Germany], Tokyo 2013.
- Shimazu, Naoko: Japan, Race and Equality. The Racial Equality Proposal of 1919, New York 1998 (reprint 2009); Dickinson, Frederick: Japan and National Reinvention: Japan in the Great War, 1914–19, Cambridge, MA and London 1999; Stegewerns, Dick: The Break with Europe. Images and Perceptions of the Old World after the First World War, in: Erdström, Bert (ed.): The Japanese and Europe. Images and Perceptions, London and New York 2000, pp. 39-57; Kobayashi, Hiroharu: Sōryokusen to demokurashī. Daiichiji sekai taisen – Shiberia kanshō sensō [Total War and Democracy. The First World War – The Siberian Intervention War], Tokyo 2008; Saaler, Sven / Szpilman, Christopher W.: Pan-Asianism. A Documentary History, 2 vols, Plymouth 2011; Dickinson, Frederick: World War I and the Triumph of a New Japan, 1919–30, Cambridge 2013; Shumitto, Yan (Schmidt, Jan): Daiichiji sekai taisenki Nihon ni okeru sengo ron [The ‘Post-War Debate’ in Japan at the Time of the First World War]. In: Yamamuro, Shin’ichi et al. (eds.): Sekai sensō [World War], vol. 1 of Daiichiji sekai taisen [The First World War], 4 vols., Tokyo 2014. For two surveys of the press, albeit with a narrow focus on particular issues, see Tamai Kiyoshi kenkyūkai: Pari kōwa kaigi to Nihon no masu media [The Paris Peace Conference and the Japanese Mass Media]. Tokyo 2004; Daiichiji sekai taisen sansen to Nihon no masu media [Intervention in the First World War and the Japanese Mass Media]. Tokyo 2006.
- Minohara, Tosh / Hon, Tze-ki / Dawley, Evan (eds.): The Decade of the Great War. Japan and the Wider World in the 1910s, Leiden and Boston 2014; Yamamuro, Sekai sensō 3 2001; Frattolillo, Oliviero / Best, Antony (eds.): Japan and the Great War. Basingstoke 2015. Also, forthcoming: Naraoka, Sōchi (ed.): Daiichiji sekai taisen to Higashi Ajia. Kokusai chitsujo no hen’yō to nashonarizumu [The First World War and East Asia. Transformation of the International Order and Nationalism], Nagoya 2018; Schmidt, Jan / Katja, Schmidtpott (eds.): The East Asian Dimension of the First World War. Global Entanglements and Japan, China and Korea, 1914–1919, Frankfurt a.M. et al. 2017. For special issues of journals, see Shisō 1086 (100 nengo no daiichiji sekai taisen. Gendai no kiten [The First World War 100 Years On. The Starting Point of the Contemporary Age], 2014); Gunji shigaku 50/3/4 (Daiichiji sekai taisen to sono eikyō [The First World War and Its Influence], 2015). Among the general surveys published so far for an international readership, one is worthy of mention for its effort to include an East Asian perspective. See Xu, Guoqi: Asia. In: Winter, Jay: Global War, vol. 1 of The Cambridge History of the First World War, 3 vols, New York 2014, pp. 479-510.
- Asada, Sadao: Shiberia shuppei. Kindai Nihon no wasurerareta 7 nen sensō (The Siberian expedition. Modern Japan’s forgotten seven-year war), Tokyo 2016: Chūō kōron shinsha.
- Dickinson, Frederick R.: War and national reinvention. Japan in the Great War, 1914-1919, Cambridge 1999: Harvard University Press.
- Frattolillo, Oliviero / Best, Antony: Japan and the Great War, New York 2015: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Hirama, Yōichi: Daiichiji sekaitaisen to Nihonkaigun. Gaikō to gunji to no rensetsu (World War I and the Japanese Navy. The connection between diplomacy and military affairs), Tokyo 1998: Keiō gijuku daigaku.
- Kajima, Morinosuke: The diplomacy of Japan 1894-1922. First World War, Paris Peace Conference, Washington Conference, volume 3, Tokyo 1980: Kajima Institute of International Peace.
- Kawamura, Noriko: Turbulence in the Pacific. Japanese-US relations during World War I, Westport 2000: Praeger.
- Kitaoka, Shin'ichi: Nihon rikugun to tairiku seisaku, 1906-1918-nen (The Japanese army and continental policy, 1906-1918), Tokyo 1978: Tōkyō daigaku shuppankai.
- Minohara, Toshihiro / Hon, Tze-Ki / Dawley, Evan (eds.): The decade of the Great War. Japan and the wider world in the 1910s, Leiden et al. 2014: Brill.
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