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Introduction ; 1. Backgrounds ; 2. First Explanations of Bushido in the Meiji Era ; 3. The Early Bushido Boom, 1894-1905 ; 4. The Late Bushido Boom, 1905-1914 ; 5. The End of the Bushido Boom ; 6. The Showa Bushido Resurgence ; 7. Bushido in Postwar Japan ; Conclusions and Considerations ; Select Bibliography
Oleg Benesch is Anniversary Research Lecturer in History, specializing in the history of early modern and modern Japan. Before arriving at the University of York, Dr Benesch was Past & Present Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London. He has spent almost six years living and researching in Japan, including two years each at Hitotsubashi University and Reitaku University in Tokyo. Dr Benesch's publications and teaching interests cover a variety of fields, including Japanese intellectual, religious, and social history, Chinese intellectual history, as well as the transnational history of modern East Asia. He has presented his research findings at academic conferences and invited lectures throughout East Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia.
This is a solid, well-written, and immensely informative piece of scholarship ... Benesch's chronicle of the ebbs and flows of the bushido discourse makes for fascinating reading * James Mark Shields, Journal of Japanese Studies * Inventing the Way of the Samurai is an excellent book. * Stephen Turnbull, Japan Review * Oleg Benesch's Inventing the way of the Samurai is a seminal, scrupulously researched work that teems with ideas. Its content is profoundly relevant to current political developments in Japan, as questions about the Constitution and the nation's identity come to the fore ... an essential guide to this crucial aspect of Japan's intellectual history. * Damian Flanagan, The Japan Times * Benesch has provided us with a valuable history of modern Japan through the lens of a particularly resilient ideology. It will be of great interest to students of Japanese history, not to mention to anyone concerned with the intellectual history of invented modern traditions. * Constantine N. Vaporis, American Historical Review * Benesch provides a comprehensive overhaul of the history of the development of bushido. He demonstrates great expertise in presenting the various texts and their roles in the discourse ... this book is a highly gripping read and provides a well-informed contribution to the historical development and powerful influence of invented traditions. * Julian Plenefisch, H-Soz-u-Kult [translation] * Benesch's history of bushido as an invented tradition with an ideological character delivers on the title's promise. Students of intellectual history will appreciate the example of an idea created, branded as tradition, and then variously applied by multiple ideological positions. Modernists will benefit from Benesch's explanation of the Imperialist appropriation of bushido as a tool for militarization of the population through World War II. And Japan specialists are finally armed with a full argument against bushido's historicity. * Nathan H. Ledbetter, Journal of Military History *