Britain and Japan: Biographical Portraits, Vol. VI: Biographical Portraits
Japan Library, May 31, 2007 - History - 424 pages
There is no doubt that this sixth volume in the Japan Society’s highly regarded Britain and Japan series contains many ‘long overdue’ essays of leading personalities with links to Britain and Japan that will be welcomed by the researcher and general reader alike – from the opening essay on Churchill and Japan by Eiji Seki, to the concluding account by Rikki Kersten of the distinguished intellectual liberal Maruyama Masao’s close relationship with Richard Storry and Oxford in particular and his interests in Britain in general. Containing a total of thirty-three entries, thoughtfully and painstakingly compiled and edited by Hugh Cortazzi, there may well be a case for arguing that the best has been kept until last. Indeed, by way of an ‘Envoi’ the book concludes with an account of the Beatles visit to Tokyo in 1965, including a facsimile report for H M Government by the British Embassy’s then first secretary, Dudley Cheke. Also of special interest are Hugh Cortazzi’s portraits of Morita Akio and Honda Shoichiro , as well as John Hatcher’s fascinating record of Ian Fleming’s 1959 five-week visit to Japan on behalf of the Sunday Times. The volume is divided up thematically and includes an Index of Biographical Portraits published to date by the Japan Society, and by way of appendix, a highly significant report by Robin Mountfield on the Nissan Negotiations of 1980-84, which resulted in the biggest foreign investment in car manufacturing in Britain.
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