The Reluctant Admiral: Yamamoto and the Imperial Navy

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Kodansha International, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 397 pages
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This is the story of both an individual and an organization. The individual is Admiral Yamamoto, the architect of the Pearl Harbor raid and commander of the Combined Fleet until his dramatic death in the South Pacific. One of the best-known Japanese wartime leaders -- complex, tough, sympathetic, and realistic -- he believed from the start that Japan was bound to lose the war. The organization is the Imperial Navy, whose gentlemanly traditions and international outlook contrasted strongly with those of the army.

Based on interviews with people who knew him well, private and intimate correspondence, and secret and official documents, it is -- as the New Yorker said -- a "brilliant" book.

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About the author (2000)

Hiroyuki Agawa was born in Hiroshima in 1920. He wrote about his experiences as a student soldier and his family's survival of the bombing of Hiroshima. His major works include "Kumo no bohyo" and "Gunkan Nagato no shogai." In 1994 Agawa was awarded the Noma Bungei Prize and in 1999 the Order of Culture.

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