A "deeply moving book" (Studs Terkel) and the first ever oral history to document the experience of ordinary Japanese people during World War II
"Hereafter no one will be able to think, write, or teach about the Pacific War without reference to the Cooks'] work." --Marius B. Jansen, Emeritus Professor of Japanese History, Princeton University
This pathbreaking work of oral history by Haruko Taya Cook and Theodore F. Cook was the first book ever to capture the experience of ordinary Japanese people during the war and remains the classic work on the subject.
In a sweeping panorama, Japan at War takes us from the Japanese attacks on China in the 1930s to the Japanese home front during the inhuman raids on Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, offering glimpses of how the twentieth century's most deadly conflict affected the lives of the Japanese population. The book "seeks out the true feelings of the wartime generation and] illuminates the contradictions between the official views of the war and living testimony" (Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan).
For decades, American and Japanese readers have turned to Japan at War for a candid portrait of the Japanese experience during World War II in all its complexity. Featuring essays that contextualize the oral histories of each tumultuous period covered, Japan at War is appropriate both as an introduction to those war-ravaged decades and as a riveting reference for those studying the war in the Pacific.