Review Section Sailor Diplomat: Nomura Kichisaburo and the Japanese-American War. ¯ By Peter Mauch. Harvard University Asia Center, Cambridge, Mass., 2011. xvii, 312 pages. $39.95. Reviewed by E. Bruce Reynolds San Jose State University Admiral Nomura Kichisaburo's historical reputation remains inextricably ¯ tied to his role as Japanese ambassador to the United States in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Although credited with good intentions of averting war between the two countries, Nomura has drawn severe criticism for his diplomatic performance, most notably in Robert J. C. Butow's classic study of his negotiations with Secretary of State Cordell Hull.1 Peter Mauch attempts to revise this historical verdict in his new biography of Nomura. Mauch's work has three main themes. First, he seeks to demolish the "simple sailor" view of Nomura by demonstrating that he was hardly a novice in the field of diplomacy. Second, he attempts to explain Nomura's behavior as ambassador in the context of Japanese bureaucratic politics, arguing that he accepted the position because he considered himself fi rst and foremost a representative of the Navy rather the Foreign Ministry, expecting that the admirals in the Navy Ministry would support last-ditch efforts
The Journal of Japanese Studies – Society for Japanese Studies
Published: Jul 14, 2012
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