Home Podcasts Japan Station A History of Modern Japan (Dr. Christopher Harding) | Japan Station 42?

A History of Modern Japan (Dr. Christopher Harding) | Japan Station 42?

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On This Episode of Japan Station

On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we explore the history of modern Japan with Dr. Christopher Harding.

About Dr. Christopher Harding

Dr. Christopher Harding is a cultural historian of Japan and India, journalist, and a senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. His latest book, published by Tuttle Publishing, was released in June of 2020 and is titled A History of Modern Japan: In Search of a Nation: 1850 to the Present. Dr. Harding is currently working on his next book, The Japanese: A History in Twenty Lives, which is slated to be published in November of 2020 by Penguin Random House.

Topics Discussed

  • What “picture brides” are
  • The experiences of picture brides in Hawaii
  • The rabbit craze of 1973 that Japan experienced
  • The popularity of things from the West during the Meiji period
  • The introduction of beef to Japan
  • Meiji era ideas about marrying Westerners
  • Censorship in Japanese movies following World War II
  • The pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi
  • The challenges of writing a book that covers such an extensive period of Japanese history
  • The shifting significance of the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
  • Books that Christopher Harding is currently working on
  • And much more!

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Links, Videos, Etc.

A History of Modern Japan: In Search of a Nation: 1850 to the Present can be purchased using the Amazon affiliate link below.

You can find more information on Christopher Harding and his work on his website.

You can also follow Christopher Harding on Twitter.

Here is a video of pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi performing in 1958.

If you’re interested in checking out some of the work that Christopher Harding has done for BBC Radio, then go to the pages linked below. The first link is for the story that was mentioned in the outro of this episode of Japan Station. It focuses on the prevalence of ghost stories after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. The second link is for a story focusing on the misconceptions that many in the West have about Japan. Both are excellent and totally worth a listen.

To learn more about the Hawaii Okinawa Center and the bronze statue of Kyuzo Toyama mentioned during this episode, visit the page linked below.

Episode 41 of Japan Station featuring the rakugo performer Shinoharu Tatekawa can be accessed via the link below.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi)
To listen to more of Yunomi’s music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Featured image: Courtesy of Penguin Random House. Photo by Mark Allan.

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Full Show Notes


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