Though it lasted for only 50 years, the Japanese empire forever changed the geopolitical balance in Asia and left a complex legacy that endures to this day. Historian Justin M. Jacobs takes you on a thematic tour of five fascinating topics in the history of the Japanese empire: politics, tourism, baseball, zoos, and video games. He provides a nuanced overview based on the latest scholarship and shares copious slides.
Jacobs, a professor of history at American University, is the author of several books, including The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures.
The Tokyo Zoo
Jacobs examines the history of the Imperial Ueno Zoo in Tokyo as it expanded to accommodate the priorities of the burgeoning Japanese empire and overtly politicized the public identities of the animals in its charge. He describes the tragic fate of the zoo’s most popular animals during World War II and the zoo’s reinvention in the postwar world.
Additional Sessions of Japanese Empire Series