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.
Super Mario and Postwar Japan
With its defeat in World War II, Japan became a hollow shell of its former imperial self, with a bleak outlook. Yet its incorporation into the American-led postwar order in Asia helped to facilitate an astonishing transformation into an economic juggernaut at the forefront of technological innovation. Jacobs explores how this transformation came about by highlighting the evolution of the global video games industry, along with the unexpected role of Nintendo, one of Japan’s most famous companies.
Additional Sessions of Japanese Empire Series