Modern Asian Studies


Japanese Aggression and the Emperor, 1931–1941, from Contemporary Diaries

Charles D. Sheldona1

a1 University of Cambridge

In 1971, David Bergamini, a journalist, published a very large book, Japan's Imperial Conspiracy, which sought to prove that the Emperor was virtually the sole cause and instigator of Japanese aggression in the 1930s and 1940s. Bergamini even believes the Emperor planned, among other skullduggeries, several political assassinations. The book is a polemic which, to our knowledge, contradicts all previous scholarly work, whether in English or in Japanese. It also contradicts the facts upon which this previous scholarship rested. Specialists on Japan have unanimously demolished Bergamini's thesis and his pretensions to careful scholarship.