This is an important document in the history of Japanese-American relations.
In 2002, President Bush spoke of the great Japanese scholar and statesman Inazo Nitobe, who envisioned a future of friendship between the two nations.
This book is one of the means by which Nitobe sought to bridge the Pacific.
Writing before World War I, he presents a detailed account of Japan and the Japanese in terms easily understandable to western readers, emphasising points of similarity rather than difference, often citing the work of western historians and philosophers in order to explain Japanese practices, always searching for common aims and goals.
He deals with the effect of the past on the present, national characteristics, religious beliefs, morals and moral ideals, education, economic conditions, Japan as coloniser, relations between the United States and Japan, and AmericaaEURO (TM)s influence in the Far East, concluding with the hope that wherever else war may break out, lasting peace would reign over the Pacific.
In this he was disappointed, but the fact that Nitobe is cited today as the architect of Japanese-American friendship makes this volume essential reading for the historian.