Soldiers of the Sun - reviews

'Meirion and Susie Harries have followed up their book Sheathing the Sword...by another well-researched and readable account of the history of the Imperial Japanese Army. The two ...are indispensable reading for anyone interested in the history of modern Japan.'

Sir Hugh Cortazzi, Japan Society Proceedings

 

'Soldiers of the Sun offers the most readable introduction to the special qualities of the Imperial Japanese Army and to the sources of its especially appalling history'

New York Times Book Review

 

'This book ought to be read as a necessary prelude to the ill-informed and uncultured debate that rages in the United States. The lessons of history, and of what happens when a thwarted nationalism feels itself encircled, are there to be learned.'

Christopher Hitchens, New York Newsday

 

'Very readable...at times acutely disturbing, it moves at a fast, vigorous pace, packed with details...An enthralling, sombre story.'

George Bull,  The Tablet

 

'Awareness and understanding...is one of the many distinctions of Meirion and Susie Harries's fascinating and magisterial Soldiers of the Sun...Not many armies have risen to such breathtaking heights of strategic and personal daring or sunk to such depths of dehumanised cruelty, and Soldiers of the Sun treats both aspects with admirable courage and sensitivity...The authors convey substantial amounts of military detail in an accessible way, illustrating their points with careful and often drolly observed detail, from the condescending views of Victorian military observers witnessing the emergence of 'little Japan' as a modern power, to the last letters of a Japanese infantryman dying of hunger and disease in the jungles of the South Pacific...Certainly the Japanese need to examine their past without squeamishness or pique, but it would hardly hurt their former enemies to look at Japanese militarism behind the distortions of wartime propaganda. This book is an important step in that direction.'

Colin Donald, The Scotsman