Introduction: Framing Japan’s Historiography into the Transnational Approach

Pedro Iacobelli, Danton Leary, Shinnosuke Takahashi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Rarely are national histories seamlessly insulated within national borders. For example, no event in recent Japanese history illustrates this more shockingly than the triple disaster on March 11, 2011. The disaster that devastated large areas of northeast Japan and left thousands dead or missing was a tragic and poignant reminder of the interconnectedness of Japan with the wider world community. The earthquake, the tsunami it caused, and the subsequent nuclear emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant were truly global events—geologically, humanitarianly, economically, and politically. Fear of nuclear fallout, like seismic waves, respects no national borders. Neither does the generosity of the human spirit. The disaster elicited a transnational outpouring of humanitarian support from governments and individuals across the globe. It also reignited the smoldering debate on the potential dangers of nuclear energy.1 The triple disaster highlighted in a most tragic fashion that national histories can rarely remain confined to the national unit; they transcend political and geographical borders and entwine with regional and global ones. Similarly, transnational influences penetrate national histories leaving indelible legacies. This volume explores the transnational history of Japan by looking at that history through the prisms of empire, migration, and social movements.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPalgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NamePalgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series
ISSN (Print)2634-6273
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6281

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Pedro Iacobelli, Danton Leary, and Shinnosuke Takahashi.


  • American History
  • International History
  • Japanese History
  • National History
  • Social Movement


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