Historians frequently describe the Russo-Japanese War as a time when Japan achieved great power status, won world acclaim, and fulfilled the Meiji dream. It was a landmark in modern world history: everywhere leaders of sujected peoples were inspired to believe that they too could import Western science and industry, rid themselves of white control, preserve their national character, and themselves oversee the process of industrialization. Jawaharlal Nehru, for example, records in his autobiography that the Japanese victories were a memorable event in his early life, describing them as “a great pick-me-up for Asia” which kindled his nationalism and his determination to “fight for India.” Eager to learn more of the Japanese experience, “I invested in a large number of books on Japan and tried to read some of them.” But he confesses ruefully (perhaps recalling an account of Bakumatsu politics?) “I felt rather lost in Japanese history.”!

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