- From the Accession of the First Mikado to the Landing of the Portuguese
- The Reunification of Japan in the 16th century, Jesuit Propaganda, Hideyoshi’s Invasion of Core
- From the Death of Hideyoshi to the Closing of Japan to Europeans, Tokugawa Shogunate
- From the Closing to the Opening of Japan
- The Occidentalizing of Japan
- The Chino-Japanese War of 1894-5
- The Russo-Japanese War
- The Great War
- Physical Characteristics, Population, Sports
- Resources and Industrial Progress
- Trade and Internal Communications
- Army and Navy
- Literature and Art
Excerpt from Introduction:
My father died while this book was in an incomplete state, although the greater part of it was in type ; and it is owing to the kindness of several of his friends who have consented to put the work into final form that it has become possible to publish it.
In writing it his object was to describe, for English-speaking people, the main facts of Japanese history. Despite the efforts of numerous Orientalists to popularize knowledge of Japanese history and of Japanese political, economic, and social conditions, he felt that a great deal has yet to be done before the average British youth and adult will be as familiar with Japan as the average Japanese youth and adult are with Great Britain. As Viscount Chinda, the Japanese Ambassador to the Court of St. James, said in addressing the British present at a meeting of the Japan Society held in London on December 13, 1916, although there never had been a time when the ‘ bonds of fraternal feelings ‘ between the Japanese and the British had been so strong, ‘ you do not know one-tenth as much about us as we do about you ‘. Obviously, therefore, there is room for another — many another — book in English tracing the evolution of Japan, and pointing out the salient features of the Japanese civilization of to-day.
In the present work an endeavour is made to explain how it has come to pass that an Oriental people, isolated for several centuries from other races, and from a naval, military, and financial standpoint almost as impotent as Burmah or Siam, was able in the half-century from 1853 to 1903 to out-strip all other native Asiatic Powers and to bring into being naval and military forces capable, in 1904 and 1905, of defeating the whole of the Russian Fleet and a large section of the Russian Army. The first part traces the course of Japanese history from 660 b. c. down to the surrender of Kiao-Chau by the Germans to the Japanese and British in November 1914, while the second contains chapters on the physical characteristics and population, the resources and industrial progress, the trade and internal communications, the development of the Army and Navy, and the literature and art of Japan.
– August, 1917. Russell H. Porter.