© 1999

The Russo-Japanese War in Cultural Perspective, 1904–05

  • David Wells
  • Sandra Wilson

Table of contents

About this book


The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 has been widely seen as a historical turning-point. For the first time in modern history an Asian and a European country competed on equal terms, overturning the prevailing balance of power. Based on a wide range of original source material in Russian, Japanese and other languages, this book goes beyond the military and international political grand narratives to examine the war's social, cultural, literary and intellectual impact in their historical context. In Japan the war reinforced the country's self-image as a 'coming' nation, while in Russia, combined with the revolution of 1905 and later political and social upheaval, it was seen as separating the old régime from the new. Throughout the world, 'spirit' was seen to be a decisive factor, and cultural considerations determined the war's interpretation. Featuring contributions by established scholars in the fields of military history and the history and literature of both Russia and Japan, this book offers for the first time a comparative perspective on the symbolic meaning of the conflict.


bibliography Europe history Japan nation revolution Russia

Editors and affiliations

  • David Wells
    • 1
  • Sandra Wilson
    • 2
  1. 1.Curtin University of TechnologyWestern Australia
  2. 2.Murdoch UniversityWestern Australia

About the editors

TOMOKO AOYAMA Lecturer in Japanese, University of Queensland ADRIAN JONES Senior Lecturer in History, La Trobe University S.P. MACKENZIE Associate Professor in History, University of South Carolina RAJYASHREE PANDEY Senior Lecturer in Japanese, La Trobe University

Bibliographic information


"[the book is] quite relevant to our contemporary issues despite its concern with the war of almost a century ago." - Journal of Asian Studies

"This book now fills the gap by gathering specialists of both Russia and Japan...succeeds in showing that the Russo-Japanese war left a deep impact on the historical memory of Russians and Japanese alike." - Russian Review