Casualties of History: Wounded Japanese Servicemen and the Second World War by Lee K. PenningtonCasualties of History: Wounded Japanese Servicemen and the Second World War by Lee K. Pennington

Casualties of History: Wounded Japanese Servicemen and the Second World War

byLee K. Pennington

Hardcover | April 7, 2015

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Thousands of wounded servicemen returned to Japan following the escalation of Japanese military aggression in China in July 1937. Tens of thousands would return home after Japan widened its war effort in 1939. In Casualties of History, Lee K. Pennington relates for the first time in English the experiences of Japanese wounded soldiers and disabled veterans of Japan's "long" Second World War (from 1937 to 1945). He maps the terrain of Japanese military medicine and social welfare practices and establishes the similarities and differences that existed between Japanese and Western physical, occupational, and spiritual rehabilitation programs for war-wounded servicemen, notably amputees. To exemplify the experience of these wounded soldiers, Pennington draws on the memoir of a Japanese soldier who describes in gripping detail his medical evacuation from a casualty clearing station on the front lines and his medical convalescence at a military hospital.

Moving from the hospital to the home front, Pennington documents the prominent roles adopted by disabled veterans in mobilization campaigns designed to rally popular support for the war effort. Following Japan’s defeat in August 1945, U.S. Occupation forces dismantled the social welfare services designed specifically for disabled military personnel, which brought profound consequences for veterans and their dependents. Using a wide array of written and visual historical sources, Pennington tells a tale that until now has been neglected by English-language scholarship on Japanese society. He gives us a uniquely Japanese version of the all-too-familiar story of soldiers who return home to find their lives (and bodies) remade by combat.

Lee K. Pennington is Associate Professor of History at the United States Naval Academy.
Title:Casualties of History: Wounded Japanese Servicemen and the Second World WarFormat:HardcoverDimensions:9.25 × 6.13 × 0.39 inPublished:April 7, 2015Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801452570

ISBN - 13:9780801452574

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Table of Contents


1. Fundamentals of Military Support in Prewar Japan

2. Medical Treatment across the Sea

3. Comprehensive Care behind the Guns

4. Protecting Disabled Veterans during Wartime

5. "White-Robed Heroes" in Wartime Mass Culture

6. Occupational Rehabilitation


Editorial Reviews

"Based on a deep immersion in Japanese-language sources and an impressive familiarity with Japanese culture, Lee K. Pennington's book about wounded soldiers and disabled veterans succeeds in bridging the analytical gap between the perspectives of disability studies and the new military history, and brings to life the sufferings of these neglected men and uses to which their sacrifices were put by the Japanese state. It evokes especially convincingly the problems that massive civilian casualties and military defeat caused in making sense of their service."—David A. Gerber, University at Buffalo (SUNY), editor of Disabled Veterans in History