Japan & WWII

Can someone please recommend a good book covering Japan's involvement in WWII? I'd like something that covers their reasons for going to war, the main parts of the war (Pearl Harbour, Nanking, Hiroshima) and also what happened once the war ended.

I saw a new book named Nemesis but it says 1944-1945 so not sure it covers everything.

Preferably nothing too heavy. Although a nice big book would be OK if it included lots of pictures.

Many thanks.

"OK if it included lots of pictures"

Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa

This is NOT a history text book, but it's not JUST a
comic book, either. It's the kind of chronicle
that's absolutely critical for a complete
understanding of a very pivotal moment in twentieth
century history. So many texts are so far removed
from the personal experience of war that they are
almost irrelevant, and so many novels and memoirs
are so contrived or just fucking banal that they
produce impatient boredom at best or total fucking
apathy at worst.

Someone else can recommend a good history text. But
after you're through reading that, balance panorama
with portrait and crack open Gen. Unless you're
totally uninterested in the human condition (or don't
want to be seen reading a "comic book"), I can
promise you won't be dissappointed.

artvanderlei, thank you very much for the reply.

i will definately look into it.

i was just thinking anything approaching 1,000 pages had better have photos filling some of the pages otherwise it would be a long old slog.

i hadn't really had a comic book in mind but that does interest me, it is certainly not expected. good idea about combining the two, i will give amazon a browse now.

There was one history of WWII that basically covered both the European and Asian theaters written by some English historian - I can't remember his name but it's basically this long Italian name starting with a "C". My only complaint about the book was it's rather anti-US bias and the rather rosy view it took of the relationships between the Indians and English in Colonial India. However, it does give a pretty good summary of what was going on in Asia leading up to the Japanese invasion of China.

I think it would be amusing to find a book comparing the truth to what is taught at schools in Japan. They are notorious for writing their own history, despite losing the war.

Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army

Thank you Timbo.

I'm gonna read 'Rape of Nan King' then checkout the above suggestion.

How many volumes of Barefoot Gen?

"How many volumes of Barefoot Gen?"

Volumes 1 and 2 are musts. Only four are available
right now in English (that I'm aware of), and they're
all pretty engrossing reads that you'll probably tear
right through. So I say start at the beginning, and
just read until you've had your fill.