CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Tokutomi Soho
Translated and edited by Vinh Sinh

Edmonton, University of Alberta Press, 1989. 264pp, cloth, $24.95
ISBN 0-88864-1494. CIP

Reviewed by John Harkness.

Volume 18 Number 3
1990 May

The Future Japan, Shorai no Nihon in its original Japanese, was written in 1886 by Tokutomi Soho, a Japanese journalist, historian, critic and essayist, when he was a mere twenty-three years old. This volume not only contains the 172-page Soho "booklet" but also includes a lengthy and necessary introduction, 29 pages of end-notes, a 4-page index, and 12 pages of prefaces to various editions of the original booklet.

The introduction gives us a brief biography of Soho to 1890. It includes insights into the sources of The Future Japan, many of which were famous Western as well as Japanese authors. The structure of the original work - sixteen chapters divided into three sections - is dissected, and some other comments on its style and importance are to be found here.

The Future Japan was written some twenty years after the Meiji Restoration and is intended to be a blue-print for Japan's maintenance of her national livelihood.

Soho reads quite well in translation. Whether this book has much appeal outside special Far East study is open to question. Certainly, there will be little demand from the general public, but The Future Japan could serve as a primary source of some importance for the insights it affords into the development of Meiji thought.

John Harkness, Emery C.I., North York, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works