John W. Dower

John W. Dower is a historian and professor whose non-fiction books are about Japan during and after World War II. He is interested in the ways images effect the way people perceive themselves and other cultures, drawing specifically on Japan and the United States. Visualizer of Cultures.

 

"It was not that the Japanese people were, in actuality, homogeneous and harmonious, devoid of individuality and thoroughly subordinated to the group, but rather that the Japanese ruling groups were constantly exhorting them to become so. Indeed, the government deemed it necessary to draft and propagate a rigid orthodoxy of this sort precisely because the ruling classes were convinced that a great many Japanese did not cherish the more traditional virtues of loyalty and filial piety under the emperor, but instead remained attracted to more democratic values and ideals. At several points, The Way of the Subject said this directly. In other words, what the vast majority of Westerners believed the Japanese to be coincided with what the Japanese ruling elites hoped they would become."

- John W. Dower, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War