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Number 1 Shimbun

From the archives - Herbert Bix - Meticulous Historian

03

Herbert P. Bix, professor at Hitotsubashi University, looking at questioner Bob Neff (Business Week) at a Club professional luncheon on August 30, 2000. Bix had recently published his meticulously researched book, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, in a forthright presentation of historical detail and insights that was to bring him the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award. Seated to his left are FCCJ President Jim Treece, Board-member Bradley Martin, and Secretary Pat Killen. The man to his right is 1st VP Firdous Khergamvala.

 

By CHARLES POMEROY

 

Born in Boston in 1938 and a 1956 graduate of Winthrop High School, Herbert P. Bix attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst before serving aboard Japan-based ships while a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve. He then attended Harvard University, where he received a Ph.D. in history and Far Eastern languages. Prior to publishing Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan in 2000, which was translated into Japanese and Chinese, he had published in 1986 his insightful Peasant Protest in Japan, 1590-1884 that also was acclaimed for its historical detail.

Bix also earned a reputation as an astute observer of wars and empires, writing insightful commentaries in scholarly journals and the media of both the U.S. and Japan. These include some 20 articles in The Asia-Pacific Journal/Japan Focus between 2003 and 2015. As well, he was a founding member of the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars, founded in 1968 both to oppose the Vietnam war and to expand knowledge and understanding of Asian societies.

Bix has taught at a number of universities, including Hosei University and Hitotsubashi University in Japan. He is now Professor Emeritus in History and Sociology at Binghamton University in New York.


CHARLES POMEROY
is editor of Foreign Correspondents in Japan, a history of the club that is available at the front desk.

Published in: July 2020

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