Giving Up the Gun

By Noel Perrin,

Book cover of Giving Up the Gun

Book description

This is a significant story, and Perrin tells it marvelously well, with rich detail, captivating quotations from observers of the time, both Japanese and Western, and a wealth of revealing comparisons with contemporary technology, warfare, and life in Europe. This little book is both thought-provoking and a delight to read.…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Giving Up the Gun as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This very short book came out in 1979, and it had quite an impact on me. It showed how writing about Japanese history and culture could not only be entertaining and fascinating, but extremely useful. The book focuses on how guns were imported into Japan in 1543 and spread widely, but were then largely abandoned. At a time during the Cold War, when nuclear weapons seemed to be proliferating endlessly, it also hinted at a different future, where what seemed so inevitable, might not be so.  

From Frederik's list on inspiration to write about Japan.

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