Herbert P. Bix

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Herbert P. Bix (born 1938)[1] is an American historian. He wrote Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, an acclaimed account of the Japanese Emperor and the events which shaped modern Japanese imperialism, which won the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction in 2001. However, another historian, George Akita of the University of Hawaii, describes it as a work of novelist rather than a historian, with liberal use of “voiceless order technique” where Bix liberally puts his imaginings and assumptions into others’ heads where evidence does not exist. [1] Akita also accuse Bix of ideological bias for being a disciple of E. Herbert Norman, and was a member of the Committee of Concerned Scholars who praised Mao's revolution.[2] But Kenneth J. Ruoff, Director of the Center for Japanese Studies at Portland State University, disagreed with Akita's assessment, stating in The People's Emperor: Democracy and the Japanese Monarchy, 1945-1995 that "thanks to Bix" much of the "growing evidence" of Hirohito's "considerable role" in the "policymaking process" that led to the war "is now available to the English-language reader."[2]

Bix was born in Boston and attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst.[1] He earned the Ph.D. in history and Far Eastern languages from Harvard University. He was a founding member of the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars. For several decades, he has written about modern and contemporary Japanese history in the United States and Japan.

He has taught at many universities, including Hosei University in Japan as of 1986[3] and 1990[4] and Hitotsubashi University as of 2001.[1] As of 2013 he is Professor Emeritus in History and Sociology at Binghamton University.[5]

Selected works[edit]

  • Peasant Protest in Japan, 1590–1884. New Haven Conn.: Yale University Press, 1986.
  • "Hiroshima in History and Memory: A Symposium, Japan's Delayed Surrender: A Reinterpretation." Diplomatic History 19, no. 2 (1995): pp. 197–225.


  1. ^ a b c "The 2001 Pulitzer Prize Winners: General Nonfiction". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-10-25.
  2. ^ The People's Emperor: Democracy and the Japanese Monarchy, 1945-1995, 2001, p. 127.
  3. ^ http://d-nb.info/gnd/1709379744[dead link]
  4. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=kO0tUpCViA8C&dq=herbert+bix+hosei+university&source=gbs_navlinks_s
  5. ^ Herbert P. Bix: Professor (Joint with Sociology)". Department of History. Binghamton University. Retrieved 2013-10-25.

External links[edit]