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Join me as I host Mr. Joseph Essertier, an American who has lived and breathed Japan for most of his adult life. Growing up in Southern California, he got his degree in Japanese literature at UCLA and has since advanced to his doctoral candidacy, while living and working in Japan for over 20 years. Since 2000, he has been an associate professor at the Nagoya Institute of Technology.

Joseph has written for the Asia-Pacific Journal, New Directions, Counterpunch, ZNet and World Beyond War, the last group for which he is the Japan Coordinator.

With someone this knowledgeable and experienced about Japan, you too will become an expert on this fascinating and historically important country, after just one hour listening to me ask Joseph questions. As promised, please find below all the books and websites we talked about.

The Articles, Books, and Links Mentioned by Joseph Essertier during the Interview and a Few Others that are Directly Related

John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

 George Orwell, 1984

 Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States

Noam Chomsky

On the Great Tempo Period Famine, see

On connection between the situation in Korea today and the Open Door Policy (“gunboat diplomacy”):

Fukoku kyōhei (富国強兵, “Enrich the state, strengthen the military”)

On the Ainu people:

Okakura Kakuzo, The Ideals of the East (1903)

Peipei Qiu, Chinese Comfort Women

Caroline Norma, The Japanese Comfort Women and Sexual Slavery during the China and Pacific Wars

(This book is also available at Rakuten Kobo, if a cheaper electronic copy of the book is fine with the reader).

Katharine Moon, “Military Prostitution and the US Military in Asia”

(This is the Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, the best source of analysis of Japanese war history, the “comfort women” issue, the suffering of people colonized by the Empire of Japan, etc.)

Herbert Bix, “The Making of Modern Japan”:

Daily news sources:

North Korea News:

Japan Times:

Asia Pacific Journal/Japan Focus:

Okinawa Times:

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Jeff Brown

Jeff grew up in the heartland of the United States, Oklahoma, much of it on a family farm, and graduated from Oklahoma State University. He went to Brazil while in graduate school at Purdue University, to seek his fortune, which whet his appetite for traveling the globe. This helped inspire him to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia in 1980 and he lived and worked in Africa, the Middle East, China and Europe for the next 21 years. All the while, he mastered Portuguese, Arabic, French and Mandarin, while traveling to over 85 countries. He then returned to America for nine years, whereupon he moved back to China in 2010. He lives in China with his wife, where he teaches passionately in an international school. Jeff is a dual national French-American.