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Retired Professor Roger Jeans Publishes Book on WWII-Era Japanese Diplomat

Roger B. Jeans, the Elizabeth Lewis Otey Professor of History Emeritus at Washington and Lee University, has published “Terasaki Hidenari, Pearl Harbor, and Occupied Japan: A Bridge to Reality.” The book was released in July.

Jeans tells the story of Terasaki Hidenari, a Japanese diplomat at the time of World War II. Terasaki was a Foreign Ministry intelligence officer, propaganda chief and liaison with American isolationists and pacifists in 1941, but he also tried to protect Hirohito after the war.

Akira Iriye, the Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard University, says that Jeans’ book “offers a thoroughly researched and carefully crafted biography of a now almost forgotten Japanese diplomat who played important roles in U.S.-Japanese relations both immediately before and immediately after the war…he was committed to maintaining a peaceful relationship between the two countries.”

Other books Jeans published were “Roads Not Taken: The Struggle of Opposition Parties in Twentieth-Century China” (edited with an essay and introduction); “Democracy and Socialism in Republican China: The Politics of Zhang Junmai (Carsun Chang), 1906-1941;” and was co-editor of “Good-Bye to Old Peking: The Wartime Letters of U.S. Marine Captain John Seymour Letcher, 1937-1939.”

Jeans taught at Washington and Lee from 1974 until his retirement in 2006, teaching Chinese and Japanese history. He also was active in the East Asian Studies Program.