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Contradictory Impulses

Canada and Japan in the Twentieth Century

edited by Greg Donaghy & Patricia E. Roy

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2009
Japan, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2009
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    Publish Date
    Apr 2008
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    Publish Date
    Jan 2009
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Patricia E. Roy is the winner of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award, Canadian Historical Association.

Canada’s early participation in the Asia-Pacific region was hindered by “contradictory impulses” shaping its approach. For over half a century, racist restrictions curtailed immigration from Japan, even as Canadians manoeuvred for access to the fabled wealth of the Orient. Canada’s relations with Japan have changed profoundly since then. In Contradictory Impulses, leading scholars draw upon the most recent archival research to examine an important bilateral relationship that has matured in fits and starts over the past century. As they makes clear, the two countries’ political, economic, and diplomatic interests are now more closely aligned than ever before and wrapped up in a web of reinforcing cultural and social ties.

Contradictory Impulses is a comprehensive study of the social, political, and economic interactions between Canada and Japan from the late nineteenth century until today.


About the authors

Greg Donaghy is Head of the Historical Section at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and General Editor of its series, Documents on Canadian External Relations. His publications include Tolerant Allies: Canada and the United States, 1963-68, and the edited collection (with Patricia Roy) Contradictory Impulses: Canada and Japan in the 20th Century.

Greg Donaghy's profile page

Patricia E. Roy's profile page


  • Winner, Patricia E. Roy is the recipient of the Canadian Historical Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013.

Editorial Reviews

Contradictory Impulses with its wide range of essays and comprehensive suggestions for further reading, is an important contribution to the literature on Canada and the Pacific in the twentieth century. The book is a welcome contribution to a field still dominated by scholarly interests in Canada and the Anglo-American world and where Canada's connections with Asia and the Pacific are too often ignored or mentioned only in passing.


Librarian Reviews

Contradictory Impulses: Canada and Japan in the Twentieth Century

This book comprises fourteen papers delivered to honour the 75th anniversary of CanadianJapanese diplomatic relations. The volume presents the position that while Canada has long had a worldview that includes Asia, the Pacific and Japan, this has had both positive and negative manifestations. Racist restrictions and relocation of Japanese-Canadian citizens during WWII to close economic ties post-WWII and a burgeoning trade investment and diplomatic relationship through the 1990s, the papers chart the vicissitudes of Canadian-Japanese relations. The book also documents Japanese immigration and the Suian Maruaffair, and perceptions of Japan’s military threat to Canada.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2008-2009.

Other titles by Greg Donaghy

People, Politics, and Purpose

Biography and Canadian Political History

edited by Greg Donaghy & P. Whitney Lackenbauer

Breaking Barriers, Shaping Worlds

Canadian Women and the Search for Global Order

edited by Jill Campbell-Miller, Greg Donaghy & Stacey Barker

A Samaritan State Revisited

Historical Perspectives on Canadian Foreign Aid

contributions by Greg Donaghy, David Webster, David Black, Stephen Brown, Kevin Brushett, Jill Campbell-Miller, Ted Cogan, Sonya de Laat, Laura MacDonald, Dominique Marshall, Asa McKercher, Nassisse Solomon, Stefano Tijerina & Ryan Touhey

Canada's Department of External Affairs, Volume 3

Innovation and Adaptation, 1968-1984

by (author) John Hilliker, Mary Halloran & Greg Donaghy

From Kinshasa to Kandahar

Canada and Fragile States in Historical Perspective

edited by Michael K. Carroll & Greg Donaghy
contributions by Stephanie M. Bangarth, Duane Bratt, Darren Brunk, Hevina S. Dashwood, Jean Daudelin, Tom Keating, Stephen Saideman, Julian Schofield, Kevin Spooner, Andrew Thompson & David Webster


The Life and Politics of Paul Martin Sr.

by (author) Greg Donaghy

In the National Interest

Canadian Foreign Policy and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, 1909-2009

edited by Greg Donaghy
contributions by Michael K. Carroll, Norman Hillmer, Galen Roger Perras, Heather Metcalfe, J.L. Granatstein, Adam Chapnick, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Peter Kikkert, Robin S. Gendron, Michael Hart, Tammy Nemeth, Nelson Michaud, Stephen J. Randall & Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon

Architects and Innovators/Architectes et Innovateurs

Building the Department of Foreign and International Trade, 1909-2009/le développement du ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Commerce international, 1909-2009

by (author) Greg Donaghy & Kim Richard Nossal

Escott Reid

Diplomat and Scholar

by (author) Greg Donaghy & Stéphane Roussel

Tolerant Allies

Canada and the United States, 1963-1968

by (author) Greg Donaghy

Other titles by Patricia E. Roy