BOOK REVIEW – Defensive Positions: The Politics of Maritime Security in Tokugawa Japan

By Noell Wilson, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA (2015) Review by John M. Jennings, PhD Conventional wisdom among historians had long held that throughout most of the Tokugawa Period (1603-1868), Japan pursued a policy of self-imposed isolation from the outside world. Japanese historians even coined a term, sakoku, or “closed country,” to describe this paradigm.