The repercussions of the 1931 'Manchurian Incident' threw Japan into crisis. The event has commanded a central place in writing on modern Japanese history ever since. This book re-evaluates the social and political notions of its place in the history of pre-war and wartime Japan. The book explores the reactions to the Manchurian crisis of different sections of the state and of a number of different groups in Japanese society, particularly rural groups, women's organizations and business associations. It thus seeks to avoid a generalized account of public relations to the military and diplomatic events of the early 1930s, offering instead a nuanced account of the shifts in public and popular opinion in this crucial period. This insightful study contributes to major international debates about imperialism, nationalism and the chain of events leading to world war, as well as to specific debates about the formation of Japanese militarism and nationalism. Of particular importance to historians of modern Japan, Modern China and World War Two, this work will also interest scholars in fields dealing with imperialism, militarism and the impact of the depression on world history.