This article is divided into three parts. As the emergence of Islam was no doubt the first and most important turning point in Arab history, we divide it, in keeping with the Islamic historiographic tradition, into two main periods: one pre-Islamic and the other Islamic. The latter is further divided into two periods in the following parts.
Although general Islamic and Middle Eastern studies in Japan started as early as the late nineteenth century, the tradition was interrupted by the government's national mobilization policy during World War II. The specialized study of modern Arab history had to make a restart after the war with new researchers without any academic inheritance (Miyaji 1999; Miura 2002; Sato 2002). The foundation of the current study was laid down during the period of high economic growth in the late 1960's and 70's, which was enabled by the stable oil supply from the Persian Gulf countries. In addition, the research and study have been stimulated by wars and crises in the Middle East, among which the most conspicuous are the Fourth Middle East War in 1973, the Gulf War in 1991, and perhaps the war in Afghanistan in 2001 and 02. This article focuses on the development of modern Arab history in post-World War II Japan and describes the process by dividing the researchers into three generation groups.