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New PDF release: A History of Nationalism in Modern Japan: Placing the

By Kevin M. Doak

This magisterial heritage of eastern nationalism finds nationalism to be a contested and pluralistic perform that seeks to heart the folk in political lifestyles. It provides a wealth of basic resource fabric on how eastern themselves have understood their nationwide identification.

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Additional info for A History of Nationalism in Modern Japan: Placing the People (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 5 Japan)

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The term “racial” for minzoku is the translator Mikiso Hane’s. But in light of the theoretical discussion in the Japanese discourse on nationalism, outlined above, it should be clear that Maruyama would not have equated minzoku with “race,” but with ethnicity or nationality. ” Maruyama Masao, “Kindai nihon shis to bungaku,” reprinted in Nihon no shis (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2000, reprint of 1961), 105-6. 48 He articulated most powerfully the reasons for the attraction of ethnic nationalism among early postwar Marxists, in spite of the role ethnic nationalism had played in justifying the war only a few years earlier.

Contemporary Japanese Theories on Nationalism Without a doubt, the most important political theorist of postwar Japan was Maruyama Masao. The influence and scope of Maruyama’s thinking on political issues was so vast that it is nearly impossible to overestimate and certainly impossible to do justice to it in this short a space. 42 Here, I will only focus on the core contribution of Maruyama to nationalism theory: his approach to the perennial question of what a nation truly is, and how he saw the overall dynamics of nationalism in Japanese history.

In reality, a new social imagination began to take hold among samurai and merchant scholars nearly a hundred years before the Meiji Restoration, and it laid the foundations for subsequent broader notions of the people as the legitimate agents in a national body politic. Scholars of nativism (kokugaku) played an important role in undermining the dominant Confucian symbolic order, following Motoori Norinaga’s distinction in his “Commentaries on the Kojiki” (1764) between “the august land of the emperor”(mikuni) and “the (foreign) land of China” (karakuni).

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