Japan from the inside out

Ichigen koji (217)

Posted by ampontan on Friday, November 2, 2012

– A person who has something to say about everything

If (the South Koreans and the Chinese) wish to create an East Asian entity based on an equal partnership (such as the EU), they’ll have to reduce the level of their nationalism to that of Japan. As (political scientist and historian) Maruyama Masao once pointed out, Japan is the only country in Asia to have lost the virginity of its nationalism. The defeat in the war threw cold water all over it. But no cold water has been thrown on that of South Korea, North Korea, and China.

– Furuta Hiroshi

7 Responses to “Ichigen koji (217)”

  1. Tony said

    That may be true but that’s the price you sometimes end up paying when you end up losing the war.

    Fair? Hardly, but then life rarely is.
    War? You mean the war that ended before we were born? That Japan paid the price for long ago?

    Japan is now at the point at which they’ll be stamping “Return to Sender” on any bills that are presented for payment.

  2. Andrew in Ezo said

    I always wonder at the seeming preoccupation that many in the West have with explaining (modern) Japan based on WW2. If it’s something negative, it’s a remnant of pre-war tendencies, that are somewhat hard-wired into every Japanese. If it’s positive, it’s due to the enlightenment provided by the post-war occupying powers.

  3. PeterDownUnder said

    Japan’s lack of nationalism and Korea/China’s brimming nationalism both originate from post-WWII.

    Japan came to view itself as a victim of nationalism since WWII whilst Korea/China’s version of nationalism is reactionary to Japan’s nationalism pre-WWII.

    Having been left behind a legacy of Japanese superiority these countries rebounded with their own versions of Japanese fascist nationalism. Much of what you see in Korea/China mirror Japan post-Meiji.

    The concept of race and nationalism itself was a Japanese export to the rest of Asia, and post-colonialist thought in Korea/China remains sternly anti-Japanese for a reason.
    P: Thanks for the note.

    Prof. Fujita argues that the country in the region most resembling pre-war Japan is North Korea with juche. He thinks Chinese and South Korean nationalism is more an aspect of what Japanese historians call Sinocentric culturalism, which predates Japan’s Meiji period. He also says the Japanese were prone to the same ideas post Meiji, particularly in the early 20th century, when some looked down on China as inferior because the dynasties kept falling apart and they couldn’t prevent European colonization/domination.


  4. toadold said

    This makes me think about the “reparations” movement by certain Black ideologues in the US. They were/are seeking money from the federal government for the past crime of slavery. They’ve been having trouble cashing that in due to both the tiredness of the race card being played and immigrants who have become US citizens long after the US Civil war who feel they shouldn’t be paying tax money for something their ancestors had nothing to do with. There is also the casualty figures for the US Civil war which was in excess of a half a million.

  5. Tony said

    Yeah, the war ended over 70 years ago but S Korea and China are hanging on to it regardless. The fact that Japan lost only means that these two countries can continue to hammer Japan over the head with it.

    Again, it’s hardly fair but that’s the way it is
    First of all, this post has nothing to do with “fairness”. Don’t know where you got that.

    Second of all, the days that Japan sits still for the hammering are over. It may not manifest itself as overtly as the China/South Korea bashing now, but it will become more evident as time passes.

    And as time passes, more people outside the region are going to start to wonder what the Chinese/South Korean problem is, rather than what the Japanese problem is.


  6. Tony said

    Me thinks Japan will resist Korea more than China. We hope people outside question the fuss made by the two countries but I think so long as their flat screens are showing American Idol, Britain got Talent, and Eurovision, there will be little thinking about the troubles here at all.
    Or about any troubles anywhere, but discussion of anything above a certain level requires that the sleepwalkers be discounted.


  7. Tony said

    That’s a lot of discounting!

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