A History of Nationalism in Modern Japan: Placing the by Kevin M. Doak

By Kevin M. Doak

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

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Least of all must it be interpreted by the brutal and childish doctrine of racialism. Its essence is a sentiment; and in the last resort we can only say that a nation is a nation because its members passionately and unanimously believe it to be so. . 25 Like Hobson, Muir ultimately arrived at a pragmatic conclusion about the inability to define a nation. This reply was of course a rejection of Stalin and Bauer’s efforts to lay out a final theoretical formula for national identity. But in contrast to Hobson (and Stalin and Bauer), Muir added the heady idea that nationality can be nursed into existence even in places where it had never existed before or when 25 Ramsay Muir, Nationalism and Internationalism (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1917): 51, 54.

Thus, from the outset, he lumped minzoku nationalism together with patriotism and other expressions of nationalism, and referred to the topic not as minzokushugi, kokkashugi or kokuminshugi, but through the English 48 On these early postwar Marxist ethnic nationalists, see Curtis Andeson Gayle, Marxist History and Postwar Japanese Nationalism (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003) and my own article, “What is a Nation and Who Belongs: National Narratives and the Ethnic Imagination in Twentieth-Century Japan,” The American Historical Review, vol.

Separate historical developments may provide for separate ideological claims made in the name of each. To differentiate nation and state (and sometimes different articulations of the nation) is a key step to a critical, scholarly evaluation of nationalism. It is characteristic of nationalism itself to conflate state and nation (and in some forms, to conflate all articulations of national and ethnic identity), and to suggest that the nation must be the primary identity in all aspects of one’s life.

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