A STUDY OF CONCEPTS OF THE NATION IN POST-WAR JAPAN
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This is a case study of the foundations of nationalism, a major force in contemporary world politics, with special emphasis on the altitudinal aspects of the nation. It analyzes the nature of various concepts of the nation, investigates socio-economic conditions that formed and sustained such concepts, and examines some of the characteristic factors in postwar Japanese nation hood Japan?s defeat in the Second World War marked the collapse of ethnocentric ultra-nationalism. The theory of ??peaceful?? and ??democratic?? patriotism during the Occupation was manifested in the popular support for the total negation of the hitherto deified prewar nationalism. As Japan resumed her independence, however, the idealistic nationhood formed under the Occupation faced the hard realities of the domestic and the international political situation and gradually lost its initial appeal Instead, efforts by the government and the conservatives, especially through school education, became the primary issue of the late 1950's.The conservative majority, as distinguished from the rightist and traditionalist group of conservatives, does not necessarily advocate prewar-type nationalism, but neither has it been successful in presenting a new national vision. High economic growth under the Ikeda Government has contributed greatly to the restoration of confidence among the Japanese people and has produced a kind of economic nationalism which is still the basis of Japanese nationalism. The present Sato policy of stressing the need for a willingness on the part of the people to support national defense is the first indication since the war that the government advocates national self-defense as the key to nationalism. This, paradoxically, has widened the gap between the ??conservatives?? and the ??progressives?? concerning a desirable Japanese nationhood.
UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
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