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Japan's Holy War The Ideology of Radical Shinto Ultranationalism

ISBN-10: 0822344238
ISBN-13: 9780822344230
Edition: 2009
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Description: Japan's Holy Warreveals how a radical religious ideology drove the Japanese to imperial expansion and global war. Bringing to light a wealth of new research, Walter A. Skya demonstrates that whatever other motives the Japanese had for waging war in  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 4/3/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 400
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.474
Language: English

Japan's Holy Warreveals how a radical religious ideology drove the Japanese to imperial expansion and global war. Bringing to light a wealth of new research, Walter A. Skya demonstrates that whatever other motives the Japanese had for waging war in the Pacific, for many the war was the fulfillment of a religious mandate. In the early twentieth century, a fervent nationalism developed within State Shinto. This ultranationalism gained widespread military and public support and led to rampant terrorism; between 1921 and 1935 three serving and three former prime ministers were assassinated. Shinto ultranationalist societies fomented a discourse calling for the abolition of parliamentary government and unlimited Japanese expansion. Skya documents a transformation in the ideology of State Shinto in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth. He shows that within the religion, support for the German-inspired theory of constitutional monarchy that had underpinned the Meiji Constitution gave way to a theory of absolute monarchy advocated by the constitutional scholar Hozumi Yatsuka in the late 1890s. That, in turn, was superseded by a totalitarian ideology centered on the emperor: an ideology advanced by the political theorists Uesugi Shinkichi and Kakehi Katsuhiko in the 1910s and 1920s. Examining the connections between various forms of Shinto nationalism and the state, Skya demonstrates that where the Meiji oligarchs had constructed a quasi-religious, quasi-secular state, Hozumi Yatsuka desired a traditional theocratic state. Uesugi Shinkichi and Kakehi Katsuhiko went further, encouraging radical, militant forms of extreme religious nationalism. Skya suggests that the creeping democracy and secularization of Japan's political order in the early twentieth century were the principal causes of the terrorism of the 1930s, which ultimately led to a holy war against Western civilization.

Rey Chow is the author, most recently, of Ethics After Idealism: Theory-Culture-Ethnicity-Reading.

Harry Harootunian is professor of history and director of East Asian Studies at New York University. He is author of Toward Restorationand Things Seen and Unseen. He lives in New York City.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Emperor Ideology and the Debate over State and Sovereignty in the Late Meiji Period
From Constitutional Monarchy to Absolutist Theory
Hozumi Yatsuka: The Religious V&oumlet;lkisch Family-State
Minobe Tatsukichi: The Secularization of Politics
Kita Ikki: A Social-Democratic Critique of Absolute Monarchy
Emperor Ideology and the Debate over State and Sovereignty in the Taish&obar; Period
The Rise of Mass Nationalism
Uesugi Shinkichi: The Emperor and the Masses
Kakehi Katsuhiko: The Japanese Emperor State at the Center of the Shint&obar; Cosmology
Radical Shint&obar; Ultranationalism and Its Triumph in the Early Sh&obar;wa Period
Terrorism in the Land of the Gods
Orthodoxation of a Holy War
Conclusion
Notes
Select Bibliography
Index

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