Statism in Shōwa Japan

Shōwa Statism (国家主義 Kokka Shugi) was a political syncretism of Japanese extreme right-wing political ideologies, developed over a period of time from the Meiji Restoration. It is sometimes also referred to as Shōwa nationalism or Japanese fascism.

This statist movement dominated Japanese politics during the first part of the Shōwa period (reign of Hirohito). It was a mixture of ideas such as Japanese ultranationalism, militarism and state capitalism, that were proposed by a number of contemporary political philosophers and thinkers in Japan.

Koki2600
New Year's Day postcard from 1940 celebrating the 2600th anniversary of the mythical foundation of the empire by Emperor Jimmu.

Origins

With a more aggressive foreign policy, and victory over China in the First Sino-Japanese War and over Imperial Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan joined the imperialist powers. The need for a strong military to secure Japan's new overseas empire was strengthened by a sense that only through a strong military would Japan earn the respect of Western nations, and thus revision of the "unequal treaties" imposed in the 1800s.

The Japanese military viewed itself as "politically clean" in terms of corruption, and criticized political parties under a liberal democracy as self-serving and a threat to national security by their failure to provide adequate military spending or to address pressing social and economic issues. The complicity of the politicians with the zaibatsu corporate monopolies also came under criticism. The military tended to favor dirigisme and other forms of direct state control over industry, rather than free market capitalism, as well as greater state-sponsored social welfare to reduce the attraction of socialism and communism in Japan.

The special relation of militarists and the central civil government with the Imperial Family supported the important position of the Emperor as Head of State with political powers, and the relationship with the nationalist right-wing movements. However, Japanese political thought had relatively little contact with European political thinking until the 20th century.

Under this ascendancy of the military, the country developed a very hierarchical, aristocratic economic system with significant state involvement. During the Meiji Restoration, there had been a surge in the creation of monopolies. This was in part due to state intervention, as the monopolies served to allow Japan to become a world economic power. The state itself owned some of the monopolies, and others were owned by the zaibatsu. The monopolies managed the central core of the economy, with other aspects being controlled by the government ministry appropriate to the activity, including the National Central Bank and the Imperial family. This economic arrangement was in many ways similar to the later corporatist models of European fascists.

During the same period, certain thinkers with ideals similar to those from shogunate times developed the early basis of Japanese expansionism and Pan-Asianist theories. Such thought later was developed by writers such as Saneshige Komaki into the Hakkō ichiu, Yen Block, and Amau doctrines.[1]

Developments in the Shōwa era

International Policy

The 1919 Treaty of Versailles did not recognize the Empire of Japan's territorial claims, and international naval treaties between Western powers and the Empire of Japan, (Washington Naval Treaty and London Naval Treaty), imposed limitations on naval shipbuilding which limited the size of the Imperial Japanese Navy at a 10:10:6 ratio. These measures were considered by many in Japan as refusal by the Occidental powers to consider Japan an equal partner. The latter brought about the May 15 Incident.

On the basis of national security, these events released a surge of Japanese nationalism and resulted in the end of collaboration diplomacy which supported peaceful economic expansion. The implementation of a military dictatorship and territorial expansionism were considered the best ways to protect the Yamato-damashii.

Civil discourse on statism

In the early 1930s, the Ministry of Home Affairs began arresting left-wing political dissidents, generally in order to exact a confession and renouncement of anti-state leanings. Over 30,000 such arrests were made between 1930 and 1933. In response, a large group of writers founded a Japanese branch of the International Popular Front Against Fascism, and published articles in major literary journals warning of the dangers of statism. Their periodical, The People's Library (人民文庫), achieved a circulation of over five thousand and was widely read in literary circles, but was eventually censored, and later dismantled in January 1938.[2]

Works of Ikki Kita

Ikki Kita was an early 20th-century political theorist, who advocated a hybrid of state socialism with "Asian nationalism", which thus blended the early ultranationalist movement with Japanese militarism. His political philosophy was outlined in his thesis National Policy and Pure Socialism (ja 国体論及び純正社会主義) (国体論及び純正社会主義 Kokutai ron oyobi junsei shakai shugi) of 1908 and An Outline Plan for the Reorganization of Japan (日本改造法案大綱 Nihon Kaizō Hōan Taikō) of 1928. Kita proposed a military coup d'état to replace the existing political structure of Japan with a military dictatorship. The new military leadership would rescind the Meiji Constitution, ban political parties, replace the Diet of Japan with an assembly free of corruption, and would nationalize major industries. Kita also envisioned strict limits to private ownership of property, and land reform to improve the lot of tenant farmers. Thus strengthened internally, Japan could then embark on a crusade to free all of Asia from Western imperialism.

Although his works were banned by the government almost immediately after publication, circulation was widespread, and his thesis proved popular not only with the younger officer class excited at the prospects of military rule and Japanese expansionism, but with the populist movement for its appeal to the agrarian classes and to the left wing of the socialist movement.

Works of Shūmei Ōkawa

OKAWA Shumei
A Japanese Pan-Asian writer Shūmei Ōkawa.

Shūmei Ōkawa was a right-wing political philosopher, active in numerous Japanese nationalist societies in the 1920s. In 1926, he published Japan and the Way of the Japanese (日本及び日本人の道 Nihon oyobi Nihonjin no michi), among other works, which helped popularize the concept of the inevitability of a clash of civilizations between Japan and the west. Politically, his theories built on the works of Ikki Kita, but further emphasized that Japan needed to return to its traditional kokutai traditions in order to survive the increasing social tensions created by industrialization and foreign cultural influences.

Works of Sadao Araki

Araki Sadao
Sadao Araki, Army Minister, Education Minister in the Konoe cabinet

Sadao Araki was a noted political philosopher in the Imperial Japanese Army during the 1920s, who had a wide following within the junior officer corps. Although implicated in the February 26 Incident, he went on to serve in numerous influential government posts, and was a cabinet minister under Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe.

The Japanese Army, already trained along Prussian lines since the early Meiji period, often mentioned the affinity between yamato-damashii and the "Prussian Military Spirit" in pushing for a military alliance with Italy and Germany along with the need to combat Soviet communism. Araki's writing are imbued with nostalgia towards the military administrative system of former shogunate, in a similar manner to which the National Fascist Party of Italy looked back to the ancient ideals of the Roman Empire or the NSDAP in Germany recalled an idealized version of First Reich and the Teutonic Order.

Araki modified the interpretation of the bushido warrior code to seishin kyōiku ("spiritual training"), which he introduced to the military as Army Minister, and to the general public as Education Minister, and in general brought the concepts of the Showa Restoration movement into mainstream Japanese politics.

Some of the distinctive features of this policy were also used outside Japan. The puppet states of Manchukuo, Mengjiang, and the Wang Jingwei Government were later organized party in accordance with Araki's ideas. In the case of Wang Jingwei's state, he himself had some German influences—prior to the Japanese invasion of China, he met with German leaders and picked up some fascist ideas during his time in the Kuomintang. These, he combined with Japanese militarist thinking. Japanese agents also supported local and nationalist elements in Southeast asia and White Russian residents in Manchukuo before war broke out.

Works of Seigō Nakano

Seigo Nakano
Seigō Nakano

Seigō Nakano sought to bring about a rebirth of Japan through a blend of the samurai ethic, Neo-Confucianism, and populist nationalism modeled on European fascism. He saw Saigō Takamori as epitomizing the 'true spirit' of the Meiji ishin, and the task of modern Japan to recapture it.

Shōwa Restoration Movement

Ikki Kita and Shūmei Ōkawa joined forces in 1919 to organize the short-lived Yūzonsha (猶存社), a political study group intended to become an umbrella organization for the various right-socialist movements. Although the group soon collapsed due to irreconcilable ideological differences between Kita and Ōkawa, it served its purpose in that it managed to join the right-wing anti-socialist, Pan-Asian militarist societies with centrist and left-wing supporters of state socialism.

In the 1920s and 1930s, these supporters of Japanese statism used the slogan Showa Restoration (昭和維新 Shōwa isshin), which implied that a new resolution was needed to replace the existing political order dominated by corrupt politicians and capitalists, with one which (in their eyes), would fulfill the original goals of the Meiji Restoration of direct Imperial rule via military proxies.

However, the Shōwa Restoration had different meanings for different groups. For the radicals of the Sakurakai, it meant violent overthrow of the government to create a national syndicalist state with more equitable distribution of wealth and the removal of corrupt politicians and zaibatsu leaders. For the young officers it meant a return to some form of "military-shogunate in which the emperor would re-assume direct political power with dictatorial attributes, as well as divine symbolism, without the intervention of the Diet or liberal democracy, but who would effectively be a figurehead with day-to-day decisions left to the military leadership.

Another point of view was supported by Prince Chichibu, a brother of Emperor Shōwa, who repeatedly counseled him to implement a direct imperial rule, even if that meant suspending the constitution.[3]

In principle, some theorists proposed Shōwa Restoration, the plan of giving direct dictatorial powers to the Emperor (due to his divine attributes) for leading the future overseas actions in mainland Asia. This was the purpose behind the February 26 Incident and other similar uprisings in Japan. Later, however, these previously mentioned thinkers decided to organize their own political clique based on previous radical, militaristic movements in the 1930s; this was the origin of the Kodoha party and their political desire to take direct control of all the political power in the country from the moderate and democratic political voices.

Following the formation of this "political clique", there was a new current of thought among militarists, industrialists and landowners that emphasized a desire to return to the ancient shogunate system, but in the form of a modern military dictatorship with new structures. It was organized with the Japanese Navy and Japanese Army acting as clans under command of a supreme military native dictator (the shōgun) controlling the country. In this government, the Emperor was covertly reduced in his functions and used as a figurehead for political or religious use under the control of the militarists.

The failure of various attempted coups, including the League of Blood Incident, the Imperial Colors Incident and the February 26 Incident, discredited supporters of the Shōwa Restoration movement, but the concepts of Japanese statism migrated to mainstream Japanese politics, where it joined with some elements of European fascism.

Comparisons with European fascism

Early Shōwa statism is sometimes given the retrospective label "fascism", but this was not a self-appellation and it is clear that the comparison is inaccurate. When authoritarian tools of the state such as the Kempeitai were put into use in the early Shōwa period, they were employed to protect the rule of law under the Meiji Constitution from perceived enemies on both the left and the right.[4]

Some ideologists, such as Kingoro Hashimoto, proposed a single party dictatorship, based on egalitarian populism, patterned after the European fascist movements. An Investigation of Global Policy with the Yamato Race as Nucleus shows the influence clearly.[5]

These geopolitical ideals developed into the Amau Doctrine (天羽声明, an Asian Monroe Doctrine), stating that Japan assumed total responsibility for peace in Asia, and can be seen later when Prime Minister Kōki Hirota proclaimed justified Japanese expansion into northern China as the creation of "a special zone, anti-communist, pro-Japanese and pro-Manchukuo" that was a "fundamental part" of Japanese national existence.

Although the reformist right wing, kakushin uyoku, was interested in the concept, the idealist right wing, or kannen uyoku, rejected fascism as they rejected all things of western origin.

Because of the mistrust of unions in such unity, the Japanese went to replace them with "councils" (経営財団 keiei zaidan, lit. "management foundations", shortened: 営団 eidan) in every factory, containing both management and worker representatives to contain conflict.[6] Like the Nazi councils they were copying, this was part of a program to create a classless national unity.[7] The most famous of the councils is the Teito Rapid Transit Authority (帝都高速度交通営団 Teito Kōsoku-do Kōtsū Eidan, lit. "Imperial Capital Highspeed Transportation Council", TRTA), which survived the dismantling of the councils under US occupation. The TRTA is now Tokyo Metro.

Kokuhonsha

The Kokuhonsha was founded in 1924 by conservative Minister of Justice and President of the House of Peers Hiranuma Kiichirō.[8] It called on Japanese patriots to reject the various foreign political "-isms" (such as socialism, communism, Marxism, anarchism, etc.) in favor of a rather vaguely defined "Japanese national spirit" (kokutai). The name "kokuhon" was selected as an antithesis to the word "minpon", from minpon shugi, the commonly-used translation for the word "democracy", and the society was openly supportive of totalitarian ideology.[9]

Divine Right and Way of the Warrior

One particular concept exploited was a decree ascribed to the mythical first emperor of Japan, Emperor Jimmu, in 660 BC: the policy of hakkō ichiu (八紘一宇, all eight corners of the world under one roof).[10]

This also related to the concept of kokutai or national polity, meaning the uniqueness of the Japanese people in having a leader with spiritual origins.[11] The pamphlet Kokutai no Hongi taught that students should put the nation before the self, and that they were part of the state and not separate from it.[12] Shinmin no Michi injoined all Japanese to follow the central precepts of loyalty and filial piety, which would throw aside selfishness and allow them to complete their "holy task."[13]

The bases of the modern form of kokutai and hakkō ichiu were to develop after 1868 and would take the following form:

  1. Japan is the center of the world, with its ruler, the Tennō (Emperor), a divine being, who derives his divinity from ancestral descent from the great Amaterasu-Ōmikami, the Goddess of the Sun herself.
  2. The Kami (Japan's gods and goddesses) have Japan under their special protection. Thus, the people and soil of Dai Nippon and all its institutions are superior to all others.
  3. All of these attributes are fundamental to the Kodoshugisha (Imperial Way) and give Japan a divine mission to bring all nations under one roof, so that all humanity can share the advantage of being ruled by the Tenno.

The concept of the divine Emperors was another belief that was to fit the later goals. It was an integral part of the Japanese religious structure that the Tennō was divine, descended directly from the line of Ama-Terasu (or Amaterasu, the Sun Kami or Goddess).

The final idea that was modified in modern times was the concept of Bushido. Bushido was the warrior code and laws of feudal Japan, that while having cultural surface differences, was at its heart not that different from the code of chivalry or any other similar system in other cultures. In later years, the code of Bushido found a resurgence in belief following the Meiji Restoration. At first, this allowed Japan to field what was considered one of the most professional and humane militaries in the world, one respected by friend and foe alike. Eventually, however, this belief would become a combination of propaganda and fanaticism that would lead to the Second Sino-Japanese War of the 1930s and World War II.

It was the third concept, especially, that would chart Japan's course towards several wars that would culminate with World War II.

New Order Movement

Tokyokaikan before
Tokyo Kaikan was requisitioned as the meeting place for members of Imperial Rule Assistance Association (IRAA) in early days.

During 1940, Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe proclaimed the Shintaisei (New National Structure), making Japan into a "National Defense State". Under the National Mobilization Law, the government was given absolute power over the nation's assets. All political parties were ordered to dissolve into the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, forming a one-party state based on totalitarian values. Such measures as the National Service Draft Ordinance and the National Spiritual Mobilization Movement were intended to mobilize Japanese society for a total war against the West.

Associated with government efforts to create a statist society included creation of the Tonarigumi (residents' committees), and emphasis on the Kokutai no Hongi ("Japan's Fundamentals of National Policy"), presenting a view of Japan's history, and its mission to unite the East and West under the Hakkō ichiu theory in schools as official texts. The official academic text was another book, Shinmin no Michi (The Subject's Way), the "moral national Bible", presented an effective catechism on nation, religion, cultural, social, and ideological topics.

The Axis

Imperial Japan withdrew from the League of Nations in 1933, bringing it closer to Nazi Germany, which also left that year, and Fascist Italy, which was dissatisfied with the League. During the 1930s Japan drifted further away from Western Europe and America. American and French films were increasingly censored, and in 1937 Japan froze all American assets throughout its empire.[14]

In 1940, the three countries formed the Axis powers, and became closer linked. Japan imported Nazi propaganda films such as Ohm Krüger (1941), advertising them as narratives showing the suffering caused by Western imperialism.

End of military statism

Japanese statism was discredited and destroyed by the failure of Japan's military in World War II. After the surrender of Japan, Japan was put under allied occupation. Some of its former military leaders were tried for war crimes before the Tokyo tribunal, the government educational system was revised, and the tenets of liberal democracy written into the post-war Constitution of Japan as one of its key themes.

The collapse of statist ideologies in 1945–46 was paralleled by a formalisation of relations between the Shinto religion and the Japanese state, including disestablishment: termination of Shinto's status as a state religion. In August 1945, the term State Shinto (Kokka Shintō) was invented to refer to some aspects of statism. On 1 January 1946, Emperor Shōwa issued an imperial rescript, sometimes referred as the Ningen-sengen ("Humanity Declaration") in which he quoted the Five Charter Oath (Gokajō no Goseimon) of his grandfather, Emperor Meiji and renounced officially "the false conception that the Emperor is a divinity". However, the wording of the Declaration – in the court language of the Imperial family, an archaic Japanese dialect known as Kyūteigo – and content of this statement have been the subject of much debate. For instance, the renunciation did not include the word usually used to impute the Emperor's divinity: arahitogami ("living god"). It instead used the unusual word akitsumikami, which was officially translated as "divinity", but more literally meant "manifestation/incarnation of a kami ("god/spirit")". Hence, commentators such as John W. Dower and Herbert P. Bix have argued, Hirohito did not specifically deny being a "living god" (arahitogami).

See also

References

  • Beasley, William G. (1991). Japanese Imperialism 1894-1945. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-822168-1.
  • Bix, Herbert P. (2001). Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-093130-2.
  • Duus, Peter (2001). The Cambridge History of Japan. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-23915-7.
  • Gordon, Andrew (2003). A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-511060-9.
  • Gow, Ian (2004). Military Intervention in Pre-War Japanese Politics: Admiral Kato Kanji and the Washington System'. RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 0-7007-1315-8.
  • Hook, Glenn D (2007). Militarization and Demilitarization in Contemporary Japan. Taylor & Francis. ASIN B000OI0VTI.
  • Maki, John M (2007). Japanese Militarism, Past and Present. Thomspon Press. ISBN 1-4067-2272-3.
  • Reynolds, E Bruce (2004). Japan in the Fascist Era. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-6338-X.
  • Sims, Richard (2001). Japanese Political History Since the Meiji Renovation 1868-2000. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-23915-7.
  • Stockwin, JAA (1990). Governing Japan: Divided Politics in a Major Economy. Vintage. ISBN 0-679-72802-3.
  • Sunoo, Harold Hwakon (1975). Japanese Militarism, Past and Present. Burnham Inc Pub. ISBN 0-88229-217-X.
  • Wolferen, Karen J (1990). The Enigma of Japanese Power;People and Politics in a Stateless Nation. Vintage. ISBN 0-679-72802-3.
  • Brij, Tankha (2006). Kita Ikki And the Making of Modern Japan: A Vision of Empire. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 1-901903-99-0.
  • Wilson, George M (1969). Radical Nationalist in Japan: Kita Ikki 1883-1937. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-74590-6.
  • Was Kita Ikki a Socialist?, Nik Howard, 2004.
  • Baskett, Michael (2009). "All Beautiful Fascists?: Axis Film Culture in Imperial Japan" in The Culture of Japanese Fascism, ed. Alan Tansman. Durham: Duke University Press. pp. 212–234. ISBN 0822344521
  • Bix, Herbert. (1982) "Rethinking Emperor-System Fascism" Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars. v. 14, pp. 20–32.
  • Dore, Ronald, and Tsutomu Ōuchi. (1971) "Rural Origins of Japanese Fascism. " in Dilemmas of Growth in Prewar Japan, ed. James Morley. Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. 181–210. ISBN 0-691-03074-X
  • Duus, Peter and Daniel I. Okimoto. (1979) "Fascism and the History of Prewar Japan: the Failure of a Concept, " Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 65–76.
  • Fletcher, William Miles. (1982) The Search for a New Order: Intellectuals and Fascism in Prewar Japan. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-1514-4
  • Maruyama, Masao. (1963) "The Ideology and Dynamics of Japanese Fascism" in Thought and Behavior in Modern Japanese Politics, ed. Ivan Morris. Oxford. pp. 25–83.
  • McGormack, Gavan. (1982) "Nineteen-Thirties Japan: Fascism?" Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars v. 14 pp. 2–19.
  • Morris, Ivan. ed. (1963) Japan 1931-1945: Militarism, Fascism, Japanism? Boston: Heath.
  • Tanin, O. and E. Yohan. (1973) Militarism and Fascism in Japan. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-8371-5478-2

Notes

  1. ^ Akihiko Takagi, [1] mentions "Nippon Chiseigaku Sengen ("A manifesto of Japanese Geopolitics") written in 1940 by Saneshige Komaki, a professor of Kyoto Imperial University and one of the representatives of the Kyoto school, [as] an example of the merging of geopolitics into Japanese traditional ultranationalism."
  2. ^ Torrance, Richard (2009). "The People's Library". In Tansman, Alan (ed.). The culture of Japanese fascism. Durham: Duke University Press. pp. 56, 64–5, 74. ISBN 0822344521.
  3. ^ Herbert Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, 2001, p.284
  4. ^ Doak, Kevin (2009). "Fascism Seen and Unseen". In Tansman, Alan (ed.). The culture of Japanese fascism. Durham: Duke University Press. p. 44. ISBN 0822344521. Careful attention to the history of the Special Higher Police, and particularly to their use by Prime Minister Tōjō Hideki against his enemies even further to his political right, reveals that extreme rightists, fascists, and practically anyone deemed to pose a threat to the Meiji constitutional order were at risk.
  5. ^ Anthony Rhodes, Propaganda: The art of persuasion: World War II, p246 1976, Chelsea House Publishers, New York
  6. ^ Andrew Gordon, A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa to the Present, p195-6, ISBN 0-19-511060-9, OCLC 49704795
  7. ^ Andrew Gordon, A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa to the Present, p196, ISBN 0-19-511060-9, OCLC 49704795
  8. ^ Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, page 164
  9. ^ Reynolds, Japan in the Fascist Era, page 76
  10. ^ John W. Dower, War Without Mercy: Race & Power in the Pacific War p223 ISBN 0-394-50030-X
  11. ^ Anthony Rhodes, Propaganda: The art of persuasion: World War II, p246 1976, Chelsea House Publishers, New York
  12. ^ W. G. Beasley, The Rise of Modern Japan, p 187 ISBN 0-312-04077-6
  13. ^ John W. Dower, War Without Mercy: Race & Power in the Pacific War p27 ISBN 0-394-50030-X
  14. ^ Baskett, Michael (2009). "All Beautiful Fascists?: Axis Film Culture in Imperial Japan". In Tansman, Alan (ed.). The Culture of Japanese Fascism. Durham: Duke University Press. pp. 217–8. ISBN 0822344521.

External links

American mutilation of Japanese war dead

During World War II, some members of the United States military mutilated dead Japanese service personnel in the Pacific theater of operations. The mutilation of Japanese service personnel included the taking of body parts as "war souvenirs" and "war trophies". Teeth and skulls were the most commonly taken "trophies", although other body parts were also collected.

The phenomenon of "trophy-taking" was widespread enough that discussion of it featured prominently in magazines and newspapers, and Franklin Roosevelt himself was reportedly given, by U.S. Representative Francis E. Walter, a gift of a letter-opener made of a Japanese soldier's arm (Roosevelt later ordered that the gift be returned and called for its proper burial). The news was also widely reported to the Japanese public, where the Americans were portrayed as "deranged, primitive, racist and inhuman". This compounded by a previous Life magazine picture of a young woman with a skull trophy was reprinted in the Japanese media and presented as a symbol of American barbarism, causing national shock and outrage.The behavior was officially prohibited by the U.S. military, which issued additional guidance as early as 1942 condemning it specifically. Nonetheless, the behavior continued throughout the war in the Pacific Theater, and has resulted in continued discoveries of "trophy skulls" of Japanese combatants in American possession, as well as American and Japanese efforts to repatriate the remains of the Japanese dead.

Empire of Japan

The Empire of Japan (大日本帝國, Dai Nippon Teikoku, literally meaning "Empire of Great Japan") was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.Japan's rapid industrialization and militarization under the slogan Fukoku Kyōhei (富國強兵, "Enrich the Country, Strengthen the Armed Forces") and Shokusan Kōgyō (殖産興業, "Promote Industry") led to its emergence as a world power and the establishment of a colonial empire following the First Sino-Japanese War, the Boxer Rebellion, the Russo-Japanese War, and World War I. Economic and political turmoil in the 1920s led to the rise of militarism, eventually culminating in Japan's membership in the Axis alliance and the conquest of a large part of the Asia-Pacific in World War II.Japan's armed forces initially achieved large-scale military successes during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) and the Pacific War. However, after many Allied victories and following the Soviet Union's declaration of war against Japan on August 9, 1945 and invasion of Manchuria, and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Empire surrendered to the Allies on August 15, 1945. A period of occupation by the Allies followed the surrender, and a new constitution was created with American involvement in 1947, officially bringing the Empire of Japan to an end. Occupation and reconstruction continued until 1952, eventually forming the current nation-state whose full title is the "State of Japan" in Japanese (simply rendered "Japan" in English).

The Emperors during this time, which spanned the entire Meiji and Taishō, and the lesser part of the Shōwa era, are now known in Japan by their posthumous names, which coincide with those era names: Emperor Meiji (Mutsuhito), Emperor Taishō (Yoshihito), and Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito).

History of propaganda

Propaganda is information that is not impartial and used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively (perhaps lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or using loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information presented. The term propaganda has acquired a strongly negative connotation by association with its most manipulative and jingoistic examples.

Imperial Crown Style

The Imperial Crown Style (帝冠様式, teikan yōshiki) of Japanese architecture developed during the Japanese Empire in the early twentieth century. The style is identified by Japanese-style roofing on top of Neoclassical styled buildings; and can have a centrally elevated structure with a pyramidal dome. Outside of the Japanese mainland, Imperial Crown Style architecture often included regional architectural elelements. Before the end of World War II, the style was originally referred to as Emperor's Crown Amalgamate Style, and sometimes Emperor's Crown Style (帝冠式, Teikanshiki).Starting in Japan in the 1930s, this Western and Japanese eclectic architectural style was promoted by Itō Chūta, Sano Toshikata, and Takeda Goichi. Itō, Sano, and Takeda had been appointed as judges for architectural design competitions, held a preferences for Japonesque aesthetics to be incorporated into the design guidelines, and chose designs where a Japanese styled roof was integrated into a Western style reinforced concrete building.The prototype for the style was developed by architect Shimoda Kikutaro for the Imperial Diet Building in 1920, and reached its peak in the 1930s until the end of World War II. The style ran contrary to modernism and placed an emphasis on including traditional Japanese architectural elements, in a distinct expression of Japanese Western Eclectic Architecture.

Japanese militarism

Japanese militarism (日本軍國主義 or 日本軍国主義, Nihon gunkoku shugi) refers to the ideology in the Empire of Japan that militarism should dominate the political and social life of the nation, and that the strength of the military is equal to the strength of a nation.

Japanese war crimes

War crimes were committed by the Empire of Japan in many Asia-Pacific countries during the period of Japanese imperialism, primarily during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. These incidents have been described as an "Asian Holocaust". Some war crimes were committed by Japanese military personnel during the late 19th century, but most Japanese war crimes were committed during the first part of the Shōwa Era, the name given to the reign of Emperor Hirohito, until the surrender of the Empire of Japan in 1945.

The war crimes involved the Imperial Japanese Army and the Imperial Japanese Navy under Emperor Hirohito and were responsible for the deaths of millions. Historical estimates of the number of deaths which resulted from Japanese war crimes range from 3 to 14 million through massacre, human experimentation, starvation, and forced labor that was either directly perpetrated or condoned by the Japanese military and government. Some Japanese soldiers have admitted to committing these crimes. Airmen of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service and Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service were not included as war criminals because there was no positive or specific customary international humanitarian law that prohibited the unlawful conduct of aerial warfare either before or during World War II. The Imperial Japanese Army Air Service took part in conducting chemical and biological attacks on enemy nationals during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II and the use of such weapons in warfare were generally prohibited by international agreements signed by Japan, including the Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907), which banned the use of "poison or poisoned weapons" in warfare.Since the 1950s, senior Japanese Government officials have issued numerous apologies for the country's war crimes. Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the country acknowledges its role in causing "tremendous damage and suffering" during World War II, especially in regard to the IJA entrance into Nanjing during which Japanese soldiers killed a large number of non-combatants and engaged in looting and rape. That being said, some members of the Liberal Democratic Party in the Japanese government such as former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi and current Prime Minister Shinzō Abe have prayed at the Yasukuni Shrine, which includes convicted Class A war criminals in its honored war dead. Some Japanese history textbooks only offer brief references to the various war crimes, and members of the Liberal Democratic Party have denied some of the atrocities such as government involvement in abducting women to serve as "comfort women" (sex slaves). Allied authorities found that Koreans and Taiwanese serving in the forces of the Empire of Japan also committed war crimes.

Kokutai

Kokutai (国体, "national body/structure of state") is a concept in the Japanese language translatable as "system of government", "sovereignty", "national identity, essence and character", "national polity; body politic; national entity; basis for the Emperor's sovereignty; Japanese constitution". The word is also a short form of the (unrelated) name for the National Sports Festival of Japan.

North Korea

North Korea (North Korea: 북조선, MR: Pukchosŏn , RR: Bukjoseon , South Korea: 북한, MR: Puk'an, RR: Bukan ), officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or DPR Korea) (Korean: 조선민주주의인민공화국, Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk), is a country in East Asia constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, with Pyongyang the capital and the largest city in the country. To the north and northwest, the country is bordered by China and by Russia along the Amnok (known as the Yalu in Chinese) and Tumen rivers and to the south it is bordered by South Korea, with the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two. Nevertheless, North Korea, like its southern counterpart, claims to be the legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands.In 1910, Korea was annexed by Imperial Japan. After the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II in 1945, Korea was divided into two zones, with the north occupied by the Soviet Union and the south occupied by the United States. Negotiations on reunification failed, and in 1948, separate governments were formed: the socialist Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north, and the capitalist Republic of Korea in the south. An invasion initiated by North Korea led to the Korean War (1950–1953). The Korean Armistice Agreement brought about a ceasefire, but no peace treaty was signed.North Korea officially describes itself as a "self-reliant" socialist state, and formally holds elections, though said elections have been described by outside observers as sham elections. Outside observers also generally view North Korea as a Stalinist totalitarian dictatorship, particularly noting the elaborate cult of personality around Kim Il-sung and his family. The Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), led by a member of the ruling family, holds power in the state and leads the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland of which all political officers are required to be members. Juche, an ideology of national self-reliance, was introduced into the constitution in 1972. The means of production are owned by the state through state-run enterprises and collectivized farms. Most services such as healthcare, education, housing and food production are subsidized or state-funded. From 1994 to 1998, North Korea suffered a famine that resulted in the deaths of between 240,000 and 420,000 people, and the population continues to suffer malnutrition. North Korea follows Songun, or "military-first" policy. It is the country with the highest number of military and paramilitary personnel, with a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve and paramilitary personnel, or approximately 37% of its population. Its active duty army of 1.21 million is the fourth largest in the world, after China, the United States and India; consisting of 4.8% of its population. It possesses nuclear weapons.The UN inquiry into human rights in North Korea concluded that, "The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world". The North Korean regime strongly denies most allegations, accusing international organizations of fabricating human rights abuses as part of a smear campaign with the covert intention of undermining the state, although they admit that there are human rights issues relating to living conditions which the regime is attempting to correct.In addition to being a member of the United Nations since 1991, the sovereign state is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, G77 and the ASEAN Regional Forum.

State Shinto

State Shintō (国家神道 or 國家神道, Kokka Shintō) describes Imperial Japan's ideological use of the native folk traditions of Shinto. The state strongly encouraged Shinto practices to emphasize the Emperor as a divine being, which was exercised through control of shrine finances and training regimes for priests.The State Shinto ideology emerged at the start of the Meiji era, after government officials defined freedom of religion within the Meiji Constitution. Imperial scholars believed Shinto reflected the historical fact of the Emperor's divine origins rather than a religious belief, and argued that it should enjoy a privileged relationship with the Japanese state. The government argued that Shinto was a non-religious moral tradition and patriotic practice. Though early Meiji-era attempts to unite Shinto and the state failed, this non-religious concept of ideological Shinto was incorporated into state bureaucracy. Shrines were defined as patriotic, not religious, institutions, which served state purposes such as honoring the war dead.The state also integrated local shrines into political functions, occasionally spurring local opposition and resentment. With fewer shrines financed by the state, nearly 80,000 closed or merged with neighbors. Many shrines and shrine organizations began to independently embrace these state directives, regardless of funding. By 1940, Shinto priests risked persecution for performing traditionally "religious" Shinto ceremonies. Imperial Japan did not draw a distinction between ideological Shinto and traditional Shinto.US military leaders introduced the term "State Shinto" to differentiate the state's ideology from traditional Shinto practices in the 1945 Shinto Directive. That decree established Shinto as a religion, and banned further ideological uses of Shinto by the state. Controversy continues to surround the use of Shinto symbols in state functions.

Tachi

A tachi (太刀) was a type of traditionally made Japanese sword (nihonto) worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. Tachi and katana generally differ in length, degree of curvature, and how they were worn when sheathed, the latter depending on the location of the mei, or signature, on the tang. The tachi style of swords preceded the development of the katana, which was not mentioned by name until near the end of the twelfth century; tachi are known to have been made in the Kotō period, ranging from 900 to 1596.

Tenkō

Tenkō (転向, literally, changing direction) is a Japanese term referring to the ideological reversal of numerous Japanese socialists who, between 1925 and 1945, renounced the left and (in many cases) embraced the "national community." Tenkō was performed especially under duress, most often in police custody, and was a condition for release (although surveillance and harassment would continue). But it was also a broader phenomenon, a kind of cultural reorientation in the face of national crisis, that did not always involve direct repression.

For decades, the term served both narrowly as a moral litmus test in evaluating the careers of intellectuals active before and after the war and more broadly as a metaphor for the collective experience of an entire generation of Japanese. One of the most well known and consequential instances of Tenko came in June 1933, when Sano Manabu (1892—1953) and Nabeyama Sadachika (1901—1979), top figures in the Communist Party leadership, renounced their allegiance to the Comintern and the policy of violent revolution, embracing instead a Japan-specific mode of revolutionary change under imperial auspices, in reaction to the Soviet Union's use of the Comintern for its own power purposes against Germany and Japan.Their proclamation was followed by a wave of defections by the party rank and file and essentially signaled the demise of the party organization, except in exile. Tenkō described a change in ideological position on the part of former anti-government radicals who had undergone self-criticism and who had returned to the ideological position supported by the state.

Territorialism

Territorialism can refer to the following:

Animal territorialism, the animal behavior of defending a geographical area from intruders

Environmental territorialism, a stance toward threats posed toward individuals, communities or nations by environmental events and trends

Jewish Territorialist Organization, a Jewish political movement in the early 20th century advocating settlement in a number of territories outside of the Holy Land as an alternative to Zionism

Territorialist School, a contemporary Italian approach to urban and regional planning

Land tenure, the legal regime in which land is owned by an individual

Feudalism, a legal and military system of hierarchical land holding

Statism, the belief that the state should control economic or social policy, or both, to some degree

Statism in Shōwa Japan

Uyoku dantai

Uyoku dantai (右翼団体, "right wing group[s]") are Japanese ultranationalist far-right groups. In 1996 and 2013, the National Police Agency estimated that there are over 1,000 right-wing groups in Japan with about 100,000 members in total.

Overview
Emperors
Symbols
Policies
Government
Military
History
Territories
Other topics

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.