The Imaginary Geography of a Nation and its De-nationalized Narrative: Japan and the Korean Experience


May 6, 2006

The Imaginary Geography of a Nation and its De-nationalized Narrative: Japan and the Korean Experience
The Imaginary Geography of a Nation and its De-nationalized Narrative: Japan and the Korean Experience

The Imaginary Geography of a Nation and its De-nationalized Narrative: Japan and the Korean Experience

By Kang Sang Jung

Translation by Trent Maxey

Geopolitical Vertigo and Redefining the Nation

Since when have retrogressive “masturbatory views of history,” represented by the “liberal view of history,” come to dominate bookstore shelves? They became noticeable to the eye around the time of the Gulf War. In fact, Fujioka Nobukatsu, the leading proponent of the “liberal-view-of-history” [jiyûshugi shikan], begins both of his books—Reforming Modern History Education (1996) and A Modern History of Shame (1996)—with prologues describing the impact of the Gulf War. He observes that “many Japanese, relying on the idealism of article nine in the constitution, were able to steep themselves completely in sentimental pacifism.” Furthermore, “the Gulf War was a shocking event that demonstrated that the ideal of ‘pacifism’ contained within article nine, and upon which ‘peace education’ was based, failed in the face of the reality of international politics.” In short, according to Fujioka’s reminiscences, the Gulf War was a sensational event that exposed the defects of Japan’s “postwar democracy.”

Kang Sang Jung

What, then, are the critical defects of “postwar democracy? Fujioka lists five: the assumption that democracy and (state) authority are as different as water and oil; the absence of decisive leadership in the administration of the state; the complacent acceptance of peace defined solely in terms of isolated pacifism and the resulting neglect of problems relating to national security; the distortion caused by the disproportionate emphasis of individual rights over duties as members of a nation; blind faith in “democracy” while ignoring “liberalism.” These are the defects of “postwar democracy” that Fujioka criticizes.

Fujioka Nobukatsu

What can we see when we invert this “postwar democracy” along with its defects? What Fujioka wants can only be this: to “liberate” the Leviathan of the state from the chains of “postwar democracy,” especially the pacifist constitution at its foundation, thus allowing Japan, with a clearly determined state-will, to become a significant player in post-Cold War international politics. What is required for this to occur? As suggested in Fujioka’s fourth defect of “postwar democracy,” the “remaking” of national consciousness is required.

Why is this requirement important? To borrow the words of Shiba Ryotaro, the author for whom Fujioka expresses great admiration, if the modern nation-state is based on the equation nation=state, then that nation=state is “a state wherein the nation identifies itself with the state, and also wherein nationals deem each other homogeneous.” [1] It is thus necessary for the nation to actively identify itself with the state and transform itself into a nation that “seeks to fight for the nation.”


Shiba Ryotaro

An episode in Shiba’s novel depicting the Russo-Japanese War, Clouds above the Hill (a novel that provided the decisive impetus behind Fujioka’s allegiance to the “Shiba-view-of-history”[Shiba shikan]) conveys a concrete image of such a nation-state. Referring to the heroic efforts of the workers who repaired Admiral Togo’s flagship Shikishima in time to face the Russian Baltic Fleet, Fujioka writes: “Not only the soldiers on the battle front, but the lowly shipyard workers also risked their lives for the sake of the nation-state at a time of crisis. Postwar Japanese, fundamentally robbed of the idea of the nation-state, can no longer recognize that spirit for what it is.” Following the trauma of the Gulf War, what Fujioka desires to recapture is this concept of the nation-state.

According to Fujioka, however, Postwar Japan, as a result of inclining towards economic value alone, has forgotten the idea of the nation-state and has deteriorated spiritually to the extent of possessing no awareness of public interest [kokyosei]. The “mind control” that has propelled this “spiritual dismantling of the nation-state” is the skewed, masochistic-view-of-history [jigyaku shikan] that “humiliates, disdains, and disparages one’s nation and ethnicity [minzoku].” Specifically, it is the “ Tokyo Tribunal-cum-Comintern-view-of-history.”

Indeed, Fujioka appears to define “liberal” of the “liberal-view-of-history” in terms of its freedom from all dogma and prejudice. To prove this point, he has sought to balance and criticize several variations of Hayashi Fusao and others’ affirmation of the “Great East Asian War,” considered to be the opposite extreme of the “ Tokyo Tribunal-cum-Comintern-view-of-history.” A look at Modern History of Shame, published after Reforming Modern History Education, however, clearly reflects Fujioka’s unequaled disdain for the “Tokyo-Tribunal-cum-Comintern-view-of-history.” Whether such a view of history exists and what it exactly refers to is not at all clear. In essence it designates all “anti-Japanese” views of history that hinder the self-formation of the Japanese into a nation and deny pride in that national history.

As is clear from the above, since the Gulf War Fujioka has focused on the question of how the nation remembers history. This is well reflected, for example, in statements such as “how the modern history of one’s nation is taught constitutes the most important condition produced by the nation” and “the primary protagonists of modern history are the people (kokumin) of a nation and the nation-state produced by that people. Modern history is above all else the story of the emergence of a national people (kokumin) and their state.”

Bergson referred to memory that cannot be externalized into information devices as pure memory, the ability to recall and recognize. If this recollecting memory holds special meaning for human beings, the memory of history also depends on this ability to recall and recognize. Unlike habitualized memory such as externalized memory, pure memory is an act of creation (re-creation) that is possible only within the actuality of “here and now.” The reason the “liberal-view-of-history” has successfully expanded the ripples of debate, despite being a discourse consisting of a patchwork of hackneyed statements, lies in how it confronts us with the actual problem of the memory of history. In other words, it necessarily forces each of us to reconfirm what “here and now” is. That process is accompanied by the danger of reconfirming one’s position within the discursive space of the postwar, a space where perspectival placement has collapsed. The awareness of this danger can be termed “geopolitical vertigo,” a phenomenon that is not confined to Japan alone.

In more global terms, geopolitical vertigo is related to the dramatic post-Cold War economic and ideological “deterritorialization” of the geopolitical world order that was established beneath American hegemony. The stable socio-spatial triad (sovereign states, territorial integrity, and communal homogeneity) that characterized the inter-state system has begun to tremble. For that very reason, an opportunity for a form of fundamentalism to emerge has arrived.

One geopolitical scholar defines this twisted relation in the following terms:

This implosion of the geopolitical order of the Cold War starkly foregrounded the degree to which the post-World War II world order had come apart and placed the meaning of the “West,” “Europe,” and the “ United States” as sociospatial identities in crisis, thus provoking the experience of vertigo we have noted. But every deterritorialization creates the conditions for a reterritorialization of order using fragments of the beliefs, customs, practices, and narratives of the old splintered world order. Out of the experience of vertigo, newly imagined visions of state, territory, and community are projected in an effort to restabilize and reterritorialize identity amid global flux.” [2]

In the case of the United States, Samuel Huntington’s discourse of the “clash of civilizations” is representative. As can be seen from the title of a recent essay by Huntington–“The Erosion of American National Interests” [3]—this discourse is nothing other than a project of global “reterritorialization” that projects outward the “Kulturkampf” against the “inner enemy” and “unwanted ‘other’” that threatens traditional US national interests and identity. The unity and communal homogeneity of the United States as a nation-state is being defined once again by inciting antagonisms engendered by cultural essentialism.

The attempt to create an “official history” as the record of the nation’s past represents the re-territorializing project in Japan. The Society for the Reform of History Textbooks [Atarashii kyokasho o tsukuru kai], of which Fujioka is a leading member, employs “official history” as a central concept. It is particularly noteworthy that writers and essayists of a relatively younger generation are joining the project to rescue the memory of the nation, now identified with that of the state, from the ruins of the past and to decorate it with the laurels of “official history.” The desire for an “official history” clearly draws a line between those who are part of the nation and those who are not. To use an extreme metaphor, it suggests the beginning of a “civil war” fought over the memory of history.

Fifty years after the war, we must acknowledge the chilling state of desolation within Japan’s discursive space. This is not the result of chance, however. It must be understood in relation to roots reaching back to the inception of the postwar period.

The Myth of a Beginning and Amnesia of the Empire

Carol Gluck, the American historian of Japan, points out that Japan’s “postwar” is in fact the combination of several different postwars. [4] The most dominant of those stories are the discourses of “the postwar as mythical history” and “the postwar as the inversion of the prewar.” “The-postwar-as-myth” is the mythical positing of an absolute divide, a “zero hour” between war time and postwar that began exactly at noon, August 15, 1945 with the emperor’s radio address announcing the surrender. This “August Revolution theory” claimed liberation from the semi-feudal militarism and all its spiritual supports that led Japan to a devastating war. The postwar was thus considered an “anti-past” wherein all of the prewar was inverted.

Inheriting this type of postwar narrative, “the Progressive Postwar,” consisting of Marxism and leftist liberalism, carried the thought and movements of democratic change and pacifism. The “postwar of the middle class,” which initially sympathized with this postwar but clearly parted ways with the arrival of high economic growth, came to envelope the vast majority of the nation. It signified a democracy that consisted of a homogenous, middle-class society. The goal of equality in material and social wealth in fact resulted in the liberation of “private” life and produced the image of a “lantern”(chochin) society that was bloated with no neck or base. This large-scale devotion to Americanism was, to borrow Maruyama Masao’s words, the postwar version of modern Japan’s aporia that consists of a polarization between nationalism and the apolitical liberation of sensibility. The inclination towards economic value alone that Fujioka laments as the cause of the moral deterioration, a deterioration that has forgotten the idea of the nation-state, generally corresponds with this point.

The movement towards Americanism didn’t take place across the board, however, and its penetration proceeded by mixing with “things Japanese” through various negotiations in daily life. Conversely, “things Japanese” were rediscovered in response to Americanism and thus widened the field of vision available to cultural nationalism. Thus, the postwar of the middle class leveraged the representation of the Japanese=nation as a single, unified entity into defining new gender roles and rendering peripheral heterogeneous minorities, especially those from former colonies. In this sense, postwar nationalism, having lost its prewar core called the “national polity” (kokutai), diffused and drifted through society, lost its direct centripetal attractiveness of the prewar era, but still maintained the idea of ethno-racial [minzokuteki] homogeneity.

International conditions facilitated this middle-class postwar. In other words, the “postwar as Cold War” provided the necessary conditions. By choosing “subordinate independence” under the United States, Japan placed itself in the international environment of a “peace within walls.” Even though outside of those walls the regional and civil wars of Korea and Vietnam took place, the postwar middle class was able to enjoy the prosperity of “private” life. This arrangement foregrounded Japan as an economic power to the extent that “ America, the unrivaled ‘victor’ of the Far East War in 1945, was in a sense the greatest ‘loser’ by the 1970s.” [5] The distortion between Japan’s “subordinate independence” and the peace of private prosperity remained unresolved through the postwar period.

The coincidence of the end of the Cold War and 50 th anniversary of Japan’s postwar era, along with the recognition that modernity as a goal was no longer an illusion but accomplished reality, brought the distortion to a breaking point. At the same time, the first mythological type of the postwar period emerged. John Dower, the American historian of the “Fifteen-year War”, discusses the positive inheritance from the empire that aided Japan’s postwar recovery. In Japan, a “revisionist” reading of the 1930s (as in Yamanouchi Yasushi) has emerged. It emphasizes the historical continuity between the forced “modernization” of wartime mobilization and the postwar system, as well as the world historical contemporaneity of that development.

What these discussions point to is that modern war, especially world war and its wartime regimes, regardless of the specific war’s purpose or ideology, radically alter any given order. Applying this point to the series of wartime and postwar orders shaped by modern Japan’s Sino-Japanese War, Russo-Japanese War, World War 1, and World War II, Mitani Taichiro makes the following observation:

The thesis that “war is the extension of revolution” appears to possess a general validity applicable to all modern wars. Japan appears to be no exception. In modern Japanese history, war has provided a revolutionary [henkakuteki] influence upon the pre-war regime in both domestic and international relations. Domestically, that influence has appeared in the form of democratization and militarization (or conversely, demilitarization), and internationally, it has taken the form of colonization (or decolonization) and internationalization [kokusaika]. [6]

In this sense, Shiba Ryotaro’s broadly appealing view of history that understands the “Season of Evil” that stretches from 1905 (Russo-Japanese War) to 1945 (Surrender [shûsen]) as the “demon child” of modern Japan, attempts to re-edit modern Japan’s path through numerous wartime and postwar regimes into a comfortable national history. [7]

For Shiba, the forty years that transformed the shape of the Meiji nation-state were merely the “demon child that the Meiji Constitution’s legal order improvidently bore.” The postwar thus signified a reversal of that history of insanity and the return to the healthy and transparent nationalism of the Meiji nation-state. The historical perspective of Shiba Ryotaro, the “national writer,” can be said to represent the most popular form of historical narrative in the postwar period. In essence, he breaks down the myth of the postwar’s inauguration into easily digestible pieces. The nation and the emperor, in other words, are both victims of militarism and the postwar is consistent with the Allied story of a peaceful government being established by “the freely expressed will of the people” and achieved through “the restoration of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people.” [8]

At the same time, this story also fits perfectly with the emperor’s so-called “declaration of humanity” that took place in early 1946, before McArthur’s Constitution draft was announced. The declaration, in direct correspondence to the Allied storyline, begins with the “Charter Oath” of 1868 and declares the composite of the discontinuity and continuity of 1945 in the following fashion:

The bonds uniting us and the people have always been tied with mutual trust, respect, and affection, not with mere myth or legend. They are not founded upon the fictional concepts of the Emperor’s divinity, the superiority of the Japanese people over others, and the fate to rule the world. [9]

The third opening of the country called the postwar was thus converted into a national history that saw it as the fulfillment of the second opening begun, yet unfinished, by the Meiji nation-state. As a result, the memory of the beginnings of colonial rule and the “Great East Asian War” has been clearly elided. The war has been renamed the “Pacific War” and along with it an “adroit moral equation” has taken hold wherein the attack on Pearl Harbor and the dropping of nuclear bombs cancel each other. It was only natural that this historical narrative which foregrounded parts of the past while obscuring others in the background invited a “conspicuous amnesia of the empire (colonies).” This forgotten memory remained frozen and unrecalled within the Cold War for fifty years of the postwar period.

It is clear that the myth of a beginning to the postwar period and the national history of Japan’s modernity turn a blind eye towards a broader perspective that includes both the wartime and postwar regimes, a perspective that would rupture their narratives. As is amply reflected in the words “One hundred million hearts as one” and “One hundred million people,” language used both in edicts declaring war and surrender, the wartime regime could not have operated for one instant without mobilizing the nearly one third of the one hundred million “imperial subjects” comprised by other colonized ethnicities [shokuminchi iminzoku]. The national history of the postwar period has barely maintained itself by removing these alien ethnicities and forgetting the history of their removal.

In the case of Japan, the domestic effect of de-colonization was, compared to de-militarization, relatively small. In other words, problems endemic to de-colonization were dissolved into the general problems of de-militarization. Moreover, the process of de-colonization overlapped with the progression of the Cold War. The political and economic reconstruction of Japan that followed a change in occupation policy came in response to the demands of the Cold War. This in turn influenced the de-colonization of Japan’s former colonies and occupied territories; according to the strategic demands of the Cold War, de-colonization was frozen to the extent that it would not hinder Japan’s role within the Cold War. Now, with the end of the Cold War, we should understand the unfinished process of Japan’s de-colonization (i.e., a second stage of the process) to have begun.” [10]

This problematic proposed by Mitani is directed towards cracks that are forming in the frozen memory of the war.

What, then, is a historical narrative that can respond to this problematic?

  • The Imaginary-Geography of a Nation and De-nationalized Narrative

I have in my hands the three volumes of Wartime Resident Korean Documents (1997). It contains the records of a resident Korean organization’s print media that began in January 1935 and ran until the height of the “Great East Asian War” in October 1943. [11] It was delivered not only within the Japanese “in-land” [naichi], but reached as far as the main cities on the Korean peninsula, “ManshÅ«”, and regions of China. With the exception of the main official papers published in the Korean peninsula, Keijo nippo (Japanese) and Mainichi shinpo (Korean), Korean print media that was published for such significant length of time during this period is quite rare. In clear response to the official policy of creating imperial subjects out of Koreans [kominka seisaku], the paper frequently carried stories of the harmony association’s [kyowakai] activities and announcements of wartime mobilization policies from the Governor-General’s Office. Its “pro-Japanese” position was obvious for all. Clearly, the paper did not represent the voice of Koreans during the war.

Yet, in spite of it position in support of the policy of creating imperial subjects, one can still discern the warped national consciousness and anguish of resident Koreans in other sections of the paper. There is, for example, the following record of impressions by Korean youth volunteering to join the Imperial Army (November 25, 1939). In between the bold faced headings of “Peninsular volunteer soldiers’ impressions of the in-land [naichi]” and “Taking to heart the joy of being born in the Empire” the following explanation is inserted:

This is the moving record of impressions of the in-land conveyed by three hundred Korean volunteer soldier trainees who crossed the sea and entered the imperial capital early on the sixth. A record of the passions of our vigorous peninsular youth who envelope their open hearts in khaki uniforms, this is the crimson literature of patriotism.

The record of the “vigorous peninsular youth” reads as follows:

The purpose of our travel to the mainland is entirely different from school trips. One purpose is to worship at the Ise shrine and to worship the imperial palace from a distance. Another purpose is to present ourselves to the people of the in-land and achieve an ever stronger unity between the in-land and Korea. …. We prayed for the hallowed divine nation Japan and for its continuing prosperity, and ever more firmly confirmed our desire to repay even a ten-thousandth of the sacred debt of the Emperor’s benevolent gaze that is equally bestowed upon us [isshi dojin]. We worship the east every morning at our training center and each time recite our oath as members of the Imperial nation [kokoku kokumin] as though we stood before the Emperor; in doing so, we strengthened our conviction as subjects [shinmin]. When we respectfully worshiped before the NijÅ«bashi Bridge, we could only weep tears of gratitude.

To be certain, the fervent desire to become “Japanese” could not arise outside of the forceful and oppressive reality of the colony. Yet, we cannot deny that the desire of the colonial “peninsulars” to become ever better “Imperial subjects” arose not only from mere coercion but also from voluntary motives.

In reality, however, the Toa shinpo newspaper carried numerous articles and interviews introducing “peninsulars who had become good Imperial subjects” but complained of being “upset” and disappointed by the discriminatory language of “in-landers” and other confessions of discrimination experienced at the hands of “in-landers.” The active decision to accept death as a “Japanese” and the unavoidable daily reminders of discrimination—when individuals sought to overcome this contradiction by becoming more “Japanese” than the “in-landers,” the desire of the Korean volunteer soldiers to imitate, similar to unrequited love, is exposed. While the editorial stance of the Toa shinpo encouraged the policy of creating imperial subjects, in reality “thoroughgoing and intense opinions that even policy makers couldn’t voice themselves” were expressed as well.

We find in these accounts the possibility that “peninsulars” could be more patriotic “Japanese” than “in-landers.” However, that possibility was continually betrayed and the imagined community of the “Japanese” always had to idealize the “in-landers.” In pursuit of that never-achievable ideal of being “Japanese,” the “peninsulars,” who were not “in-landers,” repeated an infinite process of “ecstasis.” The blatant and undeniable reality of racial discrimination [minzoku sabetsu] betrays the fact that “in-landers” never believed the “peninsulars” could become “Japanese” and explains the source of “in-land Japanese nationalism” [naichi nihon shugi]. [12] Precisely because of this discrimination, the unattainable “ecstatic” desire for an active decision to become “Japanese” grew ever stronger.

When this desperate leap towards becoming “Japanese” on the part of the “peninsulars” became their voluntary desire, the wartime empire was able to accomplish its integration. Viewed ideally [rinenteki], however, the possibility that the idea of “Japanese” would rupture always existed in that process of integration. The possibility of this rupture was also exposed the extent to which the “interior of Japan” was protected by an arbitrary boundary. An “in-land Japanese nationalism” that equated being “Japanese” with being an “in-lander” by itself would have bankrupted the integration of the empire. The mono-ethnic national history of the postwar could not have served as the ideal of an imperial nation.

Interestingly, the Ministry of Education’s Elementary School Geography vol. 1 (March, 1938), the plainest account of the imagined geography of the “Japanese” nation, opens its first chapter on “The Great Japanese Empire,” with the following words: “Our Great Japanese Empire lies at the east of the Asian continent and is comprised of the Japanese islands and the Korean peninsula.” As regards the nation, it provides the following explanation:

The nation numbers one hundred million. While the majority of the nation is of the Yamato race, there are twenty-three million Koreans in Korea, five million of the Chinese race and a hundred thousand or so indigenous people in Taiwan. Moreover, in Hokkaido there are a small number of Ainu and in Karafuto there are also a small number of Ainu and other indigenous people. Approximately one million of the Yamato race have immigrated to foreign countries.

In terms of regions, “the mainland is divided into the five regions of Kanto, Ou, ChÅ«bu, Kinki, and ChÅ«goku. To this the regions of Shikoku, KyÅ«shÅ«, Hokkaido, Taiwan, and Korea are added,” and the nation is divided into eleven regions in all.

This geographic space as imperial “icons for the nation” supported the imagined geography of the “Japanese” and the above-mentioned “Record of Peninsular Volunteer Soldiers’ Impressions of the In-land” at the same time. The assimilation of the “peninsulars” into the “in-land”—worship at the Ise shrine or Imperial palace—were national rituals that inscribed these “Japanese” icons deep into their bodies. When a subject that desired a “new birth” as a “Japanese” emerged among the “peninsulars” through these rituals, the psychological device that sustains imperial integration succeeded in projecting outward the moment of its internal division. At the same time, however, even if integration was only a matter of policy [tatemae], it was the moment at which the internal fissures in the national history, the history and memory of the “in-landers,” i.e., the “Japanese,” had to show themselves. The history of the war, therefore, was a succession of perilous moments wherein the critical limit of things national could be exposed.

Essentially, the beginning of the postwar violently contracted the mixed composition of the nation into an “in-land Japanese nationalism,” restoring it to a form preceding the colonial empire. The “Emperor’s Declaration of Humanity” mentioned earlier represented the state’s manifesto of this contraction. In Shiba’s terms, if the “evil season” of forty years was the “demon child” for the nation’s history, the “Japanese” who were cut away at the “end of the war” as others, as nothing more than “peninsulars,” were also forgotten “demon children.” The memory of these “demon children” lost its place in the face of violent amnesia and the “reterritorialization” of the national, and was thus forced to wander without end. The memory of “Korean BC class war criminals” is perhaps a grave marker for the beginning of that cruel postwar.

I sometimes recall a single photograph of my father’s younger brother, a person who may have followed a similar path in the postwar as those war criminals. The faded photograph captures the tense expression of a “peninsular” wearing the armband of the military police and holding a Japanese sword; next to him stands his “in-lander” spouse holding a small child with an expression of sorrow. It was a final photograph taken near the “end of the war” with “suicide” an expected end. The “peninsular” survived and returned to the “peninsula,” leaving his wife and child behind. Amidst the upheaval, he lost contact with them and lived the postwar period separated. Former “Japanese” who began to walk a new history of liberation, civil war, and rule by a military regime were forced to wipe out all memory of the “in-land” and live as a nationalist [minzokushugisha] of the newborn nation-state. This episode is not a rare instance; it is a common enough story to be found among the countless postwars of the “peninsulars.” The opportunity to ask what the memory of that war was for him has been lost forever. Only one thing is sure: the national history of the “Japanese” obliterated that memory.

Perhaps an era that intoxicates itself with the sweet tale of national history or seeks to resurrect it, is, in a different sense from the imperial era, truly a “season of evil” that completely eliminates the alterity of others. The memory of history is formed, willing or unwilling, in a place that breaks through beyond nationality. “In-landers” and “peninsulars” alike have no choice but to discover anew the way to narrate that memory in order to avoid “reterritorializing” the global “geopolitical vertigo” into another national history.

[1] Shiba Ryōtarō, Kono kuni no katachi 2 (Tokyo: Bunshun bunko, 1993), 16.

[2] Gearóid Ó. Tuathail, Critical Geopolitics: The Politics of Writing Global Space (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), 230.

[3] Foreign Affairs, October, 1997.

[4] Carol Gluck, “Kindai toshite no nijyusseiki: Nihon no ‘sengo’ wo kangaeru,” Sekai November, 1997.

[5] Christopher Sone, Taiheiyo senso to wa nandatta no ka (Tokyo: Soshisha, 1989), 380.

[6] Mitani Taichirō, Kindai nihon no sensō to seiji (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1997), 31.

[7] Shiba Ryōtarō, “’Zakkaya” no teikokushugi” in Kono kuni no katachi 1 (Tokyo: Bunshun bunko, 1993).

[8] “Potsdam Declaration” (July 26, 1945) in Rekishigaku kenkyûkai, ed., Nihonshi shiryō: gendai (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1997), 145.

[9] “Tennō no ningen sengen” (January 1, 1946) in Nihonshi shiryō: gendai, 162~163; Yonetani Tadashi, “Maruyama Masao to sengo nihon” in Maruyama Masao o yomu (Tokyo: Jyōkyō shuppan, 1997), 137.

[10] Mitani Taichirō, 76~77.

[11] Sotoyama Dai, “’Tōa shinbun’ kaisetsu” in Senjika zainichi chōsenjin shiryō vol. 3 (Tokyo: Ryokuin shobo, 1997), 247~253.

[12] Sakai Naoki, “Nihonjin de aru koto,” Shisō no. 882 (1997).

This article appeared in Komori Yoichi and Takahashi Tetsuya, eds., Nashonaru histori wo koete [Beyond national history], Tokyo: Tokyo University Press, 1998), pp. 141-56. It is a slightly revised version of the translation that appeared in Richard F. Calichman, ed., Contemporary Japanese Thought, New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. Posted on Japan Focus on May 5, 2006.

Kang Sang Jung is Professor in the Social Information Research Center (shakai johokenkyujo) at Tokyo University. A second generation Korean-resident in Japan, he specializes in political thought and post-colonial theory. Kang has written extensively on nationalism, orientalism, and the cultural politics shaping East Asian regional relations. He is a regular participant in public discussions concerning Japan-Korea relations, the status of Koreans resident in Japan, and Japan’s global policies. His work includes Max Weber and Modernity: the Problematic of Rationalization Theory [Makkusu Veba to kindai: gorika riron no puroburematicu (1986)], The Two Postwars and Japan: Questioning the Fifty Years of Postwar from Asia [Futatsu no sengo to nihon: ajia kara tou sengo gojyunen (1995)], Beyond Orientalism: Modern Cultural Criticism [Orientarizumu no kanatahe: kindai bunka hihan (1996)], and Resident Koreans [Zainichi (2004)]. He is also the co-author and editor of numerous works engaging questions of globalization, gender, civil society, and contemporary politics in Japan.

Trent Maxey is assistant professor of history and of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Amherst College.

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