The Japanese Nationalism

The period after the second World War, Japan’s troops were referred to through the military alliance signed with the United States in 1952. In this way Japan was considered a peaceful nation for the last seven decades, for that reason any sign of demonstration of nationalism has been condenned by its formerly neighbors in the region.

However, with the increase of China as an economically and military power and the threat of North Korea with its nuclear ambitions, have created within Japan certain groups that it has started to question Japanese role in the region and created a new nationalism in the country that may ported a movement away from its previous method of conduction international policies.1

In Japan, there are no much distiction between the words nation, nationality and people. Several scholars, including E. J. Hobsbawn (1992), have pointed out that Japan is one of a set of extremely rare examples of historical satates with a population that is entirely or almost entirely, ethnically homogeneous.2

Within Asian context, Japanese attitutes toward globalization tend to be ambivalent, because they cannot decided if wether they are victims of globalization or major agents of globalization themselves.

During the Britan’s Opium War against China, the United States placed a pressure on Japan to abandon its isolation policy and started a modern state foramation with the adoption of the Europe and the United State system. The concept of soverignty and form of governement from the Prussia Empire, which requires a highly centralized state was adopted. Before that, Japan was a sort of federal state. After, the Japanese people began to be ware of themselves as Japanese and started call themselves Japanese and lefting behind the idea of people belonging to a specific clan, but a member of a nation.

Japanese people had a latent awareness that they saw themselves both culturally and spiritually superior to all other countries, that was part of its identity as japanese. Despite of Japanese culture has strongly influenced by Korea and China, with the Meiji Restoration, Japan began to think that China and Korea were cultural inferiors. 3

In article 9 of the country’s 1947 Constitution, Japan renouced  its sovering right to war and their troops were referred to through the military alliance signed with the United State in 1952.

After the war, differents groups inside Japan tried to create consensus of a new definition of the Japanese state and the ideals values that it should represent. However, the problem that the two dominant poles in Japan were not able to come to a consensus – there are many differnt groups in Japan, but the dominants ones are Left and Right, the first one focus japanese nationalism and they believe that they have been betrayed by the Imperial sate and particular by the military. The right side, the problem for them was that Japan doesn’t have much nationalism, and other words, they have too little patriotism that would support the state . 4 5

The fact is, the majority of the Japanese people are not interestded in their grand political projects and istead they want more focus on mudance priorities such as strengthening the economy and raise the standards of living.

Japan grew and prospered, with a different kind of popular national pride, but it did not create a focus on the Japanese state. Japanese nationalism has become a issue for Tokyo politicians and its people in way that never was in the past. Therefore, Japanese leaders are struggleling to find way to balance the darker and brighter chapter of their history for the sake of larger national interest. 6



5 comentários sobre “The Japanese Nationalism

  1. Japan’s post war conditions were significantly affected in the state of nationalism. Politically speaking, the role of the Left and Right majority groups has allowed them to focus on other priorities – it seems to be there was little debate. They were more on economic and technological advancement than nationalism. I know if you ask a Japanese, I will not hear the terms – Christian, Muslim, etc. I will only hear them say – Japanese. Their culture and traditions remain to be hegemonic in a sense it was highly preserved and no Internationalization. Maybe the time I saw them truly nationalistic was watching their athletes in Olympics and possibly it will happen again when they host the Olympics this 2020.


  2. japan is peaceful nation but after second world war nationalism is affected in is good to know that Japanese people have strong feeling to their nationality. they see themselves Japanese first lefting behind their clan identity. they are spiritually and culturally superior to other because of their identity as Japanese. Their culture and almost entire population are ethnically homogeneous which leads japan toward more advancement technologically and economically. it is good sign for development that Japanese people are not interested in politics rather they are focusing on strengthening economy and raise the standard of living.


  3. This blog defines nationalism in a globalized world, which also consider important the interaction in Japan with ethnicity, now is a little bit different than before, with more trade and travel occurring, the number of non-ethnic Japanese is rising. It is a result of the combination of technology, education, trades, migration and global media too. It is also known, that more and more people in Japan are finding people of different ethnicities, especially in urban and suburban areas, which results in stereotypes that are slowly being changed or challenged.


  4. I like how you start your blog with the introduction of second world war and then describing nature of Japanese people and their shared values, belief in terms of nationalism and how a new nationalism has been fueled up with the rise in economy and military power of China and North Korea…Your blog shows that Japanese promotes the cultural unity rather than violence.


  5. I really enjoyed the way that you described the changes in Japanese nationalism. Clearly WWII had a huge impact on this, but it seems that there is still a strong sense of “Japanese” self-identity as being exclusive to other ethnicities.


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