I’m going to write as if the whole article were true. If it seems an extreme account to you, the one above, please leave comments and refer me to other sources.
A acquaintance of mine who visits Japan regularly has noted that there seems to be a want by some to put everything in terms of a warrior’s honor, and in-and-of itself, that may not be a bad thing but just one of those (*rolls eyes*) things. We use military metaphors in speaking about many everyday things regularly, no matter who we are.
But that doesn’t mean what people say regularly is irrelevant, for to discuss the top of the Japanese political system only misses the bigger issue. If Fukuyama is correct, we’re watching fascism grow again in Japan, as people are engaging in a denial of history in order to feel more united. Somehow, it seems that fascism is linked with a romanticism for feudal notions in Japan and Germany – Strauss has noted in his preface to Spinoza’s Critique of Religion that the Anti-Semitism of Germany in the Nazi era was something that had been there from the Middle Ages and had grown with their Romantic movement. Similarly, these ideas about honor and noble rule, i.e. –
I heard him explain in front of large public audiences how the people of Manchuria had tears in their eyes when the occupying Kwantung Army left China, so grateful were they to Japan. According to Watanabe, the Pacific War boiled down to race, as the US was determined to keep a non-white people down.
– probably have something to do with the idea of being a Samurai, I’m not sure. All I know about Japan I know from anime and restaurants in Dallas and Ichiro.
And that’s why I have lots of questions, not mean-spirited ones, concerning Fukuyama’s account, the main one being how we can talk people out of this idiocy, and what the character of it may be (is it a result of having too-soft politicians represent the liberal side?). The key one: Is there a fear of North Korea or China mainly driving this? If so, that’s an issue we can address directly.
But if there are delusions about a past which never existed emerging, then we have a serious problem, and we have to wonder what our post-war policy should have been in order to have put an end to this forever. Fukuyama is concerned with one leader telling another to “cool it,” but I think in this globally connected world, one leader telling another something probably means that whatever the situation, it’s too late.
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