Japanese nationalism is the nationalism that asserts that the Japanese are a monolithic nation with a single immutable culture, promotes the cultural unity of the Japanese. It encompasses a broad range of ideas and sentiments harbored by the Japanese people over the last two centuries regarding their native country, its cultural nature, political form and historical destiny, it is useful to distinguish Japanese cultural nationalism from political or state-directed nationalism, since many forms of cultural nationalism, such as those associated with folkloric studies, have been hostile to state-fostered nationalism. In Meiji period Japan, nationalist ideology consisted of a blend of native and imported political philosophies developed by the Meiji government to promote national unity and patriotism, first in defense against colonization by Western powers, in a struggle to attain equality with the Great Powers, it evolved throughout the Taishō and Shōwa periods to justify an totalitarian government and overseas expansionism, provided a political and ideological foundation for the actions of the Japanese military in the years leading up to World War II.
During the final days of the Tokugawa shogunate, the perceived threat of foreign encroachment after the arrival of Commodore Matthew C. Perry and the signing of the Kanagawa Accord, led to increased prominence to the development of nationalist ideologies; some prominent daimyō promoted the concept of fukko. The terms were not mutually exclusive, merging into the sonnō jōi concept, which in turn was a major driving force in starting the Meiji Restoration; the Meiji Constitution of 1889 defined allegiance to the State as the citizen's highest duty. While the constitution itself contained a mix of political Western practices and traditional Japanese political ideas, government philosophy centered on promoting social harmony and a sense of the uniqueness of the Japanese people; the extreme disparity in economic and military power between Japan and the Western colonial powers was a great cause for concern for the early Meiji leadership. The motto Fukoku kyōhei symbolized Meiji period nationalistic policies to provide government support to strengthen strategic industries.
Only with a strong economic base could Japan afford to build a strong, modern military along Western lines, only with a strong economy and military could Japan force a revision of the unequal treaties, such as the Kanagawa Accords. Government policies laid the basis of industrialist empires known as the zaibatsu; as a residue of its widespread use in propaganda during the 19th century, military nationalism in Japan was known as bushidō. The word, denoting a coherent code of beliefs and doctrines about the proper path of the samurai, or what is called generically'warrior thought', is encountered in Japanese texts before the Meiji era, when the 11 volumes of the Hagakure of Yamamoto Tsunetomo, compiled in the years from 1710 to 1716 where the character combination is employed, was published. Constituted over a long time by house manuals on war and warriorship, it gained some official backing with the establishment of the Bakufu, which sought an ideological orthodoxy in the Neo-Confucianism of Zhu Xi tailored for military echelons that formed the basis of the new shogunal government.
An important early role was played by Yamaga Sokō in theorizing a Japanese military ethos. After the abolition of the feudal system, the new military institutions of Japan were shaped along European lines, with Western instructors, the codes themselves modeled on standard models adapted from abroad; the impeccable behaviour, in terms of international criteria, displayed by the Japanese military in the Russo-Japanese War was proof that Japan had a modern army whose techniques and etiquette of war differed little from that of what prevailed among the Western imperial powers. The Imperial Rescript for Seamen and Soldiers, presented Japan as a "sacred nation protected by the gods". An undercurrent of traditional warrior values never wholly disappeared, as Japan slid towards a cycle of repeated crises from the mid-Taishō to early Shōwa eras, the old samurai ideals began to assume importance among more politicized officers in the Imperial Japanese Army. Sadao Araki played an important role in adapting a doctrine of seishin kyōiku as an ideological backbone for army personnel.
As Minister of Education, he supported the integration of the samurai code into the national education system. In developing the modern concepts of State Shintoism and emperor worship, various Japanese philosophers tried to revive or purify national beliefs by removing imported foreign ideas, borrowed from Chinese philosophy; this "Restoration Shintōist Movement" began with Motoori Norinaga in the 18th century. Motoori Norinaga, Hirata Atsutane, based their research on the Kojiki and other classic Shintō texts which teach the superiority of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu; this formed the basis for State Shintōism, as the Japanese emperor claimed direct descent from Amaterasu. The emperor himself was therefore sacred, all proclamations of the emperor had thus a religious significance. After the Meiji Restoration, the new imperial government needed to modernize the polity and economy of Japan, the Meiji oligarchy felt that those goals could only be accomplished through a strong sense of natio
Imperial Japanese Army
The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. An Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters, an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, the Inspector General of Military Training. In the mid-19th century, Japan had no unified national army and the country was made up of feudal domains with the Tokugawa shogunate in overall control, which had ruled Japan since 1603; the bakufu army, although large force, was only one among others, bakufu efforts to control the nation depended upon the cooperation of its vassals' armies.
The opening of the country after two centuries of seclusion subsequently led to the Meiji Restoration and the Boshin War in 1868. The domains of Satsuma and Chōshū came to dominate the coalition against the shogunate. On 27 January 1868, tensions between the shogunate and imperial sides came to a head when Tokugawa Yoshinobu marched on Kyoto, accompanied by a 15,000-strong force consisting of troops, trained by French military advisers, they were opposed by 5,000 troops from the Satsuma, Chōshū, Tosa domains. At the two road junctions of Toba and Fushimi just south of Kyoto, the two forces clashed. On the second day, an Imperial banner was given to the defending troops and a relative of the Emperor, Ninnajinomiya Yoshiaki, was named nominal commander in chief, in effect making the pro-imperial forces an Imperial army; the bafuku forces retreated to Osaka, with the remaining forces ordered to retreat to Edo. Yoshinobu and his closest advisors left for Edo by ship; the encounter at Toba–Fushimi between the imperial and shogunate forces marked the beginning of the conflict.
With the court in Kyoto behind the Satsuma-Chōshū-Tosa coalition, other domains that were sympathetic to the cause—such as Tottori and Hizen —emerged to take a more active role in military operations. Western domains that had either supported the shogunate or remained neutral quickly announced their support of the restoration movement; the nascent Meiji state required a new military command for its operations against the shogunate. In 1868, the "Imperial Army" being just a loose amalgam of domain armies, the government created four military divisions: the Tōkaidō, Tōsandō, San'indō, Hokurikudō, each of, named for a major highway. Overseeing these four armies was a new high command, the Eastern Expeditionary High Command, whose nominal head was prince Arisugawa-no-miya, with two court nobles as senior staff officers; this connected the loose assembly of domain forces with the imperial court, the only national institution in a still unformed nation-state. The army continually emphasized its link with the imperial court: firstly.
To supply food and other supplies for the campaign, the imperial government established logistical relay stations along three major highways. These small depots held stockpiled material supplied by local pro-government domains, or confiscated from the bafuku and others opposing the imperial government. Local villagers were impressed as porters to move and deliver supplies between the depots and frontline units; the new army fought under makeshift arrangements, with unclear channels of command and control and no reliable recruiting base. Although fighting for the imperial cause, many of the units were loyal to their domains rather than the imperial court. In March 1869, the imperial government created various administrative offices, including a military branch; the imperial court told the domains to restrict the size of their local armies and to contribute to funding a national officers' training school in Kyoto. However, within a few months the government disbanded both the military branch and the imperial bodyguard: the former was ineffective while the latter lacked modern weaponry and equipment.
To replace them, two new organizations were created. One was the military affairs directorate, composed of two bureaus, one for the army and one for the navy; the directorate drafted an army from troop contributions from each domain proportional to each domain's annual rice production. This conscript army integrated samurai and commoners from various domains into its ranks; as the war continued, the military affairs directorate expected to raise troops from the wealthier domains and, in June, the organization of the army was fixed, where each domain was required to send ten men for each 10,000 koku of rice produced. However, this policy put the imperial government in direct competition with the domains for military recruitment, not rectified until April 1868, when the government banned the domains from enlisting troops; the quota system never worked as intended an
Imperial Seal of Japan
The Imperial Seal of Japan called the Chrysanthemum Seal, Chrysanthemum Flower Seal or Imperial chrysanthemum emblem, is one of the national seals and a crest used by the Emperor of Japan and members of the Imperial Family. It is a contrast to the Paulownia Seal used by the Japanese government. During the Meiji period, no one was permitted to use the Imperial Seal except the Emperor of Japan, who used a 16 petal chrysanthemum with sixteen tips of another row of petals showing behind the first row. Therefore, each member of the Imperial family used a modified version of the seal. Shinto shrines either displayed the imperial seal or incorporated elements of the seal into their own emblems. Earlier in Japanese history, when Emperor Go-Daigo, who tried to break the power of the shogunate in 1333, was exiled, he adopted the seventeen-petal chrysanthemum to differentiate himself from the Northern Court's Emperor Kōgon, who kept the imperial 16-petal mon; the symbol is a orange chrysanthemum with black or red outlines and background.
A central disc is surrounded by a front set of 16 petals. A rear set of 16 petals are half staggered in relation to the front set and are visible at the edges of the flower. An example of the chrysanthemum being used is in the badge for the Order of the Chrysanthemum. Other members of the Imperial Family use a version with 14 single petals, while a form with 16 single petals is used for Diet members' pins, orders and other items that carry or represent the authority of the Emperor; the Imperial Seal is used on the standards of the Imperial Family. National seals of Japan Chrysanthemum Throne Imperial Seal of Korea Order of the Chrysanthemum Mon Media related to Imperial seals of Japan at Wikimedia Commons
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside katakana; the Japanese term kanji for the Chinese characters means "Han characters". It is written with the same characters in the Chinese language to refer to the character writing system, hanzi. Chinese characters first came to Japan on official seals, swords, coins and other decorative items imported from China; the earliest known instance of such an import was the King of Na gold seal given by Emperor Guangwu of Han to a Yamato emissary in 57 AD. Chinese coins from the first century AD have been found in Yayoi period archaeological sites. However, the Japanese of that era had no comprehension of the script, would remain illiterate until the fifth century AD. According to the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki, a semi-legendary scholar called Wani was dispatched to Japan by the Kingdom of Baekje during the reign of Emperor Ōjin in the early fifth century, bringing with him knowledge of Confucianism and Chinese characters.
The earliest Japanese documents were written by bilingual Chinese or Korean officials employed at the Yamato court. For example, the diplomatic correspondence from King Bu of Wa to Emperor Shun of Liu Song in 478 has been praised for its skillful use of allusion. Groups of people called fuhito were organized under the monarch to read and write Classical Chinese. During the reign of Empress Suiko, the Yamato court began sending full-scale diplomatic missions to China, which resulted in a large increase in Chinese literacy at the Japanese court. In ancient times paper was so rare that people stenciled kanji onto thin, rectangular strips of wood; these wooden boards were used for communication between government offices, tags for goods transported between various countries, the practice of writing. The oldest written kanji in Japan discovered so far was written in ink on wood as a wooden strip dated to the 7th century, it is a record of trading for salt. The Japanese language had no written form at the time Chinese characters were introduced, texts were written and read only in Chinese.
During the Heian period, however, a system known as kanbun emerged, which involved using Chinese text with diacritical marks to allow Japanese speakers to restructure and read Chinese sentences, by changing word order and adding particles and verb endings, in accordance with the rules of Japanese grammar. Chinese characters came to be used to write Japanese words, resulting in the modern kana syllabaries. Around 650 AD, a writing system called man'yōgana evolved that used a number of Chinese characters for their sound, rather than for their meaning. Man'yōgana written in cursive style evolved into hiragana, or onna-de, that is, "ladies' hand," a writing system, accessible to women. Major works of Heian-era literature by women were written in hiragana. Katakana emerged via a parallel path: monastery students simplified man'yōgana to a single constituent element, thus the two other writing systems and katakana, referred to collectively as kana, are descended from kanji. In comparison to kana kanji are called mana.
In modern Japanese, kanji are used to write parts of the language such as nouns, adjective stems, verb stems, while hiragana are used to write inflected verb and adjective endings and as phonetic complements to disambiguate readings and miscellaneous words which have no kanji or whose kanji is considered obscure or too difficult to read or remember. Katakana are used for representing onomatopoeia, non-Japanese loanwords, the names of plants and animals, for emphasis on certain words. In 1946, after World War II and under the Allied Occupation of Japan, the Japanese government, guided by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, instituted a series of orthographic reforms, to help children learn and to simplify kanji use in literature and periodicals; the number of characters in circulation was reduced, formal lists of characters to be learned during each grade of school were established. Some characters were given simplified glyphs, called shinjitai. Many variant forms of characters and obscure alternatives for common characters were discouraged.
These are guidelines, so many characters outside these standards are still known and used. The kyōiku kanji are 1,006 characters; the list only contained 881 characters. This was expanded to 996 characters in 1977, it was not until 1982 the list was expanded to its current size. The grade-level breakdown of these kanji is known as the gakunen-betsu kanji haitōhyō, or the gakushū kanji; the jōyō kanji are 2,136 characters consisting of all the Kyōiku kanji, plus 1,130 additional kanji taught in junior high and high school. In publishing, characters outside this category are given furigana; the jōyō kanji were introduced in 1981, replacing an older list of 1,850 characters known as the tōyō kanji, introduced in 1946. Numbering 1,945 characters, the jōyō kanji list was extended to 2,136 in 2010; some of the new characters were Jinmeiyō kanji. Since September 27, 2004, the jinmeiyō k
Imperial Rule Assistance Association
The Imperial Rule Assistance Association, or Imperial Aid Association, was Japan's wartime organization created by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe on October 12, 1940, to promote the goals of his Shintaisei movement. It evolved into a "statist" ruling political party which aimed at removing the sectionalism in the politics and economics in the Empire of Japan to create a totalitarian one-party state, in order to maximize the efficiency of Japan's total war effort in China; when the organization was launched Konoe was hailed as a "political savior" of a nation in chaos. Based on recommendations by the Shōwa Kenkyūkai, Konoe conceived of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association as a reformist political party to overcome the deep-rooted differences and political cliques between bureaucrats and the military. During the summer of 1937, Konoe appointed 37 members chosen from a broad political spectrum to a preparatory committee which met in Karuizawa, Nagano; the committee included Konoe's political colleagues Fumio Gotō, Count Yoriyasu Arima and ex-syndicalist and right-wing spokesman Fusanosuke Kuhara.
The socialist and populist left wing was represented by Kingoro Hashimoto and the traditionalist military wings by Senjūrō Hayashi, Heisuke Yanagawa and Nobuyuki Abe. Konoe proposed that the Imperial Rule Assistance Association be organized along national syndicalist lines, with new members assigned to branches based on occupation, which would develop channels for mass participation of the common population to "assist with the Imperial Rule". However, from the start, there was no consensus in a common cause, as the leadership council represented all ends of the political spectrum, in the end, the party was organized along geographic lines, following the existing political sub-divisions. Therefore, all local government leaders at each level of village, town and prefectural government automatically received the equivalent position within their local Imperial Rule Assistance Association branch. Prior to creation of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, Konoe had passed the National Mobilization Law, which nationalized strategic industries, the news media, labor unions, in preparation for total war with China.
Labor unions were replaced by the Nation Service Draft Ordinance, which empowered the government to draft civilian workers into critical war industries. Society was mobilized and indoctrinated through the National Spiritual Mobilization Movement, which organized patriotic events and mass rallies, promoted slogans such as "Yamato-damashii" and "Hakkō ichiu" to support Japanese militarism; this was urged to "restore the spirit and virtues of old Japan". Some objections to it came on the grounds that kokutai, imperial polity required all imperial subjects to support imperial rule. In addition to drumming up support for the ongoing wars in China and in the Pacific, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association helped maintain public order and provided certain public services via the tonarigumi neighborhood association program, it played a role in increasing productivity, monitoring rationing, organizing civil defense. The Imperial Rule Assistance Association was militarized, with its members donning khaki-colored uniforms.
In the last period of the conflict, the membership received military training and was projected to integrate with civil militia in case of the anticipated American invasion. As soon as October 1940, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association systemized and formalized the Tonarigumi, a nationwide system of neighborhood associations; the November 6, 1940 issue of Shashin Shūhō explained the purpose of this infrastructure: The Taisei Yokusankai movement has turned on the switch for rebuilding a new Japan and completing a new Great East Asian order which, writ large, is the construction of a new world order. The Taisei Yokusankai is, broadly speaking, the New Order movement which will, in a word, place One Hundred Million into one body under this new organisation that will conduct all of our energies and abilities for the sake of the nation. Aren't we all mentally prepared to be members of this new organization and, as one adult to another, without holding our superiors in awe or being preoccupied with the past, cast aside all private concerns in order to perform public service?
Under the Taisei Yokusankai are regional town and tonarigumi. In February 1942, all women's associations were merged into the Greater Japan Women's Association which joined the Imperial Rule Assistance Association in May; every adult woman in Japan, excepting the under twenty and unmarried, was forced to join the Association. In June, all youth organizations were merged into the Greater Japan Imperial Rule Assistance Youth Corps, based on the model of the German Sturmabteilung. In March 1942, Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō attempted to eliminate the influence of elected politicians by establishing an sponsored election nomination commission, which restricted non-government-sanctioned candidates from the ballot. After the 1942 Japanese General Election, all members of Diet were required to join the Yokusan Seijikai, which made Japan a one-party state; the Imperial Rule Assistance Association was formally dissolved on June 13, 1945. During the occupation of Japan, the American authorities purged thousands of government leaders from public life for having been members of the Association.
Many of the leaders of
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo