In the late nineteenth century, Japan was the only non Western country to have successfully faced the challenges of the Westernization. At the end of Meiji Era, just three decades after the end of the country’s feudal age, it became a Great Britain’s ally, while its soldiers were deployed in Beijing, operating alongside the great European powers. Meanwhile, in Japan the perception of a scientifically and technologically advanced West became to be imbued by negative connotations, generated by the threatening Western presence in Asia. In order to avoid succumbing to European imperialist yoke, Japan has itself gradually converted its international status by embracing an imperialistic identity. The new image of the world responding to the current historical situation could only result from a philosophy immersed in the historicity, far from its metaphysical dimension. In a philosophy mediated by history, the self-awareness would have coincided with the “historical manifestations of history”. Based on these premises, the Chūōkōron group seemed to have presented Japan’s hegemonic aspirations as an expression of its “real historical manifestation”. That sounded like an explicit declaration of supporting ideologically the country’s involvement in the war. But what is the meaning that the participants in the debates attributed to the idea of Japan’s “real historical manifestation”? The answer lies in a moral obligation that the country saw as “the duty” of world history: overcoming the modern civilization while promoting a new culture.

Oliviero, F. (2012). Interwar Japan Beyond the West. The Search for a New Subjectivity in World History. Newcastle upon Tyne : CAMBRIDGE SCHOLARS PUBLISHING.

Interwar Japan Beyond the West. The Search for a New Subjectivity in World History

FRATTOLILLO, OLIVIERO
2012

Abstract

In the late nineteenth century, Japan was the only non Western country to have successfully faced the challenges of the Westernization. At the end of Meiji Era, just three decades after the end of the country’s feudal age, it became a Great Britain’s ally, while its soldiers were deployed in Beijing, operating alongside the great European powers. Meanwhile, in Japan the perception of a scientifically and technologically advanced West became to be imbued by negative connotations, generated by the threatening Western presence in Asia. In order to avoid succumbing to European imperialist yoke, Japan has itself gradually converted its international status by embracing an imperialistic identity. The new image of the world responding to the current historical situation could only result from a philosophy immersed in the historicity, far from its metaphysical dimension. In a philosophy mediated by history, the self-awareness would have coincided with the “historical manifestations of history”. Based on these premises, the Chūōkōron group seemed to have presented Japan’s hegemonic aspirations as an expression of its “real historical manifestation”. That sounded like an explicit declaration of supporting ideologically the country’s involvement in the war. But what is the meaning that the participants in the debates attributed to the idea of Japan’s “real historical manifestation”? The answer lies in a moral obligation that the country saw as “the duty” of world history: overcoming the modern civilization while promoting a new culture.
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Oliviero, F. (2012). Interwar Japan Beyond the West. The Search for a New Subjectivity in World History. Newcastle upon Tyne : CAMBRIDGE SCHOLARS PUBLISHING.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/286631
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