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By Kevin M. Doak

This magisterial heritage of jap nationalism finds nationalism to be a contested and pluralistic perform that seeks to heart the folk in political lifestyles. It offers a wealth of fundamental resource fabric on how jap themselves have understood their nationwide id.

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The precise significance of that claim–and thus the objective of a specific nationalist movement–rests in what meaning is attributed to “the nation” in particular cases. To answer that question with respect to Japan, we must now turn to how the nation emerged and was articulated in modern Japanese history. In the chapters that follow, I try to do precisely that. The next chapter surveys the preconditions for nationalism in Japan: the social hierarchy and decentralized political structure of early nineteenth century and how its transformation gave rise to various efforts to construct a modern nation in Japan.

Nor is it easy to recognize the diverse forms of nationalism that have continued to inform political and cultural practice in Japan without first realizing that this sense of “Japaneseness” was, and is, a contingent and contested mode of identity. In order to appreciate what this absence of national identity meant, we must first guard against the temptations of anachronism. It is tempting to extract a concept from premodern texts that resembles a modern sense of nationality and then carry that concept forth into subsequent years, regardless of how well the actual existence of such “national” forms of identity is supported by other kinds of historical evidence.

1 (1921): 148-155, at 153. 29 McDougall, The Group Mind, 141. 30 McDougall, The Group Mind, 168, 144. Emphasis in original. 20 CHAPTER ONE emotional factor, or the sentiment of being a nation. But he also was one of the first to recognize how terminological confusion (he actually alleged intentional efforts to “corrupt” the language) was complicating the task of understanding what nationalism is. Hayes noted that the word nation had its roots in the Latin word natio (birth or race, a social group based on a community of blood and language), and he also knew that the word “nation” had been used since the seventeenth century to describe certain populations that had nothing to do with racial or linguistic unity: It was in part to atone for the abuse of the word “nation” that the word “nationality” was coined in the early part of the nineteenth century and speedily incorporated into most European languages.

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