Japanese nationalism in divergence: contemporary expressions
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 11:07 authored by Chy Vi Yeak
Many analyses have articulated the change in Japan's nationalist tone in militarist terms, categorising Japanese nationalism as a resurgence of prewar imperialist values. Nevertheless, the contemporary character of Japan's nationalist expressions is indicating a breakaway from its pacifist past and a tilt towards a more conservative virtue. A theoretically and historically informed examination of the most significant internal and external factors aims to explain Japan's current shift in nationalist tone. Critical applications of nominated frameworks seek to provide new understandings of contemporary Japanese nationalism beyond the pervasive miltarist narrative. A more promising approach selectively draws on the rich literature on nationalism that has developed over the past three decades. Applied to Japanese nationalism, these theories and concepts offer a corrective to the militarist lens. This study employed theories of recurrent renovationist nationalism, relationalism and norm constructivism with the nation and nationalism conceived through notions of imagination and plural discourses. All these elements form the theoretical framework to analyse the salient features of Japanese nationalism. Research into contemporary Japanese nationalism reveals a new conservative strand of nationalism is challenging the pacifist orthodox and is being presented as a viable ideology in the light of the prevailing atmosphere. Conservative nationalism is ascending and is seeking dominance in Japan's nationalist discourse.