I shall argue that Tagore, and Gandhi as well occupied an unusual position on the question of nationalism. They realized that successful opposition to British colonial rule required the spread of a collective sentiment across the different social groups in Indian society: an anti-imperialist nationalism. Yet Tagore showed deep concern at the career of nationalist ideas in world history – particularly the form it assumed in Europe. He was wary of the institutions of a typical European style nation-state; and did not want Indian society to develop nationalism in that form. This produced a very interesting form of nationalist reflection in Tagore. The lecture will illustrate his deep and complex reflections on a critical form of nationalism from his political writings and literary texts.
This paper will deal with the following three issues: 1) Critique of a series of anti-constitutional measures such as the Cabinet’s decision about the use of collective self-defense right which were made on July 1 this year. And I will argue that these measures signify coup d’état against the Constitution on the part of the Abe administration. (2) Critique of Yasukuni nationalism of Prime Minister Abe and its defining features. (3) Finally, I will suggest a few things about the need for non-military security measures in East Asia today by referring to recent developments of the theories and practices of peace-building, cooperative security, reconciliation and peace, and so on.
The politics of national identity and historical memory continues to play a key role in shaping the international relations of Northeast Asia today. This chapter seeks to shed light on the vexing regional situation by offering an account of the issues from a Japanese perspective. In order to do so, I shall first provide an analysis of what is often termed the “Yasukuni view of history” (Yasukuni shikan). We shall then take an overview of the postwar contestation over historical narratives, with particular reference to the textbook issue. It is important to note that, between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, with the rise of a certain liberal/neoliberal, internationalist orientation that became dominant in the newly politically assertive and economically affluent Japan, serious political efforts to reach settlements (if not solutions) over the “history” issues with China and South Korea were made by the country’s ruling elites. This was, however, followed by a revisionist backlash since the late 1990s that challenged and undid the fragile compromise with its neighbors as a revisionist, nationalist orientation took over in Japan, shaken by the social disruptions caused by a globalizing economy, and now on relative decline in Northeast Asia. Finally, this chapter closes by placing the impact of the resurgence of the Yasukuni view of history in the contemporary regional context.
This paper examines Ahn Changho’s writings which arguably referred not only to his longing for national independence but also to his aspiration of peaceful coexistence in Northeast Asia. Although it has been frequently noted that the connection between Ahn’s advocacy of national independence and his suggestion of humanitarian cosmopolitanism may have been much closer than is usually assumed, there were only a few scholarly attempts to see about his conception of non-domination in terms of a coherent logic as something bracketing together with mutually exclusive extremes. By juxtaposing Ahn’s political thoughts with Giuseppe Mazzini’s then-popular thesis on ‘one’s love for humanity,’ I make the following two claims. (1) Ahn retains the politics of non-domination that gives epistemological coherence to his ideas ranging from the advocacy of the reconstruction of the nation to the assertion of peaceful coexistence in Northeast Asia. (2) Ahn’s conception of non-domination embodied in his religious aspiration for love for humanity demonstrates the need for overcoming the simple antinomies between resistance and coexistence on the one hand, and between national and cosmopolitan on the other hand.
Despite the wide-spread understanding of the pre-war Japan, the society of the nation of the time can be characterized with its multicultural political orientation. This does not necessarily mean that Japan was actively engaged in accepting diversity of races, but it was an inevitable consequence of the expansion of its political territory, which naturally brought diverse races under control of imperial Japan. Multiculturalizing Japan was not an easy task, and certainly needed a core of political body which was to ensure the unity of the expanding imperial body. This presentation critically investigates the role religion and philosophy performed in the context of Japan’s imperialism, and introduces retrospect religious and philosophical self-reflections of the post-war period which bring us a cautionary tale in engaging in contemporary international politics of post-modernity.