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The Progressive View Of History

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses some progressive views of history and shows that Yamaji Aizan was interested in the contribution of commoners to the development of society, an idea which was neglected in the unilinear progressive view of history. In his book The New Generation in Meiji Japan, Kenneth Pyle has suggested that there were three types of intellectuals in the late Meiji period when Japan had to reconcile 'the conflicting needs of cultural borrowing and national pride'. One group called Minyūsha believed that social progress was 'unilinear'. Pyle argues that the second group, the Seikyōsha, represented a different way of dealing with the problem of cultural borrowing and opposed the unilinear concept of social progress. The third group of intellectuals including Inoue Tetsujirō and Takayama Chogyū, preached 'a far more conservative brand of nationalism', and became prominent during the 1890s. The chapter describes about Tokutomi Sohō and the history of civilization.

Keywords: Kenneth Pyle; Minyūsha; Seikyōsha; social progress; Tokutomi Sohō; unilinear progressive view; Yamaji Aizan



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