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Social History (2) – Japan As A Heterogeneous Nation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers how both Yamaji Aizan and his lifetime opponent Inoue Tetsujirō were involved in a controversy over the origin of the Japanese people and suggests that Yamaji's argument could be seen as a reaction against the Japan-centred view of history. It has been suggested that Inoue later rejected the view that the core Japanese had come from the south and adopted the view that they had come from the north and that he rejected the view that the Japanese were homogeneous and instead adopted the view that they were heterogeneous, but it does not seem that he really was converted. Yamaji also argued that there were social differences and political conflicts between Eastern and Western Japan. Although emphasizing social differences between Eastern and Western Japan, Yamaji Aizan asserted that Japan had been spiritually unified as a nation since its formation in Yamato.

Keywords: core Japanese people; heterogeneous nation; Inoue Tetsujirō; political conflicts; social differences; Yamaji Aizan



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