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The State And The Individual, 1897–1917

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that Yamaji Aizan, who advocated the independence and freedom of the individual, wanted Japan to maintain its independence in the age of imperialism and regarded Japan's colonization of Korea as 'an alliance' in common defence against foreign powers. It shows that Yamaji continued to attach great importance to the independence and freedom of the individual under state restrictions. The chapter considers Yamaji's view of Tokutomi Sohō's conversion to an imperialist and clarify Yamaji's opinion of imperialism. Being critical of socialism, Yamaji emphasized the importance of genuine cooperation between capital and labour, and advocated state-centred socialism instead. Yamaji Aizan also criticized anti-statism advocated by Count Leo Tolstoy, whose literary works heavily influenced modern Japanese literature including the Shirakaba group. He advocated the independence of the state and the individual, but this was not a new idea.

Keywords: anti-statism; imperialism; modern Japanese literature; state-centred socialism; Tokutomi Sohō; Yamaji Aizan



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