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Satō– Eisaku, Yasuoka Masahiro And The Re-Establishment Of 11 February As National Day: The Political Use Of National Memory In Post-War Japan

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Chapter Summary

As Pierre Nora has pointed out, national flags, national songs or national holidays are part of the realms of memory of a nation. In the case of Japan, all of these symbolic realms existed already in the pre-war period. The re-establishment of 11 February as National Day in 1966 by a cabinet under Prime Minister Sato-Eisaku is a case in point. The cabinet met strong opposition, especially from Marxists historians. The people of Soshinkai are often described as right-wing, representative of a chauvinist attempt to destroy the heritage of post-war Japan, as symbolized by Yoshida Shigeru. We can see the conflict between historians and the government about 11 February as an avatar of the Kume incident. Actually few people still think about opposing 11 February today, but most people take their holidays on that day without thinking about tradition at all, contrary to what Yasuoka wanted to achieve.

Keywords: Kume incident; National day; post-war Japan; Soshinkai; symbolic realms



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