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Chapter Summary

When Hasegawa Nyozekan was born in Tokyo in 1875, that city still retained a strong flavor of Edo, with the grand daimyo residences of Yamanote and the floating world of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters. In the postwar period, what Oya Soichi called the Nyozekan Boom dramatically demonstrates the continuity between prewar and postwar Japanese history. The liberal democracy that was worked out over time in the West (though not necessarily gradually or without violence) came to Japan in a series of crises. Nyozekan believed there was indeed no alternative for Japan except democratization and that this was the path Japan had been heading down since the Meiji Restoration. In comparing Japan's convulsive course to democracy with that of Western Europe, Nyozekan was recognizing that certain universal principles were at work.

Keywords: democratization; Hasegawa Nyozekan; Japan; Meiji Restoration; Oya Soichi; Western Europe



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