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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a review of the early origins of the concept of minzoku. As with the emergence of the concept of minzokushugi, exactly when the concept of minzoku became an important factor in modern Japanese nationalism is a contested issue. There were also structural reasons for the resurgence of minzoku discourse in the immediate postwar years. One of the most remarkable continuities between wartime and postwar Japan is the way this minzoku discourse continued on, unchallenged by either occupation officials or by liberal or leftist Japanese. The earlier liberal distinction between the nation as minzoku and the state (kokka) provided a sense of legitimate national identity through minzoku for the seven years of foreign occupation when an independent Japanese state did not exist. By the turn of the century, support for ethnic nationalism by the Japanese public, as well as among intellectuals, was fading.

Keywords: ethnic nationalism; kokka; liberal political theory; minzoku; minzokushugi; modern Japanese nationalism



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