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Representing The People As A Nation

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Chapter Summary

This study does not deny the significant presence of the state in modern Japanese life, and particularly in political life. The author's approach is first to foreground his understanding of Japanese nationalism in an overview of major developments in nationalism theory. The idea which lies at the core of nationalism is the idea of the ‘nation. Just as the nation is not the same as the state, neither is the nation reducible to ethnic identity. Not all nations are ethnic ones, and similarly not all theorists of nationalism assert ethnic nationalism as the only form of nationalism. The distinction between a cultural nation and a statist nation remained a cardinal feature of Japanese discourse on nationalism, especially among sociologists. Nationalism, always and everywhere, is an effort to place the people in a conceptual, political and social order that makes sense for those who espouse that nationalism.

Keywords: ethnic nationalism; Japanese discourse; Japanese nationalism; national identity



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