Reconfiguring Modernity
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Reconfiguring Modernity

Concepts of Nature in Japanese Political Ideology
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ISBN-13:
9780520926844
Seiten:
254
Autor:
Julia Adeney Thomas
Serie:
12, Twentieth Century Japan: The Emergence of a World Power
eBook Typ:
PDF
Kopierschutz:
Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:

Julia Adeney Thomas turns the concept of nature into a powerful analytical lens through which to view Japanese modernity, bringing the study of both Japanese history and political modernity to a new level of clarity. She shows that nature necessarily functions as a political concept and that changing ideas of nature's political authority were central during Japan's transformation from a semifeudal world to an industrializing colonial empire. In political documents from the nineteenth to the early twentieth century, nature was redefined, moving from the universal, spatial concept of the Tokugawa period, through temporal, social Darwinian ideas of inevitable progress and competitive struggle, to a celebration of Japan as a nation uniquely in harmony with nature. The so-called traditional "Japanese love of nature" masks modern state power.



Thomas's theoretically sophisticated study rejects the supposition that modernity is the ideological antithesis of nature, overcoming the determinism of the physical environment through technology and liberating denatured subjects from the chains of biology and tradition. In making "nature" available as a critical term for political analysis, this book yields new insights into prewar Japan's failure to achieve liberal democracy, as well as an alternative means of understanding modernity and the position of non-Western nations within it.
Julia Adeney Thomas turns the concept of nature into a powerful analytical lens through which to view Japanese modernity, bringing the study of both Japanese history and political modernity to a new level of clarity. She shows that nature necessarily functions as a political concept and that changing ideas of nature's political authority were central during Japan's transformation from a semifeudal world to an industrializing colonial empire. In political documents from the nineteenth to the early twentieth century, nature was redefined, moving from the universal, spatial concept of the Tokugawa period, through temporal, social Darwinian ideas of inevitable progress and competitive struggle, to a celebration of Japan as a nation uniquely in harmony with nature. The so-called traditional "Japanese love of nature" masks modern state power.


Thomas's theoretically sophisticated study rejects the supposition that modernity is the ideological antithesis of nature, overcoming the determinism of the physical environment through technology and liberating denatured subjects from the chains of biology and tradition. In making "nature" available as a critical term for political analysis, this book yields new insights into prewar Japan's failure to achieve liberal democracy, as well as an alternative means of understanding modernity and the position of non-Western nations within it.
Preface

Acknowledgments

Note on Transliteration



1. Introduction: The Trouble with Nature

Objections

Justifications

Outline of Nature's Political History in Japan



2. The Topographical Imagination of Tokugawa Politics

Mental Maps

China as Imperial Center

Japan's Imperial Center

Rural Centers

Centers of Learning

Divorce Proceedings: Space versus Time



3. Early Meiji's Contentious Natures

Natural Forms of Contention: Laws and Bodies

The Historiography of Meiji Ideologies

Nature's Indeterminate Determinism



4. Kato Hiroyuki: Turning Nature into Time

Kato Hiroyuki and
Tenko


Shinsei tai'i and
Kokutai shinron


Jinken shinsetsu

The Reaction to
Jinken shinsetsu



5. Baba Tatsui: Natural Laws and Willful Natures

The Equilibrium of Forces in Nature and History

The Death Wishes of Baba Tatsui and Herbert Spencer


Tenpu jinkenron: The Reply to Kato

Catalyzing Nature: The Role of Will in Baba's Social Evolution



6. Ueki Emori: Singing the Body Electric

The Basic Body of
Tenpu jinkenben

The Political Problems of Ueki's Bodies

A Dance of Loneliness



7. The Acculturation of Japanese Nature

Social Evolution's Victory

Social Evolution's Defeat: The Political Inadequacy of a Progressive

Cosmopolis

Nature as Japanese Culture: Bringing the Outside In

The Last Vestiges of Social Darwinism



8. Ultranational Nature: Dead Time and Dead Space

Shinto's National Nature

Economizing Nature

Educating the National Family

World-Historical Nature



9. Conclusion: Natural Freedom



Index