Japan's Politics of Cultural Shame
By Masaru Tamamoto
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to cast off the post-World War II order and transform Japan into "a beautiful country" filled with pride and confidence.
This is the slogan of his premiership.
It is as if he believes that Japan has sunk into a state of moral degradation since 1945, and is in need of salvation. It is almost as though he wants to turn back the clock to 1945 and start anew. He is concerned less about guilt over Japanese aggression during World War II than about the shame of not having dealt with the consequences of defeat...
You can download the pdf of the essay here - but buying the dead tree version might kick a little money the East Asia Foundation's way. Some browsers (mine, for instance) have difficulties with the html version.
Finally free of the fetters that bound him, Dr. Tamamoto seems ready to kick in a few shins (and wouldn't be a beautiful world if somebody paid him to do it)?
Oh, I know, I know..."It's not an academic essay"..."It's not nuanced."..."There aren't any footnotes."...ah yes, footnotes...well...
Who gives a tanuki's twaddle--it's alive, it's cogent, it's coherent and it's just in time for the Japan-U.S. summit!