Thursday, June 25, 2009

By Popular Demand - the Graphic


Above is a finer grained jpeg of the graphic printed in this Monday's Mainichi Shimbun. Just click on the image to open the jpeg to its full size. For reference, it appeared in the morning edition, pages 14-15. Though it is not clear who produced this image, the special edition's listed authors are Itō Tominaga, Sudō Takashi and Suzuki Hideo.

I have degraded the image by shrinking it and cutting a number of holes in inappropriate places. These acts of vandalism should be sufficient to handle potential copyright issues while preserving the image's value as an academic resource.

Please see Mainichi's jpeg for the original appearance.

I am not sure I would agree with the original classification of Ōe Kenzaburō as a liberal who later moved left -- but then I am not an intellectual historian (You are not any kind of historian - Editor). I also think the glossing-over of Sakurai Yoshiko's transformation (she's way down in the far lower right corner - apt once you think about it) from easy-going Westernized moderate to helmet-headed militant is...unfortunate.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"lower right" is a pretty accurate description of Sakurai's position, tho.

Kintama said...

Thanks for uploading the image. I clicked on your link to the original thinking I could copy the image and look at that, but it just comes out blurred. I can at least make out the names in your uploaded image and can kind of read them when I blow it up.

In the first post, you mention that this pretty much goes in line with the taxonomy Richard Samuels puts forward in Securing Japan. I have not read that book in over a year so my memory is foggy on the details, but where are Yoshida and Ikeda in this diagram? I seem to remember them being pretty prominent in Samuels' intellectual history of JP foreign policy with I believe he called the liberal internationalists. The combination of not having a clear image of the diagram or a clear memory (sleepless nights does that...) may make this comment completely irrelevant, but where do you see these people on this diagram?

As if it matter, personally, Samuels doesn't convince me his taxonomy is accurate.

MTC said...

[Vulgarity deleted] -

The Mainichi graphic tries to locate the transformation and sway in the stances of post-war intellectuals vis-a-vis the Japan-U.S. relationship. The vies of politicians and government officials do not enter into the mix except in the instances where 1) government officials have become public intellectuals post-retirement, as is the case with Sakaiya Taiichi or Okazaki Hisahiko, r 2) where a politician plays a host to a particular study group or school of like-minded thinkers.

I see a resemblance to the Samuels diagram in terms of the graphic's general appearance and the identification of ideologically located but swelling, shifting and attenuating currents in thought.

Kintama said...

Got ya. Would have helped if I had read the text below the box...

To that extent, I think it is a good orthodox summation of cold war-era intellectual thought in Japan. The only thing is that orthodox thinking is usually followed by revisionism and then post-revisionism. The cold war ended 20 years ago, but I don't think the standard thinking has changed much amongst the Japan scholars. That's unfortunate because, as you yourself pointed out, this black and white representation has a lot of gray zones that orthodox thinking fails to cover..