Chapter

Social Science as History

Andrew E. Barshay

in The Social Sciences in Modern Japan

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780520236455
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941335 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520236455.003.0001
Social Science as History

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The theme of Japan as the only successful modernizer or “power” in Asia has been endlessly played out since the 1890s. Japanese elites undertook a forced march to industrialization and military strength based for some decades on the relentless taxation of peasant production. This effort was initially supported by a somewhat freewheeling Anglophilia, with the appropriation of American and French models in various domains as more or less significant subthemes. Social Darwinism, the theory of progress, and an ethic of individual and national advancement, formed the keynote of systematic Westernizations. Japan, in short, had modernized through, not despite, tradition; a new, neotraditional mode of modernization had emerged on the world historical stage. However, success brought frustration and anxiety.

Keywords: modernizer; industrialization; Anglophilia; Social Darwinism; neotraditional

Chapter.  14793 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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