Imagining Democracy in Postwar Japan

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:
Imagining Democracy in Postwar Japan

Show Summary Details


Democracy, along with other notions such as nationalism, accompanied the consolidation of the world market and the invasive thrust of Western imperialism. Democracy preserves its unique value as both a mode of governance and a moral–political ideal. Ultimately, democracy in either aspect depends upon the development of a broader political and social discourse within which its constitutive elements can contend, a development in which the social sciences necessarily play an active, though hardly a hegemonic role. Maruyama Masao as a political thinker sought to inculcate democratic ideas and sensibilities among his fellow Japanese at a time when catastrophic defeat and national humiliation had cast doubt over all received values and institutions. Maruyama, by publicizing a scientifically imagined notion of democracy in postwar Japan, attempted to create a mass citizenry. His purpose was to examine this attempt and to trace its fate amid the institutional and ideological transformations of the years since 1945.

Keywords: democracy; nationalism; imperialism; Maruyama Masao; humiliation

Chapter.  17593 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.