Chapter

Introduction: The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism

Alan Tansman

in The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780520245051
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943490 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520245051.003.0001
Introduction: The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism

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This introductory chapter first sets out the purpose of the book, which is to explore the aesthetics of fascism in 1930s Japan. The works examined in this study—the writings of the Romantic essayist Yasuda Yojūrō, of the novelists Kawabata Yasunari and Shiga Naoya, of the folk-craft theorist Yanagi Sōetsu; of the culture critic Kobayashi Hideo, and of the postwar novelist Nakagami Kenji; a propaganda tract written by a governmental committee; a popular movie; and the singing of the postwar chanteuse Misora Hibari—supplied the permeating stream of ideology needed to promote goals more overtly elaborated in the political realm. The chapter then discusses the nature of Japanese fascism and so-called fascist moments, which grew out of cultural work and seduced readers away from intellectual analysis into submission to a mystique of national and racial destiny.

Keywords: cultural work; fascism; fascist moments; 1930s Japan

Chapter.  14807 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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