Sabine Frühstück

in Uneasy Warriors

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780520247949
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939646 | DOI:

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This epilogue addresses some of the larger questions behind the book's sociocultural and historical analysis—questions about new forms of militarization, the shape of the military of the future, and the notion of the normal state. The Self-Defense Forces promote themselves as a military establishment one moment and play down their military stature the next. Japanese troops at home and abroad have labored under a legally ambiguous status, a distinct lack of appreciation, and potentially hostile public opinion. How and why does the military in Japan affect the tensions between a reputation for impotence and weakness and a reputation for potency and militarism? In what ways do service members negotiate their doubts about the political relevance of a military establishment that has one of the largest budgets in the world? How do they handle their uncertain status as successors to Japan's imperial armed forces, which so memorably shocked the United States and the world with their attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and their concerns about potency despite having the most sophisticated and modern military technology at their disposal? By the same token, what do conventional notions of a military's irrelevance, weakness, and impotence mean in today's world, in which military establishments are increasingly driven by ever-more-sophisticated technologies rather than by manpower, populated by military bureaucrats rather than by combatants, and whose role in combat more often resembles the role of superheroes in computer games than real life experience?

Keywords: militarization; Japanese military; Self-Defense Forces; Japanese troops; imperial armed forces

Chapter.  4196 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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