By Stewart Lone
Unlike the long-lasting stereotype of a ‘nation of samurai’, this booklet makes use of provincial newspapers and native documents to listen to the voices of standard humans dwelling in imperial Japan via numerous many years of struggle and peace. those voices demonstrate the actual studies, critiques and feelings of fellows, girls and youngsters. They convey that the influence of a uniquely disciplined, regimented, militaristic society, which took root within the Western mind's eye from the Nineties and which helped lead to the Pacific battle of 1941-5, is a gross phantasm. Stewart Lone demanding situations the long-standing view of prewar Japan as a ‘militaristic’ society. rather than counting on the standard money owed approximately senior commanders and politics on the middle of presidency, he exhibits the realities of provincial society’s kin with the army in Japan at flooring point. operating from the point of view of civil society and either rural and concrete existence within the provinces, Lone investigates broader civil contacts with the army together with faculties, neighborhood companies, rest and leisure, civic ceremonies and monuments, in addition to public attitudes in the direction of the army and its values. This publication can be of curiosity to top undergraduates, postgraduates and lecturers drawn to army background and eastern historical past.
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Extra info for Provincial Life and the Military in Imperial Japan: The Phantom Samurai (Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia)
Another question which remains, however, is whether provincial women, or at least women’s groups, continued in later years to pursue greater links with the military as a vehicle to enhance their social status. Perhaps the most important group for the long-term future of civil-military relations was the schoolchildren. For them, the war quickly came to dominate the daily routine of lessons, featuring in classes on history, geography and ethics. In these lessons, as one prefectural education board declared, the aim was to emphasise the virtue of the emperor, demonstrate to the pupils that this was a ‘just war’ (gisen), familiarize them with the history and geography of China and Korea, explain the system and strength of the Japanese armed forces, and also show that, in addition to modern weapons, a ‘faithful and courageous warrior spirit is superior to an iron warship’.
Perhaps the sects absented themselves where possible because they saw less advantage in being associated with the military, at least in this form. Instead, they attempted to identify themselves more with life, conducting prayers for victory, sometimes, as in the town of Takayama, in association with shrines, and sometimes using magic lantern shows to attract a crowd (in the immediate postwar years many sects were also highly active in setting up life insurance companies for their believers). In the years following the war, some localities erected stone memorials to the war dead but, once again, the relatively light toll of war meant that, while these were longlasting, they were thinly spread.
In towns and villages, these were the ﬁrst places to which people turned to celebrate victory. This meant that the shrines were identiﬁed with success and happiness, a sentiment reinforced by the simplicity of Shinto- in which prayers or formalities were brief, to the point, and generally followed by cups of saké (following Japan’s victory at Weihaiwei in February 1895, it was said that all the villagers of Musubuwachu-, Anpachi 34 The proﬁts of war county, stopped work for three days to celebrate and drink saké at the local shrine).
Provincial Life and the Military in Imperial Japan: The Phantom Samurai (Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia) by Stewart Lone