Thursday, September 14, 2006

Shisaku Is On the Money with Mr. Koizumi’s “Nationalism”.

"Shisaku" has been doing a lot of "thinking" lately. I think his analysis of Koizumi's "archaic nationalism" is spot on. It's not even nationalism, actually. It resonates, not with that 19th Century construct, but with the same sentiments that has brought generations upon generations of Japanese to tears over the stories of the warlords and samurai who perished in battle, or survived only to realize the futility of it all and become monks, nor the equally sad fate of their womenfolk and children.

Mr. Abe's "new nationalism" is not really "new" at all. Remember that the Yasukuni Shrine is a mid-19th Century institution, created at the dawn of the Japanese nation state. The other half of his "conservative" legacy, the post-WW II Japan-US alliance, is a legacy of the 20th Century battle against totalitarianism, whose end game is being played out in East Asia. His spiritual guide and grandfather Nobusuke Kishi, the supertechnocrat of Japan's Showa war efforts and instrumental figure in placing the Japan-US alliance on a (more or less) equal footing, neatly spans the two.

Somebody called Mr. Abe a traditionalist. True, but the traditions that he upholds have are firmly rooted in the Western geopolitics of the 19th and 20th Centuries, and sidesteps the nightmarish fanaticism that colored much of Japan's Showa-War leadership. He is a modernist, in a very traditional way.

There is an abstract feel to Mr. Abe's patriotism. Perhaps it is just my imagination, an arbitrarily extrapolating from his origins, bred, born and raised in Tokyo. I want to explore this further, when I return to my long-delayed commentary on his book.

ブロッガー"Shisaku" が 最近元気に「思索」 しています。彼の小泉首相の「古ナショナリズム」の分析は、全面的に当たっていると思います。実際、それは、ナショナリズムとすら言えるものではなく、あの19世紀の構築物ではなく、戦場の露と消え、あるいは生き延びてなお世の儚さを知って出家した武将、武士達、さらには等しく哀れな宿命をたどったその女子供達を偲んで幾代となくその物語に涙してきた感情にこそ通底しているのです。

Shisaku氏言うところの安倍氏の"new nationalism"は、実は、「新しい」わけではありません。靖国神社が、19世紀半ば、近代日本の黎明期に創られたことを思い起こしてください。安倍氏の「保守主義」のもう一般のよりどころである日米同盟は、20世紀における全体主義の戦いの遺産であり、その戦いの終盤戦が東アジアで繰り広げられているのです。彼の心の師であり祖父である岸信介は、日本の昭和戦争遂行のスーパーテクノクラートと日米同盟の(それなりの)平等化実現の立役者とを兼ねて、安倍氏のナショナリズムの両面をぴたりとつないでいます。



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