View Single Post
Old 05-13-2008, 11:34 AM   #30
Erick Mead
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Re: Kisshomaru as Interpretor of the Founder's Words

Fred Little wrote: View Post
"I can't see anything for Japan now but revolution or military domination. The latter would, I think, be best."

--Lafcadio Hearn

The compelling poetics of Hearn's body of work notwithstanding, those poetics included a wholesale embrace of Japanese militarism.
Who said it didn't ? Your criticism illustrates the fruit of this kind of historical bias.

There is a distinct difference in perspective of the ascendant Japan of 1904, and the rabidly colonial Japan after 1931, Mukden and Nanjing. Hearn's idea of "military domination", (like O Sensei's, if you ask me) was informed by the relatively recent examples (thirteen years before 1890, when he arrived) of Saigo Takamori and the Satsuma Rebellion. That was the direct reference, he intended by the way. His sponsor Basil Chamberlain had been there in the middle of it), and the later and much different example of the zai-batsu driven maximal industrialization, militarization and fascistic organization of all aspects of public life and the drive for colonial resources, was a rather different affair. Even Toyama got out of public life after the Chinese Revolution, illustrating that the older set a had a different view of what they had intended and what the younger more fascist oriented crowd were intending to accomplish. That much more modern evil underlay the Japanese political economy of the 20's and 30's.

It is this same contemporaneous sensibility represetned by Hearn, as a Westerner that has greater affinity with O Sensie's own writings. The political defeat of his erstwhile more moderate political sponsors at the beginning of the War, and his physical withdrawal from public life during it, are testaments to a large difference of opinion on what "militarism" did or should mean.

Fred Little wrote: View Post
The claim that this embrace "is therefore also not colored by the ascendant Japanese hypernationalism during the 20's and 30's that tended to increasingly dominate thereafter until the end of the War," is technically correct, in much the same sense that one may correctly argue that a contemporaneous, but partial, diagram of a cause is not colored by a diagram drawn in fuller, but still partial, knowledge of the cause's consequent effects.
There is militarism and there is militarism. One of honor a sacrifice and one of greed and domination. The zaibatsu represented the latter and Satsuma -- Hearn's rerference point for a restored "military domination" was in light of the prior three hundred years of Tokugawa (warts and all) military dominated pacificity .


Erick Mead
  Reply With Quote