Peter A Goldsbury
The person I left out is a very interesting scholar named Eiji Oguma, who at present teaches at Keio University. His book, 『単一民族神話の起源』, which also became a major bestseller here, discusses Yanagita at some length. The book has been translated as, A Genealogy of 'Japanese' Self-Images, and he makes a broad distinction between Nihonjinron as such, which he regards as a strictly postwar phenomenon, and its antecedents, which, of course, go back to nativism.
The interesting question for Oguma, who has written another book entitled 『日本人の境界』, is: how did the Japanese empire-builders square their wartime colonization of Asia with the prewar / postwar doctrine of racial homogeneity?
I think there is a good reason for distinguishing Nihonjinron like this because, in my opinion, it might help to mark off a distinction between the 'self image' of Morihei Ueshiba and that of Kisshomaru--as Japanese. I believe that the postwar Hombu fully embraces the postwar nihonjinron doctrine of Japanese uniqueness--plus the doctrine of Japanese racial homogeneity. However, I am far less sure that Morihei Ueshiba embraced it.
PS. I hear you have finished the thesis. Congratulations!
I've finished drafts of the introduction and the first three chapters and have time blocked for the fourth next month. Then come the corrections from the committee..... But inasmuch as a good bit of the third deals with Minakata and Yanagita and their heated disagreements at the inception of minzokugaku
, it looks like a trip to the Inter-Library Loan desk for a copy of Oguma's book is in order.
Without giving away the store, and possibly of some use here, there were four major points in those disputes: 1) Yanagita's refusal to accept Darwin 2) Minakata's refusal to accept the positivist notion that change = progress 3) Yanagita's fastidiousness and refusal to allow publication of articles about traditional sexual practices in the countryside & 4) Minakata's emphasis on heterogeneity in general, one example of which was his opposition of hentai
as a more accurate mirror of the natural world to kokutai
I haven't yet found anything more to substantiate the duration or particulars of the relationship between Ueshiba Morihei and Minakata, but the second and fourth of may be relevant to the question highlighted above, and there is a reasonably sound basis for believing the Ueshiba was exposed to these ideas between his service in the Russo-Japanese War and his departure for Hokkaido.
I better hit send before the battery goes....Sorry for the abrupt finish.