The roots of Japanese militarism
Hendrix, Henry J.
Buss, Claude A.
Olsen, Edward A.
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Militarism in pre-World War Two Japan was a product of Japan's culture, manifested within its distinctive internal domestic institutions, stimulated by the encroaching external pressures, and is distinct from militarism anywhere else in the world. The culture of Japan emphasized the group over the individual, a strong sense of hierarchy, and a profound pride in the divine nature of the national essence. The abrupt intrusion of the technologically advanced Western civilization triggered an "insider-outsider" mentality within Japan that rejected participation in the Western diplomatic, and economic cabals which denied Japan its true equal (or, to some, superior) position in the community of nations. Japan's pre-war militarism clearly can be defined as the mobilization of the entire society, drawing upon an essentially homogeneous outlook, to achieve a position within the international system which reflected the cultural perception of Japan's "chosen" status (derived from centuries of Shinto influence) within the family of man. The martial segments within Japanese society used the "alien" international system, largely defined at the time in Imperial colonial military terms, to buttress the martial segments within Japanese society and to justify the expansion of their influence.
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