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State And Intellectual In Imperial Japan: The Public Man In Crisis
by Andrew E. Barshay
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J. Victor Koschmann, The Journal of Asian Studies
"This is a work of complexity, erudition, and thorough scholarship. It is the best book in English on Showa intellectuals."
Germaine A. Hoston, Monumenta Nipponica
"Andrew Barshay's study. . . marks a major step forward in Japanese intellectual history. Barshay combines intimate familiarity with the cultural and intellectual milieu of his subjects with a rare appreciation of the currents and issues in the Western philosophical discourses that influenced them. The result is a sensitive portrayal of the inner world of two Japanese intellectuals engaged in public affairs in the first half of this century."
Sinh Vinh, History
"Barshay demonstrates complete mastery of source materials and thorough analysis in dealing with his themes. The book would serve well as a textbook."
J. H. Bailey, Choice
"One of the most perceptive and significant books on 20th- century Japanese intellectual history to appear in some time. Barshay has done a masterful job of combining intellectual biography with historical analysis to illuminate the dilemma of Japanese intellectuals and their role in modern Japanese history."
In this superbly written and eminently readable narrative, Andrew E. Barshay presents the contrasting lives of Nanbara Shigeru (1889-1974) and Hasegawa Nyoze-kan (1875-1969), illuminating the complex predicament of modern Japanese intellectuals and their relation to state and society.
Following the Meiji Restoration of 1868, a powerful modern state began to emerge in Japan, and with it, the idea of a "public" sphere of action. This sphere brought with it a new type of intellectual--a "public man" whose role was to interpret and nationalize "universal" (and largely foreign) ideas and ideologies.
Activity within the public sphere took many forms as Japanese intellectuals sought to define their changing roles. At no time was such public activity as intense as during the crisis years of later imperial and early postwar Japan. In contrasting case studies, Andrew E. Barshay presents the lives of two modern Japanese intellectuals, Nanbara Shigeru (1889-1974), professor of Western political thought at Tokyo Imperial University, and Hasegawa Nyozekan (1875-1969), a versatile independent journalist. Through their writings and experiences, Barshay examines the power of the idea of "national community" in public life. He treats Nanbara's and Hasegawa's ideas and actions as they developed within the contexts of Western intellectual tradition and modern Japanese history. The result is a superbly written narrative that illuminates the complex predicament of modern Japanese intellectuals and their relation to the state and society. Barshay's work is ultimately a study of intellectual mobilization in a modern state, and of the price of national identity in the twentieth century.
From the Inside Flap
"Very well written, informative and informed and tells us a good deal about the limits of the dominant discourse on politics and culture in the immediate pre-war years."--Harry Harootunian, University of Chicago
"Deftly written and eminently readable, this book sets a high standard of excellence in the field of modern Japanese intellectual history."--Peter Duus, Stanford University
From the Back Cover
"Very well written, informative and informed and tells us a good deal about the limits of the dominant discourse on politics and culture in the immediate pre-war years." (Harry Harootunian, University of Chicago)
About the Author
Andrew E. Barshay is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley.
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