Download Janus-Faced Justice: Political Criminals in Imperial Japan by Richard H. Mitchell PDF

By Richard H. Mitchell

Janus-Faced Justice

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Additional info for Janus-Faced Justice: Political Criminals in Imperial Japan

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Where does this sense of uniqueness come from? Why has it survived for so long? The endless self-examination that has produced a raft of books on Nihonjin-ron has answers to these questions. established a number of standard Virtually all Japanese are familiar with them and are liable to recite a few should the conversation touch on national characteristics. One favorite and plausible theory turns on the homogeneity of the Japanese people. Unlike Europe or the United States, Japan has never been the scene of large migrations.

Even in the most distant provinces a train running in the general direction of Tokyo is an "ascending" train, train. Just as and one in Mecca the opposite direction is a "descending" orients Moslems, the capital orients travelers. Lesser cities vie with each other and establish rank according to how nearly they can imitate Tokyo in cultural or commercial attractions. This love of hierarchy extends to nations and races. Japanese rank them unabashedly according to their "superior" or "inferior" qualities, and Japan's niche in the hierarchy is carefully monitored.

This feeling of uniqueness, which one Japanese author has likened to the Jewish sense of being a people apart,1 colors all relations with other peoples. The Japanese are fascinated by foreigners but repelled by their foreignness. threatened gives when them a They they are reassuring long to be loved understood. Their sense of community and accepted sense while but feel of separateness it isolates them psychologically from the other nations of the world. At the most basic level the Japanese react with vivid, visceral astonishment to the physical differences between themselves and Westerners.

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