cover of book

Revolution and Subjectivity in Postwar Japan
by J. Victor Koschmann
University of Chicago Press, 1996
Paper: 978-0-226-45122-0 | Cloth: 978-0-226-45121-3
Library of Congress Classification B5243.S83K67 1996
Dewey Decimal Classification 126.095209045

After World War II, Japanese intellectuals believed that world history was moving inexorably toward bourgeois democracy and then socialism. But who would be the agents—the active "subjects"—of that revolution in Japan? Intensely debated at the time, this question of active subjectivity influenced popular ideas about nationalism and social change that still affect Japanese political culture today.

In a major contribution to modern Japanese intellectual history, J. Victor Koschmann analyzes the debate over subjectivity. He traces the arguments of intellectuals from various disciplines and political viewpoints, and finds that despite their stress on individual autonomy, they all came to define subjectivity in terms of deterministic historical structures, thus ultimately deferring the possibility of radical change in Japan.

Establishing a basis for historical dialogue about democratic revolution, this book will interest anyone concerned with issues of nationalism, postcolonialism, and the formation of identities.

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