Cold Blade – Japanese Militarism
Ideology…. the most abused term in modern history. Ideology has an invisible power to make and ruin countries, it connects both people and the state and controls their life. However, it doesn’t mean that it stops here: ideology dictates the life of an individual, literature, foreign relations and even manipulates religion.
To this trend, Japan is not an innocent, inactive bystander. Thanks to the misinterpretation of potentially dangerous ideology that combines nationalism and autocracy, they invited the ruination of the WWII.
The rise of Japanese militarism was a long process – its seeds were made during the Meiji restoration and until Perl Harbor it matured and gained much of it cruelty. The both apex and crux of its power was the state Shinto, or Kokka Shinto. According to this ideology, Japan is the land of Gods, the Emperor is a living God who must be worshiped and that the Japanese had a sacred duty to unite the entire Asian continent under their rule and to free it from colonization.
From the modern perspective, this view is absurd and funny, but it was the predominant belief in Japan. The generals in Japan believed that they could win the war by using highly spirited and fanatical troops with emphasis on the spiritual over the material. History shows us that they were profoundly wrong. Their expectation to win the war with speed and spirit proved fatal in the long run.
The rise of Japanese militarism was inevitable as soon as the Meiji revolution started. During this modernization, Japan started “learning” from the Western powers and implementing it with lightning speed but with crucial difference – the Emperor became the center of the nation. Everybody was expected to do his or her part. The first signs of the coming doom were the wars with Russia and China, though both victories, the sacrifice was overwhelming – thousands of soldiers left their bones thanks to the technique of human waves in China or in depths of the northern seas in the war with Russia. Japan was crying, but no one listened her cries.
Look at the world today, you’ll see the fatal syndromes: religious fanaticism, political oppression, extortion and genocide of all ilk. Freud was right – there will be no peace on earth or an utopia – human aggression does not sleep.