Are Japanese people in general nationalistic or patriotic?

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Raffael Raddatz

Discourses of Patriotism in Contemporary Japan.

Search for identity in the field of tension between nation, region and global capital at the beginning of the 21st century.
Duncker and Humblot Verlag, Berlin 2017
ISBN 9783428143047
Carton, 362 pages, 59.90 EUR


Since the turn of the millennium, Japanese nationalism has received increased attention in the media and academia, with Japan sometimes being attributed a shift to the right. In contrast to the often isolated consideration of individual phenomena in previous contributions, the presented study offers an overall tableau of contemporary Japanese nationalism in relevant fields of discourse. For this purpose, the forms, construction, use and goals of Japanese identity are analyzed, whereby the understanding is further deepened through empirical material. It shows that contemporary Japanese nationalism at the elite and mass level cannot be seen in isolation from regional and global developments. Because their political, socio-economic and cultural challenges as well as the increased presence of "the other" significantly promote the preoccupation with one's own identity and history and lead to a fundamental review and adaptation of established national images.

Review note on Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, May 8, 2018

Klaus Vollmer waddles this book by Raffael Raddatz with such rigor that one wonders why he is even discussing it. First of all, the author does not live up to his own claim to present the complex socio-political debate in Japan on questions of history and the politics of memory and to examine it through discourse analysis, the reviewer finds. The reviewer believes that Raddatz is able to refer to the abundance of research literature available on the subject, but here, as with the basic conceptual work, the author remains on the surface. The reviewer finds the ideas and visions of "being Japanese" gained from interviews, which Raddatz brings together, quite impressive. For him, however, the analytical part remains weak, the author remains largely in the description mode, judges Vollmer. And linguistically, according to the reviewer, the text is on the level of an ambitious seminar paper.
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