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The Image of “the State” Seen in Japanese Historical Novels: From Nation-state to a New Public Order Like The EU

Author: Inoue Noruyuki

Source: Global Perspectives on Japan (GPJ), No.6 (2023), pp.157-180
Publisher: Forum Tauri Press
Keywords: : Nation-state, Japanese literature, modernization, state, Empire of Japan


This paper is an attempt to search for traces of the notion of “state” within Japanese historical novels. It starts with the historical aspect of state development: The image of the state in Japan since the pre-modern period, and continues with the modernization in Japan and its downfall after the foundation of the Empire of Japan; the new modernization after World War II and its demise; the solution to the public form of the new future: Public government as a way of networking instead of human connection. The paper concludes with an evaluation of the literature reflecting on the social circumstances throughout the period in question.