Far Eastern Governments and Politics: China and Japan

By Paul M. A. Linebarger; Djang Chu et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO
The Japanization of American Democracy

A NEW and subtly different period of Japanese government and politics came into effect at 10:30 P.M. Tokyo time, April 28, 1952. Japan was once more at peace almost seven years after the surrender; the Japanese once again took up the burdens of independence.

Once again the Japanese have begun a process of Japanizing massive imU+0AD ports of alien culture. This time, unlike the previous experiences following the Taika reforms or the Westernization of the Meiji period, Japan's develU+0AD opment must be paced to the severe demands of international strategic threats and the inward requirements for economic survival in an unpromising setting.

All three of the authors of this work have visited Tokyo within recent months before the final printing of this book. One of the authors ( Burks) spent the academic year 1952-1953 in Japan. 1

The post-treaty period started off with a Communist-directed mob disU+0AD turbance in the Imperial palace plaza on May Day, 1952. The Communists displayed the truculent bullying and the reckless disregard of public dignity and safety which have won them enemies in so many other places; apart from the distant but real Communist threat to Japan, Japan's post-treaty absorption of American democracy is characterized by its dryness of spirit, mildness of enthusiasm, and matter-of-factness of practical development.

A return to Japanization, in the form of "rectification of Occupation direcU+0AD

____________________
1
The author did, of course, visit Tokyo for extended periods. Although during the year he traveled south to Shimane-ken and Shikoku, through the Kansai ( Kyōto-Osaka-Kobe), the Kantō Plain, and north into Tōhoku, many of his specific impressions and observations are limited to "his" prefecture. He is grateful for the year's opportunity, made possible by an Area Research Training Fellowship, Social Science Research Council; by a supplemental grant from the Calm Foundation, Rutgers University; and by his affiliation, first as ReU+0AD search Associate and then Director of Research, University of Michigan Center for JapaU+0AD nese Studies, with the Field Station, Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken, Japan.

-522-

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