Evolution of the Japanese: A Study of Their Characteristics in Relation to the Principles of Social and Psychic Development

Evolution of the Japanese: A Study of Their Characteristics in Relation to the Principles of Social and Psychic Development

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Evolution of the Japanese: A Study of Their Characteristics in Relation to the Principles of Social and Psychic Development

Evolution of the Japanese: A Study of Their Characteristics in Relation to the Principles of Social and Psychic Development

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The tragedy enacted in China during the closing year of the nineteenth century marks an epoch in the history of China and of the world. Two world-views, two types of civilization met in deadly conflict, and the inherent weakness of isolated, belated, superstitious and corrupt paganism was revealed. Moreover, during this, China's crisis, Japan for the first time stepped out upon the world's stage of political and military activity. She was recognized as a civilized nation, worthy to share with the great nations of the earth the responsibility of ruling the lawless and backward races.

The correctness of any interpretation as to the significance of this conflict between the opposing civilizations turns, ultimately, on the question as to what is the real nature of man and of society. If it be true, as maintained by Prof. Le Bon and his school, that the mental and moral character of a people is as fixed as its physiological characteristics, then the conflict in China is at bottom a conflict of races, not of civilizations.

The inadequacy of the physiological theory of national character may be seen almost at a glance by a look at Japan. Were an Oriental necessarily and unchangeably Oriental, it would have been impossible for Japan to have come into such close and sympathetic touch with the West.

The conflict of the East with the West, however, is not an inherent and unending conflict, because it is not racial, but civilizational. It is a conflict of world-views and systems of thought and life; a conflict of so-called heathen and Christian civilizations. And the conflict will come to an end as soon as, and in proportion as, China awakes from her blindness and begins to build . . .

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