The Search for a New Order: Intellectuals and Fascism in Prewar Japan

The Search for a New Order: Intellectuals and Fascism in Prewar Japan

The Search for a New Order: Intellectuals and Fascism in Prewar Japan

The Search for a New Order: Intellectuals and Fascism in Prewar Japan


Fletcher explains how three writers--Ryu Shintaro, Royama Masamichi, and Miki Kiyoshi--who were supporters of democratic socialism became ideologues for the East Asian bloc ideal that rationalized Japan's dominance of Asia after 1937, and he demonstrates how and why they designed the New Order movement of 1940. He concludes that the advocacy of fascism was a reasoned effort to respond to the ills of industrialization and the challenges of mobilization for war.

Originally published in 1982.


This book could not have come into being without the help of many people, to whom I am indebted. I want first to thank James B. Crowley, whose advice, criticism, and support have been invaluable from the beginning. In addition, John W. Hall, Thomas R. H. Havens, Gerhard L. Weinberg, Lawrence D. Kessler, and Sheldon M. Garon made thoughtful comments about the entire manuscript. I am grateful to them and to others who have read parts of my manuscript in various stages.

While I was in Japan, I received advice and cooperation from many Japanese scholars and former colleagues of Ryū Shintarō, Rōyama Masamichi, and Miki Kiyoshi. Hosoya Chihiro and Fujiwara Akira of Hitotsubashi University gave me helpful suggestions and aided my research in many ways. Baba Shūichi of the University of Tokyo introduced me to the materials of the Shōwa Research Association, which were under his supervision, and he shared his knowledge of the association with me. Ebata Kiyoshi, editor in chief of the Asahi newspaper, kindly aided me in arranging interviews with many of Ryū's former colleagues. Doi Akira, Gotō Ryūnosuke, and other members of the Shōwa dōjinkai consented to interviews and cooperated fully with my research. I appreciate the kindness of Mrs. RyYū Hatsue and her family for agreeing to meet with me. I would like to thank collectively all those who took time out from busy schedules to answer my questions.

I benefited greatly from help provided by the staffs of the following libraries where I conducted much of my research: the Ohara Social Problems Research Institute at Hōsei University; the National Diet Library in Tokyo; the Harvard Yenching Library; and the Library of Congress. Kaneko Hideo of the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University was also very helpful, as was Edward Martinique at the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Financial support from several sources enabled me to complete this project. A Fulbright-Hays Grant enabled me to conduct research in Japan, and a grant from the University Research Council at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Reynolds Industries Junior Faculty Development Award facilitated additional research and final revisions.

Ms. Julie Perry, Rosalie Radcliffe, and Susan Hicken deserve a special word of thanks for diligently typing several drafts of the manuscript.

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