The Florescence of Japanese Dual Government
IF GOVERNMENT on the T'ang model is considered the first government of a truly civilized and literate Japan, the long period of shogunal government can be considered the second major governmental form. For almost a thousand years the Japanese moved onward, constant in change, developing from within their own resources of imagination, intellect, scholarship, and tradition a special kind of government peculiar to themselves alone. More than any other civilized people on earth they developed dualism.
Dualism is a political tradition that sets up one government for the purpose of reigning, while leaving the practice of ruling to another. In Europe an analogy can be found in the coexistence of the mayors of the palace and the kings of the French monarchy of the late Merovingian period, or in the coexistence of the Holy Roman Emperor with the Pope in those times when both stood forth as secular rulers. No European dualism attained the completeness reached in Japan.
The source of Japanese dualism can perhaps be found in a psychological characteristic, true of all human beings, which leads any anxious or greedy person to desire things in duplicate. In its most innocent form, this desire is manifested by the possession of an ordinary set of table silver for everyday use and a choice set preserved for special occasions which may never arise. In American life the untouchable and unusable parlor, where no one ever went except for funerals, disasters, or the reception of the local preacher, is a characteristic of the psychological need to keep something so good that it cannot be used.
No matter how one approaches it, Japanese character has its own particular and rather admirable strain of compulsiveness. A typically Japanese obsession, cleanliness, is one Japanese characteristic of this strain. Another