Nitobe Inazô: Japan's Bridge across the Pacific

By John F. Howes | Go to book overview

10
Journalism: The Last Bridge

Satô Masahiro

In his final four-and-a-half years, Nitobe served his country and its people as a journalist. In 1929 he accepted an invitation from the English Osaka Mainichi and Tokyo Nichi Nichi to serve as their Advisory Editor. When Nitobe accepted the invitation, the two newspapers were controlled by Motoyama Hikoichi who had owned the latter for twenty-three years and started the English language Osaka Mainichi in 1922. The English Osaka Mainichi had a wide circulation of at least fifty thousand. 1 When Nitobe came back to Japan on a short leave in 1924, his disciple Ishii Mitsuru, then a part-time staff member of the Tokyo Nichi Nichi, advised the editors to carry essays by his venerable teacher. Nitobe did not accept the invitation until five years had passed.

Nitobe had come home in 1927 after seven years at the League of Nations. Chinese tradition through Lao-Tze holds that the Way of Heaven is to retire after one has distinguished oneself and become famous. But at age sixty-seven, when most ordinary Japanese men enjoy their retirement, Nitobe took on an arduous new assignment in the world of journalism. He had come back from Geneva with many projects to finish. They included revisions to his two youthful theoretical works on agriculture and a novel on Joan of Arc.

Nitobe had loved the traditions associated with Joan of Arc ever since his student days in Sapporo. In his youthful diary he listed as his spiritual leaders the names of Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, and Joan of Arc, instead of the commonly accepted "four saints" -- Confucius, Lao-Tze, Buddha and Christ. Inclusion of Joan of Arc in the list shows two elements of Inazô's spirituality that would linger throughout his life: his deep interest in the mystic, and his high respect for women. In 1920, as Nitobe served in Geneva with the League of Nations, Joan of Arc was sanctified. Nitobe admired her loyalty to God and to her country and made pilgrimages to places associated with her -- Auxerre, Chinon, Orleans, Compiegne, Rouen. And he bought many books about her which included biographies, poems, por-

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Nitobe Inazô: Japan's Bridge across the Pacific
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • About the Contributors xv
  • Editorial Conventions xvii
  • One - Introduction 1
  • 1 - Who Was Nitobe? 3
  • Two - Maturation 25
  • 2 - Roots 27
  • 3 - Graduate Student and Quaker 71
  • Three - Cultural Identity 77
  • 4 - Japann Watchers: 1903-1931 79
  • 5 - Bushido: Its Admirers and Critics 117
  • 6 - Philippine Bushido 130
  • 7 - Toward Remaking Manliness 155
  • Four - Japan in the World 157
  • 8 - Colonial Theories and Practices in Prewar Japan 159
  • Notes 174
  • 9 - The Geneva Spirit 209
  • Five - Evaluation 215
  • 10 - Journalism: the Last Bridge 217
  • 12 - The End: 1929-1933 272
  • 13 - Darkened Lanterns in a Distant Garden 301
  • 14 - Conclusion 315
  • About the Book and Editor 317
  • Index 319
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