Nitobe Inazô: Japan's Bridge across the Pacific

By John F. Howes | Go to book overview

ues strong, but increasingly the experiences of individuals with those from other societies who do not fit narrow stereotypes challenge blind prejudice at home.

In no respect have the ideals of Nitobe become more a part of contemporary reality than in the increasingly sophisticated study and use of the English language. Japan has for many years probably spent a higher proportion of its resources to learn English than any other nation has ever invested in the mastery of a foreign tongue. At first, critics felt that the meager results called into question the wisdom of the expense. The concurrent travel abroad of young Japanese and travel to Japan of young people who speak English as a native language have lessened this criticism. At least some among the young students who now arrive in English-speaking countries for their first training outside Japan enjoy a level of English similar to that Nitobe enjoyed when he first went to the United States. In a few years these students will be able to give Japan a voice in international relations which until now only those from Asian nations with colonial pasts have enjoyed. These new Japanese speakers of English will bring Japanese expertise in every field to bear on the common problems of mankind.

One returns to Nitobe's metaphor of the bridge. The cable supports of his bridge were embedded in the rugged mountains of northern Japan and through Mary in the sturdy piety of Philadelphia Quakerism. Even the formidable strength they provided could not withstand the violent winds of international politics in the thirties. Sixty years after Nitobe's death, many crossings have supplanted his lonely span. Their very numbers insure, as nothing else can, that those who in the future share Nitobe's vision of a Japan fully integrated into the mainstream world culture will not themselves experience a tragic end like his.


Notes
1
( Tokyo, Misuzushobô), 1986.
2
"Recessional", 1899.
3
See Yuzo Ota, "Kagawa Toyohiko: a Pacifist"? in Nobuya Bamba and John F. Howes , eds., Pacifism in Japan: The Christian and Socialist Tradition ( Vancouver: UBC Press, 1979), pp. 169-97.
4
I express my appreciation to Tatsurô Tanabe and Tamiyo Tôgasaki of the International House staff for giving me this information on November 22, 1988.

-315-

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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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