The Journal of Japanese Studies



Culture, Nationalism, and Sakaguchi Ango

Studies of the writer Sakaguchi Ango (1906-1955) conventionally portray him as a staunch opponent of wartime ideology.  An analysis of “Nihon bunka shikan” (A personal view of Japanese culture, 1942), however, suggests the iconoclasm prompting this reading is more appropriately attributed to Ango’s conception of a spiritual purity antecedent to intellectual contrivances.  In pursuit of this purity he constructs, perhaps inadvertently, an ethnic nationalism fully in accord with mainstream wartime ideology and propaganda.  “Darakuron” (Discourse on decadence, 1946), Ango’s postwar classic, is an extension of his vision, and its popularity suggests this strain of nationalism survived the war intact.

Volume 27, Number 2 (Summer 2001)
© 2001 Society for Japanese Studies


Marie Anchordoguy and Kevin M. Doak, Coeditors     Martha L. Walsh, Managing Editor
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