Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms, and Nationalisms: The Militarization of Aesthetics in Japanese History / Edition 1

Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms, and Nationalisms: The Militarization of Aesthetics in Japanese History / Edition 1

by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney
     
 

Why did almost one thousand highly educated "student soldiers" volunteer to serve in Japan's tokkotai (kamikaze) operations near the end of World War II, even though Japan was losing the war? In this fascinating study of the role of symbolism and aesthetics in totalitarian ideology, Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney shows how the state manipulated the time-honored JapaneseSee more details below

Overview

Why did almost one thousand highly educated "student soldiers" volunteer to serve in Japan's tokkotai (kamikaze) operations near the end of World War II, even though Japan was losing the war? In this fascinating study of the role of symbolism and aesthetics in totalitarian ideology, Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney shows how the state manipulated the time-honored Japanese symbol of the cherry blossom to convince people that it was their honor to "die like beautiful falling cherry petals" for the emperor.

Drawing on diaries never before published in English, Ohnuki-Tierney describes these young men's agonies and even defiance against the imperial ideology. Passionately devoted to cosmopolitan intellectual traditions, the pilots saw the cherry blossom not in militaristic terms, but as a symbol of the painful beauty and unresolved ambiguities of their tragically brief lives. Using Japan as an example, the author breaks new ground in the understanding of symbolic communication, nationalism, and totalitarian ideologies and their execution.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226620916
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
10/01/2002
Edition description:
1
Pages:
428
Sales rank:
455,299
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Chronology: Important Events and Publications
Note on Names, Dates, and Titles of Works
Introduction1
Pt. 1The Symbolism of Cherry Blossoms in Pre-Meiji Japan
1The Field of Meaning, Images, and Aesthetics27
Pt. 2The Road to Pro Rege et Patria Mori: Naturalization of Imperial Nationalism
2The Emperor's Two Bodies: Sovereignty, Theocracy, and Militarization61
3The Militarization of Cherry Blossoms: Cherry Blossoms as the Souls of Fallen Soldiers102
4The Militarization of the Masses125
Pt. 3The Making of the Tokkotai Pilots
5The Tokkotai Operation157
6Five Tokkotai Pilots186
Pt. 4Nationalisms, Patriotisms, and the Role of Aesthetics in Meconnaissance
7State Nationalism and Naturalization Processes245
8Patriotism: Global Intellectual Currents as Its Source261
9The Crooked Timber of the Cherry279
App.: List of Readings by Four Pilots307
Notes341
References373
Index401

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