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Politics and philosophy in the new order : a reappraisal of Miki Kiyoshi and the Shōwa Kenkyū Kai Dyche, Andrew Terence 2003

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POLITICS AND PHILOSOPHY IN THE NEW ORDER: A REAPPRAISAL OF MIKI KIYOSHI AND THE SHOWA KENKYfJ KAI by ANDREW TERENCE DYCHE B.Hum., Carleton University, 1997 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of History) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 2003 @ Andrew Terence Dyche, 2003 I n p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o lumbia, I agree t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e head o f my department o r by h i s o r h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C olumbia Vancouver, Canada Date ^-$7% A VJ^jJt cW^3 11 Abstract This thesis is an investigation of the Japanese philosopher Mik i Kiyoshi and his involvement in the controversial Showa Kenkyu Kai, an organization charged with the task of formulating an intellectual foundation for Konoe Fumimaro's "New Political Order" and the "New Order in East Asia," the former project being a domestic program of reform and the latter being concerned with foreign policy. The study aims at elucidating on the complexities of the 1930s in Japan and suggests that previous attempts to place Mik i and the Showa Kenkyu Kai into oversimplified categories has not aided our understanding of the period. It calls for a reappraisal of Mik i and his role in the organization, and stresses the broader continuity in Miki 's thought and action that has previously been neglected. The argument comprises five chapters. The first is a look at Miki 's formative period and stresses that Miki was a complex and critical thinker who was interested in political involvement from the beginning of his career. The second addresses the 1930s, and argues that they were not only a time of distress for Japanese intellectuals, but also one of opportunity. This chapter addresses some key components of Miki 's thought and helps to situate him politically. The third chapter compares Mik i to Konoe Fumimaro, and argues that while the two men are often portrayed as quite different, in reality their thought and aspirations had much in common. It can be said that Mik i was a philosopher who wanted to be a leader, and Konoe was a leader who wanted to be a philosopher. The fourth chapter is concerned with the Showa Kenkyu Kai itself as well as Miki 's role within the organization, and shows how, far from being an aberration in Miki 's career, his participation in the organization can be seen as a logical step. The thesis thus stresses the continuity running through Miki 's thought and action and see his role in the Showa Kenkyu Kai as reflecting this. The final chapter explains the downfall of the organization, and of Mik i . I l l T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract i i Table of Contents i i i Acknowledgements vi Dedication vii INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER I The Seeds of a New Japanese Philosophy: Miki 's Formative Period 5 1.1 Overview of Scholarship on Mik i Kiyoshi 5 1.2 Miki 's Early Life 7 1.3 A Disciple of Nishida and the Kyoto School 9 1.4 A Student in Europe 12 1.5 Miki 's Return to Japan 14 CHAPTER II Japan in the 193 Os: The Receptacle of Becoming 16 2.1 Overview of the 1930s and Scholarship Thereupon 16 2.2 Miki 's Arrest & The Tenko Controversy 21 2.3 Miki the Activist and Popular Writer 24 2.4 Not a Marxist, but a Humanist 26 2.5 Miki 's Unorthodox Approach to Marxism 30 2.6 Miki 's Cooperativism 31 2.7 Mik i as Man of Action 34 CHAPTER III Not Quite A Union of Opposites: The Konoe Connection 35 3.1 Overview of Scholarship on Prince Konoe Fumimaro 36 iv 3.2 Philosophy and Politics, Philosophers and Politicians 39 3.3 Konoe's Way of Thinking I: Konoe the Compromiser 43 3.4 Konoe's Way of Thinking II: Konoe the Philosopher 45 3.5 Mik i and Konoe's Belief in Change 47 3.6 A Philosophy of Cooperativism and A Policy of Compromise 49 3.7 A Key Difference: The Role of Politics and Philosophy 51 CHAPTER IV The Crucible of the New Order: The Showa Kenkyu Kai 52 4.1 The Formation of the Showa Kenkyu Kai 53 4.2 Overview of Scholarship on the Showa Kenkyu Kai 54 4.3 My Response to the Scholarship 58 4.4 Mik i joins the Showa Kenkyu Kai 59 4.5 The Role and Purpose of the Showa Kenkyu Kai 60 4.6 The Structure of the Showa Kenkyu Kai 63 4.7 Mik i as Showa Kenkyu Kai Member 64 4.8 Miki 's Work in the Showa Kenkyu Kai 68 CHAPTER V The Crucible Shatters: Dissolution and Defeat 70 5.1 The Fai lure of the New Order 71 5.2 The Dissolution of the Showa Kenkyu Kai 72 5.3 Miki 's Fate 73 CONCLUSION 76 Bibliography 79 Appendix I The Purpose of the Establishment of the Showa Kenkyu Kai V I Acknowledgements This thesis came to fruition through the contributions of many people. M y supervisor, Professor Wi l l iam Wray, not only introduced me to the topic but also much of the English-language scholarship, and was a constant source of advice. I would also like to thank Professor Glen Peterson, who courageously agreed to be the second reader. Both of these scholars deserve additional thanks for their patience with me and my all-too-frequently terrible timing. I am grateful to my graduate secretary, Glor ia Lees, who always found time to answer my questions and assist me at various stages through my degree. I should also mention Professor Christopher Friedrichs, who is to a large extent responsible for my having chosen U B C to pursue my graduate work, and both he and Professor Joy Dixon have my gratitude for assisting me throughout the course of my degree. The staff of U B C s Asian Library are to be commended for their patience and expertise, both of which were helpful in retrieving key materials for my thesis, notably the Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works, which were found after apparently having sat in a storage vault for decades. I am particularly indebted to the Young Scholars' Invitation Program of Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which enabled me to travel to Japan in early 2002 to conduct research; and U B C ' s own Center for Japanese Research, which provided me with a Pacific Bridge Award to purchase materials. I am also grateful to the U B C History Department as a whole for their support of my studies through a University Graduate Fellowship and the A l ice H. Sorila Memorial Scholarship. M y family in Ottawa have my thanks for their emotional support and sympathy as I grappled with Japanese intellectual history, and my mother, Gi l l ian Dyche, deserves credit for proof-reading the thesis at a late stage as well . Finally, my greatest debt is to my partner, Rieko Kamei , who encouraged me from the start and stood by me during all of the ups and downs of working on a project of this magnitude. Her constant willingness to discuss my work, her assistance in finding relevant research materials, and her proof-reading of my translations, are just three of the many ways that she contributed to my thesis, and for that and her companionship throughout I am eternally grateful. For Rieko, with all my love 1 One who loves truth will not allow politics to be entrusted only to "Will to Power. " Politics also must stand in the standpoint of truth, and the mission of the philosopher is the standing of politics in the standpoint of truth. Philosophers must ask, what kind of authority does political power possess? Simple power does not possess authority. It is not until power is connected to truth that it has authority. According to Professor Spranger, "Without thinking, the attainment of truth is impossible. However, thinking which is truly deep and correct is able also to produce correct action. " Truly this is so. Nevertheless, true thinking cannot accept as is a premise which is demanded as a premise according to politics. If "inside true knowledge lies absolute power leading to true action, " then will to truth cannot be yielded to will to power} - Mik i Kiyoshi Introduction The Japanese philosopher Mik i Kiyoshi 2 (1897-1945) has received frequent mention in scholarly works on the prewar intellectuals, yet little serious study has yet emerged in English-language scholarship.3 His involvement in the Showa Kenkyu Kai (Showa Research Association)4 has, however, been the subject of some controversy. This current paper is an attempt to investigate Mik i and the nature of his role in that organization, and argues that a reappraisal is in order. The Showa Kenkyu Kai was organized to provide the intellectual foundation for Prince Konoe Fumimaro5's New Order (Shin-Taisei6), the domestic partner to the New East Asian Order (Toa Shin Chitsujo7) — the latter was to be brought about by imposition of the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere (Dai Toa Kyoeiken8), the former by the Imperial Rule Assistance Organization (Taisei Yokusan Ka i 9 ) . 1 0 The New Order was to take apart the established system at home, and the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere would then carry out a similar role with the international order; thus Japan would be put in the forefront of a new historical movement to change both itself, and the world. Miki 's involvement with the ideas of the New Order and the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere did not begin with his work for the Showa Kenkyu Kai; in fact, these concepts 1 E-Mn Miki Kiyoshi, rgcf£<75f§-^ ;^gfij "Seiji no Tetsugaku Shihai" [Philosophy-Controlling Politics], Hvfc \n^M Miki Kiyoshi Zenshil [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works] (MM Tokyo: S&HJdf Iwanami Shoten, 1966), 14.23-39; 38-39. 2 3 1 have followed the Japanese custom of putting family names first; where names of individuals, organizations, and such, are given in the main text, the Japanese characters are provided in a footnote directly following the first instance of the romanized version or translation. Titles of written works are provided in translation in the text, and the footnote contains the original characters as well as a romanji rendering, to avoid cluttering the body text. In instances where words and names only appear in footnotes, 1 have avoided providing characters for reasons of brevity. All translations given in this paper are, unless otherwise indicated by reference to a translated work, my own. 5 Rwxm 6 f/fftftiy Some writers use "New Structure Order," or "New Political Order." 1 0 There have been many excellent works written on the formulation of the New East Asian Order; a decent overview can be found by reading the classic Akira Iriye's After Imperialism: The Search for a New Order in the Far East, 1921-1931 (Cambridge, M A : Harvard UP, 1965) followed by Ian Nish's newer Japanese Foreign Policy in the Interwar Period (London: Praeger, 2002); another succinct overview can be found in James B. Crowley, "A New Asian Order: Some Notes on Prewar Japanese Nationalism," Japan in Crisis: Essays on Taisho Democracy, eds. Bernard S. Silberman and H.D. Harootunian (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1974), 270-298. 2 are heavily indebted to his philosophical writings, stretching back long before the organization was contemplated. As an influential intellectual who has received little serious attention, and as an influential organization that has suffered likewise, Miki and the Showa Kenkyu Kai risk being obscured while they are as of yet remembered as deeply interwined. To some extent, I am here using Mik i as a vehicle by which I wish to illustrate the complex nature of the relationship between intellectual and political spheres during 1930s Japan, and examine what happened to intellectuals and how organizations like the Showa Kenkyu Kai linked these two spheres. The interweaving intellectual and political developments of this chaotic decade in Japanese history are extremely complicated, but that has not prevented all manner of attempts to simplify it, many of which I examine in the course of this paper and most of which must be discarded as failing to adequately come to grips with the complexities of the time and its people. At the same time, Mik i is a unique individual, and his experience, through his thought and action, provide a contrast to other intellectuals at the time, so that viewing the 1930s from the vantage point of Miki provides, I hope, a refreshing take on those troubled times. I will not, therefore, attempt here to answer the broader question posed by Maruyama Masao, who asked, in the context of seeking to understand the internal forces that drove Japan to war, How was it that Japanese intellectuals, who for decades past had been absorbing Western scholarship and techniques and ways of life, who were more familiar — or at least believed themselves more familiar — with Western than with Japanese or Asian traditions, proved in the end so willing to accept, or at least so impotent to halt, the onrush of a blindly nationalistic militarism inspired by the crudest beliefs in the mythology of a uniquely Japanese 'Imperial Way1 Instead, my concern here is specifically with Mik i and his involvement with the Showa Kenkyu Kai, and I will not limit myself in that capacity to using him as a case study for why many intellectuals joined nationalist movements. That is because, while there may be similarities, there are also significant differences, and these will become readily apparent as this paper progresses. The question I would be expected to start from, then, would be more modest in scope: what could motivate one man, a leftist intellectual concerned with ideas of materialism and class struggle as driving forces in history, to join a policy research group concerned with establishing an intellectual foundation for a nationalist prime minister? Several conjective answers immediately present themselves. First, perhaps this was a case of dissent from within, so that, aware that he would not survive 'above ground,' Miki joined the organization to resist the rising 1 1 Masao Maruyama, Thought and Behaviour in Modern Japanese Politics, ed. Ivan Morris, (London: Oxford University Press, 1963), expanded edition, xii. This question is echoed by Sharon Minichiello in her study of Nagai Ryutaro, Retreat from Reform: Politics of Political Behaviour in Interwar Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1984), ix. One could, in fact, argue that Maruyama's question is flawed because of its extensive generalization of Japanese intellectuals, and its ignoring the fact that Japanese students tended to pick and choose fragments from their European teachers. One could make a distinction between the sophisticated arguments of Nishida Kitaro that were "nationalistic" in the sense of presenting a Japan uniquely poised to create a synthesis of Eastern and Western thought superior to either, and the base ideologues of the army. One could even argue that Maruyama is wrong in making the assumption that nationalism arose out of purely Asian thought, when many of the intellectuals - not just the left, but the right (e.g. Kita Ikki) -- borrowed heavily from socialist ideals from European philosophy and current politics ~ it seems a convenient method for European intellectuals to wring their hands of their Japanese students by claiming that the latters' transgressions were in fact due entirely to "Asian thought." Even Emperor worship in the early Showa model - the Emperor resplendant upon his white steed -- had more in common with the spectacle of European imperialism and popular rightist leaders in the interwar years than it did with earlier Japanese history. 3 nationalist-militarist tide from within. This hypothesis comes in two flavours: resistance from within by choice, or resistance from within by circumstance, the latter being brought about by the infamous tenko12, or forced ideological conversion. The 'dissent-from-within' motif is an idealistic 'resistance-fighter intellectual' view, and certainly appealing.13 Secondly, perhaps Mik i was offered a chance to turn his abstract philosophy into practical policy, and was so swept away by this possibility that he did not consider the real implications of his co-operation with such forces. This is the romantic view, presenting the philosopher as well-intentioned but naive. A third view is that offered by Fletcher.14 Fletcher charts the development of the intellectuals Royama Masamichi 1 5, Ryu Shintaro16, and Mik i , and argues that they sought answers first in Marxism in the 1920s and then in "fascism" in the 1930s; just what is meant by "fascism" is never clearly defined but appears here, and this is but a hypothesis, to mean the populist definition of an ultra-nationalistic and pro-government position.1 7 Regardless, for now let us put aside the issue of fascism for our purposes and conclude that Fletcher argues that the intellectuals in question, after a move to Marxism initially, move away from Marxism and adopt an ultra-nationalist and pro-government stance. However, I now believe that this entire perspective (all three views) is flawed, because it posits a major shift whereby Miki either stops being a 'man of thought' and becomes a 'man of action', or transforms his thought from Marxist critique to the formulation of justifications for the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. I posit here that there is no such clean break, and while Miki 's thought developed over time the continuities are greater than the discrepancies, and there is no 'grand shift'. The approaches to Mik i based upon a, or even a series of, 'conversion(s)' are based upon attempts to pigeon-hole Miki , where his inability to fit any established, simplified slot is explained by 'conversions' attempting to chart his movement from one oversimplified static position to another, completely ignoring the continuity in his thought and action. As an aside, neither was Miki 's philosophy abstract, but from the beginning was engaged with practical concerns facing his society and times. My thesis here would begin by stating that Mik i Kiyoshi was a sophisticated philosopher who when young studied under some of the greatest minds of his time, and like all great thinkers 1 2 $SrS] In my translations throughout this paper, I will render this term as 'conversion', or 'to convert.' 1 3 An example of this 'resistance from within' argument is Mary L. Hanneman's treatment of Hasegawa Nyozekan ("Dissent from Within: Hasegawa Nyozekan, Liberal Critic of Fascism," Monumenta Nipponica 52.1 (1997): 35-58. Hanneman argues Hasegawa wrote like he did not to support the militarists but to critique them while avoiding being silenced by openly attacking them ~ he attacked them from within without appearing to do so, but the readers could read his real convictions between the lines of the nationalist jargon of the times. 1 4 William Miles Fletcher III, The Search for a New Order: Intellectuals and Fascism in Prewar Japan (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982). 1 7 Fletcher's lacking of a definition of fascism, and even his use of the term, is of course problematic; this is something a reviewer of his book complains about, for Fletcher either chooses not to engage with the debate or behaves as if he were unaware of it, although he does address the issue in his earlier paper (which I will discuss later; for the critique see Thomas A. Stanley's review of Miles Fletcher's The Search for a New Order: Intellectuals and Fascism in Prewar Japan (University of North Carolina Press, 1982), in Monumenta Nipponica, 39.1 (1984): 106-108). Fletcher joins Herbert P. Bix and others in persisting in using the term "fascism" throughout the 1980s despite a general consensus that it had been shorn of all value for Japanese studies (please refer to the third part of this essay and the footnotes therein where 1 discuss this issue at length). Fletcher's use of the term is even more baffling when one considers that his article and book showed clearly Miki, Ryu, and Royama's different understandings of fascism, indicating that it was certainly not a constant for the three of them and therefore of little help in arguing that they charted a course for the same thing if all three of them were in fact aiming in different directions. Finally, I do not understand how Fletcher can recognize the array of labels applied to the Showa Kenkyu Kai (see The Search for a New Order, 176 nl), and then proceed to apply one of his own, unless he does not see that these labels are meaningless in their reductionism and he considers "fascism" to be the magic cure-all. 4 he strove to improve the world around him. Miki was not actually a Marxist, although he was inspired by dialectical thought and Marxist thinking; neither was he just another student of Nishida Kitaro 1 8 and the Kyoto School 1 9, or of German idealism, or of "nationalism" in a broader sense, although he borrowed elements from all of these which were surging through the Japanese intellectual milieu at the time. Mik i was also profoundly interested in history, culture, and religion, but his writings on these topics are seldom given the attention they deserve. Furthermore, the 1930s presented Japanese intellectuals with grave threats, but also incredible opportunities as the thought of today could quickly become the rallying cry for a political revolution tomorrow. Miki 's experience reflects both the stimulation felt individually by prewar intellectuals who were awash with radical philosophies being put into political programs in Europe and the desire to get involved with something like that in Japan, and also on a broader level the pressure on intellectuals in the 30s to side with the dominant forces, those warring factions that were seen as securing Japan's future against foreign aggression and socialist/ national-socialist thought: on the one hand, the maelstrom of political philosophy rising in Europe was giving Japanese thinkers all sorts of ideas, but at the same time they ran the risk of being 'un-Japanese' in the eyes of the political right and therefore courting danger both to their careers and themselves physically (the threat of imprisonment or assassination). Thinkers like Mik i Kiyoshi frequently had the best intentions for Japan, but were vilified during the war for not supporting the hard-right nationalists, and after the war for having appeared to be complicit in the collapse of the liberalism and parliamentarianism of the interwar period. This paper comprises four chapters that attempt to reappraise Mik i and his involvement with the Showa Kenkyii Kai. The first will examine how Miki 's early thought and education, when he studied under such notables as Nishida Kitaro in Japan and Rickert and Heidegger in Europe, prepared him not just for idealistic contemplation, but also for action, and particularly political involvement, thus setting a foundation for his later development. Building on from this examination of the development of Miki 's thought, the second chapter examines how the climate of the 1930s was not only one of danger to intellectuals, but also a time of great opportunity, which had an impact on Mik i by prompting him to take action formulated on his thought. This chapter thus helps to place Mik i in his context by looking at his times, and then examining various key aspects of his thought. In the third chapter, I argue that, far from being the polar opposite of Prince Konoe, the man for whom the Showa Kenkyu Kai attempted to formulate the basis for a New Order, Mik i and the Prince were actually quite similar in many respects, and may have shared more common thinking than we have previously assumed. Their similarity in perspective may help in explaining why both Mik i and Konoe pursued the ideal of a New Order. The fourth chapter brings the previous three threads together by looking at Miki 's joining the Showa Kenkyu Kai, his role in it and what he accomplished. It further presents the Showa Kenkyu Kai as a complex organization (that has not received the attention in Western scholarship that it deserves), that has resisted simple categorization and was actually quite different from the group often portrayed as trying to establish a fascist dictatorship and so on. In short, this chapter intends to show how joining the Showa Kenkyu Kai was not a strange abberation in Miki 's career, but actually shows continuity with his earlier thought and was a logical step. Perhaps then, this paper can be seen as a reappraisal of Miki that contains reappraisals of Konoe and the Showa Kenkyu Kai as well. While I am not really adding much in the way of research, I am building upon previous work and offering a reinterpretation that I believe makes more sense in approaching Mik i and the Showa Kenkyu Kai than oversimplified theories that do 5 not allow for the complexity of the man, the organization, and the times. This undertaking begins, as all enterprises must, with a turn to the formative period of the man in question. Chapter I The Seeds of a New Japanese Philosophy: M i k i ' s Formative Period 20 A philosopher is not a meditator who does not carry responsibility, but must be one who moves the world, and forms the world.21 - Mik i Kiyoshi In the second chapter I will examine Miki 's thought in greater depth, but his interest in improving society and striving for a worldly philosophy that must transcend the particular evolved from his formulative period, which is the topic of this chapter. Religion also occupied an important role in Miki 's world, for religion too was transcendent, and along with philosophy was destined to lead politics, for politics, left to its own devices, would only bring ruin. From the beginning, Mik i emphasized a pragmatism in his thought that was a refreshing contrast to the purely academic, abstract pursuits of many of his contemporaries. For Mik i , philosophy was not just 'philosophy' per se, but a force for leadership and improvement in society. The object of philosophical inquiry was by necessity, reality. To truly understand philosophy, for Mik i , was to understand reality, and that reality naturally included politics. As Mik i himself said, "If, like this, Japanese politics and Japanese culture also have to become worldly, then worldly thought will be extremely necessary for Japan. We cannot these days think of a politics or culture without 22 thought. Thought is the leader of politics and culture.'" This chapter will begin with tracing Miki 's early life, and examine the Kyoto School, of which he was a part, his studies in Europe, and his return to Japan, from the vantage point of Miki 's own intellectual development. Before starting this journey, it would be best to consider some of the (unfortunately limited) scholarship on Mik i . 1.1 Overview of Scholarship on Mik i Kiyoshi Mik i tends to be treated in the scholarship as one of a group of intellectuals who shifted their thought in the 1930s towards a pro-government, 'nationalist' position, that some have gone so far as to dub 'fascist' or argue supported Japanese imperialism, but I have come to the conclusion that this generalization is not only distortive of the variety of individuals and thought of the time, but in the case of Mik i is simply incorrect. Before turning to an examination of Miki 's early life and thought, it would be helpful to look at several perspectives advanced by scholars concerning him. One perspective that may prove interesting in Miki 's case is that offered by Andrew E. Barshay in State and Intellectual in Imperial Japan?2 Barshay looks at how the development of the modern Japanese state gave birth to a "public sphere," a "vast area of social thought and practice concerned with national life," in which activity pursued in large organizations was privileged over activity pursued by individuals, to the extent that "public" came to be identified 20 WM-^t kansosha (kanso is a Buddhist term meaning a sort of revelation that comes through such a spiritual practice as meditation. Miki means that a philosopher is not just someone who sits in a temple and meditates. He thus contrasts the active, involved philosopher with the passive, detached recipient of meditational insight. 2 1 Hvfcffif Miki Kiyoshi, t fftWj "Tetsugaku to Kyoiku" [Philosophy and Education], ^Lttt'^M Miki KiyoshiZenshii [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works] (jj€M Tokyo: TS'&WIE Iwanami Shoten, 1966), 13.422-431; 428. 2 2 H/Kft Miki Kiyoshi, rgf 0 lf(D^M?\ t L T W ^ f t l "Shin-Ninon no Shidoryoku toshite no Shukyo" [Religion as the Leadership of the New Japan], HTK' /H ikM Miki Kiyoshi Zenshii [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works],CS;R Tokyo: ^-^#0 Iwanami Shoten, 1966), 13.71-81; 71-72 (emphasis mine). 2 3 Andrew E. Barshay, State and Intellectual in Imperial Japan: The Public Man in Crisis (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988). 6 with the state. Barshay proposes a new approach to the intellectuals at this time that would examine how for these "public men" the "intellectual content of public work and the mutually defining status positions of insider and outsider were interrelated." He focuses on the cases of Nanbara Shigeru and Hasegawa Nyozekan , but the hinge of the work that connects these two is Maruyama Masao. While Barshay touches upon Mik i but briefly, he comments on his tragic life that " A better example of the public man in extremis can hardly be imagined." Considering Miki from this viewpoint in the future could be a revealing undertaking and a corrective to earlier misconceptions regarding the intellectuals of this period. The key approach to consider here for my purposes, however, is that of Miles Fletcher. Fletcher, recall, posits that Mik i , with Ryu and Royama, shifted their emphasis from Marxism to 'fascism', and thus embraced the Showa Kenkyu Kai because it was fascist and offered them a chance to build a fascist new order. The key in Fletcher's perspective is a shift whereby the three intellectuals, whom he sees as a cross-section of intellectuals at the time, turn to fascism to solve the problems they perceived to be confronting their society. Fletcher claims that the three intellectuals, like many others, were merely following popular trends — in the 1920s Marxism was on the rise, and in the 1930s fascism came to the forefront.30 He notes how intellectuals were rushing to import the latest ideas from the West, as well as a conspicuous lack of reference 31 to the Japanese tradition in their work. Furthermore, he suggests they were attracted to fascism because it used irrational nationalism in the service of rational reform. I think that Fletcher's research is of immense value, but his overarching framework, as I • • • • 33 suggested in the introduction, is problematic. It seems to be based on several flawed premises, which it is in our best interests to briefly examine.34 The first of these is Fletcher's assertion that the intellectuals were only parroting the West and did not draw on Japanese tradition. Where Maruyama saw a shift from democratic, logical Western thought to nationalistic, irrational Eastern thought, Fletcher sees everything as coming from the West. He is also incorrect, for proving Japanese intellectuals drew on kokugaku35 and so forth is no difficult task. In Miki 's case, like Nishida he drew on a synthesis of Eastern and Western thought in the hopes of 2 4 Ibid., xii. 2 5 Ibid., xiii-xiv. 26 mum 27fi^Ji|£nJl 2 8 Barshay, 27-28. 2 9 Fletcher, The Search for a New Order, 4. 3 0 Ibid., 4-7. 3 1 Ibid., 5. 3 2 Ibid., 6. 33 This criticism is not to suggest Fletcher's entire perspective is wrong — I agree that there were elements in Japanese society calling for change along the lines of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, and I agree that the fascists failed to capture the Japanese state, but I do not see most of the Japanese intellectuals, especially Miki, or the Showa Kenkyu Kai as anything but opposed to these elements as well as the military in general. 34 . . There is also a stylistic issue. Despite neglecting the debate over 'fascism,' which I address later in this paper, Fletcher, after defending his use of the term without providing a working definition, uses it excessively - even when other terms would better suit the context. He furthermore frequently adds to descriptions of policies or ideas statements like "as in fascism" or "like the Nazis," even though it may be equally true in the situation to say "like in the UK" or "like the American robber barons." While technically true, his use of these 'selective' comparisons, combined with the overuse of the term 'fascism' seems almost designed to elicit an emotional response from the reader. A particularly galling instance is the statement "In 1935, Miki's ideas blended smoothly with the newly professed goals of the Imperial Army on the continent," (62) in which the implication that Miki supported the army is hard to miss. The notion that because Miki and some army leaders were both discussing pan-asiatic values, that these values were one and the same, and thus Miki supported the army, is reductionism of the worst order. 3 5 The National Learning thought that was influential in the Edo Period. 7 transcending both. Even his ideal of cooperativism36 drew heavily on the Japanese tradition. In addition, Miki discussed Japanese culture and history extensively, notably writing on Buddhism and Shinran37, whom he had always been inspired by. The key problem with Fletcher's argument is the notion of a major shift in Miki 's thought, something his own account does not substantiate. Possibly this is due to his conflation of Miki with Ryu and Royama in much of the work --1 do not believe that Ryu and Royama began chasing a fascist spectre either, but they are beyond my scope here — and while Fletcher's research seems solid and his summaries of Miki 's thought decent, they seem disjointed from his larger framework attempting to argue for a shift towards fascism.38 After two pages summarizing Miki 's criticism of fascism, imperialism, and nationalism in general, Fletcher suddenly asserts that he was attracted to fascism as well as repulsed, and made it his task to create a 'new totalitarianism' (!).39 The claim is sudden and without substantiation. He states near the beginning of the book that there was much continuity in the three writers, and no sudden changes, suggesting that he sees them as 'fascists' from the start.40 However, his own accounts of their early thought disproves this and he constantly refers to their shifting towards fascism.41 Miki 's cooperativism, rejection of Marxist revolution, interest in Japanese tradition, and striving to create a new culture through formulating a Japanese philosophy with world impact are all presented as new developments in the later 1930s, but, as I will show in this paper, they are actually rooted in Miki 's early thought and experience.42 Miki drew ideas from a variety of schools of thought, notably Marxism and German Idealism, but his readings of both were far from orthodox, something that earned him critics early on. He also placed a high value on progressive action. Fundamentally, he was driven to seek a worldly philosophy which would transcend the particular and enable him and other Japanese thinkers to postulate a set of universal political and cultural ideals that were both derived from the Japanese condition and yet could rise above it to challenge Western ideologies. To view Miki as a Marxist, a student of German Idealism, or a quasi-nationalist, or even worse, to study him as somehow representative of any of these groups, serves naught but to distort and obscure him. If there is any one school of thought that Mik i can be identified with, it should in fact be Humanism, and that is my position herein. Mik i always had humanity at the centre of his studies, and his love of learning and culture, and his persistent fight against those who would take away the freedom and beauty of humanity, unite his work more strongly than any notion of Marxist dialectic could. With that in mind, I will now turn to consider Miki 's early life. 1.2 Miki 's Early Life 3 6 fSrRili Kyodo-shugi 7 mm 3 8 See, for instance, the summaries on pages 15-19 and 45-50. Regarding conflation, on page 70 Fletcher states how the three intellectuals had a growing belief in their spiritual mission and influence, which certainly was not true for Miki, who had always both considered himself special, and believed intellectuals should have a say in politics. 3 9 Ibid., 84-86. It is troubling how Fletcher never puts quotation marks around his own use of the term 'fascism,' but frequently does so when Miki or others criticize it, as if to suggest that their usage is incorrect while his is not. 4 0 Ibid., 4. 4 1 Perhaps Fletcher means that there were no fundamental shifts, but merely superficial ones. Given the space between Marxism and fascism as described by Miki, this would suggest that the intellectuals were never really Marxist or fascist in anything but a superficial manner; indeed, Fletcher's claim that the Japanese intellectuals copied ver batim from the West would seem to suggest he holds this view. This, of course, would not only render the intellectuals essentially commentators not thinkers, but also takes the wind out of Fletcher's arguments for using fascism to view either them or the Showa Kenkyu Kai. If 'fascism' or any other ideology meant nothing to them but what was popular at the time, how meaningful is it to treat them in terms of 'fascism' or anything else? 4 2 Ibid., 159, 47, 83, 84, respectively. 8 While it may seem that little is known about Miki 's early life, his propensity for discussions and friends has actually enabled us to come to a better understanding of his early years than those of many intellectuals of the time.4 3 Mik i Kiyoshi was born on the fifth of January, 1897, in Hyogo-ken, Ibo-gun, Hirai-mura Ogami (now Issaicho-ogami).44 While a child, Mik i was interested most in literature and history. There is a dearth of writing on Miki 's early years, but Akamatsu Tsunehiro's 1989 article provides some insight; Akamatsu comments that Throughout his life Miki pursued a philosophical grasp of history, but the starting point was in his university graduation thesis. However, it looks like he was interested in history from his middle school days. Miki was a young literary enthusiast while at the same time a young man who loved history, recalling like this: "During middle school, if I had something I had pride in, that was history. I read a lot of a kind of historical biographies by Yamaji Aiyoshi45, but I was especially fond o/Jozan Kidan 4 6 and Nihon Gaishi 4 7 . 4 8 In 1914, Mik i entered the First Higher School, that is, Daiichi Koto of Tokyo. While there he founded a philosophical study club. 4 9 Mik i also especially loved reading religious books, especially Shinran.50 Japan at the time was in a moderate stage and students enjoyed unprecedented access to Western writings as well as Japanese classics.51 According to Michiko Yusa, Miki first attended a talk by Nishida Kitaro on April 15th 1917; he confessed that he did not understand the professor's talk well, but nevertheless was strongly impressed.52 After then reading Nishida's "An Inquiry into the Good'53 he decided to 4 3 Two helpful references are J "Nenpu" [Chronological History], in —Tfctff Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works] (MM Tokyo: ^ :kWfS Iwanami Shoten, 1966), 19.851-889; and ffiES^HgR Masuda Keizaburo, r | | f ^ ^ ! ) f j "Chosaku Nenpu" [Chronological History of Literary Work], in E-^im'^.M Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works] (MM Tokyo: i&'lfcWlE Iwanami Shoten, 1966), 19.891-965. 4 4 "S'ffl^ te Furuta, Hikaru. rH/fc'/nJ "Miki Kiyoshi." In r g ^ ^ g ^ f t j KokushiDaijiten [Great Encyclopedia of National History], 13.288. 4 5 P U S B S S Unfortunately I cannot be sure of the reading since I could find absolutely nothing else on this writer. 4 6 r ^ i i i lH t^ j An Eighteenth Century work concerning the bushi of Bizen, in 25 volumes. It was named for the compiler, Jozan, and records famous bushi from the old days until the time of its composition. 4 7 T 0 A classic Tokugawa work looking at political development from Heian into Tokugawa; this work was read quite heavily from late Tokugawa into Meiji and was used to encourage Emperor worship. It is seen as an orthodox work on the period and comprises some 22 volumes. 4 8 # t £ ^ < 7 £ Akamatsu Tsunehiro, r ^ ^ B f f t t D H / t v f f H ^ ^ ^ O t H ^ ^ J "Gakusei Jidai no Miki Kiyoshi: Miki Tetsugaku no Shuppatsuten" [Miki Kiyoshi's Student Days: The Starting Point of Miki Philosophy], A ^ C f 4 ^ tmM Jinbun Kagaku Ronshu [Humanities Treatises] 23 (1989.3), 1-13; 4. 4 9 Gino K. Piovesana, Recent Japanese Philosophical Thought, 1862-1996: A Survey (Tokyo: Enderle Bookstore, 1963; 3rd revised edition, Richmond, UK: Japan Library, 1997), 178. 5 0 Contrary to common assumptions, he never lost his interest in the topic and produced a notable essay on religion in 1938 which 1 will refer to later. It is thus a testament to the postwar Marxist views of Miki that few consider his writings on religion. One recent corrective to this is an article by Tanabe Masahide that considers religion in Miki, Nishida, and Tanabe (ffliSIE^ Tanabe Masahide, r ^ # © f t ft S T K ^ S B M ^ , Baffle H/Ktfffc: mill L-Tj "Tetsugaku no uchinaru Shukyo: Nishida Kitaro, Tanabe Hajime, Miki Kiyoshi ni Kanrenshite" [The Religion in Philosophers: Concerning Nishida Kitaro, Tanabe Hajime, and Miki Kiyoshi], fcbt£SiiS5Jf2E Hikaku Shiso Kenkyu [Studies in Comparative Philosophy] 20 (1994.3), 173-176). 5 1 Calls for military expansion in the 1910s had been curtailed by the Genro, and the rice riots had ended in a new party cabinet (the Hara Cabinet, the first party cabinet since the first Okuma Cabinet in 1898), so the approaching twenties looked like a promising age for democracy in Japan. At the same time, darker currents moved beneath the surface. There was also a rising interest in Marxism among intellectual elites while political personalities continued to try and make liberalism work as it had so far, thus avoiding serious reform. 5 2 Michiko Yusa, Zen & Philosophy: An Intellectual Biography of Nishida Kitaro (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2002), 161. 9 study philosophy under Nishida, and in that same year (1917) he entered the philosophy department of Kyoto Imperial University 5 4. 5 5 1.3 A Disciple of Nishida and the Kyoto School Nishida Kitaro is widely seen as the founder of modern Japanese philosophy. Early in life Nishida was critical of religion, but later it became a key component of his thought which is best exemplified by his masterpiece An Inquiry into the Good.56 Indeed, it has been said that everything after this 1911 work is a broadening and deepening of his original philosophy, in which he never made a radical shift.57 Nishida was never particularly involved in politics, which makes him quite a different figure from Mik i , and explains why the latter has been received more sympathetically by Japan's predominantly leftist postwar intelligentsia. Nishida's thought differs from that of his predecessors in that, as his student Nishitani Ke i j i 5 8 notes, "the base of his thought is worldwide in scope."59 Indeed, Nishida was not just a Western philosopher in Japan or an Eastern philosopher with some Western ideas, but someone who saw underlying universals at the base of the traditions of East and West that through his own thought he sought to synthesize ~ through what Nishitani refers to as a dialectic of nothingness (the base of the East) and reason (the base of the West) that gives rise to a world philosophy.6 This notion of a synthesis that produced a philosophy on the world stage of greater proximity to the universal, and hence a closer approximation of 'truth' than any particularistic notion, was to have a significant effect on Mik i . Nishida, Tanabe Hajime6 1, and Nishitani are the three key figures in the Kyoto School, a school of philosophy founded as thinkers and students gathered around Nishida. 6 2 The school developed broadly under Tanabe after Nishida's 1928 retirement, and the first use of the name is attributed to Tosaka Jun 6 3 's 1932 article "The Philosophy of the Kyoto School." 6 4 Along with 5 3 rgCOfiBEj Zen no Kenkyu 5 4 MfBiftS±¥ (Kyoto Teikoku Daigaku) 5 5 Furuta, 288. Also see Yusa, Zen & Philosophy, 163. 5 6 Valdo Humbert Viglielmo in "Nishida Kitaro: The Early Years," (in Tradition and Modernization in Japanese Culture, Ed. Donald H. Shively (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971), 507-562) notes that Marxists have used these early essays of Nishida to argue that the philosopher started off on the right path (anti-religion and materialist) but then declined (515-516). Currently the best biography of Nishida is Michiko Yusa's landmark Zen & Philosophy: An Intellectual Biography of Nishida Kitaro (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2002). 5 7 Viglielmo, 508-509. Viglielmo argues that the key components of Nishida's thought were in place by 1903. James W. Heisig sees this as an over-generalization (e.g. Heisig, 289). 5 9 Nishitani Keiji, Nishida Kitaro, trans. Yamamoto Seisaku and James W. Heiseig (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), 39. Nishitani was Nishida's most famous student; he and Tosaka arrived at Kyoto after Miki did, although actually Miki and Nishitani attended the same school earlier (9-12). 6 0 Ibid., 53-55. Note that this necessarily requires an essentialist notion of each tradition. 6 2 This is a more general definition of the school. Some authors see Tanabe's divergence from Nishida, and thus the expansion of Nishida's thought beyond Nishida himself to a broader phenomenon, as the start of the school. An excellent study of the three main figures and the school itself is James W. Heisig's Philosophers of Nothingness (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2001). Numerous key figures in the school died shortly before and after the end of the Pacific War, including Nishida, Miki, Tosaka, and allies like Iwanami Shigeo. 6 4 r ^ K P ^ ^ W ^ - ^ J "Kyoto Gaku-ha no Tetsugaku" This article can be found in F'Kfl Tosaka Jun, ^P^UfM^Mi Tosaka Jun Zenshu [Complete Works of Tosaka Jun] (J^M Tokyo: Wl^-^StM Keiso Shobo,1966), 3.171-176. Tosaka was trained in Neo-Kantianism at Kyoto and later came to be influenced by Miki as well. Also like Miki, he became a professor at Hosei University in 1931 (a year after Miki had left there; perhaps he took Miki's place), left his position due to being hounded by the 10 Mik i , Nishitani, and Tosaka, many other notable students trained under Nishida. Tanabe was seen as Nishida's successor, but the use of his philosophy by nationalists during the war caused him to be relentlessly attacked by critics later; hence, newer writers that approach the philosophy of the Kyoto School sympathetically tend to downplay Tanabe and emphasize Nishida instead.65 Critics of the Kyoto School persist, however. Not infrequently, Kyoto School thinkers have been made to seem 'fascistic' or 'pro-government' through criticism drawing upon examination of their use of terminology associated with ultra-nationalists in the 1930s.6 6 This argument tends to draw on the infamous 1941-1942 Child Koron61 roundtable discussions, which involved four thinkers: Kosaka Masaaki 6 8, Suzuki Shigetaka69, Koyama Iwao7 0, and Nishitani. 7 1 Typical interpretations show the thinkers supporting the war and justifying Japanese militarism as a sacred war to liberate Asia. A recent article has argued, however, that at least in Nishida's case such criticism is distortive since Nishida fought against nationalism and war by engaging the army in a "tug of war over meaning," defining terms in a way that undercut the army's position.72 Nishida lost the battle, and now these terms have only nationalistic meanings, but to assume that this was so during Nishida's time is unfair. Further evidence indicates Nishida 7^  defended liberalism and spoke out against fascism and imperialism on many occasions. Nishida, Tanabe, Kosaka, Kdyama, Miki , and others were actually all considered liberal, pro-democracy, and pro-individualism (and hence a threat) by ultranationalists.74 It is certainly a fact that several of the Kyoto School thinkers saw their ideas, and their students, contribute to politically-minded organizations, so a serious issue is to what extent they were responsible for the misuse of their philosophy by political and military actors. Whereas Nishida can be connected to political movements through guilt by association, Mik i from the beginning authorities, made a living by translating and writing, and finally, arrested for leftist views, died in prison (see #p/fc IE Suzuki Tadashii, Tpfigf l j "Tosaka Jun," in r f f lS^^S^Aj Kokushi Daijiten, 10.345). 6 5 After years of neglect, especially in the West, the past decade has seen a renewed interest in Tanabe, and this should prove interesting to juxtapose with Nishida and the Kyoto School generally. See, for instance, Taitetsu Unno and James W. Heisig, eds., The Religious Philosophy of Tanabe Hajime (Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press, 1990). 6 6 This has been an enduring controversy of the Kyoto School, and even prompted a symposium in 1994 which resulted in the book Rude Awakenings: Zen, the Kyoto School & the Question of Nationalism, edited by James W. Heisig and John C. Maraldo (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1994). Japanese writing on the history of philosophy has not spared the Kyoto School either; with many works being written by hard leftists, there is a disconcerting tendency to refer to the thought of the Kyoto School as an "imperialist philosophy." 69 &*f$.m 7 1 See Horio Tsutomu, "The Chuokoron Discussions, Their Background and Meaning," trans. Thomas Kirchner, in Rude Awakenings, 289-315, for an examination of these roundtables. 7 2 Ueda Shizuteru, "Nishida, Nationalism, and the War in Question," Rude Awakenings, 77-106. See also Yusa Michiko's "Nishida and Totalitarianism: A Philosopher's Resistance" in the same volume, 107-131. 7 3 Viglielmo, 525. 7 4 Yusa, "Nishida and Totalitarianism," 119-120. 7 5 In "Beyond 'East and West': Nishida's Universalism and Postcolonial Critique" (Review of Politics 59.3 (Summer 1997), 541-560), Yoko Arisaka argues that whatever their intentions may have been, the Kyoto School thinkers contributed to the rise of fascist ideology in Japan. This is a Utilitarian argument in contrast to that advanced by Graham Parkes in "The Putative Fascism of the Kyoto School and the Political Correctness of the Modern Academy" (Philosophy East & West 413 (July 1997), 305-336) in which he argues the Kyoto School thinkers did not have the intention of supporting fascism, and he rails against current trends in academia that have scholars go through history and sort out those thinkers who they believe can be labelled as 'fascist' and whose work can be subsequently dismissed. Indeed, such dubious enterprises should not ony trouble intellectuals (are we to study only those thinkers who affirm our own understanding of the world?) but historians, for they smack of brazenly applying the standards of one's own time to the past. 11 encouraged political action, not being content to just have his ideas associated with a movement indirectly. Nishida furthermore had little patience for Marxist ideology; at a seminar with the Marxist intellectual Kawakami Hajime7 6 and some younger economics faculty interested in Marxism, after a young professor gave his own understanding of historical materialism, Nishida commented "Superficial," and the seminar broke up shortly afterwards.77 Nishitani notes that after retirement Nishida penned the verse "It is because of Marx / That sleep comes hard to me." This could be merely a reference to Nishitani and Tosaka's keeping him up all night discussing Marx, but Nishida's mood was sombre and dark during those days and I believe he was likely troubled by the rise of a philosophy that he saw as superficial and overly pragmatic compared to that which he had spent his life refining. Yet by all accounts Nishida continued to think favourably of Mik i , suggesting Mik i was not just a straight-forward Marxist but a thinker who incorporated Marxist dialectic into a broader body of thought that Nishida could 79 appreciate. While studying, Miki was also influenced by Tanabe Hajime and Hatano Seiichi 8 0, and he became familiar with Neo-Kantianism.81 Accepted wisdom sees Nishida as the key influence on Mik i . Certainly Nishida had a significant impact upon the formulation of Miki 's philosophy, although often subtle, and this will become clear when considering Miki 's works later. That being said, neither was Mik i just a follower of Nishida's who did not venture forth his own ideas — there is a tendency to see Mik i as just one student of Nishida's, which does not aid in understanding Mik i . For instance, I have already suggested that while Nishida avoided political involvement, Mik i encouraged it, and recognizing where Miki and Nishida differ even at this early stage will help in understanding Miki 's later life and thought. Neither is this issue a problem merely in postwar scholarship; Mik i himself feared being equated to 'Nishidaism' and wanted to move beyond it. As he later wrote, / think this year I want to do just how much work I can do. I will isolate the fundamentals of Nishida philosophy for comprehension. I think I will build a foundation that can go beyond this; I'll get started. Nishida philosophy should probably be called the completion of Eastern Realism, but, it not the case that this Eastern Realism together with its strong points has some serious weak points, I wonder.... At any rate, I think if I don't investigate fundamentally Nishida philosophy I won't be able to give birth to Japan's new philosophy in the future. 8 2 At the same time that Mik i was already contemplating the formulation of a new 7 6 M _ h « 7 7 Gail Lee Bernstein, Japanese Marxist: A Portrait of Kawakami Hajime, 1879-1946 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976), 139, paraphrasing Sakuda Shoichi, Jidai no hito: Kawakami Hajime (Osaka: Kaikensha, 1949), 31. 7 8 Nishitani, 29-30. 7 9 For the postwar impact of Kyoto School thought see the first part of "The Existentialism of the Kyoto School," in chapter VII, "Post-War Philosophical Trends, 1945-1962" in Gino K. Piovesana, Recent Japanese Philosophical Thought, 1862-1996: A Survey (Original edition Tokyo: Enderle Bookstore, 1963; 3rd revised edition, Richmond, UK: Japan Library, 1997), 197-206). 8 0 ^ I f f j f -8 1 Furuta, 288. 8 2 Miyakawa, Tom fmmM^^ t Eif-in J "Nishida Kitaro to Miki Kiyoshi" [Nishida Kitaro and Miki Kiyoshi]. EL^ln^MM # 1 # Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu Geppo [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works, Monthly Bulletin], 1 (1966.10). 8-11; 9, quoting an unknown source. It looks like a letter to someone. 12 philosophy, he tended to isolate himself from his established teachers through his behaviour. Mik i was assertive and encouraged political action; at the same time, he was reputed to have had an affair with a widow much older than he, and in general was somewhat obnoxious and outspoken. This behaviour was to become worse upon his return from Europe, and I will return to this subject later when it affected his career. Mik i graduated from Kyoto University in 1920, and his Master's thesis was entitled "Critical Philosophy and the Philosophy of History." 8 3 Mik i had already made quite a name for himself as a student; as Akamatsu observes, Two months after publishing "The Understanding of Individuality, " Miki's graduation thesis "The Philosophy of Criticism and the Philosophy of History" was published in the same "The Study of Philosophy" journal. At that time, it seems that having a thesis published in this journal meant receiving a guarantee of its being the greatest thesis that year. Miki, as the brightest student of Kyoto Imperial University, began to publish several essays in "The Study of Philosophy" in rapid succession thereafter *A The young rising star was soon offered a chance to expand his horizons further by means of a trip to Europe, for the purpose of studying with some of the leading intellectual figures of the day. 1.4 A Student in Europe Of In 1922, Mik i went to Germany with the support of Iwanami Publishing. "This was the first time he came into contact with the severity of the reality following the First World War, and his eyes were opened to a new intellectual trend." Indeed, this is often seen as a period of change for Mik i ~ socialist ideas were quite influential at the time in Germany, and Miki 's experiences there must have exposed him to rising philosophies. However, I believe the impact of this period upon the young Miki is often overemphasized, and we often suppose he studied differently than he did. The key is the notion that Mik i received instruction in German Idealism from Martin Heidegger and Marxism from Karl Mannheim, but it is my contention that Mik i actually was familiar with German Idealism earlier than we presume, and became interested in Marxism later than we presume. First of all, Mik i had been well-trained in modern German thought, especially Neo-Kantianism, in Kyoto, and this was likely why he was supervised in Germany by Heinrich Rickert, a member of the Heidelberg School of Neo-Kantianism who specialized in the philosophy of historiography. While Rickert interested Mik i in pursuing his inquiry into the philosophy of history further, and Mannheim encouraged him to look at Marx, neither thinker had a particularly significant impact on Miki . Rather, they introduced him to more material which he then engaged with in his own way, often quite differently from what his teachers expected. Mik i established himself as an independent thinker who was not afraid of unorthodox interpretations, something that was to later draw him criticism. It was only after Miki 's return to 8 3 TfthflJ^^ t S l i ^ ^ J "Hihan Tetsugaku to Rekishi Tetsugaku" 8 4 Akamatsu, "Miki Kiyoshi's Student Days", 3. 8 5 Miki had a significant impact on Iwanami; even today the series of pocket 'bungo' books carry words of his near the back cover. 8 6 Furuta, 288. 8 7 Kuki Shuzo, Ishihara Ken, Abe Jiro, and Naruse Mukyoku were among those also in Heidelberg at the time (Yusa, Zen & Philosophy, 181. According to Yusa, through Miki and Amano Teiyu (who also studied with Rickert) "a rapport developed between Nishida and Rickert." (197). 8 8 Piovesana, for instance, suggests Miki's approach to Marx brought him closer to Marx than Mannheim's (181) — despite the latter's fame for both his approach to Marx and supposedly training Miki in Marxism. 13 Japan that he really became interested in Marxism, something I will address below. Similarly, the case of Miki 's time with Heidegger is often misunderstood. It is true that Heidegger had several Asian students and later became interested in Asian philosophy, but this was not the case O Q yet in the 1920s. Nor did Mik i pick up much in the way of German Idealism from Heidegger — in the 1920s Heidegger was focusing on Classical philosophy, especially Aristotle, and did not focus heavily on German Idealism until the next decade.9 Miki 's studies of Aristotle under Heidegger were significant for him and later he produced some translations of Aristotle as well. Mik i is occasionally conflated with Kuki Shuzo who stayed with Heidegger longer; furthermore Miki 's later works do show the influence of the later Heidegger but this is because Mik i continued to read Heidegger's newer writings. These two observations, that first of all Mik i did not learn from his European teachers what we tend to associate with those teachers, and that Mik i was less interested in their philosophy per se than in how their thought could contribute to his own developing system, go a great way in explaining how Miki differed from others in the Kyoto School who were more heavily indebted to Nishida and their European mentors. Not only was Mik i seeking insight in Europe, he was also particularly interested in the implications of European philosophy for Japanese thought and society, as Takakuwa Sumio illustrates: Miki Kiyoshi, while studying in Germany, contributed an article called "The Significance of Rickert's philosophy as Influence for Japanese Philosophy" to the "Frankfurt Newspaper. " Therin, he gave Buddhist naturalistic pantheism and Emperor absolutism93 as two obstacles facing Japanese scientific history research. Regardless of the content of the article, this surprising accuracy became a personal manifestation of Miki's philosophic nature.94 Miki was already well on his way to forging his own philosophy, and already he showed concern for Japanese society and how ideology could limit a nation's progress and development. Mik i went on to Paris, and there finished " A Study of Humanity in Pascal" 9 5, which was later published in 1926. This work is seen as Miki 's first masterpiece, and it clearly shows his humanistic perspective. Piovesana says that this work reveals his existential humanism which was to continue in his interpretation of Marx, something that I also hold to be true.96 The work also subtly shows the influence of Nishida — there is an undercurrent of a synthesis that can produce a stronger philosophy more approximating truth - but it also reveals Miki 's own concern for humanity. Miki 's thought, and its implementation in the form of action, did not truly begin, however, until after he returned to Japan. 8 9 Graham Parkes, ed., Heidegger and Asian Thought (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i, 1987) provides a variety of perspectives on Heidegger's engagement with Asian thought. 9 0 Refer to David Farrell Krell's "General Introduction: The Question of Being" in Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, ed. David Farrell Krell, 2nd, rev. and expanded ed. (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1993), 1-35. 91 %&mm . 9 2 Nishida heard about Heidegger through Miki and Tanabe, but it was a 1924 paper by Tanabe that really introduced Heidegger to Nishida, as well as the Japanese population generally (Yusa, Zen & Philosophy, 198). ^ ^ i l l f e x + i j § Tenno-zettai-shugi (the notion of the Emperor as absolute) 94MM&%: Takakuwa Sumio, ^Mn<Dm<DU^\ "Miki Kiyoshi no Shi no Imi" [The Meaning of the Death of Miki Kiyoshi], jE^m^MM ffi 3 # Miki KiyoshiZenshu Geppo [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works, Monthly Bulletin] 3 (1966.12), 6-8; 6. 95 \;<^13M^\JZ>\W\(DW$Z\ Pasukaru ni okeru Ningen no Kenkyu 9 6 Piovesana, 180. 14 1.5 M i k i ' s Return to Japan In 1925, Mik i returned to Japan and got a seat at Kyoto Imperial University.9 7 A mere two years later, however, he went off to Tokyo and became a professor at Hosei University.9 8 Why was this the case? Fletcher states that Miki 's biographers are mystified as to why, but there were rumours of an illicit love affair which doomed his appointment at Kyoto. 9 9 Actually, we are fairly sure why Mik i left, and the affair was only part of it. Miki 's rejection for the appointment, and the direct cause of Miki 's departure, is revealed by Nishitani, who, after discussing a rare exception to Nishida's normally quiet and tolerant temperment, offers the following explanation: / have heard of several similar outbursts by Nishida, but only rarely have I heard of him scolding his disciples. Nishida tended to let most things pass unnoticed. After Miki Kiyoshi had returned from Europe, a group of us, including Tosaka Jun, Kanba Toshio, Kojima Takehiko, and the late Toda Saburd used to meet at Miki's apartment to read Aristotle. At the time all of us felt something new and fresh about this man who had been with Heidegger. During this period Miki was summoned by Nishida and scolded about something or other that sent him dashing offpale-faced to a friend's house afterwards. From that time on Miki often spoke ill of Nishida at our meetings, drew closer to Marxist thought, and finally left for Tokyo.100 Nishida had withdrawn his recommendation of Mik i for the appointment at Kyoto and then severely criticized his student. Was it the rumours of the illicit affair that had caused Nishida to react in such a manner? Michiko Yusa explains that there was the old affair that Mik i had with a widow 30 years his senior, which I mentioned earlier, and which, although it had ended before he left for Europe, had become known to people outside just his friends.101 On top of that, however, Mik i loved the nightlife and would recruit friends, including Tosaka Jun, to go to nightclubs, whereupon Mik i tended to get into discussions evaluating Japanese professors both in and outside Kyoto University, and the rumours naturally spread quickly. So it was not just the widow, but was also Miki 's lifestyle with his partying and his big mouth, that cost him the appointment. This, of course, only suggests why Nishida was angry at Mik i ; was the rest of the faculty of the same mind? Apparently not, suggests Wada Yoichi, who was told by a graduate of the philosophy department: "Why Mik i was not able to become a professor [at Kyoto University] was not the fault of his relationship with the widow. It was just that his colleagues were jealous of him, and impeded him [from getting a job at Kyoto]." 1 0 3 So, one must be wary of just accepting Nishida's own reason as the reason for the whole faculty blocking Miki 's appointment, when quite a few members likely had their own reasons, including jealousy of the young upstart. One should not forget that Nishida initially recommended Mik i and only later withdrew his support due to Miki 's destruction of his own image in the eyes of the faculty, whereupon he criticized Mik i and told him to straighten up; furthermore, without Miki 's 9 / Furuta, 288. 9 8 ffiftA^ Hosei Daigaku 9 9 Fletcher, The Search for a New Order, 7. 1 0 0 Nishitani, 19-20. 1 0 1 Yusa, Zen & Philosophy, 212. 1 0 2 Ibid., referring to Kakehashi Akihide, "Rogoku to guntai", 51-52. 1 0 3 ^ p f f l # - W a d a Yoichi r ^ © | E l t } c : ^ 5 ^ o ^ L V ^ ^ g [ g p ^^m^MUZ^Z 1 "Watashi no Kioku ni Nokoru Natsukashii Furyo Kyoshi: Furyo Kyoshi Kyoto wo Saru" [Poor Teachers Still Alive in my Memory: Poor Teacher Leaving from Kyoto], ^M<D^^ Shiso no Kagaku [Science of Thought] 387 (1984.7), 2-3; 3. 15 knowledge, it was Nishida who consulted with people who had connections with Hosei University to acquire a position for Miki there.104 It was at this point that Mik i , loud-mouthed and angry at Nishida, may have told people that he felt himself a Marxist, rumours oft-referred to by postwar writers. Although Mik i became interested in studying Marx at this time, his writings indicate that he rejected Marxism even during this period, and this is an issue I will return to in the next chapter when discussing Mik i and Marxism then. Mik i continued to follow trends in philosophy, both to critically engage with them, and to build upon them in his own work, and found that his fresh ideas received great attention, while Nishida's time seemed to have passed. Writes Nishitani, On one occasion, [Nishida 'sj class overlapped with a lecture by Miki, who during his time in Tokyo had swung towards Marxism. Rather few students went to Nishida's lecture, leaving the large classroom far from full. He carried on in a quiet, almost lonely tone. During the class a storm of applause erupted from the neighboring lecture hall. He looked puzzled for a moment and then continued speaking.105 Miki style of teaching was quite different from that of Nishida. Nishida was known to walk solemnly around, quietly making observations almost in a stream-of-consciousness fashion. Mik i , on the other hand, would become excited and speak aggressively. As one observer recalled, "Especially, Miki 's talking was lively, and it was as if his spit formed a ball. There is one time when I was stumped. I happened to sit down just under the platform, and his spit, almost like balls, were going to attack my face often."1 0 6 Miki 's wife Kimiko was also a unique figure; unlike the demure housewife of Nishida's, Miki 's wife was reputed to be just as eccentric as her husband, and she also liked philosophy. Kobayashi Isamu recalled that she would request of him any copy of Shiso in which Miki 's work appeared, so that it became obvious that she liked Mik i , and after the couple were married Kimiko would read all night just like Mik i did. 1 0 7 Mik i dearly loved her and never quite got over her death, on 6th August 1936, although he did remarry. In 1941 he published a work dedicated to her. It was also at this time, in connection with Iwanami Shoten1 0 8, that Mik i made his start in journalism and wrote multiple essays concerning Marxism, which attracted him attention.109 These essays, oft-cited by postwar writers, include "The Materialistic View of History and Consciousness"110 (1928) and " A Preliminary Conception of Social Science"1 1 1 (1929). Note that Yusa, Zen & Philosophy, 212-213, referring to Letter no.426 to Watsuji Tetsuro, 7 January 1927, Nishida Kitaro Zenshii, 18:318. Watsuji was one of the people in question. 1 0 5 Nishitani, 30. This event took place in January 1930 when Miki returned to Kyoto briefly from Tokyo. As an aside, Yusa, in Zen & Philosophy 230-231, quotes parts of this passage as well, but where Seisaku and Heisig present Nishida as lonely and a bit confused (displaying the difference between the old and new ways of doing philosophy), Yusa's Nishida is unmoved and completely untouched by the normal realm such as noisy students etc. (suggesting Nishida's philosophy is purer or of a higher realm than Miki's populist thought). This is certainly an interesting reflection on translation. ^^k^OtM Kaneko Musashi, ("H/fcfflf^ / v ^ o l ^ T j "Miki Kiyoshi ni tsuite" [Concerning Miki Kiyoshi], H J^inikMR % 11 # Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu Geppo [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works, Monthly Bulletin] 11 (1967.8), 1-3; 2. 1 0 7 / h # j l Kobayashi Isamu, r^rffl (D 0 j "Choyo no Hi" [The Days of the Draft], E^m±MM $g 6 # Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu Geppo [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works, Monthly Bulletin] 6, (1967.3), 6-8; 6. 1 0 9 Furuta, 288. 110 ^^^.WLtMM] "Yuibutsushikan to Ishiki" 1 1 1 r | ± ^ f 4 ^ ( 7 ) ^ { i l R ^ j "Shakaikagaku no Yobigainen" 16 this was the age of proletarian literature in Japan, and Miki 's writings merely because of their 112 subject matter probably appealed to a wide audience. At the same time Mik i began to produce a variety of essays on other issues, particularly concerned with new philosophy and the impact on Japan. Yet Mik i was not content to stay at school and write away his years; the political and intellectual spheres in Japan were starting to crash together in a furor not seen since the Meiji Restoration, and Mik i , who had already shown his appetite for causing controversy and challenging the old system found ample opportunity to put his new ideas into practice. Miki 's formative period had paved the way for him to step forward and participate in the intellectual chaos of Japan in the 1930s. Chapter II Japan in the 1930s: The Receptacle of Becoming In the afternoon in Kamakura, visiting Nishida-sensei.... Talking to sensei makes me want to study. I myself too cannot not do a great job as a philosopher. I should by no means look lightly at my mission and power. I can do it. I am not fearful of being envious of others. What is my present situation! It's my job! It's my job! Thinking like that I 113 become happy. I have the power. - Mik i Kiyoshi It is also worth paying attention [to the fact] that recently Miki philosophy, of Mr. Miki Kiyoshi, is rapidly becoming an influential successor to the Nishida School.'14 -Tosaka Jun The 1930s were an incredibly varied and confusing time, in terms of both political and intellectual activity. Hence, I believe it is fitting to refer to it as I have done as a receptacle of becoming, within which ideas, and the intellectuals who formulated them, were caught up in the Zeitgeist and made and unmade at incredible rates. In this chapter I will examine the times, and Miki 's thought that he had by this time systemized, building upon his formative period. The best way to introduce the time period and the political and intellectual problems it presented is by considering the scholarship that has been produced on the subject. 2.1 Overview of the 1930s and Scholarship Thereupon Nearly as varied and complex as the intricacies of the decade itself have been the numerous approaches advanced by scholars over the years. Contemporary accounts tended to be uniform in their alarmist character, frequently employing the term "fascism" without really defining to what it referred, but suitable for the purpose of grouping Japan with Germany and Italy as states that threatened the established world order.115 Wildes (1934), Colegrove (1936), 1 1 2 On proletarian literature, see Yoshio Iwamoto's "Aspects of the Proletarian Literary Movement in Japan" in Japan in Crisis: Essays on Taisho Democracy, eds. Bernard S. Silberman and H. D. Harootunian (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974), 156-182. 1 1 3 H ^ f Miki Kiyoshi, T 0 fgj "Nikki" [Diary], H T M H Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu [Miki Kiyoshi Complete WorksKifOfC Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1966), 19.131-215; 153 (entry for 02/22/1936), quoted in Miyakawa, "Nishida Kitaro and Miki Kiyoshi", 9. Emphasis mine. 1 1 4 Tosaka, "The Philosophy of the Kyoto School", 175. 1 1 5 It is best to keep in mind in the following overview that many Japanese authors have no compunction about continuing to use the word 7 7* ->X "fascism", often by merely distinguishing between a "European" variety and a "Japanese" variety. This enables the differences to be addressed, but seldom is a reason given why, if the circumstances of the countries was so different, using the term "fascism" for both is helpful. Karl Radek, in his introduction to O. Tanin and E. Yohan's Militarism and Fascism in Japan (1934) assumed similarly that Japanese, 17 and Byas (1942) are representative in this respect; they also share the idea, popular among Western scholars through the early postwar period, of a group of militarists and ultra-nationalists high-jacking the Japanese state.116 This idea was demolished by Crowley in Japan's Quest for Autonomy (1966), who revealed the prewar period to be one of great complexity and a nation struggling to find itself, while Berger's Parties out of Power (1977) showed the political parties to have been far from inept and powerless from 1932 onward, to the extent that they supported Premier Konoe's New Order Movement until it became clear it was not in their best interests to do so. 1 1 7 These developments enabled scholars to delve deeper into the complexities of the 1930s, and strive to do away with two recurring tendencies which unfortunately persist until the present moment. The first is the old, persistent tendency, especially among Western scholars, to view the period as but a series of stepping stones to ultimately culminating in 1945. Critiques of this tendency are hardly new, for as early as the 1960s scholars were identifying this as 1 I o problematic. Interwined with this is the second tendency, that of applying to the period the blanket label of "fascism." 1 1 9 The debate over fascism, and the possibility for its use as an analytical tool in the case of 1930s Japan, has been beaten into the ground, partly because when Italian, and German were just flavours of the same thing, prompted by the bourgeoisie seeking a way to prevent a proletarian revolution in the face of monopoly capitalism (16-17). 1 1 6 Harry Emerson Wildes, Japan in Crisis (New York: Macmillan, 1934); Kenneth W. Colegrove, Militarism in Japan (Boston: World Peace Foundation, 1936); Hugh Byas, Government by Assassination (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1942). Wildes and Colegrove warned against developments in Japan during the 1930s which by the early 1940s writers like Byas could point to as having led Japan to war. This interpretation both served the needs of the time and allowed convenient grouping of Japan with Germany and Italy as being part of the same broader movement. Wildes concluded (in 1934, remember) that war was almost certain ("What, then, of the future? War? Almost without a doubt. Japan has no other recourse if she would remain alive." (284)), whereas Colegrove was more optimistic, seeing the Manchurian Incident of 1931 as a militarist victory but the 1930 London Naval Treaty as a triumph of responsible government (58), and suggesting militarist dominance of Japan was by no means certain. 1 1 7 James B. Crowley, Japan's Quest for Autonomy: National Security and Foreign Policy, 1930-1938 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966); Gordon Mark Berger, Parties out of Power in Japan, 1931-1941 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977). 1 1 8 See, for instance, George M . Wilson, ed., Crisis Politics in Prewar Japan (Tokyo: Sophia University, 1970), which was based on a panel chaired by Crowley at the 1969 A A S Annual Meeting, and Peter Duus' and Daniel I. Okimoto's "Fascism and the History of Pre-War Japan: The Failure of a Concept," Journal of Asian Studies 39.1 (November 1979): 65-76. As an aside, this 'series of steps' tendency seems to be reinforced at the mass level by the ongoing juggernaut of journalistic works on Japan's role in the war that present the 1930s as the setting of the stage; while there are notably some excellent works in this category that scholars should note (works by Ian Buruma come to mind) and the military chronicles of battle-by-battle are usually not too bad, the overall bulk of these journalistic works are poorly researched and simply conform to the diatribe of painting Japan as an 'evil empire' with everything before 1945 building up to that point. Some even, ludicrously, posit a point where a 'good' Japan became 'bad', and a disturbingly large number of works paint Japan as essentially evil with its origins in some fundamental character flaw, which they attempt to trace back to ancient origins, often to lead into an alarmist diatribe against modern Japan as continuing to seek hegemony through business what it began with the military. This is purile nonsense, but it is shocking that such ideas still carry currency in the mass market. 1 1 9 1 say the two tendencies are connected because they are both associated with a particular portrayal of Japan and the modernization thesis. The view of Japan as rapid-modernizer and Western-imitator is threatened by the internal and external developments in the 1930s. Present these as being born of modernization and the Western modernity project is threatened; it is easier to argue that Japan is 'fascist', identify a point at which it became so, and then conclude that Japan's modernization was botched because it slid off the rails of modernity. One can then 'excuse' the 1930s and the Pacific War as a sort of grand mistake, and draw a line of continuity that stops at the mid 1920s and picks up again in 1945, preserving the notion of a positive universal Western modernization. Rather than see the developments in 1930s Japan as a product oj'that very modernization, and thus imply that modernization is not necessarily an entirely positive, progressive, one-dimensional development, Japan becomes a state where something 'went wrong' along the way. 18 any clear definition is assigned to the word "fascism" (which resides in a hazy cloud of nightmare imagery), Japan seldom fits the bill, and when no clear definition is provided 1 2 0, the 121 term is simply useless. In fact, the domestic situation in Japan during the 1930s was so chaotic and involved so many groups urging so much change so quickly — frequently resorting to violence in the process — that it is not only impractical but a gross generalization to apply any one term to the period. 199 1 9T Following the September 1931 Manchurian Incident engineered by Ishihara Kanji , right-wing and militarist groups of various sorts exploded. 1931 in fact saw several attempted military Those who argue Japan was fascist and do not provide a clear definition tend to rely upon general associations of the term with authoritarian governments, censorship, and thought control, but these generalizations are meaningless since all of these elements existed in many other countries at the time that were not, and are not, considered "fascist." The use in this context then appears to be merely one of degree (e.g. Japan censored more than the UK), which again implies the term is of little worth. The other angle is that offered by Andrew Gordon who suggests in Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991) that critics who reject the term in the Japanese case do so because their definition of fascism depends upon identifying elements of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in 1930s Japan (333-339). He seems, if I interpret correctly, to imply that one could just isolate similarities (as opposed to differences) between Japan, Italy, and Germany, and then label this 'fascism' (as if this would somehow aid in comparative analysis) so that there would be no model fascist state but merely states which approximate it. He thus implies a broader meaning of the term that would not be limited to the European context, but if the meaning of the term is truly that maleable (which surely would argue against its use -there clearly can be no consensus on what is meant by it), then this strikes me as a pointless exercise in semantics. 1 2 1 The issue of whether or not Japan can be characterized as 'fascist' still persists, despite articles like that of Duus and Okimoto which simply argue that the issue is dead. So why does the term, and the debate, persist? Richard H. Mitchell, in a 1985 review of Olavi K. Falt's Fascism, Militarism, or Japanism? in Monumenta Nipponica (40.4, 447-449), observed dryly on the first page that "A good title for this review would be 'Beating the Dead Horse of Fascism'. There is widespread agreement that the term 'fascism' must not be applied to Japan between 1930-1941. Even Japanese scholars who continue to use this term in book titles will admit in private that it is nearly useless for analytical purposes. General readers, however, are conditioned to its use and it sells books." Despite such criticism, even many academics continue to use the term, debating the 'problem of fascism,' yet there really is no 'problem' unless one makes use of the term in one's polemics for shock effect. I feel personally that whether or not Japan can be characterized as 'fascist' or not no longer has (if it ever had) any bearing on comparative studies (one can compare Nazi Germany and Japan in the 1930s on many levels which would not be aided by the use of the term) and it is completely useless when dealing entirely with Japan in a study. Regardless, some are adamant that fascism can be a helpful tool of historical analysis. Here I will provide a brief look at some of the key trends that have used it as a vehicle for comparative analysis. First there was the view that Germany, Italy, and Japan were all similar, but this was based on assumptions about structures, and structural comparisons revealed no institutions in Japan comparable to those of Germany or Italy. In 1984, Gregory J. Kasza's "Fascism from Below? A Comparative Perspective on the Japanese Right: 1931-1936" (Journal of Contemporary History 19.4 (October 1984), 607-629) looked not at structures but at rightist groups, and argued for fascism as having value for comparisons of some of these groups with similar ones in Europe in this respect, and not when used to characterize the whole society at the time (he borrows the group idea from that employed by Stanley Payne in Fascism: Comparison and Definition (Madison, 1980), 3-21). More recently, 'post-modern' theorists have raised the spectre of 'cultural fascism' but this term is so vague and has been used in so contemporarily in so many contexts as to be meaningless. A better approach is offered by Bernard Silberman in "The Politics of Modernism in Japan: Once Again the Problem of Fascism," (Japan in the World, the World in Japan: Fifty Years of Japanese Studies at Michigan, ed. Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Center for Japanese Studies, The University of Michigan, 2001), 159-167). Against accounts that compare the institutions of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany with Japan and conclude that the latter was not fascist due to its lack of these institutions, Silberman compares the three countries in the 1930s on the basis of their aesthetiziation of power and the elevation of myth to a unifying force for society, and concludes that they were very similar; in Japan the civil bureaucracy played the same role mediating between state and society that the Nazi and fascist parties did in Germany and Italy, none of these countries constrained capitalism, and all three countries shared a common solution to the problem of modernity. We find in Silberman then an ideological reconceptualization of fascism as opposed to a structural conception. 19 coups, notably the March and October Incidents124. Extremist groups like the Ketsumeidan1 2 5 assassinated figures, like Mitsui Zaibatsu baron Dan Takuma in March 1932. The May 15th 128 129 (1932) Affair was another attempted army coup that saw Premier Inukai assassinated, and yet another bizarre occurrence was the Shimpeitai Affair1 J U of July 1933, where a group planned to bomb the Premier's residence (thereby killing him and the Cabinet), declare martial law, and I'll I T ) I T ! give the premiership to either Prince Chichibu or Prince Higashikuni . The plot was uncovered by the police and stopped. After a variety of smaller attempts, a watershed was reached with the February 26 Affair 1 3 4 of 1936, which saw a massive military coup by forces stationed in Tokyo, one that according to Ben-Ami Shillony was actually so well-backed by key military and civilian officials that it very nearly succeeded. Extremist organizations flourished further after the 1937 Marco Polo Bridge Incident136 which saw the beginning of war with China. Furthermore, many of these organizations were not united by a common goal but grappled with each other, and were almost as likely to target leaders of other extremist organizations as they were public figures and business magnates. Clearly, the time period was one of great danger for many intellectuals. Doors were closed for those with unpopular views that questioned the movements towards the increasing armaments and expansionist policies advocated by the army elite. Indeed, intellectual freedom had been effectively compromised since 1925 when the Peace Preservation Law 1 3 7 emaciated the 1 left-wing. March 1928 and April 1929 saw major round-ups of leftists, including many students. Intellectuals accused of leftist tendencies suffered greatly — in April 1933, for instance, 123 ^WM 124 1 2 5 jfoMLl (Blood Brotherhood) 1 2 6 H 4 W H 27 mum 1 2 8 5 . 1 5 mw 132 MtKM'S (later M!\Mfe& Higashikuni Naruhiko) 1 3 3 Both princes, especially Chichibu, fraternized with far-rightist groups, were frequently candidates for leading positions in the new orders envisioned by plotters, and infamous for their support for some of the attempted coups. The group involved in the Shimpeitai Incident was the Seinen Faction of the Dai Nippon Seisanto (Great Japan Production Party, which had split into two factions in 1932). The Shimpeitai Incident was first chronicled in English by Byas (213-225). The two princes were also criticized (by the Emperor, Konoe, Kido, and others) for their alleged involvement in such plots. 1 3 4 2. 2 6 1 3 5 Ben-Ami Shillony, "The February 26 Affair: Politics of a Military Insurrection" in Crisis Politics in Prewar Japan: Institutional and Ideological Problems of the 1930s, ed. George M . Wilson (Tokyo: Sophia University, 1970), 25-50. Shillony relates how the seasoned plotters, connected to the Kodo Faction of the army (which had suffered from the 'purges' of Hayashi Senjuro who favoured the Tosei Faction), attempted, with the support of the War Ministry and the Supreme War Council, to overthrow the government, but was unable to gain the Emperor's support, enabling the Navy, and the (Tosei-dominated) General Staff to turn the tide. The prominent figures who had supported the rebels switched sides when defeat became obvious, and the rebel leaders alone were punished. 136 MBflW (Rokokyo Jiken) "1ft%mWB (Chianljiho) 1 3 8 The law was enacted in response to a rise in left-wing organizations, and extremists, during the early 1920s. A good introduction in English is provided by Richard H. Mitchell in the second chapter of his Thought Control in Prewar Japan (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1976), 39-68. W. G. Beasley, in The Rise of Modern Japan: Political, Economic and Social Change Since 1850 (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1995), states that by 1945 over 75,000 people had been arrested under the law, but only about 5000 of these were brought to trial (184). Takigawa Yukitoki 1 3 9 , a law professor at Kyoto Imperial University, was labeled a leftist, and promptly found his works banned and the Minister of Education demanding his resignation, which prompted the entire law faculty to resign in protest.140 Educators were also pressured to teach 'patriotic' history, and in an atmosphere recalling the infamous Scopes Trial in America, could be punished for teaching alternatives. In the most well-known case, Tsuda Sokichi 1 4 1 was sued for claiming the Nihonshoki was a fabrication to bolster imperial rule. 1 4 2 Then in 1935 there was the crisis surrounding Minobe Tatsukichi 1 4 3 's "Organ Theory" that posited the Emperor as an organ 1 4 4 of the state, which ended in his resignation following a campaign launched by the Imperial Military Reserve Association 1 4 5 . 1 4 6 In the late 1930s, many professors were dismissed for criticizing the government's China policy, colonialization, or other issues.147 However, at the same time, many intellectuals themselves became directly involved in the radical political scene. At the extremity of this were radical thinkers like Kita Ikk i 1 4 8 , who was involved with the February 26 Affair. 1 4 9 Kita enjoyed money 1 5 0 from the Mitsui Zaibatsu, and while supporting the rebels went so far as to tell them to ignore an imperial command to 1 3 9 t iJ 11 ^ H ; the incident is referred to as l i j 11 1 4 0 Iwai Tadakuma, T j t J l W ^ j "Takigawa Jiken" [The Takigawa Affair] in H ^ A S ^ f t Kokushi Daijiten [Great Encyclopedia of National History], 9.94. Wildes (115-116) was likely the first to address the Takigawa Affair in English. While scholars see Takigawa as a liberal (e.g. Fletcher, 48; Barshay, 38), to the vehement rightists he was a 'red.' Like many of the prewar academics who had been purged for views deemed critical of the government, Takigawa returned to academia after the war (Nakamura Takafusa, A History of Showa Japan, 1926-1989, trans. Edwin Whenmouth (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1998), 266-267). Miki was one of the few who understood the implications of the incident for academic freedom etc. at the time (see Yusa, Zen & Philosophy, 253-254). 141 '^m&^a; the incident is referred to as o " * ^ 1 4 2 The court decided that his research was innocent, but his suggestion that the early Emperors were not real was not tolerated, and he was sentenced to three months' imprisonment, with a stay of execution (Ipi^kHSlj Ienaga Saburo, ^Mm&^i^^ftl "Tsuda Sokichi Jiken" [The Tsuda Sokichi Affair] in l~[l$AS¥ftj Kokushi Daijiten [Great Encyclopedia of National History], 9.766). In other cases, Inouye Tetsujiro of Tokyo Imperial University, and Kunitake Kume of Waseda, suffered for teachings that were not in strict accordance with the mythological, heroic view of the imperial lineage. Again, Wildes (117-119) was the first English work I could locate that made reference to these facts. 143 mmmtt 1 4 4 fHH kikan (a part of an organization or machine) 145 ftWltEfflM A £ (Teikoku Zaigo Gunjin Kai) 1 4 6 See Richard J. Smethurst's "The Military Reserve Association and the Minobe Crisis of 1935" in Crisis Politics in Prewar Japan: Institutional and Ideological Problems of the 1930s, ed. George M . Wilson (Tokyo: Sophia University, 1970), 1-23. Minobe had expounded his theory years earlier, but it was not extremely controversial until the 1930s. Minobe's defense of 1934, "Clearing up a Misinterpretation of a Constitutional Theory," can be found in Sources of Japanese Tradition, eds. Ryusaku Tsunoda, et al. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1958), 746-753. 1 4 7 In the Hiraga Purge of 1938-1939, ten Tokyo Imperial University professors were fired for their political views. 148 i t - m 1 4 9 Shillony, 27. The rebels saw themselves as pary of a broader movement embodied in the concept of a Showa Restoration, and they drew inspiration in this from Kita's A Plan for the Reorganization of Japan. George M . Wilson notes in Radical Nationalist in Japan: Kita Ikki 1883-1937 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1969) that this best-known work of Kita's outlines the consolidation of East and Southeast Asia under one structure supported by Japanese economic and military might that is similar to Konoe's New Order in East Asia and Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere (66-67). Wilson also argues that Kita did not agree with much of the rebels' programme for what to do if and when the revolution was successful (113-114), and vice-versa (125-128). As an aside, Robert Harvey in The Undefeated: The Rise, Fall and Rise of Greater Japan (London: Macmillan, 1994) also claims Konoe's views reflected Kita's influence, although Harvey sees this in Konoe's view of'have' nations keeping down 'have-nots' like Japan, so that it was necessary to destroy the status quo to preserve Japan (173). 1 5 0 Specifically, "protection" money paid to take Mitsui's officials off the hit list. 21 cease their rebellion.1 5 1 Kita was later executed for his role in the Affair. The sheer number of organizations calling for radical change opened doors for intellectuals looking to advance their views to young reformers and rebels against the establishment. Many formerly hard-left intellectuals, frustrated in their efforts to bring about a revolution on the Marxist model, began to pursue rightist, ultra-nationalist ideology as an alternative — this 'conversion', the aforementioned tenko, was even forced upon many intellectuals. That being said, we should not let this blind us to the fact that many, caught up in the opportunity of the moment, were all-too-eager themselves to seize a chance at fame and enacting their ideals. In this regard, I believe Fletcher's argument to be correct, for it is a fallacy to see all of these intellectuals as victims when many genuinely believed in the movements they took part in. That being said, as I mentioned earlier, I believe he is incorrect in positing in the case of Mik i a grand shift from Marxism to 'fascism', and likewise those who suggest Mik i went from being an idealist to a pragmatic actor are also mistaken ~ in both cases, Miki 's thought and action show a greater consistency and continuity than has hereforeto been assumed. Therefore, at this point I shall undertake an examination of a major controversy concerning Mik i at this time that sheds some light on this issue. 2.2 Miki 's Arrest & The Tenko Controversy Towards the end of the 1920s, Miki had become increasingly determined that philosophy needed to play a genuine role in improving society. Direct action was called for by thinkers, who were needed now more than ever to intervene on behalf of Japan's destiny, lest the country be consumed by the rising crises that threatened its national and international stability and security. This was not by any means strange, but a natural step for a pragmatic thinker who wanted to improve society with his new philosophy. Furthermore, we have already seen that Mik i was no ascetic stereotypical philosopher, but a rowdy and aggressive fellow who would follow his own rules and argue in the way he saw fit. His involving himself in organizations and pursuing political activity should then surprise no one. In 1928, together with Hani Goro 1 5 2 he founded the periodical "Under the Flag of New/Rising Science" 1 5 3 . 1 5 4 Hani, who had also been in Heidelberg, was actually a lifelong friend of Miki 's , and this journal was to advocate a humanistic approach to science. It was aimed not at a purely academic audience, but at influencing the public, and was a vehicle through which the two young thinkers could communicate their European-acquired knowledge. At this point, strongly motivated by such an ideal, Mik i truly entered the world of journalism, and worked hard on the journal. Mik i was not a Communist and was never connected to the Japanese Communist Party, yet one often hears of his having given money to the organization. Here is where the controversy begins. An encyclopedia gives the simple, standard overview: In May 1930, Miki was arrested on the charge of supplying funds to the JCP, and hence was forced to resign from teaching.155 Miki was tried in July, and then imprisoned until November. Uchida Hiroshi notes that when he 1 5 1 Shillony, 46. Wilson neglects to mention this, and instead states Kita knew little about the Affair and was only peripherally involved (113, 124-125). He holds this view mainly on Kita's statement of his innocence and that of several other leaders in the uprising - his students and supporters - as well as the judges' preliminary statements (130-132). As the judges' information came from interviews with Kita, and the participants, who supported Kita, I find the argument somewhat dubious. 1 5 3 r§rM&¥<DM<D t t K J Shin-Kagaku no Hata no Moto ni 1 5 4 Furuta, 288. 22 had no choice but to resign, the students of the Hosei University Liberalism Research Society 1 5 6 157 protested vehemently. The whole affair seems a bit suspicious, and with good reason. Digging deeper, one finds that Mik i was arrested, as a Communist sympathizer, on account of helping a friend. 1 5 8 It turns out that Miki lent a friend, who was actually in the JCP, some money, and this led to his arrest. It also seems to have resulted in a generation of postwar historians who proclaim that Mik i supported the JCP, which is simply untrue. Nakano Eji, who was the individual whom Mik i lent the money to, thus starting off the strange chain of events, explains It was between around autumn in 1929, to around spring in 1930. Even if it was spring in 1930, it was before March. I borrowed 20 yen as cash from Miki Kiyoshi. I visited his place without notice, and asked him suddenly and borrowed the money on the spot. ... I just told him that I wanted to borrow money, and borrowed it}59 Nakano goes on to explain that he was supposed to have been collecting money for the JCP, but he had been out of touch with them and had spent most of the money himself; after describing his poor living circumstances in a tiny house with five other people, Nakano relates that when the party contacted him and demanded the money, he was stuck, so he went to Miki 's house, simply because it was nearby and he desperately needed the money ~ he furthermore makes the point that Miki simply agreed to lend him the money and did not ask him what it was actually for. 1 6 0 Mik i thus lent money to a friend in need, who happened to have owed it to the Communist party, which made Mik i an (unintentional) accessory to supporting Communism. Nakano furthermore paid off the debt to Miki later, so the money can hardly even be construed as a donation. Mik i never had any intention of joining or supporting the Communist Party; as a philosopher interested in Marxism he was quite distinct from those Marxists who sought roles in the Communist movement, like Kawakami Hajime, who Bernstein tells us joined the JCP in 1932.1 6 1 Fletcher in fact indicates that not only Mik i , but his Showa Kenkyu Kai colleague Ryu Shintaro, were both hostile to the JCP. 1 6 2 A second debate, following on from the arrest issue, has raged over whether or not Mik i committed tenko and abandoned Marxism to emerge more right-wing after his imprisonment in 1930, after perhaps having been intimidated by the experience. Of course, this entire line of reasoning is irrelevant i f one recognizes that Mik i was not Marxist to begin with (what would he convert froml). Nevertheless, for the purposes of examining the controversy, one should hold off on that criticism for a moment. The idea that Mik i was a Marxist until his arrest, and then converted to a more right-wing position, is a commonly occurring notion. This is often part of an argument that tries to lay the groundwork for a second conversion when Mik i joins the Showa 1 5 6 f f i g C ^ g &-?EWM$l£. Hosei Daigaku Jiyu-shugi Kenkyu Kai l 5 7 r t ffl & Uchida Hiroshi \ = Mn <D g £ ± g £ , g & t 7 X y - > X A t * $ ~ V - X A \ z M fei L T J "Miki Kiyoshi no Jiyushugi to Sozoteki Shakairon: Fuashizumu to Suta-rinizumu ni Teikoshite" [Miki Kiyoshi's Liberalism Thought and Creative Social Theory: In Opposition to Fascism and Stalinism], tt^f-^^f^fS Shakai Kagaku Nenpd [Social Science Annual] 24 (1990.3), 91-135; 117. 1 5 8 Piovesana, 179. 1 5 9 cpIf" JT/& Nakano Eji, r&zH-Rti lJ "Kane ni-jyu-en nari" [A Sum of 20 Yen], H ^ f f ±MM 8 # Miki Kiyoshi Zenshii Geppo [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works, Monthly Bulletin] 8 (1967.5), 1-3; 1. 1 6 0 Ibid., 1-3. 1 6 1 Bernstein, xii. 1 6 2 Fletcher, The Search for a New Order, 36. 23 Kenkyu Kai, or sees his participation in the organization as merely following on ipso facto from this supposed 1930 conversion. Yet there is no evidence to support such arguments. Akamatsu Tsunehiro succinctly states that: Whether, taking this incident as an opportunity, Miki converted from Marxism, has been a problem since that time, and has been greatly discussed by Miki researchers. Following the method taken thus far, we are going to investigate [the issue] using but Miki's writings, but so long as one examines his writings one cannot recognize any change in what Miki wrote before and after the incident. The themes discussed before the incident are also discussed afterwards, and they became deeper. There is no change in his consciousness of the problems In Miki's writing, it is not possible to find any evidence of a change at this point in his philosophical tendency. ... ...Actually, if we are tracing what Miki left behind, there is no change at the time of the incident, and the themes and consciousness of the problems held from before were deepened, and this path came to fruition in the 1932 wor k Philosophy of History 1 6 3 . 1 6 4 This is a good point to turn to look at this work, Philosophy of History, for a moment.165 Miki looks at history from various viewpoints and examines historical time and perception; Piovesana characterizes this as Miki 's attempting to find a new logic, different from the classical one, as well as from the Neo-Kantian or Nishida's logic of place. 1 6 6 He suggests that if there was a slight change in Miki 's direction that is noticeable in considering Philosophy and History, this was due to the incorporation of Heidegger's existentialism, for Sein und Zeit came out but four years earlier.1 6 7 At the same time, one must consider that Mik i had distanced himself from Marxism before his arrest; for instance, Uchida notes that, At a time when nearly all Marxists were not attentive to Stalinism, or lacked the courage to speak out at what they thought was suspicious, Miki openly criticized Stalinism. Before he was arrested in the Fund Campaign Affair' (February 1930), in response to a Marxist following atheism Miki countered that religion would persist even in a classless society.169 1 6 3 r j g s t ^ j Rekishi Tetsugaku 1 6 4 Akamatsu Tsunehiro T H / K I t © f M i ^ ^ J (^ol^Tj "Miki Kiyoshi no Rekishi Tetsugaku ni tsuite" [Concerning Miki Kiyoshi's Philosophy of History], X^SC^^-tmM Jinbun Kagaku Ronshil [Humanities Treatises] 28 (1994.3), 17-28; 18. The first line has two associated endnotes which are of note; the first, addressing how the tenko issue was active at the time, states "For example, Honda Kenzo criticized Miki's conversion ("Philosophy's Newest Conversion: Concerning Mr. Miki's Philosophy of History", Shiso 1932.8), and Miki refuted this ("In Reply to the Criticism of My Work", Shiso 1932.9)"(27). The second, concerned with more recent debate, states "Miyakawa Toru takes the view that Miki carried out one kind of tenko (Miyakawa Torn Miki Kiyoshi (Tokyo Daigaku Shuppan Kai, 1958)), and Hisano Osamu that "it is not possible to think Miki converted in prison" (Chikuma Shobo's Gendai Nihon Shiso Taikei #33 "Miki Kiyoshi", 1966, commentator: Hisano Osamu, 45). Sumiya Kazuhiko also agrees with Hisano (Chikuma Shobo's Gendai Nihon Shiso Taikei #27 "Miki Kiyoshi Shu" 1975, commentator: Sumiya Kazuhiko)" (ibid.). 165 =.Mn Miki Kiyoshi, \Wt%M^\ Rekishi Tetsugaku [Philosophy of History], =-MnikM Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works] ( S M Tokyo: S T S ^ / S Iwanami Shoten, 1966), 6.1-287. 1 6 6 Piovesana, 183. 1 6 7 Ibid. 1 6 8 Uchida, "Miki Kiyoshi's Liberalism Thought and Creative Social Theory", 118-119, paraphrasing H/fc^f Miki Kiyoshi, r^grgj^i t fttI¥^-^TJ "Shukyo Toso to Kaikyu Toso: Hihyoka ni Kotaehete" [Religious Conflict and Class Conflict: Replying to a Critic], EL^n^tM Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works] (MM Tokyo: ^ ^ # 0 Iwanami Shoten,1966), 13.12-19; 18-19. 24 The issue of Miki 's relationship with Marxism is a key one and something to be pursued further, but first it is important to consider Miki 's rise as an activist and popular writer. 2.3 Miki the Activist and Popular Writer A young academic with seemingly a great career ahead of him had encountered a serious setback, but he did not give up, and after his release from prison he returned to the forefront with renewed gusto. Miki 's literary output now increased significantly because of his having lost his teaching position; forced to make his living by writing magazines, he wrote articles in a clear and accessible style. 1 6 9 It is perhaps not an overstatement to suggest that one of the reasons for Miki 's clarity viz. Nishida is that, unlike Nishida, Mik i simply could not afford to be overly profound and impenetrable. He had already been interested in journalism as a way of spreading his thought amongst the people, but now he depended upon it, and wrote with renewed passion. Much of his effort in the early 1930s was put into writing popular material for periodicals that increased his fame substantially. He also seriously pursued his activism. In 1933, Miki , along with Hasegawa Nyozekan and others, formed a group to protest the burning of books in Germany under the newly-formed Nazi regime. For the intellectuals gathered in the group, book-burning was the destruction of 170 culture and could not be allowed to continue. The name of this organization was the Arts & 171 — 172 Sciences Freedom League. Nakajima Kenzo recounted the inaugural meeting: ".. .1 had just exchanged my business card for the first time with Miki Kiyoshi at this meeting. I knew from the beginning that the 'Arts & Sciences Freedom League' was an anti-fascist group."1 7 3 Mik i was involved in groups like this throughout the 1930s. Why Miki participated in such groups should not be hard to fathom. Consider, for instance, what he said in the 1938 work The Reality of World Culture174, while citing FJertrand Russell's Religion and Science (1935): Today we all know that the persecutors of Galileo did not know the truth. However, for those among us, it is not possible to doubt that Hitler and Stalin are also like them [the persecutors]. The menace facing intellectual freedom in our time is greater than in any time since 1660.... We cannot allow [personal] favour for Communism to encourage us to lean towards accepting the wrong-doings in Russia. Conversely, disgust towards Communism or socialism should not lead us to forgive the barbaric things which have 175 been done in Germany to suppress such thought. Uchida says that this form of 'dual-front criticism' which was simultaneously aimed at Nazism and Stalinism, came from Miki 's "solid historical position, which ran through his whole l i fe ." 1 7 6 [ b l Piovesana, 179. 1 7 0 Nishida and Tanabe were among other Japanese intellectuals enraged at the Nazis' actions (Yusa, Zen & Philosophy, 254-255). 1 7 1 ^SgSIWlg! Gakugei Jiyu Domei 172 BliMrW 1 7 3 In If IHBB ( 2 ) J Kaizo no Bungaku (2) [Literature of Recollection (2)] Heibonsha, 1977), 92, cited in Uchida Hiroshi's "Miki Kiyoshi's Liberalism Thought and Creative Social Theory", 99. 174 \W^it<D^M.\ SekaiBunkanoGenjitsu 1 7 5 H / K ' / H Miki Kiyoshi, rtJt^^-fbcO^^J "Sekai Bunka no Genjitsu" [The Reality of World Culture], H/fc/f ikM Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works] ( J S M Tokyo : m$il!iJ£ Iwanami Shoten, 1966) 14.3-22; 5-6. Also cited by Uchida in "Miki Kiyoshi's Liberalism Thought and Creative Social Theory", 109. 1 7 6 Uchida, "Miki Kiyoshi's Liberalism Thought and Creative Social Theory", 109. 25 Note how Mik i distinguishes between an ideology and actions undertaken in its name or to suppress it; he argues that a Communist should speak out against the crackdown on freedom in Russia without rejecting Communism, and similarly that an anti-Communist should speak out against the Nazi crackdowns on Communists, because in both cases, regardless of the motives, the activity is barbaric and the outcome a loss of freedom for all. Famously, Mik i wrote a letter to Heidegger criticizing him for joining the Nazi Party in Germany. Mik i furthermore continued to attack fascism both abroad and what he feared was rising at home, so that by 1935 Mik i was an out-of-work thinker engaged "in a bitter struggle with Japanese fascism", as Miyakawa put i t . 1 7 7 Both as an individual and as a group member, Mik i struggled on. Most people, of course, knew nothing of that; they knew Mik i as a smart and savvy writer who was representative of a new generation of Japanese intellectuals. It was not just in journalism that Mik i was creating a storm, however. He kept up a variety of philosophic endeavours, which receive less attention than his earlier writings on Marx. One of Miki 's most important accomplishments was the popularization of the philosophy of Nishida. In 1932 he was involved in getting discussions between various intellectuals and Nishida published in a 178 newspaper to favourable reviews. Two interviews with Nishida were also published in 1936.1 7 5 Indeed, many people only knew Nishida through Mik i , so it is thus ironic that in the postwar period Nishida is well-known in Japan but few know who Miki was. Miki also wrote on political issues, and discussed broad problems in society. As the 1930s wore on he continued to do work on history as well, building upon the themes in his landmark 1932 work Philosophy of History discussed earlier; Uchida Hiroshi notes that Miki "searched for the starting point of his own time in the Meiji Restoration."180 Mik i wrote, The truth is, from observing those who would raise up Japaneseness recently, there is a tendency that the Meiji Period, which we could imagine future Japanese will think of as a classical age, will be eliminated. ... however, the fact of the matter is that surely the Meiji Period was in Japanese history a time of the formation of national unity, and a time of the appearance of true 181 182 nationalism . 1 7 7 Miyakawa, "Nishida Kitaro and Miki Kiyoshi", 9. 1 7 8 Miki remained on good terms with Nishida and was one frequent visitor of Nishida's when the latter resided in Kamakura for part of 1932; this was when the discussions were arranged (Yusa, Zen & Philosophy, 249-250). Miki never lost respect for his old master and continued to visit him in later years. 1 7 9 Yusa, Zen & Philosophy, 281. mrH W\% Uchida Hiroshi, r H * f l t l - & f & 1 ~ 5 P 3 § 3 f i ^ 0 "Miki Kiyoshi ni Toeisuru Kaihatsu Dokusaikoku Nihonzo" [The Projection in Miki Kiyoshi of the Image of the Development of a Despotic Japan], # ^-imM Senshu Keizaigaku RonshU [Specialized Economics Theses] 36 (2) (200l.l l), 117-197; 120. 1 8 1 SJ3c kokumin, not to be confused with minzoku, which is built more on racial identification. Modern thinkers like Maruyama tend to be more tolerant of the more neutral, democratic and geo-cultural base of kokumin-shugi nationalism as opposed to the inherently racial, exclusionist minzoku-shugi. An oversimplified example would be to suggest that the identity of a 'Japanese' in the kokumin is based on birthplace and citizenship whereas the identity of a 'Japanese' in the minzoku is based on blood and ancestry. One should not, therefore, condemn Miki in terms of the 'nationalism' of the sort propogated by the militarists and extremists, which he did not hold. ™2=.Mn Miki Kiyoshi, T 0 Jftflfejfe b~7 7 v v ^ X A J "Nihon-teki Seikaku to Fuasshizumu" [Fascism and the Character of Japaneseness], EL^in^kM Miki KiyoshiZenshu [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works] (jfijR Tokyo: H/pf Iwanami Shoten, 1966), 13.241-267; 245, as quoted by Uchida in "The Projection in Miki Kiyoshi of the Image of the Development of a Despotic Japan", 124. 26 Mik i was stunned that, in a time of crisis when the lessons of Meiji were most instructive, they were being neglected. Even Miki 's complex philosophical ideas and his studies of history were quite literary and could be understood at the popular level, so that his popularity soared. According to Nakamura Shinichiro, Japanese youth at the time were inspired by Miki 's writings. He writes, "It was when I was a university student that there was The Logic of the Power of 183 Conception. The book gave a big encouragement to us, the youth. A friend of mine and I became very happy to see a young girl was reading the book on the train." 1 8 4 By way of contrast, I find it hard to envision anyone reading Nishida on a train. This is now a fitting point at which to turn to the major question of Miki 's relation with Marxism, wherein I will argue that despite Miki 's frequent characterization as a Marxist, he was in fact a Humanist in nature. 2.4 Not a Marxist, but a Humanist Here I will elaborate on my earlier position that Mik i was not a Marxist, but a Humanist, who considered a variety of philosophies, including Marxism and its challenge to previous views of history, to grapple with when seeking to formulate a new wordly philosophy. It is my contention that there really is little evidence to indicate Mik i was a Marxist, other than recollections that he may have said at one point in the late 1920s that he felt he was a Marxist, and that critics in the 1930s identified him with the Marxists because he shared their dislike of the emerging militarist power. There was also the tendency of critics at the time to dismiss all critical intellectuals and academics as leftists, and the fact that, by discussing Marx at all in such a climate, Mik i left himself open to accusations of actually supporting the Marxist position. Yet despite these facts, many postwar scholars continue to view Mik i as a Marxist. I earlier showed that Miki became interested in Marx a bit later than accounts often lead us to believe; post-war Marxist writers would of course attempt to argue for an earlier date to suggest Mik i 'converted' to Marxism sooner, but in truth there was no conversion; he was never a Marxist, and certainly not a Communist, but a thinker who drew inspiration from a wide variety of ideas, including Marx. As will be discussed shortly, this was far from uncontroversial in the 1920s and 1930s when Japanese Marxists believed they alone could interpret Marx, and the idea of an 'outsider' philosopher — probably one sympathetic to the bourgeousie at that — offering an interpretation of Marx infuriated them. The irony of postwar Marxists trying to make Mik i a Marxist, when their earlier brethren in his own time despised him as anything but, should not be lost on the reader of today. As I said, Mik i also thought that Marxism offered a challenge to society that needed to be addressed; yet in grappling with the position he seems to have become confused with it by critics even after the war. I had assumed initially that the question of his supposed speaking of himself as a Marxist, most likely around 1927-1928 when he was, as Nishitani related, sort of estranged from Nishida and off studying Marxism in Tokyo, had likely also been blown out of proportion. Several other scholars and writers have come to similar conclusions upon pondering Miki 's life and writings. For instance, Kaba Shuno says on the issue: Generally, was Miki a Marxist, do we think? Even now this is a problem that still has a lot of room left for investigation, but, to be frank, I do not think Miki was a Marxist. Of course, it cannot be denied that Miki at one time was referring to himself as a Marxist. 183 ^UMtl rofmSj Koso-ryoku no Ronri Nakamura Shinichiro, ^M\% t f£<Z)##J "Miki Kiyoshi to Watashi no Seishun" [Miki Kiyoshi and My Youth], EL^n^tMH 5 # Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu Geppo [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works, Monthly Bulletin] 5 (1967.2), 3-5; 3. 27 However, I think that because he seized on a materialistic view of history that took a humanistic Marxist form, more than saying his thought was Marxism we can say that his thought was humanism.m Funayama Shinichi tells us with more certainty that: Certainly, even when Mr.Miki drew exceedingly close to Marxism (1927-1931) he was not a Marxist philosopher. In this point, it cannot be denied that critics, and then Mr. Miki himself, had a time of illusionment. However, the greatest aspect of Mr. Miki's historical role in the history of Japanese modern thought andphilosophy is his connection and confrontation with philosophy and Marxism} 6 Generally, I find little fault in Gino K . Piovesana's short pronouncement that "Miki...was basically an existential humanist tinged with social-liberal ideas." However, the best account is that given by Mik i scholar Masuda Keizabur5, who writes that "It was humanities, anthropology, which was the guiding principle of Miki Kiyoshi's research on the materialist view of history. I think that perhaps Mik i Kiyoshi was the first to 188 translate this foreign word "anthropology" as "humanities." Masuda furthermore states that this humanities was the guiding principle of Miki Kiyoshi's materialist view of history, and that "This humanities was.. .lying at the base of all of his theories. ... Marxism too, as an idea, stood 189 on the foundation of this certain humanities." Masuda's excellent summary follows: ...Miki Kiyoshi's research on the materialist view of history has an extremely important, epoch-making meaning for the history ofphilosophy of our country. He taught the positive significance that we should respect the tradition and accumulation of culture, in opposition to the tendency to drive out from our heads thought outside our own 'ism' as a harmful thing. At the same time, Miki recognized Marxist philosophy — which had been seen as an indifferent thing to philosophy, to which it had no relation, and something that philosophers could not come to feel, as well as a terrifying thing, and something that had been kept away — as a problem philosophers had to confront, recognized its true content, and opened a path for philosophy scholars to study it}9 Masuda further states that "Since then, confronting Marxism, and simultaneously overcoming it, was one of Miki Kiyoshi's lifetime works," and "Needless to say, he was not a Marxist. Furthermore, he never identified himself as such either."191 Masuda's summary is solid, but his final point goes against the accepted wisdom with which I too started, that holds that at one point Mik i may have indeed spoken of himself as a 1 8 5 I f f t t t Kaba Shuno, 1 L - T ©^./Klfj "Shisoka toshite no Miki Kiyoshi" [Miki Kiyoshi as Thinker], H y f ^ f ik^R $R 6 # Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu Geppo [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works, Monthly Bulletin] 6 (1967.3), 4-6; 5. 1 8 6 tePUff— Funayama Shinichi, l~H/k: £ A / C o ^ t g 0 ^ t J "Miki-san ni tsuite Omoukoto" [Thoughts Concerning Mr.Miki], lELJf'fnikM 4 # Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu Geppo [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works, Monthly Bulletin] 4 (1967.1), 3-6; 4. 1 8 7 Piovesana, 179. I 8 8 F # H # H £ ! | S Masuda, Keizaburo ^Mn^MMMt^^MM-f^^fD ( 1 ) J "Miki Kiyoshi no Shiso Henreki to sono Imisuru mono (1)" [Miki Kiyoshi's wandering thought and what it means (1)], ^EL^F-imi^M:J3Hx 14 # Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu Geppo [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works, Monthly Bulletin] 14 (1967.11), 3-8; 5. 1 8 9 Ibid. 1 9 0 Ibid. In the original this is all one sentence. 1 9 1 Ibid., 5 and 6 respectively. 28 Marxist, something that even those who are not quick to critique Mik i , like Kaba and Funayama above, assume to be so. Yet Masuda emphastically states that Mik i did not identify himself as a Marxist. This is because the accounts that claim Miki did so are actually unreliable, but far from being treated with caution, they are passed on as common knowledge. The reason they are unrealiable is that they seem to have a common origin in a single statement by Tosaka Jun, that implies Mik i seized upon Marxism because it was popular and he was ambitious. As Awata Kenzo relates, Although our [Awata and Miki 's] philosophical positions were fairly different... It was because there was much in common in our standards of value when judging things that we could get along well. To put it concretely, we agreed on the point of opposition to the war and fascism. Lastly, in relation to this, I want to briefly discuss the relationship between Mr. Miki and Marxism, and the interpretation of one group which sees the relationship as based on secular ambition. This interpretation seems to have its root in the comment by Tosaka Jun, that "Seeing the rise of Fukumoto Kazuo, it seems that instantly a kind of ambition arose [in Miki] . I remember him boasting he could do what Fukumoto did." As Hisano Osamu has also pointed out, we cannot simply accept these words, but it is true that Mr. Miki made such irresponsible remarks. I too have frequently heard similar remarks like this.192 The reality is indeed that Mik i neither converted to Marxism in the late 1920s, nor, logically, then converted from it in 1930. He was completely unprepared for criticism after 1930 that accused him of abandoning an ideological standpoint that he had never held to begin with, but he expected and was frustrated by the criticism he faced when he wrote on Marxism in the late 1920s. He wrote a letter to his wife, complete with a critical newspaper clipping, complaining about critics that could not understand how he could write on Pascal and write on Marx and still be the same individual thinker ~ why did people assume he had converted to a 'Marxist', he wondered? Who wrote the article, I wonder; it will become a good example of a society which tends to make wrong guesses, I think. There is the closest connection between I, who wrote about Pascal, and I, who is discussing about Marx, and the common belief and philosophy through it which works on their foundations. Perhaps, it is a rare [person] who can understand it. Some day, I am going to develop it generally [overall] so that it will become clear to anyone, but in the meantime, I am going to leave it to people's judgment}93 Furthermore, in a memoir demanded by the public prosecutor while Mik i was in Toyotama Jail in 1930, Mik i wrote: What was the basis of my behaviour? To start with, from the beginning I did not discuss any other issues from the standpoint of Marxism, but instead took Marxism as a problem and treated it from the viewpoint of my own philosophy. Secondly, in connection to this, my attitude has been a tendency to defend Marxism more than supporting it. Accordingly, it is obvious that I should not be called a Marxist. Just as one who vindicates a murderer ]92^mW— Awata Kenzo, rjgl^trjj "Omoide" [Recollections], ^.JF-^^MM IB 10 # Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu Geppo [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works, Monthly Bulletin] (1967.7), 2-5; 5. Emphasis mine. 1 9 3 Masuda, "Miki Kiyoshi's wandering thought and what it means (1)", 6. 29 is not a murderer, it is not the case that one who vindicates Marxism is necessarily a Marxist. " m Miki here clearly states that his base is not Marxism, but he also provides a clue as to why so many think he was. At a time when even discussing Marx made one suspect, it is natural that Miki 's writings would be seen in this way, even though he was only taking Marxism as a research object and did not actually subscribe to its teaching. His defence of Marxism as a serious issue worthy of study (recall Nishida's rejection of Marxism as superficial; this was typical of many philosophers) was taken to be an endorsement of Marxism as a whole. Considering this then, one can perhaps suggest Mik i was naive in expecting people to approach his writings on Marx the same way they did his work on Pascal, even if he had not changed his approach at all. The sheer controversy of the topic and its implications politically invited danger to Miki regardless of what he had to say on the issue himself. Yet the reality is that during the time period when Mik i was supposedly converting to Marxism, or converting from it, he was working on a variety of works of which only a few dealt with Marxism at all, yet it is these that receive the most attention and lead people to argue he was a Marxist. This is logical thinking for someone living at the time, but to harbour such illogical notions now is surely beneath scholars. Throughout this time Mik i continued to produce works on the philosophy of Pascal, Aristotle, Kant, and others as well as Marx, and he showed his zeal for a broad humanistic approach in each case, as opposed to arguing for slavishly following any one single philosophy.1 9 5 How foolish, then, he would say, for us to assume he did so with Marxism! Moreover, Mik i stressed the need to critically engage with all philosophy; in "Liberalism Hereafter"196 (April 1935), he stated that "From the beginning this [new] liberalism will be against, and demands the freedom to critique, bourgeois liberalism, and Marxism, and, needless to say, Fascism." 1 9 7 Furthermore, Liberalism demands the freedom to critique against Marxism as well. 1 9 4 ^ r . y f c / f Miki Kiyoshi, T^gBj "Shuki" [Memoirs], =-Mn^M Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works] (MM. Tokyo: JB"?!S#0 Iwanami Shoten, 1966), 18.95-124; 99. Emphasis mine. Parts of this same page I found to be also quoted by Akamatsu, "Concerning Miki Kiyoshi's Philosophy of History'", 17; I myself was first referred to Miki's prison memoirs by Stffl — S Watanabe Kazutami r £ ^ f | t (T) 1 9 2 0 Im (III) J "Miki Kiyoshi to Hayashi Tatsuo (shita): 1920-nendairon" [Miki Kiyoshi and Hayashi Tatsuo (second half): Thought of the 1920s], Jc¥ Bungaku [Literature] 54 (1986.5), 80-94; 88. 1 9 5 Consider, in the Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu, some of the following: on Pascal T -ft #£||f (73]i"||j (Nov. 193 8), 17.469, and t'tXjJ/WAfflM} (July 1937), 13.416-421; on Aristotle \T ]J X h x l / ^ J (March 1929), 9.1-27, and T r U ^ h ^ U ^ r&M±&] J (June 1935), 9.27-178, and TT !i * (Oct. 1938), 9.179-306; on Kant ^ £ mM t (Dffiffi tt^H-f StS^RftilJ (Mar. 1939), 17.427-431; and on Socrates ^ y ^ 7 T ^ j (June 1939), 9.307-448. As for demonstrating openly his humanistic approach to thinkers, consider his look at Spinoza \ 7. t ° / I f t d ^ t S KW\ t H^J (July 1932), 2.292-333, and of course, Marx ^XW\^(D-7jV^7 T-t^MtMl (June 1927), 3.5-41. Note the work on Marx was produced one year after his landmark work on Pascal, and is essentially the same approach, only considering humanism in Marx as opposed to Pascal. Yet who would accuse Miki of being a "Pascalian"? Finally, consult Miki's brief work on new humanism Tff L ^ A f l ^ l i j (July 1934), 10.335-351. 1 9 6 r g | £ i ± i i J ^ j "Jiyu-shugi Igo" 1 9 7H/fc?# Miki Kiyoshi, I" g ffeEEfilWIij "JiyO-shugi Igo" [Liberalism Hereafter], H / f c ? f ^ ^ Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works] (MM Tokyo: ^ - ^ # 0 Iwanami Shoten, 1966), 13.168-175; 172. Also quoted in Uchida, "Miki Kiyoshi's Liberalism Thought and Creative Social Theory", 119. 30 Without the freedom to critique, the meaning of intellectual activity, that which is said to distinguish man from beast, will not be thoroughly shown, and formalization, dogmatization, and fixation are detrimental to progressive development}99. Thus, while Mik i is often referred to as a Marxist, in reality, as we have seen, he saw Marxism as just one more philosophy to engage with, which could be of help in formulating his own ideas which he strove to raise to a universal level, as well as a challenge to society that had to be overcome, in the creation of a new world philosophy; hence it is reductionist and limiting to see his thought merely through the lens of Marxism and treat him as a 'Marxist' as opposed to a humanist philosopher who studied Marx and engaged with the challenge he believed Marx posed to society. Rather than trying to force Miki 's thought and actions into a Marxist schema, it is instead essential to consider Miki 's interpretation of Marx from his own viewpoint. 2.5 Miki 's Unorthodox Approach to Marxism We have just seen that Mik i was not a Marxist but a Humanist who considered Marxism from a humanist standpoint. This led to his interpretation of Marxism being unusual when compared to that followed by Japanese Marxists in the 1920s and 1930s. In fact, Miki 's view of Marxism was taken not from other Japanese or European Marxists at the time, but was drawn from his own understanding of Marx and was quite unorthodox ~ even those who would see Mik i purely from the point of view of Marxism must admit that he cannot in any way be seen as representative of Japanese Marxists at the time, who criticized him for going against orthodox Marxist ideology. So how was Miki 's view of Marxism different? Piovesana notes that of all Miki 's studies on the philosophy of history, only those from 1927-1930 concern themselves with historical materialism.199 The studies preceding and following those works "are not Marxist at all" he notes on the same page, although I have already argued that just because Miki wrote about the materialist view of history does not by any means indicate that he necessarily subscribed to said view. Miki 's reading of Marx was very unorthodox, but it was also fresh and intelligent. Mik i placed emphasis on "fundamental experience"200, the Marxist proletarian social experience.201 Piovesana, drawing upon "Historical Materialism and Modern Consciousness"202, goes on to explain that this experience is the starting point of the four aspects of Miki 's theory, the second is "logos" (here a kind of epistemological experience), to the phases of an ideology which is thought of as a pattern of social being, and finally to anthropology, which is the historical result of the three former aspects. I think that this is notable for several reasons; first of all, this reading of Marx does not necessitate the breaking down of ideology, it is shorn of metaphysics, and the ultimate historical result of the system is "anthropology", which we have already seen, is Miki 's term for his own humanistic understanding. The pattern of history this envisions is pragmatic and not metaphysical. Piovesana notes that he places the emphasis on the social world or social consciousness, making his position closer to Marx's than Engels', or that of the Soviet or Japanese Marxists at the time, and so he was criticized for neglecting the "philosophical" aspects of Marxism. 2 0 4 Here, of course, "philosophical" means "metaphysical", and again serves to indicate the barriers Mik i faced from those who associated philosophy with the purely abstract. 8 Ibid., 174. Also quoted in Uchida, "Miki Kiyoshi's Libralism Thought and Creative Social Theory", 119. 9 Piovesana, 181. °1S$EI£I& kiso keiken 1 Piovesana, 181-182. 2 rnf 'twill t !&ft;sw$J "Yuibutsu-shikan to Gendai Ishiki" (see Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu, volume 3). 3 Piovesana, 181-182. 4 Ibid., 182-183. 31 Naturally, Mik i faced heavy criticism for daring to offer his own interpretation of Marx. 90S He thus did not get along well with the Yuibutsuron Kenkyu Kai (Society for Study of Materialism) started in Oct. 1932, which held orthodox views of materialism and Marx, and had 206 as notable members Nagata Hiroshi , Tosaka Jun, Hasegawa Nyozekan, Hani Goro, Honda 907 908 Kenzo , and others, which was dissolved in 1938. Because of his writings on Marx and the periodical with Hani, Mik i was caught between being suspected by the police on the one hand, and enduring a "storm of criticism" from Communists on the other, who believed that only they had the right to interpret Marx. 2 0 9 While Miki remained interested in Marx, his departure from writing about it much makes sense considering the risk and criticism it earned him. He did not fit in with the Marxists in other groups either, where the Marxists alienated those who were not 210 specialists or did not follow the orthodox line. Neither should one be fooled into thinking that this criticism was a new occurrence; even in 1930 while Miki was in prison, his interpretation of Marx was denounced as "hereical" by Proletariat Science Institute211 members.212 Fletcher further says that many critics were against Miki 's conviction that Marxism represented a form of anthropology, and that dialectical theory actually recognized the unprediactability of social change.213 As I explained above, these are some of the very elements that make Miki 's interpretation of Marx interesting, but because they strip away its use as a teleology (e.g. for claims that social revolution is both an end in and of itself, and a means to an end, as well as being good, necessary, and unstoppable) and its mythos as a form of received wisdom for the Communists, they were bound to be rejected by the Marxists. It is at this point that I will turn to examine the philosophy of Miki 's that was ultimately to become interwined with the Showa Kenkyu Kai, that of cooperativism. 2.6 Miki 's Cooperativism Miki 's cooperativism tends to be seen as a product of his role in the Showa Kenkyu K a i . 2 1 4 While its role in the Showa Kenkyu Kai is what made it famous, it clearly had its origins in Miki 's original thought, as I have suggested previously. Cooperativism can be seen either in a purely philosophical mode (a variety of perspectives synthesized into a universal, transcendant view) or a more political mode (such as urging cooperation between the countries of East Asia so as to build a politico-economic bloc to resist Western imperialism). Mik i did not support imperialism; cooperativism meant that Asian countries would work together for their own best interests. The role of Japan in this was to formulate a philosophy that would unify the nations, but this did not mean imperialism, despite how some have twisted Miki 's words. Mik i wanted East Asian nations to be free from Western imperialism to pursue their own destinies, and could not have expected how the army might make use of such ideals to justify Japan's own expansion, the precise opposite of cooperativism because it was so particularistic and self-serving. In fact, Mik i was critical of the Japanese army's actions in China because they went against the entire basis of cooperativism. Ben-Ami Shillony uses Miki as an example of someone 205 mmm%£ 2 0 6 71<E9gf^ 2 0 7 * ^ i t H 2 0 8 Piovesana, 186-187. 2 0 9 Piovesana, 179. 2 1 0 See, for instance, Barshay, 205. 2 l l 7 ° n l / ^ y T&^Wtrufli Puroretaria Kagaku Kenkyu Jo 2 1 2 Yusa, Zen & Philosophy, 231; citing "Hojo-sensei ni hajimete oshie o uketa koro" Nishida Kitaro Zenshu, 12:258-259. 2 1 3 Fletcher, The Search for a New Order, 26. 2 1 4 For instance, see Fletcher, The Search for a New Order, 159. 32 who criticized the behaviour of the Japanese in China and urged his fellow countrymen to treat the Chinese with respect, reminding them of China's heritage and influence on historical Japan, and. stressing further that there were no fundamental differences between the Japanese and 215 Chinese other than the time at which they modernized. Miki 's reference to Nazi thought and how it aimed at formulating a world ideology is also controversial for it could also be used to suggest Mik i supported fascism, but this goes against everything Miki said and did. Mik i , after all, recognized that Communism was rapidly becoming a world ideology, and he was just as outspoken in his comdemnation of Stalin as he was Hitler. Mik i merely offered the Nazi ideology as one more attempt at a world ideology; the implication was not that this was necessarily a good ideology (he clearly did not think so), but that it showed that a world ideology could be formulated.216 If Japan were to formulate one and actually do it successfully, then it could compete with the Western powers. However, Japan's world ideology was not going to be fascist or Communist in nature, but cooperativist, and through the combined strength of the mutually-benefitting Asian countries, a true challenge could be offered the West. Both Mik i and Konoe recognized the existence of an Anglo-American world ideology as well, and criticized it for different reasons than they did that of Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. The idea was that for Japan to stand against these and make a real impact on the international scene, it would also need a world ideal, not that it should copy the content of others'. As to what Japan's new wordly ideology would be built on, Mik i referred to Confucianism and the shared heritage of East Asian nations to suggest a foundation for a universal philosophy uniting them. Again this was not intended to be some sort of justification for the military dominance of other countries by Japan, and Mik i made no reference to, for 217 218 instance, Empress Jingu 's mythical invasion of Korea or Toyotomi Hideyoshi 's Sixteenth-Century campaign, to justify expansion under the idea of a mythic empire like those in Italy and Germany were doing with their history and legends. Again, one could point to Miki 's lack of support for Chinese and other Asian nationalisms to say he supported Japanese expansion and so forth, but this is again misconstruing his thought because Mik i did not support Japanese nationalist movements either, but strove for a philosophy transcending nationalisms that would unify East Asia and allow it to compete on the world stage, so of course he did not support any particularistic movements that would have challenged that. Indeed, it was because he rejected the surging militarism and Japanese nationalism that he was so vigorously attacked by the rightists, who despised his liberalism and political ideals: 219 For instance, Uchida Hiroshi quotes an attack made on Mik i by Minoda Munaki : "For Miki 's thought and writing, which tried to make the Japanese spirit corrupt or lost, I am 990 • * forced to feel the impulse to tear him apart , with the feeling that he is having delivered upon 991 999 him the punishment of heaven ." Uchida comments that "the "language terrorism" of 2 1 5 Ben-Ami Shillony, "Friend or Foe: The Ambivalent Images of the U.S. and China in Wartime Japan," The Ambivalence of Nationalism: Modern Japan between East and West eds. James W. White, Michio Umegaki, Thomas R.H. Havens (New York: University Press of America, 1990), 187-211; 204-205. 2 1 6 We have already seen Miki's involvement in the Arts & Sciences Freedom League, criticizing the Nazis for their destruction of culture. 2 1 8 H E 5 i l o r 219 mmmm 2 2 0 1 cannot tell if Minoda means a desire to 'tear apart' Miki's works with criticism, or if he means physically tear Miki to pieces. Both meanings may be implied. 2 2 1 Again, the phrase is uncertain; Minoda may mean that the criticism heaped upon Miki (not just by Minoda specifically) could constitute the punishment of heaven, or he may mean that Miki's imprisonment and harrassment by the authorities was a punishment from heaven. 33 Minoda developed while the installation of an oppressive fascist state [was taking place] in the background", thereby suggesting that Minoda made his criticism drawing power and authority from the state so that he could attack Miki without fear.223 Yet Mik i responded, insisting that a leader should not be self-righteous or dogmatic, but must be one who organizes "cooperation that is understood [by the people]" with the "power of conception "; in response, "Minoda sang the praises of the "power of language " of Hitler and Rosenberg, and attacked Nishida Kitaro, Tanabe Hajime, and the Showa 224 Kenkyu Kai (in which Miki participated). Fletcher is correct in asserting that Mik i supported the New Order Movement, but wrong in thinking that this was a new development and did not follow on from Miki 's earlier thought/" Of course, the New Order Movement as planned by the Showa Kenkyu Kai was quite different from the fascist spectre envisioned by Fletcher and others; here, the irony is that Mik i could have used his influence and his philosophy to support fascist movements for his own gain (like some revolutionary intellectuals did by joining extremist right-wing groups), but he chose to use his knowledge to fight fascism instead, despite the risk and total lack of credit he received for doing so. Awata touches on this irony: "With his talents he could have done logical manipulation, such as forming a plausible theory catering to fascism. However, the Mr.Miki I knew personally was not a person who could do such a thing." 2 2 6 In the following passage, Miki explains what he means by cooperativism a little better; here he is speaking specificially of the role of religion, but clearly he held similar views regarding the role of philosophy viz. politics and the nation as well: A religious order declares cooperation in regard to the state of things. That is from the start to be expected. However, cooperation has to be real cooperation. Following the current, and accomodating the political power of the time, is not cooperation. Buddhism must cooperate with the time by taking a leadership [role] and making appeals to politics. If we look at the world, the misery of today is politics as absolute power in every culture, ruling every religion, and moreover this politics of absolute authority exists everywhere without question, and still even to question it is not tolerated. It is not that religion is on the same level as politics, but rather that because religion is not on the same level as politics that, instead, it can lead politics by its own authority. The authority of religion cannot lose respect. The authority that religion should obey is not supposed to be politics. When religion becomes political, the leadership of religion will surely be lost; only by returning to its true nature, can religion take leadership of politics. The reason religion is religion does not exist seperately from the worldly character. Religion must obey its own authority, and by its worldly character, must lead politics.221 Miki 's ideal of cooperativism has different elements of society, or different societies, working together for mutual benefit through the strongest elements of each coming together to overcome individual weaknesses, thereby producing a synthesis that is stronger than any of the 2 2 2 r-^ff | f ffJ (WM 0 *%fc Genri Nihonsha,1941), 322, quoted in Uchida, "Miki Kiyoshi's Liberalism Thought and Creative Social Theory", 126. 2 2 3 Uchida, "Miki Kiyoshi's Liberalism Thought and Creative Social Theory", 126. 2 2 4 Ibid., 126. 2 2 5 Fletcher, The Search for a New Order, 145. 2 2 6 Awata, 5. 2 2 7 Miki, "Religion as the Leadership of the New Japan", 80-81. Emphasis mine. 34 individual components. 'Cooperation' as envisioned by the military, with Japan ruling other countries and exploiting their populations and resources for Japanese profit alone, is antithical to Miki 's ideal. We must thus distinguish between notions such as the "Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere" as they were formulated by intellectuals like Mik i , and as they were used to label practices implemented by the military and authorities. Finally, I will close this chapter by looking briefly at Miki 's explanation of action, and specifically how he conceived of the necessity for philosophers to involve themselves in politics as opposed to being disinterested spectators. 2.1 Miki as Man of Action I touched upon earlier how Mik i became involved in movements unlike Nishida who remained aloof and detached from them, despite having strong opinions. Nishida had no love for the military and the criticism being heaped upon academia by rightists, but it was Mik i who openly spoke out against such things and joined organizations to protest. Mik i was against isolated academism, and the key idea here is intellectuals becoming involved in society in order to improve it, hence his interest in the connection between philosophy and politics — recall that he thought the former should lead the latter. For Miki , a sort of philosopher-king ideal was not only possible, but inherently desirable. Konoe would take up this challenge, although his ultimate failure left little hope for the aspirations of the intellectuals afterwards. Before philosophy was able to play any role in politics, it had to be restored to its true self, which required it to abandon the pretentious self-worship and metaphysics that detracted from its natural object: reality. The restoring of the scope of philosophy to its object became one of Miki 's objectives. Uchida Hiroshi says, Miki Kiyoshi, first of all, overcame the unrealism into which taught philosophy was falling, and made the recovery of reality in philosophy a theme of his life. He was thinking that analyzing experience in real life is the road for philosophy to re-realize reality?2* Thus, it should be no mystery as to why Mik i liked Aristotle, whose famous dictum that "man is a political animal" fit right in with Miki 's ideas; on a broader level, Mik i saw politics as the key to humanity, and the "political human" as the ideal human. Hence, Miki 's statement, which I provided earlier, that a philosopher is not a meditator echoes throughout his philosophy. A philosopher for Miki is not a passive, detached recipient of wisdom, but an active, involved participant. Neither is the action to be taken vague and abstract contemplation. Miki 's action is not action in a vague sense, but definite and historical action. It became clear to him that Japanese thinkers needed to act, so that the intellectual pursuit of truth was, for Mik i , a dialectic of active and speculative aspects. As he explains, in Philosophy and Education (1937): What is called philosophy's standing in the standpoint of action has in the time of the philosophers of our country today almost entirely become common knowledge. However, action is not general abstract action, but always only concrete historical action. Consequently, truly the philosopher who is going to stand in a position of action as their own responsibility must do philosophy from a resolution to strongly face and solve the problems of our society (of this time, in which we live). If a philosophy avoids the Uchida, "The Projection in Miki Kiyoshi of the Image of the Development of a Despotic Japan", 118. ' r g ^ i g r W J "Tetsugaku to Kyoiku" 35 problems of the age and does not take responsibility for solving them, how can we say such a philosophy is standing in the standpoint of action? Education is but the putting into practice of what exists in reality as an object. Such an object is nothing but the present society, which is nothing but the reality in which we find ourselves and in which we are living. ... As education, philosophy must take responsibility for facing itself and the times.231 Miki 's decision to become more involved and put his philosophy into action does not conflict with his philosophy since he believed in this active element since the beginning; he attacked from right and left, striving to form a synthetic philosophy but at the same time going his own way and incurring the wrath of all for doing so. Mik i was thus an individualist who was not afraid fo fight for what he believed in, and his recognition, based upon the development of his thought and his years of grappling with the problems facing Japan, that real action on the part of intellectuals was called for, prompted him to seek out venues by which he could enact his philosophy and try to assist the country and its people in overcoming the crises. It was through such ventures, and his rising reputation, that he came to be involved with the Showa Kenkyu Kai, and the fascinating character of Prince Konoe Fumimaro. Chapter III Not Quite A Union of Opposites: The Konoe Connection Philosophy must return to the beginning of its spirit in order to be true to its nature. ... Even if philosophy is not politics, it must at least be education.232 - Miki Kiyoshi ...I came to think that the most vulgar thing in the world was a politician, and the most noble was a philosopher...233 - Konoe Fumimaro Prince Konoe Fumimaro, lord of the foremost families of the great Fujiwara clan, persists as somewhat of an engimatic character in both Japanese and Western scholarship, holding the premiership three times and yet leaving behind naught but paradoxes and questions as to who he really was. He was the protege of Saionji Kinmochi 2 3 4 , the last of the Genro 2 3 5 and probably the one person who kept the groups of militarists and ultranationalists from achieving power in the early 1930s.236 Konoe's rise to power was almost accidental, for he rose to the premiership initially as a compromise between the militarists and their foes, as a stabilizing force, and ultimately ended up pleasing neither. It should no longer be a mystery why Mik i would join a group of intellectuals interested in formulating policy for the bright young prince, but at first glance it seems peculiar that Konoe, notorious for his fear of Communism, would keep a philosopher suspected as a Marxist in his midst. My purpose in this chapter is to show that, far from being opposites, Miki and Konoe were very similar in terms of their thinking, and that they were connected by the threads of politics and philosophy. Through examining Konoe with an eye to Miki 's formative period and Hence, education and philosophy thus both concern themselves with the same object. 2 3 1 Miki, "Philosophy and Education", 429. 2 3 2 Ibid., 430-431. 2 3 3 Konoe, quoted in Yabe Teiji, ^WXBi Konoe Fumimaro (MB. Tokyo: B f ^ i i f f £ t Jiji Unshin Kai, 1958), 12. 2 3 4 M H # ^ S I 2 j 5 yti^ The "elder statesmen" who advised the Emperor. 2 3 6 A decent biography in a scene bereft of them is Lesley Connors' The Emperor's Advisor: Saionji Kinmochi and Pre-War Japanese Politics (London: Croom Helm, 1987). 36 his thought in the context of the 1930s, all of which I have just discussed, we can better understand why Konoe and Mik i would end up together through the means of the Showa Kenkyu Kai, as well as a better understanding of how philosophy and politics were interwined in Japan of the 1930s. Before going much further, it will be helpful to examine some of the scholarship on Konoe, which, unlike that on Mik i , is plentiful, although, like that on Mik i , equally prone to oversimplifications. 3.1 Overview of Scholarship on Prince Konoe Fumimaro Much scholarship on prewar Japanese politics that considers the role of Prince Konoe overwhelmingly follows the confused and peculiar popularized image of a warmonger who was also an inept day-dreaming fool. Discrepencies between the image of an involved, determined militarist and that of a self-obsessed non-actor who just let the system collapse around him, are explained by presenting him as an 'enigma.' Authors tend to either emphasize that he led Japan into war, but was also an idiot, or emphasize that he was a idiot with no idea of what was going on, but can be held responsible for what happened by virtue of his being in power when it did. I can set the tone best by first referring to a popular work fairly typical of this image of Konoe, since it has remained fairly common. Robert Harvey writes unabashedly in The Undefeated that Konoe "was aristocratic, foppish, indecisive, shallow and a flirt with both 9^ 7 sexes." He was chosen as a compromise, "Yet his ideas were shallow and silly, and he lacked any popular power base; he was merely, at first, a useful front man for military rule" and "He had a weak and attractive personality; idle and easygoing, he treated the emperor as a chum, which endeared him to the friendless Hirohito. He was tall, good-looking, and a womanizer (and probably bisexual), as well as a hypochondriac."238 Harvey does say Konoe was "fated" to be prime minister, and "destined" to be a "doormat for warmongers", like Franz von Papen in Germany, and he includes Konoe's frustration at the Emperor being swayed by militarists like Tojo Hideki 2 3 9 , but ultimately concludes that he was a "devious happy-go-lucky aristocratic nationalist, intelligent enough to foresee the disaster which he nevertheless played a leading role in leading Japan towards."2 0 Much of this portrayal of Konoe has its origins in rather dubious sources, such as the views of British Ambassador to Japan in 1937, Sir Robert Craigie, who said of Konoe: "There were moments when his actions showed a touch of genius. Time and again one was impressed by acts of statesmanship, only to be irritated just as often by his apparent lack offirmness in leadership, and his failure at times of crisis to use his strong personal position to curb the extremists. His Japanese friends were completely baffled by many of his actions, wondering whether he really stood for what he was supposed to represent — a moderating influence — or whether, unknown to his more responsible friends and followers, he was a totalitarian at heart and rather enjoyed giving the army its long >) 241 rope. Furthermore, Konoe was a "dilettante theorist"; most shocking of all, however, appears to have been his success at golf while not keeping his eyes on the ball in the correct textbook fashion.2 4 2 Harvey, xxii. 2 3 8 Ibid., 206. In all the material I came across this is the only work that touches upon Konoe's sexuality. It furthermore does so as if it were a matter of profound relevance. 239 m&%m 2 4 0 Ibid., 207, 235, and 291, respectively. Konoe would have endorsed the idea of being fated to his role and destined to be walked on by the military. 2 4 1 Sir Robert Craigie, Behind the Japanese Mask (London: Hutchinson, 1945), 60. 37 Such were Craigie's thoughts, and we should not rely upon them too heavily: no less a scholar than George B. Sansom himself criticized him for being ignorant of Japan, and East Asia generally. 4 3 Sansom recalled that upon his resignation from the Foreign Office in 1939 "I had said to the Permanent Under Secretary, I really don't see why I should stay. I'm not going back to Japan. I hate your ambassador there. He's a fool." 2 4 4 By contrast, a radically different, and seldom referred to, appraisal of Konoe comes from the American ambassador, Joseph C. Grew: Nov 21 1941,"Second Thoughts on Prince Konoye": Have often thought about my letter to Prince Konoye, in reply to his letter informing me of the fall of his cabinet, and especially my allusion to the distinguished service which he had rendered his country. Some people might quibble at that statement, on the ground that he had led his country into all sorts of difficulties, including the Axis alliance. I grant all that, but I put it down more to the nefarious influence of Matsuoka than to Konoye himself, who had his own military people and the extremists to deal with. The chief reason why I mentioned his outstanding service was the fact that he alone tried to reverse the engine, and tried hard and courageously, even risking his life and having a very close call as it was. Whatever mistakes he made in directing Japan's policy, he had the sense and the courage to recognize those mistakes and to try to start his country on a new orientation offriendship with the United States. If only for that, I think he deserves some degree of good will. With the invasion of Indo-China staring us in the face during the Washington conversations, it is difficult for anyone not living in Japan and understanding the forces and stresses loose in this misguided country to appreciate what Konoye was up against, but I do, and hence that allusion in my letter. I would not change it if I had the letter to write again.245 What, then, of scholarship concerning Konoe? At first W. G. Beasley saw Konoe's appointment to the premiership in 1937 not so much as a matter of compromise, but one of desperation, which resulted only in Konoe becoming a figurehead that did the army's bidding. 2 4 6 Then, in Japanese Imperialism, he suggested that in the 1930s premiers as a whole lacked the authority to impose their will on their ministers, but he pinpoints Konoe's policies, and then the Konoe government, as taking steps that led to the Pacific War. 2 4 7 Later Beasley was more inclined to see Konoe as a compromise figure who, in the form of the Imperial Rule Assistance * • 948 Association, tried to please everyone and ended up pleasing no one. A peculiar view is that of Robert A . Scalapino, who, rather than arguing that Konoe was a single isolated enigma, argued that Konoe was a figure of confusion, ambivalence, drive for unity, fear of radicalism, and 2 4 2 Ibid., 103 and 98 respectively. 2 4 3 Gordon Daniels, "Sir George Sansom (1883-1965): Historian and Diplomat", Britain and Japan 1859-1991: Themes and Personalities, Eds. Sir Hugh Cortazzi and Gordon Daniels (London: Routledge, 1991), 277-288, 282 paraphrasing Katherine Sansom, Sir George Sansom and Japan: A Memoir (Tallahassee, Florida: 1972), 94-97. 2 4 4 Ibid., 314 n.18, quoting "The Reminisciences of Sir George Sansom" (New York: Oral History Research Office, Columbia U., 1957), 57. 2 4 5 Joseph C. Grew, Ten Years in Japan (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1944), 481-482. 2 4 6 W. G. Beasley, The Modern History of Japan (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1963. 3rd ed., 1981), 251. 2 4 7 W. G. Beasley, Japanese Imperialism, 1894-1945 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), 198, 204, and 231 respectively. Grew actually supports the argument that premiers as a whole lacked power; he noted on January 1, 1941, that "Konoye, and especially Matsuoka, will fall in due course, but under present circumstances no Japanese leader or group of leaders could reverse the expansionist program and hope to survive" (360, italics his). 2 4 8 W. G. Beasley, The Rise of Modern Japan, 183-184. 38 fatalism that mirrored the conservative groups.249 F. C. Jones in Japan's New Order in East Asia paints Konoe as being constantly in a state of indecision and thinking of resigning; he notes: Prince Konoye's own record is equivocal; perhaps the best judgement on him is that he was at heart opposed to totalitarian methods at home and to a line-up with the Nazi-Fascist Powers abroad, but that he was a man of weak and irresolute character, prone to take the line of least resistance, to procrastinate as long as possible, and to lay down the burden of office when evasion would no longer serve him.2 0 Takemoto Toru's Failure of Liberalism in Japan is not untypical, then, of many works in that it presents Konoe as a militarist, 'evil ' character, but also an inept and weak figure in prewar politics; I chose to refer to it here because it unabashedly proclaims him as such. "Konoe Fumimaro," notes Shidehara the first time he describes him, "dreamed of establishing a quasi-251 Nazis (sic.) state in Japan in spite of his own character weakness." Again, "Together with 9 S9 9 Konoe and Hiranuma Kiichiro , Kido Koichi was the Japanese version of a Nazi, or a Nazi imitator."2 5 4 Furthermore, Konoe's decision to undertake post-war constitutional revision — pointed to by some Konoe apologists as proof of his underlying pacifist and democratic nature — was merely "in order to save himself from the impending war crimes prosecution."255 Neither was Konoe dedicated to doing his duty: "Konoe was a well known quitter. ...and he was 9S6 eternally alien to the concept of hard work." Takemoto presents Konoe as a dreamer, but one who was responsible for dragging Japan into war; he mocks the criticism Konoe received before, during, and after the war, confident in his view of Konoe as a militarist "Nazi-imitator" who quit everything and feared hard work, and he also dismisses the view of Konoe provided by Oka Yoshitake, which I shall examine in a moment.257 The problem with Takemoto's view is not only the internal inconsistency — between the active militarist who led a country into war and the passive incompetent who fled from hard work — but also the lack of data to back up his broad • • 258 critiques. 2 4 9 Robert A. Scalapino, Democracy and the Party Movement in Prewar Japan: The Failure of the First Attempt (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1953), 387. 2 5 0 F. C. Jones, Japan's New Order in East Asia: Its Rise and Fall, 1937-1945 (London: Oxford University Press, 1954), 64, 70, and 109 respectively. 2 5 1 Takemoto Toru, Failure of Liberalism in Japan: Shidehara Kijuro's Encounter with Anti-Liberals (Washington D.C.: University Press of America, 1978), 60-61. The reader is left in the dark as to what this is based on, as unfortunately no elaboration is provided. 252 w-mm-^ 2 5 4 Ibid., 165. Takemoto uses as evidence alleged anti-semitism, suggesting Kido and Konoe imitated the Nazis to the extent that they became anti-semetic, despite the fact that there were few Jews in Japan. This ignores 1) Konoe saw the Jews, like the Communists, as contributing to problems in the West - he feared, paranoid as he was, that the two groups were in league to dominate various nations, so whether or not there were any Jews in Japan was irrelevant, and 2) Konoe held these views (both on Jews and Communists) before the Nazi seizure of power in Germany. 2 5 5 Ibid., 180. Again, the reader is given no indication as to where this conclusion came from. 2 5 6 Ibid., 220. 2 5 7 Ibid., 226-227. 2 5 8 For example, he associates Konoe with Hiranuma and Kido as "Nazis" but what precisely he means by this other than derison is not clear; Hiranuma was famous as the archetypal 'Japanese facist' in Western critiques of Japan in the 1930s (Colegrove saw Hiranuma as planning to establish a fascist dictatorship with himself at the helm (30-31); Wildes further connected him to Kenzo Adachi ~ "Japan's chief exponent of the Fascist policy" (51)). Yet Hiranuma was clearly not 'fascist' enough, since once he adapted to parliamentary politics and backed Konoe's 1939 policy of resisting the demands of the military he was shot in 1940 by an ultranationalist who evidently felt 39 A more sympathetic view of Konoe that follows the Prince's view of himself as 'fated', is that of Oka Yoshitake. Oka looks at Konoe's life sympathetically; he sketches Konoe's isolated and lonely childhood and shows how he was interested in ideas, then charts his rise to power and then his ultimate defeat and downfall. He stresses what Konoe did as opposed to what he did not but perhaps should have done, serving thus as an antidote to all of those "idiot dreamer" descriptions. Oka also avoids putting Konoe into a corner — he is upfront about Konoe's friendship with rightists, but also his persistant interest in socialism, and reveals Konoe's hesitation for power and dislike of the aristocracy at the same time that he shows Konoe as prideful and seemingly above everyone else. The work offers Konoe as a real person as opposed to a pre-packaged generalization. The book's weaknesses are its failure to firstly provide adequete context for some events, and secondly contrast Konoe's views to others — often what Konoe says or does is made to seem quite natural without it being made clear why this may have really been controversial at the time. Such details are touched upon, but lacking overall. Upon reviewing Oka's original (Japanese) book, Takayanagi Shunichi commented that "Inasmuch as a man is a product of the system around him, Konoe can be said to have been a statesman made a plaything of fate."260 Finally, an excellent quotation from Shillony helps set the stage for my study of Konoe: Konoe was many things to many people. He was close to the imperial entourage, yet he was often critical of the emperor; he associated with generals and right-wing civilians, but he made efforts to block the military's influence on the cabinet; he was a shrewd politician, yet he despised politics and brought about the dissolution of the political parties; he shunned power, but tried to make himself into a strong leader; he abhorred war, yet authorized the escalation of hostilities in China and presided over the fateful 261 decision to go to war with the U.S. and Britain. It was this man whom Mik i came across when he agreed to join the Showa Kenkyu Kai, and it was this man that the members devoted all of their time and energy towards establishing an intellectual platform for so that he could implement the vision they all shared: that of a glorious New Order. 3.2 Philosophy and Politics, Philosophers and Politicians A quick glance suggests that Miki and Konoe could not have been more different; the former is usually presented as a Marxist philosopher interested in social science interpretations of history, and the latter as a shameless aristocrat, and an ardent nationalist, even being a member of the Greater Asia Society, established in 1933. Yet the oversimplification of these two men is stifling. Already I have shown how Mik i was not a Marxist or indeed a follower of betrayed. There were also attempts on Konoe's life by rightists. Despite Hiranuma's reputation, the British ambassador seems to have held a favourable view of him (Craigie, 70). Mayhaps he was a better golfer than Konoe? 2 5 9 Oka, Yoshitake. Konoe Fumimaro: A Political Biography. Trans. Shumpei Okamoto and Patricia Murray. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1983. 2 6 0 Takayanagi Shun'ichi. Review of Oka Yoshitake I^HlS's Konoe Fumimaro — Unmei no Seijika i f l l ljJClf 1%J © l k f p ^ ( T o k y o : Iwanami Shoten, 1972), and Konoe Shintaisei no Kenkyu riffiJgffi fjflj j CDW^H, ed. NihonSeijiGakkai R^-lgcfc^l^ (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1973). MonumentaNipponica29.1 (1974), 104-106; 106. 2 6 1 Shillony, Ben-Ami. Review of Gordon Mark Berger's Parties out of Power in Japan, 1931-1941 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977). Monumenta Nipponica 32.3 (1977): 395-397; 397. 2 6 2 JKTi>TW,£ Dai Ajia Kyokai 40 any one philosophy, despite exhibiting a strong humanist focus, but an independent, complex thinker who was not content to follow philosophical inquiry alone but considered the times and sought involvement himself, and that he was a lot more rambunctious than he is usually given credit for, perhaps because people nowadays associate him with the reserved and non-political Nishida. So too have I problemitized the view of Konoe. For all his nationalism he did not support war with either China or the United States. Fletcher's presumption — that when Konoe advised Saionji that the parties could not lead unless they saw a new direction for the nation and took the initiative away from the army he meant that the parties should prepare the nation for a major war in Asia ~ is a terrible distortion.264 If Konoe wanted war, why would he be concerned as to whether it was the parties or the army that started it? Clearly Konoe meant that for the parties to be relevant they needed a new vision of Japan and a policy to compete with the army's expansionist vision — they did not — and had to seize the initiative from the army in leading the • 96S nation before the army embroiled the country in warfare ~ they failed to do so. Indeed, one of the reasons for the militarists' seizure of power was simply the lack of any coherent policy to resist theirs, which was one of the impetuses for the 1936 reformulation of the Showa Kenkyu Kai. So too does Fletcher confuse cause and effect when he asserts that Konoe launched the New Order Movement for not just reform but "as a program of mobilization for war." 2 6 6 While the Home Ministry eventually took over the movement which in practice became a program of national mobilization, this was quite the opposite of the planners' intentions and only came about through their failure — specifically the failure of Konoe, Mik i , and the Showa Kenkyu Kai. Indeed, Konoe was widely regarded among civilians as "the last trump" (saigo no kiri-fuda) to forestall the total seizure of power by the militarists. Konoe then, like Mik i , was much more complex than the peculiar oversimplified parody he is often presented as. My study here will focus on Konoe, and will reveal various similarities to Mik i , so before turning to a more advanced comparison of their ideas, it will be helpful to show how they had similar background experiences, despite their difference in class. Both Konoe and Mik i were as young men brash, outspoken fellows with little respect for proper ettiquette. Already I have shown how Mik i was assertive, not afraid to criticize professors, and would generally do what he felt like regardless of how proper that was deemed to be. Konoe too exhibited similar characteristics. For instance, a chamberlain once complained that Konoe did not seem to respect the Emperor properly — Konoe would greet Emperor Showa casually as a friend, and actually See, for instance, the account in Richard Storry's The Double Patriots: A Study of Japanese Nationalism (London: Chatto and Windus, 1957), which chronicles Konoe's efforts to stop war with China (216), and Great Britain and America (286), to the point of having the cabinet resign just to get rid of Matsuoka who he feared would get Japan into a war with the West (287-288), and Konoe's fruitless efforts to convince army leaders, especially Tojo, to compromise with the US to avoid war — Konoe comes across as the sophisticated compromiser, whereas "In refusing to entertain the idea Tojo showed himself to be stupid as well as obstinate"(293). Konoe also played a role in getting rid of Tojo in 1943 and subsequent attempts to end the war. Grew tells us that Konoe was "dead against the alliance" [with the Axis], and that even the Emperor was unhappy with the situation, but they may not have survived a refusal, and the alliance took place amidst constant talk of Konoe's fall and replacement by a military dictator (Grew, 339, 347). Even the inept Craigie recognized Konoe's opposition to war and was concerned when Konoe resigned in October 1941 (Craigie, 122). 2 6 4 Fletcher, The Search for a New Order, 94. 2 6 5 Later I discovered that Oka Yoshitake holds a similar view to myself. He reads Konoe as stating that reforms were necessary and so long as the political parties did nothing to solve the problems facing Japan (thereby neglecting the nation's destiny), the military would seize the initiative and try their own brand of reform — hence, the military fury should have been an immediate incentive for the politicians to try to solve some of the problems that had driven the military to propose such drastic measures (31 -32). 2 6 6 Ibid., 3. 2 6 7 Chalmers Johnson, An Instance of Treason: Ozaki Hotsumi and the Sorge Spy Ring (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1964), 114. 41 sit in front of him with legs crossed; further, rather than report officially on state matters he T s o would chat about whatever crossed his mind. Both Mik i and Konoe behaved like playboys and loved parties, yet both married for love and genuinely cared about their wives. Both were also risk-takers and their escapades angered their mentors; in Konoe's case, for instance, at the Paris Peace Conference he at one point posed as a reporter for a Japanese newspaper so that he could attend a conference from which aides had been barred.2 6 9 Importantly, Konoe shared Miki 's love of philosophy from a young age. For Konoe, the world of philosophy was an ideal world, in contrast to the world of lies in which he dwelt. Konoe's childhood was shattered by two events which led to this way of thinking. The first was that although his mother had died almost immediately after his birth, this was hidden from him for years, and when he learned the truth he felt so betrayed that he was never again able to truly trust others. As Konoe himself reminisced later in life, "Until I became considerably older, I was led to believe Sadako-mother was my real mother. Once I knew [the truth], I came to believe the 270 human world was one ofl ies." z , u The second was the sudden death of his father, whereupon family 'friends' suddenly became anything but. Konoe became someone who loathed society, immersed himself in reading Western works, and became a melancholiac.272 This melancholy never truly left him. To a lonely child, feeling isolated and betrayed in a world of lies and hypocrites, philosophy had an enormous appeal. Philosophy offered a world of truth and ideals to Konoe, and he came to venerate philosophers; inspired by the example of his teacher Iwamoto , who influenced him the most at First High School, he set himself to becoming a philosopher.274 Miki too was inspired by a professor at school to seek answers in the world of philosophy, and there two he sought ideals. He expressed the following regarding his life and thought when he was but 22 years old: The thing that guided me towards philosophy was, truly, a yearning for that which is eternal, that which Plato called Eros. My soul is afflicted by a nostalgia for the home of the eternal. Perhaps through the whole of my contemplative life I will remain as an idealist. More than one whose heart felt wonder at seeing an apple fall from a treetop, I was born with a heart holding feelings of awe gazing at the stars that sparkle in the sky?15 Both Miki and Konoe were idealists, but Mik i sought ways to take those ideals and put them into practice in reality, whereas Konoe seems to have seen them just as often as also an escape from reality. From the beginning, Miki sought to bring philosophy down to earth whereas Konoe strove to elevate the world to the level of philosophy. The issue was thus one of focus, for Mik i sought to orientate philosophy towards reality, whereas Konoe hoped to move reality to reflect 2 6 8 Oka, 49-50. Konoe got on very well with the Emperor; it was likely that the two shared a common sense of isolation and difficult childhoods, so they could relate to one another.. 2 6 9 Ibid., 14. 2 7 0 Quoted in Yabe, 9. 2 7 1 Ibid., 8. 2 7 2 See, for instance, Yabe, 8-9. 273 Ui — 2 7 4 Yabe, 12. 2 7 5/h#flf— Kobayashi Shuichi, ^ =Mn tm^it^fa 3 0 ^ f t ^ t f 3 S S ± l i © ^ < X J "Miki Kiyoshi to Kindaika no Shukumei: 30nendai ni okeru Risoshugi no yukue" [Miki Kiyoshi and the Destiny of Modernization: The Whereabouts of Idealism in the 1930s] fel&X^^^^ftA1^ Hosei Daigaku Kyoyobu Kiyo [Hosei University Liberal Arts Department Bulletin] 59 (1986.1), 71-93; 71, quoting Miki Kiyoshi, Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu 18.3-93; 22. This reference led me to consult the original, which I refer to elswhere. 42 the philosophical ideals. Not that this did not mean they were moving in a similar way, only that the direction differed. A suitable parallel in terms of orientation might perhaps be that of Plato (Konoe) and Aristotle (Miki). To his German tutor, Konoe expressed antagonism towards the privileged classes, and went so far as to talk about giving up his title to become a philosophy professor (several other professors were needed to come in and persuade him otherwise). 7 6 In addition to sharing a love for philosophy, Miki and Konoe also had common dislikes. Both men shared a dislike for the military and the wealthy; Yabe recounts of Konoe, "Soldiers and rich people he both hated, with the exception of only Generals Togo and Nogi . " 2 7 7 This may come as a surprise to those who associate Konoe with the rebellious young officers, whose enthusiasm for reform he found refreshing, albeit misguided, but he never had any love for the military, the rising power over the state of which he both feared and loathed. Konoe also remained suspicious of the wealthy because of his family's suffering following the death of his father, when suddenly everyone demanded loans be paid back and old friends turned a cold 978 shoulder. Mik i , likewise, was outspoken in his criticism of the military; as Uchida Hiroshi argues, He pointed out that they loudly said 'Japan, Japan,' but "thus far, has there been any case where the whole of the Japanese were represented under the name of Japan? ", and it is said that the spirit of Japan is Bushidd, but the Bushi were nothing but a small ruling class, and realizing something which represents the whole of Japan has to be the goal Japan should be aiming for. Miki Kiyoshi expressed these statements in a situation where 97Q 980 the military was strutting about saying "our job costs our life . Konoe graduated from high school in 1913, and entered the philosophy department at T5kyo Imperial University 2 8 1. He recalled, however, that while he attended Indye Tetsujiro2 8 2's lectures, he found them not the least bit interesting, and wanted to go to Kyoto Imperial 283 — University where Nishida and others were. He soon left Tokyo and went to Kyoto, but the school entrance period was ending, so he sat down at the student advisor's, and eventually was admitted into the law department; however, he did not go to nearly all of the law lectures, studied Kawakami Hajime, and received teaching from Nishida and Toda Kai ichi 2 8 4 , later 98S expressing, regarding that, that he had been happy. He liked Kawakami Hajime, who got him into Marx 2 8 6 Having felt betrayed by his father's supposed 'friends' after his death, and because of the aristocratic structure that left him a lonely isolated child, Konoe was naturally inclined to socialist ideals and challenging the status quo. His brother Hidemaro recalled Konoe lecturing him on socialism; for example, one night Fumimaro asked him what he felt about having enough 2 7 6 Oka, 7. 2 7 7 Yabe, 11. Konoe received special training from Nogi and venerated him. 2 7 8 Oka, 6. The fact that these people reappeared as 'friends' when Konoe became more prominent was not lost on him; his speech in 1924 to a group dedicating a monument to his father (see Oka, 22) is so overblown that it is clear he does not mean it, and may even be sarcastic in his thanks to them. 2 7 9 rf|i;/c fi-^ p jfi \ltz.\ "Oretachi wa Inochi gakeda"; a rough expression and difficult for me to render. Perhaps a better translation would be "we're working at the cost of our lives." Either way, a sign of military egoism and a reflection of their power in society at the time. That Miki did not fear such fellows is admirable in and of itself. 2 8 0Uchida, "The Projection in Miki Kiyoshi of the Image of the Development of a Despotic Japan", 128. 2 8 1 JfCMif Tokyo Teikoku Daigaku 2 8 3 Yabe, 12-13. 2 8 4 Fffl?®rf7 2 8 5 Ibid. 2 8 6 Oka, 8-9. 43 to eat when many people were hungry, and Hidemaro was frightened by such talk so he and his younger brothers bought some sweets to hand out to less fortunate people in the neighbourhood.287 Konoe also liked Oscar Wilde and translated his "The Soul of Man Under Socialism", and it was published in 1914 in two issues of Shin Shicho, which were soon banned.288 In 1917, Konoe graduated from Kyoto, the same year that Mik i arrived there. Interestingly, Nishida was very skilled at mathematics (in fact, he had been torn over whether to be a mathematician or a philosopher), but both Miki and Konoe, in contrast, fared very poorly at the school subject. Yabe, in fact, notes that Konoe was an excellent student, with mathematics being the only thing he was weak at. Finally, both Mik i and Konoe had travelled in Europe, with Konoe learning politics and Miki studying philosophy. Konoe had attended the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, and afterwards, when the Saionji retinue went home, Konoe left them and travelled in France and Germany instead, then visited England, and returned to Japan via the United States in November. 2 9 0 His expressing his inspiration from visiting the West was controversial, and led to rumours that he 291 was planning to emigrate to the United States. Shortly after his return, while only 30 years of age, Konoe was elected acting president by the Upper House in December, 1921, when the 45th Diet convened.292 His experience in Europe contributed to his image, as did his tutelege under Saionji; John M . Maki commented in 1945 that Konoe had been regarded as of the last remaining bulwarks of liberalism in Japan. ... His liberal outlook, in spite of his aristocratic background, is attributed to the fact that he spent some years in France at the end of the nineteenth century when he became firmly converted to democratic principles. One of the primary reasons for Prince Konoye's being regarded as a liberal was the fact that he was Saionji's principle protege.293 Having looked at some of the background similarities between Mik i and Konoe, now I will proceed to discuss Konoe's way of thinking and see if it truly differs much from Miki 's . 3.3 Konoe's Way of Thinking I: Konoe the Compromiser In the next two sections I will examine Konoe's way of thinking, beginning by looking at Konoe's tendency to compromise, and in the following section turn to examining Konoe as a thinker. The purpose of this exercise is to see in what ways Konoe thought, before considering this and the previous study of Miki 's thought in the second chapter and continuing with my comparison of Mik i and Konoe. I have already shown how Konoe is frequently portrayed as a fool, but this certainly was not the case, as his background would seem to indicate. Maruyama Masao's suggestion that his name would occur to anyone thinking of an example of a leader with "weak nerves" [in the sense of a weak mind, weak character] that led him to capitulate to the militarists is positively droll . 2 9 4 Konoe's fear of Communism and association with right-wing individuals (whose enthusiasm for reform inspired him despite their tactics) are used to put him in the hard-right mold, but this ignores his background as I have discussed thus far, his socialist ideals and need to overturn 2 8 7 Ibid.. 288 Ibid. 2 8 9 Yabe, 7. 2 9 0 Oka, 15-16. 2 9 1 Ibid., 16-17. 2 9 2 Ibid., 19. 2 9 3 John M . Maki, Japanese Militarism: Its Cause and Cure. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945), 174. 2 9 4 Maruyama, 97-98. 44 status quo, and also his association with left-wing individuals. It is true that Konoe was anti-Communist, as were most of the Showa Kenkyu Kai members, although not all Marxists were suspect since they did not necessarily follow the Comintern. It is likely that Konoe feared a Communist takeover as a threat to the Imperial institution, as well as the intellectual and political elite which were to create the New Order. Konoe liked to surround himself with intelligent people, and rather than being strange, it was quite normal for him to be around various leftist thinkers, of whom there were several among his entourage. Spaulding says of Konoe that "His friends and associates, often chosen with singular lack of discretion, ranged from socialists and 'converted' Communists to extreme conservatives. Partly for this reason, Konoe sometimes 70S seemed intent on riding off in all directions at once." Actually, I think an excellent way of approaching Konoe is by seeing him as a compromiser. Indeed, Konoe reputedly "could sit at his private table with a communist at his left and a nationalist at his right, and keep the conversation on an idealistic plane which indicated sympathy for each tint and shade of social thought."296 It seems that Konoe's ability to compromise and juggle people who had radically different viewpoints was one of the factors that contributed to his success with people; historian Nakamura Takafusa states that Konoe was 70*7 708 known as "the man with three thousand friends." Konoe's friendship with Araki Sadao and Mazaki Jinzaburo2 9 9 is often brought up in scholarship; less so is his relationships with Aso Hisashi 3 0 0 and Kamei Kanichiro 3 0 1 of the Socialist Masses Party 3 0 2. His most frequent response to problems was to try to implement a balancing effect, to compromise and thereby please all parties. For instance, it is true that Konoe suggested to Saionji that Inukai should be replaced by an Imperial Prince (1932) and the new cabinet should include the right-wing Hiranuma, but he also proposed the inclusion of Makino and Saito, who were known as liberals and moderates, for balance. It is understandable that most political figures and writers, intent on attacking their opponents, have difficulty understanding a man who would deliberately try to include all points of view in a decision, especially since all-too-often this did not in practice work out. Konoe was often forced to adapt his plans for compromise; as an example, he joined the Kenkyukai, the infamous political force of the Upper House, probably hoping to keep it under control, but condemned it when it went out of line. 3 0 4 He left it in 1927 when he realized he could not control such a divided group. Konoe even turned down premiership when he was chosen by Saionji to replace Okada Keisuke 3 0 6 because he feared that his friendship with Araki and Mazaki would open his administration to accusations of favouring the Kodo Faction 3 0 7 of the 2 9 5 Spaulding, 64. 2 9 6 Robert J. C. Butow, Tojo and the Coming of War (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1961), 159, quoting an unpublished study prepared in 1946 by an intelligence officer of MacArthur's HQ:United States Army, General Headquarters, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, Counter Intelligence Section, "The Brocade Banner: The Story of Japanese Nationalism", 103. 2 9 7 Nakamura Takafusa, 138. A bitter irony, I might add, since he always felt truly alone; as a child Konoe complained people were friendly but always treated him differently because of his status, and this loneliness persisted (e.g. see Oka, 7); Konoe's wisdom comes out when he observed, considering to be premier, that because he was popular across the board, he was not truly popular at all (Oka, 40). 2 9 8 m*J?5fc 99 mmw^m 3 0 0 301 iyt-fr—a 302 &.£±%i's£ Shakai Taisho To 3 0 3 Storry, 116. 3 0 4 Oka, 20. 3 0 5 Ibid., 24. 3 0 6 fflffl^r 3 0 7 S U M (Imperial Way Faction) 45 308 * * * * army. This was a decision that, with the dominance of the ultimately more dangerous Tosei Faction 3 0 9 after the February 26th Affair, he probably regretted. However, Konoe's willingness to compromise even with the far right contributed to his estrangement from Saionji; Konoe's thinking to place a rightist amongst the advisors to the Emperor in the hopes of forestalling a rebellion infuriated Saionji. 3 1 0 He also contributed to the rise of the new/reform bureaucrats, 311 something else that he lived to regret. In fact, Konoe's compromising mode of operation was something suited to the times, which was probably one reason why Saionji eventually put aside his reservations and nominated him as Premier in 1937.1 say "suited to the times" because, frankly, there was very little solid policy to build on anyway, and a compromiser offered a chance to at least forestall disaster. Crowley notes that when the Showa Kenkyu Kai's Foreign Policy Deliberative Committee failed to provide a "fixed standpoint" for Prince Konoe, this was "a deficiency they shared with the ministries of state and the two general staffs."312 Konoe failed at least partly because he was never provided with anything to work with, but had to play the game entirely by ear, drifting from one fleeting idea to another, while various factions squabbled for power, and the military — after its purging by the Tdsei Faction, the only group that did have a policy — smugly took advantage of the situation to rule by default, which is what Konoe had tried to warn Saionji about. There was thus an urgent need for the formulation of a workable policy, but none was forthcoming. The Showa Kenkyu Kai too was to fail in its mission of providing a synthesis-driven policy that would enable Konoe to rein in the army, re-assert authority, and begin a broad program of reform, but by 1940 when the organization was dissolved it no longer mattered, for the militarists had entrenched themselves to such an extent at that point that even had a grand new synthetic policy emerged it would have had little effect. Given that he was a natural compromiser, in a situation that forced him to do naught but wait and compromise, it is no wonder that Konoe comes across as indecisive. 3.4 Konoe's Way of Thinking II: Konoe the Philosopher In addition to having a keen interest in philosophy and being a natural compromiser able to negotiate between different positions, Konoe was also a thinker himself. He was quick to engage in many debates of the day, and argued for extensive reform of many aspects of society. Konoe in the 1920s proclaimed his ideas for reform of the House of Peers, education reform, the abolition of the General Staff, and the rejection of the military clique, and gave his views on these topics and more in newspapers and lectures.313 Mik i had criticized Heidegger for joining the Nazi Party and had spoken out against fascism. Similarly, Konoe, shortly after Mussolini's 3 0 8 Nakamura Takafusa, 128-129. 309 BfaM (Control Faction) 3 1 0 See, for instance, Oka, 29, and 34. 3 1 1 Konoe was indeed associated with the rise of the 'new bureaucrats', that new generation of bureaucrats that challenged the old establishment and cooperated with the Tosei Faction to dominate Japan's political realm. Robert M . Spaulding argues in "Japan's 'New Bureaucrats' 1932-1945" (in Crisis Politics in Prewar Japan: Institutional and Ideological Problems of the 1930s, ed. George M . Wilson (Tokyo: Sophia University, 1970), 51-70) that Konoe more than anyone else helped the bureaucrats become a powerful force in government, especially putting them into high positions after his becoming Premier in October 1937 (63-64). However, he later fell out with them. Spaulding relates that a secret Showa Kenkyu Kai paper prepared in December 1936 complained that the new bureaucrats were less powerful than the public supposed, but they would become more powerful and with the military would be influential in opening a new era (63; Fletcher in The Search for a New Order, 104 uses this too). Evidence like this makes it look as though the Showa Kenkyu Kai were allied with the Tosei Faction, but this is a vast oversimplification. I will return to this issue further on. 3 1 2 James B. Crowley, "Intellectuals as Visionaries of the New Asian Order," Dilemmas of Growth in Prewar Japan, ed. James William Morley (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971), 319-373; 348. 3 , 3 Yabe, 24-25. 46 March on Rome (1922) published a denouncement of Fascism and a defence of representative government.314 He also resolved the issue of dispatching an ambassador to the Pope; considering all of this together, it looked like "he had become a star of the age" says Yabe, and he came to be T I C called a "new thinker of the aristocracy." Even the aforementioned Takemoto Toru, no fan of Konoe, admitted that Konoe was capable of superb analysis and thought, and examined Konoe's famed 1918 essay, "In Rejecting 316317 • ' J O Pax-Anglo-Americana" . Takemoto recounts that this was an "excellent piece on contemporary international relations" after the First World War, in which Konoe recognized the democratic principles and humanism advocated by the United States and Great Britain, but at the same time he saw that behind these laudable principles were the two countries' own selfish motives, specifically the maintenance of the status quo to thereby protect their own interests.318 The noble ideas, pointed out Konoe, disguised the fact that these two powers had colonies and spheres of influence.319 Takemoto points out, however, that Konoe neglected to see that Japan had her own colonies and spheres of influence, and Konoe saw Japan as a victim of the system and not a beneficiary. I wonder about this. I feel that this is a similar argument to that used to discredit Miki by claiming that since he rejected Chinese nationalism he was anti-Chinese and pro-Japanese imperialism, without recognizing that Mik i was against Japanese nationalism too, and imperialism in any form. Let us see if this is indeed a similar situation. In the paper, Konoe does not suggest that Japan should break down the status quo so that she too may enjoy more colonies and power. Actually, Konoe clearly dismisses all imperialism as self-serving, and suggests that countries should share their resources and cooperate.321 His suggestion that Germany's actions in the World War were a reaction to its late arrival in the imperial scene viz. America and Britain is not an argument supporting Germany's actions, but rather serves to show the flaw in the existing system. If the system were truly fair for all, then there would be no imperialism at all. I will return to this issue in a later section when comparing Miki 's cooperativism to Konoe's thoughts expressed here. Konoe made a very similar argument in a speech in America in 1935, 17 years later.3 2 2 He also explained that there were two causes of war: one being the unfair distribution of territories among nations, and the other being the maldistribution of resources.323 This is key because the 1918 paper hinges on a distinction between "have" and "have-not" countries, and follows a similar line of thought. In fact, Konoe remained remarkably consistent in his views, and his writings from the 1918 paper through the 1930s follow similar themes.324 Oka comments thus on the 1918 paper that "...the beliefs stated there by the 27-year-old Konoe remained basically unchanged. They are important, for they continued to influence his entire political career."325 1 U 1 U . 3 1 5 Ibid. 316 r^^^fi©ipfp±^^#i-j "Eibeihoni no Heiwashugi wo Haisu" 3 1 7 This article was in Nihon oyobi Nihonjin (0 ^ S . 0 ^ A ) Dec. 15 1918. An excellent summary of this is also to be found in Oka, 10-13. 3 1 8 Takemoto, 211. 3 1 9 Ibid. 3 2 0 Ibid., 211-212. 3 2 1 1 am taking this information from Oka's summary, 10-13, although Konoe's views on this issue are essentially common knowledge, if frequently misrepresented. 3 2 2 Oka, 36. 3 2 3 Ibid., 36-37. 3 2 4 Oka makes the same point on pgs.48-49. 3 2 5 Ibid., 13. 47 Neither were Konoe's ideas of no import; au contraire, even the Showa Kenkyu Kai members were influenced: Takahashi Kamekichi presented two essays to a Showa Kenkyu Kai group in March 1937, in which he argued the old order was crumbling and Britain and the United States were building economic blocs to expand their power, and then he posited a dialetic of 'have' and 'have-not' countries, just as Konoe had nearly two decades earlier.3 2 7 When Konoe travelled to the United States again, he brought with him Royama Masamichi, one of the first, and always one of the most important, members of the Showa Kenkyu Kai. This also likely furthered the connection. Looking through Konoe's Seidanroku , a collection of his writings, reveals quite a thinker; not a philosopher in the Nishida mold, but a quite pragmatic philosopher interested in politics, reform and the application of thought in the real world. Needless to say, this is clearly similar to the approach taken by Mik i , who was no supporter of abstract academic philosophy with no application to reality. Mik i and Konoe both, then, sought answers in the realm of philosophy to the problems facing Japan. Konoe was both intelligent, and a compromiser who could see good in a variety of ideals, but unfortunately his was not the time for an idealist who could bring together different thinkers to compromise. A man of action who could make firm decisions in the absence of a stable policy and in the face of military pressure was called for, and Konoe was not such a man. As Goto T O G Ryiinosuke , his lifelong friend, and organizer of the Showa Kenkyu Kai, put it in his estimation of Konoe's character: Konoe was virtuous, intelligent, and a man who possessed great elegance. ... However, because he was too intelligent, and could see the future too clearly, he lacked 330 the courage to make decisions. Hence, this is why Konoe is so often seen as a dreamer and a procrastinator who couldn't act, making him look like a Hamlet-like figure (he would have relished the comparison). Keeping in mind what I have revealed of Konoe's way of thinking in these last two sections, and recalling again Miki 's , and the context in which these two men thought and acted as discussed in the second chapter, it is now apt to return to a comparison and see what is revealed, starting with a look at how Miki and Konoe compared regarding their belief in change. 3.5 Mik i and Konoe's Belief in Change Having come to a clearer understanding of Konoe's thought, from here I shall begin a comparison of Mik i and Konoe in terms of their belief in change. Both Mik i and Konoe held a belief in forms of revolution, and both had extensive, idealistic programs for change across all aspects of Japanese society. Mik i had the clear idea that philosophy should form the basis of action, and argued for the involvement of philosophy in politics in order to guide politics and thereby change the world for the better. Under the leadership of philosophy, the differences and conflicts between various fields and views could be transcended, and better policy would result. 3 3 0 Goto quoted in ?g#—61$ Sakai Saburo, TBgf p5JF^^ & 5 £qf$ A H I H <Z)$Wj Showa Kenkyu Kai: am Chishikijin Shuudan no Kiseki [Showa Research Association: The Tracks of a Certain Group of Intellectuals], (jflM W^^kt TBS ~Z ]J 9 =#,[Kabushiki Kaisha TBS Buritanika], 1979), 293. Emphasis mine. Harada Kumao also told Saionji that "[Konoe] lacked courage and worried too much about his popularity" (Oka, 41, referring to Harada Kumao, Saionji ko to seikyoku, vol.5 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1951), 129. 327 Crowley, "Intellectuals," 325-328. 48 There was thus a strong emphasis in his work on actually changing society through political involvement. Konoe too shared a long-held belief in revolutionary change; indeed, his aforementioned early writings and activities showed him eager for drastic reform of all manner of institutions, but his desire to overturn the whole system set him at odds with his mentor Saionji. Konoe had been a protege of Saionji's since 1912. Konoe's relationship with Saionji was a lot like Miki 's with Nishida; in both cases the younger men had more radical ideas and sought action while their elder 'guardians' attempted to rein them in. While both Saionji and Nishida cared about their respective proteges and considered criticism a helpful method of guiding them, both Mik i and Konoe were sensitive youth and took criticism poorly, often leading to anger and hurt feelings. Konoe fell out with Saionji at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, fundamentally because Saionji believed in the League of Nations and the Wilsonian model of international relations. However, throughout the conference Konoe was critical of the League as merely serving British 331 and American interests. Recalling his 1918 essay (which caused a furor and made Saionji angry), he likely saw the whole event as further evidence of the "have" nations (Britain and America) subjugating the "have-nots" (Japan). Saionji chose to deal with problems in the context of the currently-operating socio-political system, but Konoe wanted to break down the current system and build an entirely new order, a task more befitting of a visionary thinker than a politician. To this end, Konoe decided that it was better to control revolutionary movements than crush them; Saionji favoured a 'hard stand' against the militarists during the 1930s, but Konoe saw the long-term futility of this and instead chose to try and appease the right in the hopes of controlling it. Here, his compromising nature ultimately failed him, for when he gave the army an inch it took a mile. Saionji, in desperation, enabled Konoe to become Premier in the hope that, in the chaotic world following the February 26 Affair, the Prince would be able to hold off the rising militarist tide. He was to be disappointed both in Konoe's method of attempting, and his eventual inability, to do so. Konoe finally split away from Saionji in 1937-1938 over fundamental disagreements in matters both personal and political. 3 3 3 However, Konoe's ambitions for reform were not perceived as realistic by many; Saito Takeo, a member of the Lower House, criticized Konoe's plans for the New Order, noting 3 3 1 Connors, 69. 3 3 2 Hagihara Notuboshi characterized these differences as the contrast between a democrat (Konoe) and a liberal (Saionji); see "Does history repeat itself?" Bungei Shunju May 1973 376-386, 382, as referred to by Takemoto, 209. 3 3 3 Personally, Saionji was pleased with the death sentenaces of Kita Ikki and Nishida Zei, who had been implicated in the February 26 Affair, but Konoe sympathized with their motives and wanted amnesty granted for them, as well as the release of General Mazaki (Conners, 199-201). Mazaki was the rightist hero who in July 1935 had been dismissed from his post as Inspector-General of Military Education following the Military Academy Affair in which two young officers were dismissed in November 1934 for planning a military insurrection. Rage at the treatment of Mazaki was one factor that prompted them to lead the February 26 Affair. Storry suggests that Konoe genuinely feared another armed outbreak in Tokyo if Mazaki was convicted (199). More important were the political disagreements between Saionji and Konoe. Saionji was opposed to Konoe's idea of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association (Conners, 206), and the two disagreed over the role of the Court: Konoe wanted the Court involved in efforts to restructure society and be a force for change, whereas Saionji wanted the Court to continue in the liberal mode of the 1920s and preserve the status quo; furthermore, while Saionji wanted the Emperor to play only a formal and symbolic role in political decisions, Konoe wanted direct involvement (Conners, 201-202). In fact, Konoe wrote in 1942 complaining about the Emperor's failure to take a stand against going to war with America, a situation he felt could have been avoided had the Emperor followed the constitution and directly intervened (Tojo Hideki Kankokai, Tojo Hideki, 571, quoted in Mikiso Hane's introduction to Emperor Hirohito and His Chief Aide-de-Camp: The Honjo Diary, 1933-1936 (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1982), 55). 49 It is a dream.... War is not a struggle between the just and the unjust. It is an out-and-out power struggle. ... The nation must cease questing after noble-sounding dreams and face realities?3 Saito's statement should cause us to consider a serious issue here. With his suggesting that Germany or Japan's situation in the First World War was understandable and had been motivated by challenges to the status quo, Konoe risked playing into the hands of the militarists who would argue that future war was 'justified', regardless of what Konoe had to say in the matter. One of the many conflicts was that Konoe wanted great change but he also wanted continuity in the form of such elements as the Imperial institution which were by no means guaranteed in the event of a massive political upheaveal — which was indeed why he was interested in leftist ideas but fearful of a Communist revolution, and why although he wanted to avoid war, he associated with rightists whose belief in tradition and the primacy of the Imperial institution reassured him. While Mik i and Konoe shared a strong belief in change, they lacked a clear understanding of how the program of reform they envisioned would come about. As time passed and the impetus for reform grew, the crisis worsened as it became ever more crucial to implement a reform policy they still possessed no inkling of how it would really be carried out. For all the faith heaped upon it, the New Order Movement would have a long road to travel were it to accomplish all that its creators demanded of it. 3.6 A Philosophy of Cooperativism and A Policy of Compromise I have already discussed Konoe's faith in compromise, and his attempts to negotiate between right and left to create something which rose above the limitations of each; this later fed into the Imperial Rule Assistance Association which was to be a political body that would be theoretically superior to any other. Furthermore, we have seen that not only in domestic politics, but also internationally, Konoe favoured a sort of mutually cooperative system, fundamentally rejecting the foundations of imperialism. To recall the 1918 paper, "Rejecting Pax-Anglo-Americana," with Konoe's argument here summarized by Oka: Should [the Anglo-American] policy prevail, Japan, which is small, resource-poor, and unable to consume all its own industrial products, would have no resort but to destroy the status quo for the sake of self-preservation, just like Germany. This is true not only of Japan but of all late-coming nations that are small and do not have colonial territories. That is why we must reject economic imperialism, not only for the sake of Japan, but to establish among all nations equally the right of existence based upon the principle of justice and humanity?35 Here, rather than supporting imperialism and Germany's position, Konoe is saying that what occurred were natural results of the current system, thereby illustrating exactly what was wrong •"4 As quoted by Crowley in "A New Asian Order: Some Notes on Prewar Japanese Nationalism", 282-283. Crowley seems to be taking this from a Newspaper clipping in the Hugh Byas Collection, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University, New Haven, Conn., but he says as far as he knows the complete text of the speech is only available in the archives of the Self-Defence Agency, War History Division, Kihon kokusaku kankei, III, "Saito daigishi ensetsu ni tai suru shoken." Crowley relates that this speech of Saito's to the Diet was rubbed from the Diet proceedings and he was expelled from the Diet following it. Crowley also notes that the Supreme Command, bogged down in China, actually shared the basic assumption of Saito's realistic view; this to me illustrates the difference between the idealistic approach of those like Konoe and the military realists, in spite of assumptions by some that Konoe and the Showa Kenkyu Kai were in league with the militarists. 3 3 5 Oka, 13. Emphasis mine. 50 with the current system, for, i f it were fair and truly stood for the principles it was supposed to stand for, these things would simply not happen. We must require all the powers to open the doors of their colonies to others, so that all nations will have equal access to the markets and natural resources of the colonial 336 areas. Notice, how, as Takemoto earlier pointed out, Japan would actually stand to lose as well as to gain if this were to become a reality, but Konoe does not care ~ it is entirely because one nationa can profit at the expense of another that the current system is flawed and must be changed. How does this connect to Mik i Kiyoshi? It is paralleled by Miki 's cooperativism, which politically was to transcend liberalism, Communism, and so forth, overcoming the individual shortcomings of all previous ideologies into a grand synthesis. This reflected Nishida's ideas of Japanese philosophy as seeking to find a synthesis of Eastern and Western thought that was superior to both and could forge a new worldly and universal philosophy — it was this very philosophy that Mik i sought and later advocated in the Showa Kenkyu Kai. This was to have an enormous impact on the Showa Kenkyu Kai, encouraging the method of taking elements and then transcending the individual (particularistic) limitations of those elements through a synthesis that would lay the framework for a general (universal) principle, and the building of a New Order. Hence, both Mik i and Konoe not only planned broad programs of change, but both were seeking a synthesis, a new order to replace the old, in order to lay the intellectual groundwork for a sort of Utopian vision. Mik i sought a synthesis of thought, while Konoe sought a synthetic policy, so the former was to become the intellectual foundation for the latter. There was thus a clear connection between these two; the Showa Kenkyu Kai was to go through the entire process, searching for a synthetic policy for Konoe, and this in turn required a synthetic philosophy upon which to base the policy. Here again we can see the dependance upon dialetic modes of reasoning, for Nishida, Mik i , and Konoe all held to a form of dialetic by which the contradicitions between two forces could be transcended to a higher state that incorporated both but was superior to either. Mik i and Konoe both believed that the dominant world powers had entrenched their power through the formation of not particularistic, but worldly, philosophies that allowed them to impact world culture. Konoe especially, recall, was critical of the Anglo-American world order and its use of democratic ideals to maintain a status quo that suited its own interests. There was a sense here, then, of 'impure' ideologies — the Anglo-American ideology was good in theory, but in practice it was used as a front for the interests of the powers that propogated it. Mik i and Konoe thus agreed on the need for Japan to produce a world philosophy of its own that could have a universal and not merely particularistic impact. Japan was then not only to formulate a world philosophy to compete in the world (through offering a challenge to the Anglo-American ideology, Nazi ideology, and Communist ideology), but there was also, moreover, the sense that, unlike previous ideologies, this one would be 'pure', for by being based upon cooperativism and compromise, it would unify first Japan and then Asia into a mutually-beneficial sphere that would take a stand against those powers that formed worldly ideologies merely for their own benefit. Mik i and Konoe could not, of course, have foreseen how elements in Japan were to twist this new ideology and create a system equal to, i f not worse than, that backed by the Western powers, perverting their dream for the very purpose that it had been designed to stop: particularistic, self-serving imperialism. Ibid. 51 Therefore, Mik i and Konoe had fundamental similarities in many aspects of their ways of thinking. It is thus pointless to place them into oversimplified and loaded categories which they do not fit for the purpose of reducing the time to a mere clash between stylized ideologies represented by various two-dimensional figures. While typical representations of Konoe and Mik i would serve to make them appear ideologically incompatible, in reality, despite their differences, they had a lot in common. 3.7 A Key Difference: The Role of Politics and Philosophy Miki and Konoe both loved philosophy as I have shown, but there was a significant difference regarding their perception of how it was to be used. Both saw philosophy as an ideal juxtaposed with politics (i.e. the real), but, as I mentioned earlier, Mik i wanted to bring philosophy down to politics (bring philosophy back to reality) whereas Konoe wanted to bring politics up to philosophy (bring reality up to the philosophical standard). Consequently, Mik i was attracted to not only philosophy, but also politics, and from the beginning he wanted to act and have an impact on the real world: / was obstinate and stubborn. What makes it worse, because I happen to have a little ability, by taking the opposite and resisting everything, like what is happening to many people, I was going to show my own ability. I believed I could accomplish anything that I myself willed to do. I came to fancy, one after another, all the kinds ofperson which were worth my paying attention to. Politician, lawyer, legal scholar, literary scholar, critic, writer, newspaper editor, philosopher ....However, from the beginning there were two I did not intend to be. Those were merchant and soldier. Note that all of these occupations revolve around using a pen or speech to influence society.Miki loved thinking, but he desperately wanted to have some 'real' impact, just like that advocated by his pragmatic philosophy; he wanted to put it into action and improve society, and despised academism that did not concern itself with society, real people, and real problems. Konoe, while also loving philosophy, saw it as miles above the dirty world of politics. He never really changed from the young man who said of his inspirational teacher Iwamoto, ...teacher's ideal was Plato, and one had the feeling like a Greek philosopher had come and been reborn in this world. I looked at the great influence a teacher received; at that time I came to think that the most vulgar thing in the world was a politician, and the most noble was a philosopher... It was from then, writes Yabe, that "he thought to resign his Peerage and become a i o n philosopher." As we have already seen, it took several professors to dissuade him. For Konoe, like Mik i , politics respresented the real world, but unlike Miki , for Konoe that world was one of lies and hypocrisy when seen from the vantage point of the realm of philosophy, which was one of truth and purity. While Miki loathed academism and saw it as pointless escapism from the real world, Konoe saw academism as the pursuit of truth and freedom. 3 3 7H/fcM' Miki Kiyoshi, l~fff t>tig ^^^ j Katararezaru Tetsugaku [Philosophy Which is Not Discussed], H y*F-\ni£.% Miki Kiyoshi Zenshii [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works] (MM Tokyo: SiSIIJi^ Iwanami Shoten, 1966), 18.3-93; 18. Also quoted in "sJHS Miyakawa Toru, l~H;fc?ffj Miki KiyoshiiMM Tokyo : MMX^Hif&^ Tokyo Daigaku Shuppan Kai, 1970), 9. 3 3 8 Quoted in Yabe, 12. 52 So while both wanted to use philosophy to actualize the ideal world, Mik i personally wanted to leave that world and enter into the real world of politics and policies, whereas Konoe wanted to move up into the ideal world of philosophy, so that while both sought a transition, in bridging the two worlds they were moving in different directions. Ultimately, Mik i was a thinker who wanted to be a leader, and Konoe was a leader who wanted to be a thinker. They came together in the Showa Kenkyu Kai, with Mik i seeking a synthesis of thought and Konoe seeking a synthetic policy; in 1938 Mik i was not just an advisor to Konoe but also a speech-writer for him; as Crowley notes: "Many of [Miki's] ideas were soon mirrored in the premier's explanations of national policy." 3 4 Both men likely had a similar vision for the organization: a vehicle to defend Japan from domestic dominance by the militarists, and a think-tank to formulate a synthetic approach that would enable Japan to resolve itself of the China quagmire and form a new order. If, as I have suggested, Mik i was a thinker who wanted to be a leader, and Konoe was a leader who wanted to be a thinker, then both, one could argue, were failures at what they were handed by life, and were unable due to their circumstances to follow their desired pursuits, despite their efforts. While there is no sign that Mik i subscribed to a fatalism like that of Konoe, he could as well have. Ultimately, the Showa Kenkyu Kai was also a failure; the militarists came to dominate domestic policy as they had international, and the ideas of the Showa Kenkyu Kai ended up being used by the military for its own purposes; yet, it is the highest irony that, by virtue of its being "nationalist" in nature (in the sense that it aimed at defending the country domestically by formulating an intellectual foundation for a new political order therein), without distinguishing this from other less liberal nationalisms, so many think of the Showa Kenkyu Kai as allied to, or even synonymous with, the militarists whose rise to power more than anything it aimed to stop. Chapter IV The Crucible of the New Order: The Showa Kenkyu K a i These days, it has practically become common sense that the entirety of politics, economics, and culture is related to intellectual problems. Even taking this incident [the China Incident], one essential point is the intellectual problem. It is said that the intention of Japan's action in China is Sino-Japanese friendship and peace in Asia thereafter. The intention surely cannot be anything aside from this. The problem is, how is this ideology of Sino-Japanese friendship made concrete, or what is the content of the thought that will be the foundation of establishing peace in Asia? 3 4 1 - Mik i Kiyoshi ...the dilettante Konoye, who, surrounded by the young men of his "brains trust, " delighted to toy with dangerous political experiments...342 - Sir Robert Craigie ...a member blurted out that, 'then, we can think of nothing but fascism!' and he was counterattacked by Miki Kiyoshi.343 - Nakajima Kenzo 3 4 0 Crowley, "A New Asian Order," 278. 3 4 l H7K?f Miki Kiyoshi, r 0 ^.(D^Mi "Nihon no Kenjitsu" [The Reality of Japan], =.Mn±M Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works] (JfCjR Tokyo: ^ $ # 0 Iwanami Shoten, 1966), 13.438-463; 439. Emphasis mine. 3 4 2 Craigie, 69. Emphasis his. 3 4 3Nakajima Kenzo, l"[oHgi0fEj Kaiso Nikki [Diary of Recollections], cited in ^M^LM Shiozaki Hiroake, TBg fcW^E^ t H/tc/pf(DW,W\^M\ "Showa Kenkyu Kai to Miki Kiyoshi no Kyodo-shugi" [The Sh5wa Kenkyu Kai and Miki Kiyoshi's Cooperativism], F4 £ Nihon Rekishi [Japanese History] 542 (1993.7), 18-37; 30. Nakajima is here describing a scene during reform discussions in Miki's group within the Showa Kenkyu Kai. 53 I, who saw with my own eyes Miki's passion in his exploration of "Principles of Thought of the New Japan " and his enthusiasm in expecting the New Order Movement, cannot help but express respect from the bottom of my heart when I remember his strong desire to improve his country and his deep affection for humanity. In such a time, the so-called men of culture were always critics of the time, and remained onlookers, and they even treated Miki as an opportunist?AA -Sakai Saburo3 4 5 By now I have broken down the meaningless images of an idealistic leftist philosopher being coerced into joining a rightist Showa Kenkyu Kai which was determined to build a new system under a militarist Premier Konoe; it has been clearly illustrated that Mik i was hardly a naive thinker, but a complex individual clearly seeking political involvement in order to improve society, and that Konoe strove to be a thinker who hoped to keep the military under control and launch a broad program of reform, and I concluded the previous chapter by suggesting that the Showa Kenkyu Kai does not fit so easily into the puzzle either. Indeed, a reevaluation of the organization is long overdue. Against the approach that would ask why Mik i joined the Showa Kenkyu Kai, arguing either that his participation is strange or he became fascistic, I again state that coming to an understanding of Miki 's thought and the Showa Kenkyu Kai brings the realization that neither man nor organization were fascist, and it was certainly not strange that Mik i became involved. Without further delay, then, I will begin this chapter by briefly looking at just what the Showa Kenkyu Kai actually was. 4.1 The Formation of the Showa Kenkyu Kai The Showa Kenkyu Kai, the Showa Research Association, was organized by Goto Ryunosuke, a student of Nitobe Inazo 3 4 6's, and Konoe's longtime friend since their First Higher School days. 3 4 7 Western scholarship is curiously confused about some of the details of the organization, describing it as a small group of advisors, for instance, which is simply incorrect; it is best to start, however, by looking at the confusion over the organization's formation. Marius B. Jansen and Barshay both say the organization began in 1936, whereas Spaulding consults Furuta Tokujiro who stated that it was formed in September 1933, disbanded, and revived in the fall of 193 6. 3 4 8 Spaulding is close, but only Fletcher seems to have a grasp of how the organization developed.349 Personally, I think that one can identify three stages in how the Showa Kenkyu Kai developed. The first stage, from 1933 to 1936, saw a smaller, more informal group; the second stage, from 1936 to 1937, was a larger organization, hoping and preparing for Konoe's rise to power, and the third stage, from 1938 through 1941, was a full-blown research organization, working to formulate an intellectual basis for the policy of Konoe's first cabinet. Insight into the first incarnation of the Showa Kenkyu Kai can be gleaned from its papers 350 which are collected in Documents Related to Kido Koichi. The papers concern such matters as the Manchurian Incident and political reform, and are dated from November 1934 through 1936. J 4 4Sakai, 222. j 4 7 Nakamura Takafusa, 138. 3 4 8 Marius B. Jansen, The Making of Modern Japan (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000), 613; Barshay, 214; Spaulding, 63. 3 4 9 Fletcher, The Search for a New Order, 88-104. 350 HSf^ H^j Kido Koichi Kankei Bunsho [Documents Related to Kido Koichi] (MB Tokyo: f j j j c ¥ t t } J i £ £ , Tokyo Daigaku Shuppan Kai, 1966), 189-246. 54 By 1935, the organization was prepared to expand; at this time of deciding to make a fresh start in the national policy research group, Sakai Saburo, a member of the Showa Kenkyu K a i throughout its history, recalls: The move was decided on the 5th of March in the same year; immediately, concerning the establishment of the national policy research institute, Okura Kinmochi, Igawa Tadao, Matsui Haruo, Royama Masamichi, Goto Ryunosuke, and I, got together and discussed. Then it was decided that the title of the research organization would be that of the name of the meetings we had had until then, "Showa Kenkyu Kai, " and we provided the fundamental policies of the research organization as follows: 1: Undertake domestic reform, within the limits of the present constitution351 2: Denounce the existing political parties 3: Oppose fascism353 35 In 1936, the organization was rocked by the crisis of the February 26 Affair, and the refusal of Konoe in the aftermath to form a cabinet. Having lost their chance for power, and perhaps fearing for their safety, a number of members were dissatisfied; and the organization, sizing up the remaining loyal members, embarked once more with renewed vigour, which is perhaps why so many people date the organization's formation from this time: From this time (after Konoe rejected [the Emperor's request to form a cabinet]), among those who had joined the Showa Kenkyu Kai, some people became estranged. Even in the Showa Kenkyu Kai, which had been generally seen as a gathering of Konoe's brain, there were people holding various expectations, such as people who desired getting a position envisioning becoming a cabinet minister, or such, while expecting the formation of the Konoe Cabinet, and people hunting for information to make money. Because of the February 26 Affair and the refusal to form a cabinet, the true intentions of these people became practically obvious. At the same time, those people with burning hearts who truly thought about the future of the national policy, and grappled with the establishment of national policies, became clear. From then on, our research activity became much more active?55 Curiously, some have referred to the Showa Kenkyu K a i as Konoe's 'unoff icial ' 'brain trust', but since Konoe personally sanctioned it, I fail to see how it could be any more 'of f ic ial ' . There were many groups seeking Konoe's attention, especially once he rose to the Premiership, and some were calling for the establishment of a mass movement (resembling something like that of Germany or Italy) but the Showa Kenkyu K a i was not among them; of the numerous groups with proposals for the future, only the Showa Kenkyu Ka i enjoyed the position of Konoe's personal 'brain trust' and his confidence. Having examined briefly the formation of the group, I wi l l now proceed to look at the scholarship on the Showa Kenkyu Ka i . 4.2 Overview of Scholarship on the Showa Kenkyu K a i Sakai observed that, 11: ^ i T M £ © $ Q f f l f t T ' H r t e £ ¥ £ - f 5 2 2 : wmL%*mmirz> 3 3: 7 r ^ - > X A C M * | - t 5 4 Sakai, 43. 5 Ibid., 46-47. 55 The people who had gathered in the Showa Kenkyu Kai were what we call intellectuals; the history of the Showa Kenkyu Kai...was at the same time a history of the gathering, and the failure, of intellectuals?56 That is a decent point from which to address the history of the organization, so it is baffling that so few have taken up the issue. Frequently the ShSwa Kenkyu Kai appears in Western writing on the period only briefly, and usually in a dismissive way. In fact, it seems that in terms of scholarship on the Showa Kenkyu Kai, there seems to be less work aimed at understanding the organization and its members than there is work directed at fitting the organization into a prepackaged category. It has resisted all attempts to reduce it to a distinct political category, yet writers keep trying. What Berger said of this regarding the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, that "These labels do more to obscure the nature of political conflict in the prewar period than to clarify it" could apply with equal force to the case of the Showa Kenkyu Kai. Miles Fletcher wrote an article that illustrates this problem; he suggests viewing the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, and by extension the Showa Kenkyu Kai, through the lens of fascism, with one of his arguments being that the term was used at the time. This, however, ignores the fact that there were also informed figures at the time who spoke out against the term, such as American ambassador Joseph C. Grew, who noted on September 1, 1940 "The "new structure" is going ahead fast and Japan is rapidly becoming a regimented nation, although in its main outlines this regimentation cannot be said to be either Fascism or Nazism. It is very far from either."359 One of the older but still meaningful views of the organization comes from Chalmers Johnson's An Instance of Treason. Johnson stresses that the members of the Showa Kenkyu Kai were desperate men, and the organization was not a seminar called to discuss abstract problems but more akin to a conspiracy, in which even the members could not trust each other's motives. Further, "These men had no basis of mass support, no place to seek political asylum, and no freedom even in silence. They were under direct attack from the numerous extremists, so pervasive as to seem almost invisible, who were demanding a totalitarian state and a racist war in 361 East Asia." The members had chosen a policy of limited resistance that had little chance of success, and each had a different reason for doing so; the collective goal was to support Konoe as a means of getting political leverage viz. those who had tried to seize control of the government since 1930. Ultimately, they failed, and may even have contributed to Japanese totalitarianism, "but theirs was the only serious effort to challenge the militarists before the creation of a police state in 1941." 3 6 3 The first English work to focus specifically on the Showa Kenkyu Kai was James B. Crowley's "Intellectuals as Visionaries of the New Asian Order," in which the author examined how some intellectuals participated in the formulation of the New Order (in East Asia), focusing 3 5 6 Ibid., 289. 3 5 7 Berger, 344-345. 3 5 8 Miles Fletcher, "Intellectuals and Fascism in Early Showa Japan," Journal of Asian Studies 39.1 (November 1979): 39-63. The paper remains useful for its succict summary of the views on fascism held by Royama, Ryu, and Miki at the time. I find Fletcher's arguments that the Showa Kenkyu Kai intellectuals were concerned with using fascist ideas to reform the capitalist and political party systems, and not controlling the army, unconvincing (61). He makes the same argument in his book, The Search for a New Order. 3 5 9 Grew, 327. 3 6 0 Johnson, 115-118. 3 6 1 Ibid., 116. 3 6 2 Ibid. 3 6 3 Ibid. 56 on the ideas of members from 1936-1938.364 The focus here is on how Showa Kenkyu Kai members discussed Japan's foreign policy in an attempt to resolve the China problem, and how the rationalism gave way to idealism as the establishment of a politico-economic bloc emerged as the perceived solution. Early plans and recommendations were made redundant by the China Incident and the start of full-scale hostilities, in which the Konoe made decisions seemingly without a clear policy because in fact there was no clear policy. Eventually a generalized plan of mutual cooperation between Japan, China and Manchukuo was planned, and then a separate committee attempted to formulate a practical means of attaining this objective, but this remained elusive and the resolutions were hopelessly vague and contradictory. Mik i Kiyoshi's speech on the first anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident is seen as the starting point for the new cooperativist ideology which then became the dominant idea and the perceived goal of Japan's program of expansion in As ia . 3 6 7 Crowley notes that it remains conjectural how much impact the Showa Kenkyu Kai really had on national policy formulation, but he has shown that the ideas of the New Order in Asia were not just militarist fantasies but indeed flowed "from a passionate concern with and an informed understanding of the domestic and foreign nettles confronting the empire." However, the dominant image that has persisted is of a rightist organization, which is peculiar given the numbers of leftists in it. This is explained away either by arguing that the members gave up Marxism for 'fascism' (like in Fletcher), or that they were forced to undergo tenko (as in A. J. Zavala ), or that they joined to resist from within (examples of similar 'dissent from within' arguments are those of Hanneman and Ueda concerning Hasegawa and Nishida respectively). I have yet to see a study suggesting a thinker was completely naive and joined the Showa Kenkyu Kai unawares. The other alternative, that the Showa Kenkyu Kai was not a purely rightist organization, does not seem to have been overly considered, and this is the view I will undertake in this section. As for those who would dismiss the organization as 'fascist,' that merely returns one to the debate touched upon earlier, and serves little purpose.370 Then there are frequently attempts to fit the organization into a perceived larger dichotomy that can be reduced to the clash between the Kodo Faction and the Tosei Faction in the army. Sharon Minichiello associates the Showa Kenkyu Kai with the Tosei Faction, as well as the People's League for the Building of East As ia 3 7 1 , under the grouping of the 'reform right', which she seperates from the 'spiritual right' which she claims was more "nationalistic," in the 3 6 4 Crowley, "Intellectuals," 320-322. 3 6 5 Ibid., 342-348. 3 6 6 Ibid., 350-354, and 355-363 respectively. 3 6 7 Ibid., 363-366. 3 6 8 Ibid., 369-370. 3 6 9 For Zavala's view, see Agustin Jacinto Zavala, Textos de la Filosofia Japonesa Moderna, vol.1, 355-363, as translated and adapted into "Miki Kiyoshi", Sourcebook for Modern Japanese Philosophy: Selected Documents, trans, and eds. David A. Dilworth and Valdo H. Viglielmo, with Agustin Jacinto Zavala (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1998), 289-297. It is poorly substantiated, merely stating bluntly that "One aspect that should not be forgotten is his forced conversion (tenko) to the line of the militaristic government ideology during the war, as can be seen in his "Ideological Foundation of East Asia" (293). The work in question is clearly built on nothing but Miki's long-held views on cooperativism, and even the most ardent tenko advocates give 1930 and/or 1937 as dates, when the military was not yet completely entrenched domestically, unless Zavala means the Pacific War, in which case he is simply incorrect. 3 7 0 Theoretically, if one chose to characterize the resulting Japanese socio-political order after 1941 as 'fascist', then the Showa Kenkyu Kai could be charged with contributing to fascism if only for no other reason than its failure, given that its stated purpose, something I will turn to in a moment, was to prevent fascism. It would be a category error, then, to argue that because it failed to stop fascism, the organization was itself fascist in nature. 3 7 1 iCiE^f^lI lKiISI (Toa Kensetsu Kokumin Renmei) 57 -779 "}7^  "374 tradition of the Kokuryukai and Genyosha . The 'spiritual right' here incorporates the Kodo Faction, but all of these groups were nationalistic; I think when she says the 'spiritual right' was more 'nationalistic' she presumably means more 'activist and militaristic' In a similar vein is Miwa Kimitada's approach; Miwa formulates a very interesting model of the Showa Kenkyu Kai, but his approach fails in my opinion because it depends upon grand generalizations based upon implausible assumptions, even though his background research by itself would prove intriguing. Without going into too much detail, Miwa creates a straight dichotomy, like others drawing upon the Kodo/Tosei division, but he goes further. For Miwa, the Showa Kenkyu Kai is juxtaposed with the Dai Ajia Kyokai. Both groups were expected to function as Konoe's brain trust, he says.3 7 6 This is counter to all other evidence that indicates while certain groups may have influenced Konoe, only the Showa Kenkyu Kai was formed specifically as his brain trust and acted in said capacity. For a moment, however, let us assume Miwa's notion is correct, and see where he takes it. For Miwa, the Dai Ajia Kyokai held an emotional view, was driven by sentimental nationalism, was based on Eastern 'values', and was allied with the Kodo Faction; the Showa Kenkyu Kai, conversely, held a scientific view, was driven by geopolitics, was based on Western philosophy, and was allied with the Tosei Faction. 3 7 7 This approach is indeed attractive in its organization and simplicity, but it masks some serious flaws. I will address the Kodo/Tosei issue seperately in a moment, but one should also note the distinction between philosophy as Western and 'values' (whatever that means) as Eastern. In a complete reversal of Maruyama, who argued (just as incorrectly) that the prewar intellectuals drifted from Western thought to Eastern thought, Miwa places them squarely in the Western 'camp' opposite the political hotheads of the Dai Ajia Kyokai. The fact that several Showa Kenkyu Kai members made appeals to solve the China Problem through the shared Eastern heritage of Confucianism does not evidently register as Eastern 'values' to Miwa. While most members were 'scientific' (in the sense that they tended to occupy their meetings with genuine debates as opposed to empty rightist rhetoric) compared to other groups, this does not mean that they were any less nationalistic or emotional when it came to dealing with Japan's destiny. While Crowley saw a movement from a rational (how to solve what is) to an idealist (what should be) perspective in the Showa Kenkyu Kai with regard to the China Incident, and how this led to the push for the New Order and the role of cooperativism, Miwa's Showa Kenkyu Kai is undynamic and merely a static symbol of a scientific, rational approach. Having traced the scholarship that touches upon the subject of the Showa Kenkyu Kai, I will now take a few moments to respond more clearly to some of the issues that have been raised here. 3 7 2 Uti^x (Amur River Society; often mistranslated as Black Dragon Society) 3 7 3 S # ? ± (Dark Ocean Society) 3 7 4 Minichiello, 5-6. 375 jzT i?TW]^k (Greater Asian Association) 3 7 6 Miwa Kimitada, "Japanese Policies and Concepts for a Regional Order in Asia, 1938-1940," Research Paper, Series A-46; Institute of International Relations: for advanced studies on peace and development in asia (Tokyo: Sophia University, 1983) 7. A slightly modified version of this paper is in The Ambivalence of Nationalism: Modern Japan between East and West, edited by James W. White, Michio Umegaki, and Thomas R.H. Havens (New York: University Press of America, 1990), 133-156. 3 7 7 My extrapolation of pages 3 to 19: /Showa Kenkyu Kai [scientific view /geopolitics / Western philosophy / Tosei-ha] Konoe \ Dai Ajia Kyokai [emotional view / sentimental nationalism / Eastern 'values' / Kodo-ha] 58 4.3 My Response to the Scholarship My position is that views setting the Showa Kenkyu Kai into a static relationship viz. other organizations and groups results in gross oversimplifications. First of all, the East Asian League , which was linked with the Dai Ajia Kyokai, had very similar aims to the Dai Ajia Kyokai, but favoured the Tosei Faction, and according to Storry backed Hayashi Senjuro379 as successor to Arak i . 3 8 0 Yet in 1941 Tojo feared the group was working to topple the Konoe cabinet to get at him, and moved against the movement. This shows the group then favoured neither the Tosei Faction, nor Konoe. Much the same could be said of many other groups at the time. This is because, unsurprisingly, by the late 1930s the military had split into more factions over the China policy, and the Kodo/Tosei division was no longer of any real consequence.382 Hence, suggesting that the Dai Ajia Kyokai was Kodo against the Showa Kenkyu Kai which was Tosei is simply illogical. Secondly, there is the issue of the "reform bureaucrats." The view that the Showa Kenkyu Kai was allied with the Tosei Faction may have originated in the association of some reform bureuacrats with the organization, as the reform bureaucrats were known to have been allied with the Tosei Faction. The problem is that there were never that many reform bureaucrats in the Shdwa Kenkyu Kai to begin with (and fewer still in Konoe's entourage), and that the 'alliance' between the reform bureaucrats and the Tosei Faction effectively ceased after the 383 February 26 Affair anyway. The reform bureaucrats that remained in the organization after that date soon departed as well. Peter Duus suggests that the Showa Kenkyu Kai was not supportive of the reform bureaucrats because the underlying thought of the members was essentially anti-bureaucratic; the cooperativism of many members, exemplified by Mik i , can be seen as the ultimate expression of the "liberal impulse to define a political structure congruent with such a social vision [of a harmonious parliamentary state]" which drove the earlier Japanese liberals, and remained just as anti-bureaucratic in nature.384 Of course, Konoe himself had been a Kodo sympathizer, so he was unlikely to have aided the Tosei Faction, nor the reform bureaucrats if he saw them as allied with them. 3 8 5 The anti-war Konoe further blamed the victory of the Tosei Faction for embroiling Japan in China and Pacific W a r / 0 0 It was leaders of the Tosei Faction like Nagata Tetsuzan who as early as 3 7 8 ToaRenmei 3 7 9 # f f c + S K j 8 ° Storry, 150. Hayashi succeeded Araki in January 1934. Ironically, at the time he tended to be seen as Araki's puppet, but in reality he set about destroying the Kodo Faction's influence in the army. j 8 1 Tojo's statement to Anami Korechika, in Higashikuni Naruhiko, Higashikuni Nikki: Nihon gekidoki no hiroku (Takuma Shobo, 1968) 25-26, referred to in Mark R. Peattie's Ishiwara Kanji and Japan's Confrontation with the West (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975), 326. j 8 2 Recall that the Kodo Faction was already emasculated due to the pressue of Hayashi and others by 1936 when its last gasp, the February 26 Affair, failed to seize the reins of power, and sealed Tosei dominance. A few Kodo generals were returned to positions in 1937 by Konoe. No longer a 'faction' but a ruling group, the Tosei did not last long before its leaders too divided over other issues. To speak of Kodo/Tosei rivalry as being of any significance after 1938 or so is ludicrous. 3 8 3 See Spaulding, 36 for a look at how the relations between the reform bureaucrats and the Tosei Faction changed. 3 8 4 Peter Duus, "Liberal Intellectuals and Social Conflict in Taisho Japan," Conflict in Modern Japanese History: The Neglected Tradition, eds. Tetsuo Najita and J. Victor Koschmann (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982), 412-440; 439-440. 3 8 5 Marius B. Jansen implies that the reform bureaucrats were a group of Konoe's followers (Jansen, 614), but this is incorrect. Refer to footnote #310 which addresses Konoe and the reform bureucrats, an issue taken up by Spaulding. 386 Konoe Fumimaro no shuki: ushinuwareshi seiji (Tokyo, 1946), partial English translation, IMTFE, Document 1467, as quoted by Crowley in Japan's Quest for Autonomy, 247-248. 3 8 7 TK Assassinated in August 1935 by a Kodo officer inflamed by Mazaki's dismissal. See footnote #332. 59 1926 had argued for 'total war' based on a military industrial complex. 3 8 8 Sound military thinking, and anaptha for the Kodo leaders and their ilk with their ideals of bushi spirit and purity that led them to target domestic zaibatsu leaders and politicians. The 1938 general mobilization bill appears to have been accepted by many only grudgingly as something necessitated by the war in China; this prompted still further divides in the military. The Kodo Faction, unconcerned with the West and focused on challenging Russia, was not only against the war in China from the start (unlike the Tosei Faction which supported expansionism; indeed, this conflict was one of the issues that prompted the February 26th Affair) but it had also acted as a sort of buffer that kept the more radical elements of the military distracted. Konoe himself was deeply troubled by the direction the military would take without the Kodo leaders there for a "dampening effect." Ultimately, the Showa Kenkyu Kai fell out of favour with Konoe, and its whole approach was disregarded, and Konoe fell out with the Tosei Faction, which he had never liked anyway, but which went on to dominate Japan, so then to equate the Showa Kenkyu Kai with the Tosei Faction is not only illogical but completely meaningless. Finally, to address another issue, there were also no real political figures of note connected with the organization with the exception of Prince Konoe. It is true that Kido Koichi was a member at the start in 1933, but "According to a talk by Kido Koichi, he joined from when the Showa Kenkyu Kai was formed, but he never attended even once, and was not influenced by means of the various documents which were forwarded."390 Since Kido had nothing to fear from being associated with the organization, there is no reason to suggest he is being untruthful here. 4.4 Mik i joins the Sh5wa Kenkyu Kai Having looked briefly at the formation of the Showa Kenkyu Kai and the scholarship on the organization, it is now fitting to begin examining Miki 's involvement itself. Mik i was not the only intellectual at the time grappling with Japan's future; as Miyakawa explains, many intellectuals were interested in looking at the meaning of the Manchurian Incident and trying to solve the China Problem. 3 9 1 Mik i was undertaking similar endeavours through means such as his 392 articles in the Yomiuri Shinbun , which addressed various problems in society. Royama Masamichi, already a Showa Kenkyu Kai member, and Ozaki Hotsumi 3 9 3, were following similar paths, as were many other intellectuals. It is impossible to argue that all these intellectuals, notably Mik i , only started dealing with policies on these issues after a tenko; in Miki 's case, the only difference was that in the early 1930s his material was being read by the masses and not considered seriously, i f at all, by actual policy makers. In the case of the Yomiuri Shinbun articles, Mik i had been doing these since at least 1932.3 9 4 He was also active in other groups, and continued to be right through his membership in the Showa Kenkyu Kai. For example, the League for National Arts and Sciences3 9 5, formed in 1939, which studied cultural science from a national perspective, and included not only Mik i but also Nishida, Ryu, and Nyozekan among its members.396 The group suffered from not having a i m Peattie, 186-187. 3 8 9 Oka, 40. 390 Kido Koichi, 189. 3 9 1 Miyakawa, 114-115. 3 9 2 8t7B$Tl l (Yomiuri Newspaper) 3 9 4 Miki's Yomiuri Shinbun articles are collected in Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu volume 16. 3 9 5 S S ^ # f 1 ^ K Kokumin Gakujutsu Kyokai 3 9 6 Barshay, 216-217. 60 clear purpose, as well as tension due to the variety of members and their approaches; it later suffered rightist attacks, particularly in 1943 from the army which reacted to Miki 's presence.397 Miki , along with Tosaka Jun, and others also took part in translation work for a Catholic Encyclopedia which started in 1939; notes Piovesana "Their dire economic situation in the midst of the military nationalism in Japan moved to compassion the director of the Encyclopedia, Fr. Kraus of Sophia University, who, out of charity, did not hesitate to use them as translators.398 Then, in 1938, in the midst of all of Miki 's activities, and his trying to earn enough to keep going, he was offered the chance to actually become involved in formulating policy — the Showa Kenkyu Kai had created a Cultural Problems Research Group, and wanted him to lead it. It would provide little financial remuneration, but it would enable him to actually become involved in a group of intellectuals working to establish an intellectual basis for the the rising star in Japanese politics, Prince Konoe. Mik i eagerly accepted. 4.5 The Role and Purpose of the Showa Kenkyu Kai It is here that I will turn to examining the role and purpose of the Showa Kenkyu Kai itself, before moving on to discuss the actual structure of the organization. The goal of the Showa Kenkyu Kai, broadly, as already stated, was to establish an intellectual foundation for the New Order and the New East Asian Order; necessary for this plan to come to fruitition was the effective control of army influence. The irony is that the policies produced by the Showa Kenkyu Kai were ultimately warped by the militarists and used for their own ends, and the still further irony is that then the anti-militarist organization, through its failure, was branded as a militarist organization itself by later writers. Given the circumstances of the de facto primacy of military policy, given that no other policy presented itself to wrest control of the government, time was not on the side of the Showa Kenkyu Kai. Chalmers Johnson comments that It was hoped that these men could hammer out concrete measures for checking the drift toward war and fascism and define Japan's national interests in a way that would provide alternatives to the abject acceptance of faits accomplis engineered by military fj- 399 ojjicers. One should refer here to the official November 1936 document that signalled the end of the transistion stage for the Showa Kenkyu Kai and the dawn of the fully-fledged research institute: Purpose of the Establishment of the Showa Kenkyu Kai400 These days, the economic and political place of Japan in the world changed completely from the foundation up. Nevertheless, the system and policy in each field, such as diplomacy, economics, society, education, administration, which should progress in accordance with [this change outlined] above, still remained the same as they used to be in many respects, and because of this there are contradictions everywhere, and bewilderment, that are repeating in this present internationally important period. To shake free of this state of affairs, now the whole nation's full knowledge and full experience must be put to use completely. For such a mobilization of the nation, as the cornerstone, broadly, the wishes of the bureaucracy, army, industry, academics, critics, and all classes of people must be sufficiently communicated among themselves, Piovesana, 180. Johnson, 114. Emphasis his. Bgfclffl^BSiZljffi B "Showa Kenkyu Kai Setsuritsu Shushi" 61 and all these views and experience put together, for there is an urgent need for the establishment of a research institution by synthetic cooperation that should deal with the establishment of true national policy. These are the grounds for our establishment of the Showa Kenkyu Kai.401 The document is dated November 1936, and signed by 34 members.402 From the beginning, the Shdwa Kenkyu Kai suffered criticism, primarily from the right-wing. The members were generally unhappy with the military's role both abroad and at home, and saw control of the military as a necessary prerequisite to reform. Ultimately, the inability of another force to resist the military meant that, once in power, Konoe had to try and push through his program of reform with the military running the show, and the project was doomed before it even got off the ground. Back in 1937, however, the members still believed they had a chance to create a policy that would put the military in their place and allow order to be restored. On June 29th, 1937, for instance, at a meeting of the Foreign Policy Deliberative Committee of the Showa Kenkyu Kai, some participants complained about the military approach and how the military were leading everything; they argued that strong politicians were needed, not military officers.403 One participant wanted the Showa Kenkyu Kai to become like the British Chatham House, as opposed to just serving the Foreign Ministry. 4 0 4 However, the autocratic military, along with the political situation, prevented the organization from transforming itself into anything other than a policy think-tank. Many members feared that if left unchecked, the military would escalate the conflict in China and start war with Great Britain and the United States, and their fears proved to be well-founded.405 Far from supporting the military or the 'government', then, the Showa Kenkyu Kai represented the mainstream of the Japanese intellectual response to militarism and war, as Johnson argued.406 To show that general works do not need to distort, I offer the example of Janet E. Hunter, who clearly understood the complexities of the organization and the results of its failure when she observed that the Showa Kenkyu Kai was part of Konoe's broader plans to resist the infuence of the army; she rejects (wisely, as we have seen) the notion that Konoe was but the creature of the army, and states that the Imperial Rule Assistance Association was at least partially an attempt to build a force strong enough to resist the army's control 4 0 7 It was the failure to resist the army influence over dealing with the United States with regard to Japan's actions in China and Southeast Asia that was key in bringing about Konoe's resignation.408 As I have already indicated, the brainchild of Konoe and the Showa Kenkyu Kai, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, would be stillborn, failing almost immediately both to control the 4 0 1 Provided in Sakai, 49-50. Please refer to Appendix I where I have included the original Japanese text of this document. 4 0 2 Possibly mistaking this document to refer to the original founding of the organization and not its re-organization could explain why the 1936 date crops up so frequently in scholarship as the date of foundation. 4 0 3 Crowley, "Intellectuals", 345-346. 4 0 4 Ibid., 346. 4 0 5 I remain, consequently, baffled by scholars like Beasley, who argues in Japanese Imperialism that the Showa Kenkyu Kai turned to a traditionalist critique of modem society to justify Japanese imperialism and criticize Western imperialism (204-205). Not only is there no basis for such a claim, but it is the precise opposite of what the organization sought to accomplish. 4 0 6 Johnson, 115. 4 0 7 Janet E. Hunter, The Emergence of Modern Japan: An Introductory History Since 1853 (London: Longman, 1989) pg.226-227. 4 0 8 Ibid. 62 military and to bring about the New Order it had promised, but that is something I will return to later. What, then, of the people involved in this enterprise? Tsurumi Shunsuke comments that The chief organizer [Goto] 's intent was to build a bulwark against the growth of militarism. Goto was prepared to use whatever school of scholarship might be effective for that purpose. Now that the Japan Communist Party no longer existed except for those of its members in prison, he was not afraid of including any ex-Marxist and liberal scholars who took a firm and resilient stand against military dictatorship in Japan.409 This resulted in a mix of individuals as peculiar as Konoe's entourage; Johnson notes that "Its members included liberals, ultra-nationalists, Communists, Marxists, opportunists, and several men committed only to bureaucratic roles." 4 1 0 None of this peculiar band of intellectuals were really financially renumerated for their efforts either, prompting Sakai, himself a member, to ponder, "Although there was practically no reward or salary, why did they meet every night like that with serious passion? Thinking about it now, it is like a mystery one cannot think is really true."411 Consider Johnson again, "They were an imposing group, both on paper and in terms of their respective individual talents; but a more heterogeneous, mutually incompatible, and hopelessly indecisive group of liberal intellectuals intending to influence politics can hardly be imagined."4 1 2 Why all of these intellectuals came together in the Showa Kenkyu Kai was likely due to a shared sense of crisis, and the chance to influence policy to propose reforms that they believed would set Japan back on the right path, both in its national and international affairs. They remained constrained as to precisely what reforms they could propose, since the authorities were not inclined towards anything that would threaten their own power. The strongest bond between the members was thus a recognition that something was gravely wrong with the current Japanese political and economic system, and that steps needed to be taken to correct this. Indeed, as Crowley observed, "Common to all members of the association was an acute dissatisfaction with existing affairs and a desire to chart a national course which would be feasible and ethical." 4 1 3 At the same time that this brought the members together, however, it was also a problem because beyond a sense of crisis and a desire to do something, there was little unity amongst the members of the Showa Kenkyu Kai. The upshot of all of this is that it is simply inaccurate to label the organization as 'right-wing'; in fact, as I indicated earlier, domestic criticism of the organization at the time argued not that it was in the nationalists' pocket, or even that it supported the militarists generally, but that it was too progressive, or even a Communist organization! Likely this image came about because of the notoriety of Ozaki Hotsumi later, however. If anything, the organization was somewhat leftist (although it was explicitly anti-Communist; the organization in fact took a stand against extremists be they to the far right or the far left). Janice Matsumura noted that ... at the height of his political career in the 1930s, Konoe Fumimaro was known for his close relations with prominent Marxist intellectuals and was something of a patron for many former thought control offenders. Leftist thinkers and former offenders were free to Tsurumi Shunsuke, An Intellectual History of Wartime Japan, 1931-1945 (London: KPI Limited, 1986), 34. 4 1 0 Johnson, 116. 4 1 1 Sakai, 56. 4 1 2 Johnson, 115. 4 1 3 Crowley, "Intellectuals", 370. 63 enter the Showa Research Association and Academy, and a conspicuous number of them participated in Konoe's New Order Movement [shintaisei undo] 4X4 Miwa was correct in seeing the Showa Kenkyu Kai as more scientific than other groups at the time, although this was not always a constant due to the variety of members and ideas; Crowley, recall, noticed that the scientific mode was gradually subordinated to more idealistic notion as time went by. Part of this may have been due to the increasing desperation of the Showa Kenkyu Kai's situation as it became rapidly apparent that there were no easy answers and their grandiose reform schemes were going to be blocked at every turn by the military or the bureaucrats. Konoe's frustration and resignation under such circumstances should not mystify. Even when the members became more idealistic, though, they did not embrace the rightist ideology that had come to dominate the country. Fletcher, in an argument echoing Maruyama's from the opposite direction, generalizes intellectuals as turning to 'fascism' from the Western world, and not domestic Japanese ideas (recall that Maruyama had argued it was the other way around, and the intellectuals abandoned good Western thinking for Eastern nationalisms etc.), but this entire notion is just as silly. Much of what is frequently termed 'fascist' ideology in Japan was every bit as indebted to nativist nationalisms as it was Western theory, and the intellectuals who really embraced the right-wing and its political manifestations were quite distinct from the bulk of the Showa Kenkyu Kai members, who, for all their nationalistic tendencies, had little patience with arcane terminology, Bushidd fantasies, and Emperor-worship. Finally, here is Royama Masamichi's perspective on the role of the Showa Kenkyu Kai, recounted by Sakai: After the war, Royama Masamichi said that the following two things could be thought of as the role that the Showa Kenkyu Kai played. One is letting intellect and thought into politics, through the political participation of the intellectual class, and the education of people who had influence with the bureaucratic government. The other one is the training of the bureaucracy as policy makers, the criticism towards the political parties and bureaucracy, despite having no party political power, and playing a role in providing a new direction.415 The simple fact of the matter is that the Showa Kenkyu Kai was a complex organization of various eminent personalities; they came together because of a shared sense of crisis, and a desire to help reform Japan, and were motivated to attempt to both keep the military from gaining more power and lay the plans for Konoe's New Order. Having discussed their purpose and motivation, I will now proceed to briefly discuss the structure of their organization. 4.6 The Structure of the Showa Kenkyu Kai When considering the structure of the Showa Kenkyu Kai after 1936, it is imperitive to note that this was not an informal group of advisors, but a complex and sophisticated research organization. As Johnson notes, it was large, well-endowed, had its own staff, its own offices in Marunouchi, and published material to acquaint the public with its policies. 4 1 6 The core of the organization consisted of a cluster of independent research groups, each formed around a particular intellectual problem. The China Problem Research Group was one of the oldest, with Janice Matsumura, More Than a Momentary Nightmare: The Yokohama Incident and Wartime Japan (New York: Cornell East Asia Program, 1998), 68-69, referring to Ito Takashi, "Kyu sayokujin no 'shintaisei' undo," Showaki no shakai undo, ed. Kindai Nihon Kenkyukai (Tokyo: Yamakawa shuppansha, 1983), 260. 4 1 5 Sakai, 290-291. 4 1 6 Johnson, 125. 64 Miki 's Cultural Problems Research Group being one of the later additions. Eventually there would be more than ten of these core groups. Ozaki Hotsumi, later revealed to be a spy, joined in 1937; he became coordinator of these groups, as well as chairman of the China Problem Research Group. 4 1 7 There was a smaller, more informal, advisory group comprised of Showa Kenkyu Kai members, which was known as the Breakfast Society 1 8 . This was formed in November 1937 by Konoe's two private secretaries, Ushiba Tomohiko 4 1 9 and Kishi Michizo 4 2 0 ; it was not apparently connected to the earlier Breakfast Society as the members were different.421 Konoe's Breakfast Society was also called the Wednesday Society 4 2 2, and is likened by Johnson to a US "kitchen cabinet"; elsewhere he refers to it as the "innermost Konoye brain trust."423 Ozaki was not always there, but he reportedly selected those who should attend.424 The need to coordinate the research groups was clear. The idea was that each group in the organization would work to promote reform in its designated area, so that a broader reform movement would spread, destroy the status quo, and then enable the creation of a new order.4 2 5 4.7 Mik i as Showa Kenkyu Kai Member In the course of the next two sections I will cover Miki as a member of the Showa Kenkyu Kai, and look at him in the context of the membership, and then look briefly at his work during his time as a member. The Showa Kenkyu Kai's early attempts to solve the China problem and prompt domestic reform had resulted in lukewarm reaction from the authorities and little real progress. As Crowley showed in "Intellectuals as Visionaries of the New Asian Order," the organization had moved from dealing with specific issues with diplomatic or policy reform suggestions to plans for an enormous reformulation of East Asia. At the same time, call for New Order domestically and reform of both China and Japan led to movement away from diplomacy which alone seemed unable to resolve the problems, and towards broader, more abstract issues; thus, there was a move towards the realm of culture, with the goal being to find universal ideas across cultures which could bridge the gap and unify Asia. There was consequently no better man than Miki for the task, which was why the association promptly asked him to lead the new group. As before when he was a student, Miki lived an energetic life. He both worked hard and played hard, pouring out paper after paper while at the same time finding time for the nightlife and drinking with his colleagues. An interesting story I heard has Miki drinking with his fellows, and handing the hostess his wallet, telling her to take as much as she wanted. Even if we cannot be sure that the story is true, it reflects Miki 's nature so well that it might as well be. Here is revealed not only the persistence of Miki 's playboyish nature, but also his generosity and trust 4 1 7 Tsurumi, 34. 4 1 8 Asa-meshi Kai 4 , 9 *rmtM 4 2 0 J ^x tH 4 2 1 Spaulding, 63. The original Breakfast Society held meetings once a week from 1931 to 1935, normally at the Tokyo residence of Baron Harada Kumao, Sainoji's chief agent, to discuss political problems (55-56). While the membership was large, the composition at the meetings depended on the subject to be discussed, and rarely were more than 15 present at any given meeting; note that Kido and Konoe were both regular members (ibid.). 4 2 2 Sui-yo Kai At one point during the late 1920s, according to Oka, Konoe organized a political faction of Upper House members which met on Tuesday and hence was known as the "Tuesday Club" (Oka, 24). For an idealist, Konoe seems to have occasionally lacked imagination. 4 2 3 Johnson, 125 and 26, respectively. 4 2 4 Tsurumi, 35. 4 2 5 Nakamura, 162. 65 towards humanity. It was only natural, then, that Mik i impressed his colleagues in his research group with such behaviour. As to Miki 's significance within the Showa Kenkyu Kai, this is a debatable issue. It largely depends upon what one chooses to focus on, since the organization consisted of numerous groups and committees and was quite large. Even after many members had left, the core of the organization had some 200 members.426 Many, naturally, did not know each other. In terms of the organization as a whole, Mik i is usually neglected in favour of Royama (e.g. Fletcher, Miwa), who was a member from the earliest days in 1933. Ryu too crops up frequently; because both he and Royama had postwar careers, they likely could leave a larger impact on writers than Mik i , whose readers in the 1930s were all too keen to forget those times altogether. Chalmers Johnson, however, says that Miki 's significance in the Showa Kenkyu Kai was vast indeed; after listing some of the key members, including Royama and Ryu, he writes "The intellectual who towered above these men and influenced all of them, [was] Mik i Kiyoshi ." 4 2 7 Furthermore, "Miki 's views were the most representative, and his influence may be detected in the works of all of the other members."428 This is certainly significant. If Johnson is correct, then after years of being the alienated in every organization, Mik i found kindred souls in the Showa Kenkyu Kai. I doubt this though; what I think Johnson means is that, to some extent, Mik i was taken as speaking for the organization, and perhaps in a sea of ideas and people, his ideal of cooperativism served as a glue and provided the group with some focus. It seems that Mik i was finally being able to play the role of leader that he had always wanted. Yet at the same time, Mik i was not dogmatic, but considered contrary opinions and accepted them i f they held water. Sakai tells us that on one occasion, "Mik i even agreed at once with Ryu Shintaro when, on the verge of the settling of the dispute over the "Economic Ethics of Cooperativism," the latter gave a negative conclusion concerning the materialist view of history."4 2 9 That is to say, when summarizing the discussion (the groups submitted reports based on their talks) and reporting on the "Economic Ethics of Cooperativism", Ryu asked Miki 's opinion regarding his (Ryu's) negative conclusion about the materialist view of history, and Mik i immediately agreed with that. Mik i proved by such actions that not only did he hold cooperativism to be an ideal, but he could also compromise in actuality as well. Miki 's group, the Cultural Problems Research Group, concluded that international principles for Asia were necessary, that could compete with, for example, Hellenism in the West, and that this new ideology would enable China to join Japan.4 3 0 Miki 's influence here is obvious. On a broader level, the fact that the Showa Kenkyu Kai intellectuals preferred to speak of the East Asian Co-operative Body 4 3 1 than of the New Order in East Asia or the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere is also an indicator of Miki 's pervasive influence. We also have Ryu Shintaro's account to consider: In the whole Showa Kenkyu Kai there were various research sections; I was connected with 2 or 3 groups, and among those Miki led the culture section. ... The culture section, at Miki's suggestion, decided to rethink the materialist history view. That [suggestion of Miki 'sj was that, in this unusual state of affairs, it was necessary to make clear their attitude regarding the future, but before they could present something positive, it was necessary to confront the materialist view of history. This is indeed reasonable, but at the Sakai, 221. 426 4 2 7 Johnson, 18-19. 4 2 8 Ibid., 118. 4 2 9 Sakai, 295. 4 3 0 Fletcher, The Search for a New Order, 62, 110-113, respectively. 4 3 1 T o a Kyodo Tai 66 same time reminds us of the storm of terror [at that time], and even now I think that this proposal was very Miki-like432433 Clearly Mik i was still concerned with the challenge posed to society by the Marxist historical viewpoint, but Ryu helps us to reconsider things more carefully; hence there are two more conclusions we can draw from this. Firstly, Miki was concerned with confronting the Marxist viewpoint so that once it had been cleared away a new synthetic viewpoint (to be formulated by him and his committee) could be formulated; this is something that those who think Mik i was a Marxist, or the Showa Kenkyu Kai was, should consider. Secondly, Ryu indicates the context of fear, but clearly he is referring not to the Showa Kenkyu Kai, but the surrounding world. This is because the Showa Kenkyu Kai in general and Miki in the particular were challenging both the Marxist viewpoint and the militarists, isolating them from everyone and leaving them open to attack. Fantasies that the Showa Kenkyu Kai supported the militarists, or the 'government', or that the members were somehow immune from attack (they simply were not) should be dismissed here. On this last point, Sakai Saburo attacks those who think Mik i was 'protected' by being in the Showa Kenkyu Kai; this is ridiculous, he charges, for these are the same critics who stood by and did nothing: Concerning Miki Kiyoshi, there are also those who take a superficial view of him as one who was camoflauged during the war. However, he loved the country of Japan and the Japanese, and he held contempt for men of culture who were political bystanders at the time of Japan's confronting a situation which would determine its destiny.434 Ryu too goes on to states that Miki 's impact in the culture section was enormous.435 He further shows that Mik i was not afraid of speaking out against the authorities, and persisted despite the risk. For instance, he noted that Mik i frequently said, "If, Japan now, orders us to assist, first of all order control of the right wing." 4 3 6 Through such comments Mik i revealed his frustration at the hypocrisy of a government that hoped for rational solutions to its problems while doing nothing to prevent extremists - who did not alleviate crises but rather aggravated them — from gaining power. Miki was eager to help his country, but he was frustrated by the military and the bureaucrats who increased their own power and refused to rein in the extremists' rise, forcing Mik i to struggle against the turmoultous tide. He was not afraid of the military that he so disliked, and according to Ryu even met with an army general who seemed reasonable, and honestly told the general his opinion without holding back at a l l . 4 3 7 Mik i continued to criticize the military, as he had earlier, despite the increasing precariousness of doing so. Such was the man who headed the Cultural Problems Research Group of the Showa Kenkyu Kai. What of the other notables in the organization? When Mik i joined the Showa Kenkyu Kai, he entered a roster of the eminent thinkers of his day, including political scientists like Royama Masamichi and Yabe Tei j i 4 3 8 , economists like Ryu Shintaro, Takahashi Kamekichi, RYO » ^ rgjfi t f f f f ^ A J "Zuno to Jyonetsu no Hito" [A Man of Brains andPa,sion] ^ * ?»f |S TiM^yosHiZensM GePPo [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works, Monthiy Bul.etm] 13 (1967.10), 3-6; 4. 4 3 4 Sakai, 295. 4 3 5 Ryu, 4-5. 4 3 6 Ibid., 6. 4 3 7 Ibid. 438 5Mm& 67 and Okita Saburo4 3 9, lawyers like Miwa Jfiso 4 4 0, socialist leaders like Aso Hisashi and Kamei Kanichiro, journalists like Sakai Saburo, and famous notables like Inukai Ken 4 4 1 and Saionji Kinkazu 4 4 2 , all under the general coordination of Ozaki and Goto. 4 4 3 Future premier Yoshida Shigeru 4 4 4, a liberal critic of the authorities at the time, was also a member, and so was Miki 's brother-in-law, who had nothing but the utmost respect for Miki . Again, other than to say the assembled group were all people dissatisfied with the current state of affairs, there is not much holding this group together — they truly are a snapshot of Japan's intellegentsia of the 1930s, and they were varied in their opinions and frequently uncooperative with each other. A l l of them, however, were clear that they wanted an end to the war in China, along with reforms across the board. Addressing the variety of individuals, and some of the criticism aimed at the organization, Sakai writes, At the time, the Showa Kenkyu Kai was attacked as "red, " but it seems that the same was thought after the war as well for some reason. However Among the members of the research association were all manner of people, but the central, mainstream of the members were people who had always lived in freedom through their lives and protected freedom. They were not bystanders regarding the destiny and trends of Japan, but a group who, because of their love of the country and people of Japan, burned with passion to proceed to a solution to the war with China445 The members of the Showa Kenkyu Kai were further united by their recognition of Konoe, and their pinning of their hopes for the future on him. If Miki 's philosophy helped hold the organization together, it was Konoe that truly gave it meaning. As Nakamura Takafusa explains, [the plans] were drawn up with little regard for the widely different agendas of the different groups involved, from Aso and Kamei and their followers to the Home Affairs Ministry bureaucrats and the Military Affairs Bureau of the Army Ministry. Yet each of these factions recognized Konoe Fumimaro as the central figure who was to be elevated to the role of chief advisor to the Emperor.446 Sakai echoes this, by noting that, However, when all is said and done, the greatest attraction was this research association's deep connection to Konoe Fumimaro. There was the possibility that the fruits of our research and the policies based thereon would come true through Konoe and 439 xmam^ 440 ELmmi± 442 m@#^ -4 4 3 Royama had actually been involved since the beginning in 1933; Ryu joined in 1938 and Barshay notes his proposal formed the basis for discussion of economic matters in the organization (27). Postwar, Royama became President of Ochanomizu Women's University, and RyO wrote for the Asahi Shinbun; both were also involved with the journal Japan Quarterly. Takahashi was also a professor after the war. Okita went on to be foreign minister in 1979-1980. Aso and Kamei were figures in the Socialist Masses Party, as already mentioned. Inukai was the son of Inukai Tsuyoshi, and was involved in both the Breakfast Society and the Showa KenkyQ Kai (Johnson, 50). Saionji was the grandson of Saionji Kinmochi; he was in fact a dear friend of Ozaki Hotsumi, and he maintained always that Ozaki's motives had been patriotic (Johnson, 113). 444 timm 4 4 5 Sakai, 294. 4 4 6 Nakamura Takafusa, 162. 68 through the Konoe Cabinet. Even if that could not be, we had the desire to see our policies, through Konoe somehow, have a real effect441 It was understandable, then, that the rise to power of Konoe thrilled the members of the Showa Kenkyu Kai, especially Mik i . They were not alone in their optimistic (and, as it were, premature) jubilation ~ the whole of Japan cheered the new leader who they saw as the saviour to all their problems. Konoe was young, handsome, popular, noble, elegant, and awe-inspiring. "Thus when Konoe became head of government," comments Oka, "he was welcomed as a long-awaited leader who would guide the nation through these turbulent times." 4 4 8 At a press conference following the inauguration of the first Konoe Cabinet, Konoe explained his plan. ...his underlying goal was, he said, to strive for a true peace based on international justice, a genuine peace, not merely the maintenance of the status quo. Within Japan, he would do everything possible to build systems based on social justice so that all citizens, hand in hand, would contribute to the reform and progress of their country.449 At last there was to be a chance for both domestic reform, through the organization being planned (which eventually emerged as the Imperial Rule Assistance Association), and the pursuit of the destruction of the old (Anglo-American) world order and the advancement of the new (Japanese) world order, through the the planned formulation of an East Asian Co-operative Body (which eventually became the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere450). The Showa Kenkyu Kai, a complex organization with as many views as individuals ~ it was not that Miki was a unique character in the Showa Kenkyu Kai so much as the organization was a collection of unique characters - but with an over-arching purpose to build an intellectual foundation for the new order, both domestically and internationally, at last saw its plans nearing fruition, and the possibility that the members could actually now implement policies to rescue the nation from its series of crises had arrived. It should have been Konoe's, the Showa Kenkyu Kai's, and Miki 's , moment of triumph. 4.8 Miki 's Work in the Showa Kenkyu Kai Before looking at the outcome of Konoe's rise to power and the chance for the Showa Kenkyu Kai to actually affect policy, I will undertake a brief look at Miki 's work while he was a member in the Showa Kenkyu Kai. One of the first works to consider is "The China Affair and Japanese Thought", which was published in English in March 193 8. 4 5 1 Mik i mentions intellectuals converting, and also says 4 4 7 Sakai, 291. 4 4 8 Oka, 46. 4 4 9 Ibid, 48. 4 5 0 Just what the sphere consisted of changed as time passed; to begin with, Mark R. Peattie in "Nanshin: The Southward Advance, 1931-1941, as a Prelude to the Japanese Occupation of Southeast Asia," (in The Japanese Wartime Empire, 1931-1945, eds. Peter Duus, Ramon H. Myers, and Mark R. Peattie (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), 189-242) states that "...Konoe Fumimaro's announcement in November 1938 of a "New Order in East Asia," generally considered to be the precursor of the coprosperity idea, made no mention whatever of the "Southern Regions" (as the "South Seas" were now called)," (211) but this changed as time went by to include more and more territory. There was also a general movement from pan-Asianist rhetoric towards economic arguments, something aptly chronicled by Duus in "Japan's Wartime Empire: Problems and Issues." Foreign Minister Matsuoka Yosuke gave the sphere its name in a proclamation on 1 August 1940. The newspaper version in the Asahi Shinbun the following day is included in Joyce C. Lebra, ed, Japan's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere in World War II: Selected Readings and Documents (London: Oxford University Press, 1975), 71-72. The Dec. 23 newspaper edition of Konoe's November annoucement is included in the same volume, 68-70. 4 5 1 Miki Kiyoshi, "The China Affair and Japanese Thought," Contemporary Japan (March 1938), 601-610. 69 Marxism was a fad, which was what Fletcher argued, but Mik i does not include himself in either of these two groups. He goes on to say that Western philosophy is not bad, but studying Western thought to the neglect of Eastern thought is problematic. Likewise, he suggests that nationalist movements that argue for a 'return to Japan' have the right idea, but he quarrels with extemism; to reject, for instance, all foreign things merely because they are foreign is hardly a good idea. The energy of the people must be moved in a good way, and not a bad way, continues Mik i , sounding remarkably like Konoe who suggested the rightists could be made use of provided their energy was directed towards the common good. Mik i questions whether Japanese thought is universal [i.e. applicable to China] or not, and returns to stressing the need for a synthesis of East and West. Simply rejecting Western culture is wrong, he argues. Only through the synthesis can universal thought be achieved. Finally, he posits that the idea of one culture being the center of the world is wrong, and that therefore both Europeanism [occidentalism] and Orientalism are wrong. It is worth noting how these ideas are natural progressions from Miki 's earlier thought; far from being a break, there is a noticible development taking place, and the influence of Nishida is also evident. Also notable is that this paper is remarkably moderate and advocates a point of view based upon premises that the militarists did not accept. A related paper in the same year, "The World Historical Significance of the China Incident"452 is the aforementioned speech that was delivered on the one-year anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, in July 1938. Then there are the two key documents produced by Miki 's Cultural Problems Research Group under his supervision. These are Principles of the Thought of New Japan453 in January 1939, and The Philosophical Foundation of Cooperativism454 in September 1939. The first document contains a section addressing the China Incident, following a similar pattern to the previous two documents discussed. The second document presents cooperativism as a new philosophy beyond Communism, individualism, liberalism, and so on. Here is presented the groundwork for cooperativism, which was to be the guiding force in the formulation of a new world ideology that would enable Japan to compete with other world ideologies. Both documents clearly illustrate the influence of Miki 's thought.455 They have also tended to be seen in retrospect alone, so that, for instance, the economic exploitation of Asia by Japan has been read back into these works, which is illogical and self-defeating for the purpose of understanding Miki and the Showa Kenkyu Kai. The use of the intellectuals' terminology by the army in justifying its pattern of expansion and destruction hardly constitutes the support of the intellectuals for said action. Hence, in the future I intend to return to these documents and offer a fresh interpretation that does not start from how they may have been misused by the army. Finally, it is fitting that now I return to another article that Miki wrote during the period, "Religion as the Leadership of the New Japan." I already made reference to this article before, but I mention it now because it was written in 1938 when Mik i was already a member of the Showa Kenkyu Kai. Yet the article is clearly a continuation of Miki 's earlier thought, and there is no major shift of any sort. Reading it now, it is clearly composed in the same spirit as those earlier works of Miki 's , and his passion for his arguments has not faded in the slightest. Mik i "shina jihen no sekai-shiteki igi" (July 7, 1938, Daito Bunka University Collection], as summarized briefly in Crowley's "Intellectuals" (363-366) and also "A new Asian Order" (278-279). This transcript does not appear to be included in the Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu. 4 5 3 rgf 0 if(D^MWM\ Shin-Nippon no Shiso Genri (January 1939). See Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu 17.507-533. 4 5 4 r ^ | g | £ j l ^ ^ ^ l f t i S f i g j Kyodo-shugi no Tetsugakuteki Kiso (September 1939). See Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu 17.534-588. 4 5 5 Miyakawa, 120-121, comes to a similar conclusion. 70 argues that religion is an engine for change because it can transcend the realm of politics. For Mik i , the universal aspects of religion transcend the particular and can assume a leadership role. This is quite different from the Marxist view of religion as merely another ideology formulated for the purpose of class control, but there is nothing new here: Mik i held the same views in the early 1930s. Religion and philosophy for Mik i lead politics and are influential in daily life and world affairs, not merely in abstract academic discussions. Mik i saw philosophy as not just ideals as distinct from reality, but rather something that directly affects reality and is fundamentally concerned with it. So it was that when Mik i waited for Konoe's implementation of the New Order, he was not a prisoner tied captive to some ideology he had been forced to create. Rather, he was a willing thinker who had struggled to deal with the problems facing his nation and attempt to find a solution; not being content to stand back as so many of his contemporaries had done, Mik i sought direct involvement — thereby being true to his ideals ~ and attempted to use his philosophy for the purpose of a broad-ranging program of reform that aimed at restoring the Japanese political system, and ending the military control, at the same time that internationally it would restore Japan to its earlier prestige and end the horrid mess in China that the army had begun for its own self-serving purposes. It was by no random act of the Divine or by chance that Mik i joined the Sh5wa Kenkyu Kai. After his exhausting work, he at last stood to fulfil his dream of directly having an impact on the real world and assisting Japan to overcome the quagmire she was sinking into. Hearing Konoe, as Premier, officially announce his grand schemes for reform, based on Miki 's ideas, must have been a highlight of his career. It was supposed to have been his proudest moment. Chapter V The Crucible Shatters: Dissolution and Defeat Considering, the tragedy of Konoe was also the tragedy of the Showa Kenkyu Kai.456 - Sakai Saburo Lord Konoe's was an existence that made us think of Mount Fuji soaring over many rivals, but he was not a leader who would drive his horse into the vanguard and lead an advance.451 - Goto Ryunosuke Konoe's ambitious program failed, and with it, the hopes of the Showa Kenkyu Kai. One of the immediate problems Konoe faced upon coming to power was a slew of international problems that began piling up. When Konoe assumed the premiership on June 4th, 1937, "he emphasized domestic affairs as the most pressing concern. There was, despite the Sian incident and the abortive efforts at a detente with Britain, no desire for or anticipation of war with " .CO China." The Marco Polo Bridge Incident and the war with Jiang Jieshi, in which Konoe rashly declared the 'New Order in East Asia' , was something he was hopelessly unprepared for. While the Showa Kenkyu Kai worked throughout 1938 and 1939 formulating the components of the New Order, the man who was to lead it was struggling to keep his head above the water. Not that the failure of the Showa Kenkyu Kai can be placed wholly on Konoe, offers Johnson, for a bigger problem was the members, specifically "the contradictory motives that brought [them] together, and peculiar style in which they communicated with each other, and the particular policies they espoused."459 The members may have been able to agree on what was Sakai, 294. Quoted in Sakai, 297. Crowley, "A New Asian Order: Some Notes on Prewar Japanese Nationalism", 276. Johnson, 115. 71 wrong with the current situation, and they supported trying to rein in the army and launch a program of reform, but how the army was to be controlled, and what the content of the reform should be, and how this was all to be implemented, was never resolved. Frustrated by his failure with regard to the situation in China, Konoe resigned in 1939, and would bide his time until ready to launch the New Order. 5.1 The Failure of the New Order Konoe appeared firmly planted in the spotlight again in June 1940, and declared that the New Order had begun. The old parties, already emancipated under the military power, effectively disssolved themselves in order to get on to the new project and maintain what power they had. 4 6 0 A month later Konoe returned as Premier4 6 1, and prepared to unleash the master plan. In August 1939, he had formed the Shintaisei Junbikai 4 6 2 (Commission for Establishing a New Political Order), a wide-ranging group of policy people who were to make the new order a reality.4 6 3 In a way, the Commission was the practical side of the Showa Kenkyu Kai coin, having been charged with actually implementing the grand vision. Unfortunately, the organization was heavily divided into multiple competing factions, with the conflict becoming so great that when Konoe finally announced the inauguration of the Imperial Rule Assistance Assocociation on the 12th October, 1940, he merely stated that the purpose of the organization was to foster loyalty to the Emperor in support of the government, and he said he had decided not to make an announcement of their overall plans. This was necessitated by the fact that the group could not agree even on the content of the speech, and this bland and redundant statement about loyalty was the only thing Konoe could say to keep everybody happy.4 6 4 The organization ended up doing little, and not just the 'Japanists' but the majority of the Diet came to see it as their enemy.4 6 5 Meanwhile, the army had ceased their reservations, but only because they had realized they could pervert the organization for their own use as a tool to mobilize the home front. According to Storry, Konoe lost control of the organization, but re-asserted control in 194 1 4 6 6 I am not sure whether or not this is true, but the Imperial Rule Assistance Association was reorganized completely again in 1941. It still failed to work. Konoe left the Premiership in October 1941, dejected and frustrated. The Imperial Rule Assistance Movement "was in its essence Konoe's failure," writes Takayanagi.467 "It remained a nation-wide organization only on paper despite Konoe's high-sounding rhetoric, mainly because of military infiltration and lack of articulation concerning the character of the movement." There had been people connected to the military in the Showa Kenkyu Kai, but it had never been under the military's control by any means. This was a mistake that the militarists did not repeat when it came to the Imperial Rule Assistance Association. Konoe's idealistic plans to reform Japan had failed. Konoe "was thwarted by the opposition of the Japanists. His ambitious plans for reform fizzled out, opening the way for military control of the domestic political system."469 The New Order Movement became a mere 4 6 0 Refer to Berger's Parties out of Power, discussed earlier. 4 6 1 Second Konoe Cabinet: 1940.07.22 - 1941.07.18; Third Konoe Cabinet: 1941.07.18- 1941.10.18 4 6 3 Nakamura Takafusa, 164. 4 6 4 Ibid.,165. Nakamura actually gives the date of the inauguration as 1939, but this is clearly a mistake. Refer to if SI®—615 Kisaka Junichiro, r A B & H l f "Taisei Yokusan Kai" [Imperial Rule Assistance Association] in A £ W J Kokushi Daijiten [Great Encyclopedia of National History] 8.790-8.791. 4 6 5 Nakamura Takafusa, 165. 4 6 6 Storry, 279-280. 4 6 7 Takayanagi, 105. 4 6 8 Ibid. 4 6 9 Nakamura Takafusa, 179. 72 branch of the Home Ministry, used to mobilize the home front and suppress domestic resistance, and the idea of the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere was used to justify military expansion across the Asia-Pacific. The Showa Kenkyu Kai's policies had been perverted and put to the use of the very powers they had hoped to stop through creating them. By this point, however, the Showa Kenkyu Kai itself was long gone. What had happened? 5.2 The Dissolution of the Showa Kenkyu Kai Well before its dissolution in 1940, the Showa Kenkyu Kai had come under frequent attack as Communist-orientated, and most of the reform bureaucrats connected with it had prudently withdrawn.4 7 0 Sakai had also stated that the organization was attacked as 'red', both before and after the war. 4 7 1 Much of this may have had to do with how intellectuals in general came to be seen as Marxist, which is something I suggested back in the second chapter while discussing Mik i and Marxism. Hori Makiyo, for instance, shows in "Kita Ikki and Japanese Fascism" how the general public regarded Kita Ikki, of all people, as a Marxist. 4 7 2 This criticism, however, was not the main reason for the dissolution. The Showa Kenkyu Kai was dissolved in November, 1940, when Goto left to take a role in the Imperial Rule Assistance Association. A replacement could not be found, but perhaps that was an excuse. Possibly, with the creation of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, and the criticism levelled at both it and the Showa Kenkyu Kai by the military, business interests, and rightists generally, there was no real purpose for the Showa Kenkyu Kai anymore. Sakai suggests that finances were also an issue. With some key members having joined the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, the continuation of the Showa Kenkyu Kai was in jeopardy, he explained, especially the look of expenses; at that point, The decision by the permanent committee to dissolve was not decided at one time, rather there was continual discussion. Especially Miki Kiyoshi, until the end argued "We should continue to the last, " but nearly all of the members said "we have no choice, " and finally dissolution was decided upon. Later Miki even said "If it is that the money is not holding out, I will make more myself. " To myself, he gave the name of a certain religious organization and confessed where he had gotten the money from.473 Later, the ex-Showa Kenkyu Kai members were distrusted by Konoe, argues Spaulding, given that the March 28, 1941 Planning Board Incident and the Sorge Spy Case had both involved former Showa Kenkyu Kai members.474 Thus, "In reaction, having learned too late the folly of trusting Ozaki, Konoe became suspicious of almost everyone who had any connection Kazama Michitaro, Ozaki Hotsumi den (Tokyo: Hosei Daigaku Shuppankyoku, 1968), 240, cited in Spaulding, 66. 4 7 1 Sakai, 294. 4 7 2 Hori Makiyo, "Kita Ikki and Japanese Fascism," Rethinking Japan vol.11: Social Sciences, Ideology & Thought, Eds. Adriana Boscaro, Franco Gatti, and Massimo Raveri (Sandgate, Folkstone, Kent: Japan Library Ltd , 1990), 70-79; 71, citing Yamamoto Katsuichi, Keikaku Keizai Hihan (Tokyo: Risosha Shupanbu, 1941), 7. 4 7 3 Sakai, 221. 4 7 4 Spaulding, 65-66. In the Planning Board Incident, 17 officials of the Cabinet Planning Board were arrested for Communist activity; Spaulding (66) says that 6 of these were Showa Kenkyu Kai members. In the Sorge Spy Case, Ozaki Hotsumi was arrested on October 15th 1941 as a Soviet spy. Ozaki was a key member of Konoe's entourage and had been one of the top figures in both the Showa Kenkyu Kai and the Breakfast Society. Ozaki assisted Richard Sorge, who through posing as a German newspaperman had received information from the German ambassador. Sorge's tale is told in F. W. Deakin and G. R. Storry, The Case of Richard Sorge (London: Chatto and Windus, 1966). Ozaki is the most well-known person to be executed under the revised Peace Preservation Law of 1928, and the best account of his story is Chalmers Johnson's. 73 with the [Showa Kenkyu Ka i ] . " 4 7 5 Konoe thus fell out with the 'new bureaucrats' and the former Showa Kenkyu Kai members at the same time. Finally, many former Showa Kenkyu Kai members were arrested in the Yokohama Incident476, again because of their supposed connections to resurgent Communist activity, (which was especially feared after the Sorge Incident477) 4 7 8 Mik i , too, did not escape from the wreck of the Showa Kenkyu Kai ship unscathed. 5.3 Miki 's Fate Miki likely felt deeply hurt by the breakup of the Showa Kenkyu Kai. Not only did he rashly offer to keep the organization afloat financially, as Sakai Saburo indicated, but he furthermore felt betrayed by Goto's departure and the unwillingness of the remaining members to keep the organization going. According to Shimizu Kitaro, Miki greatly resented Goto's unexpected jump to that place [the Taisei Yokusan Kai] as a chief of the organization, in exchange for the ruination of a major national policy research institute that brought together influential persons of broad political circles, official circles, academic circles, and the press. It is not the case though that with even a little frivolous feeling Goto entered the Yokusan Kai. Far from it, it was with the feeling of risking himself confronting a national movement. However, for Miki, who had poured his heart and soul into the research association, which until now had been prone to be separate from politics419 (along with the apathy of the intellectual stratum which had started), without receiving a penny of reward, for the Showa Kenkyu Kai which met everyday without pay to simply break up must have been as painful as cutting himself.!480 Perhaps Mik i still held out some hope for reform through the Showa Kenkyu Kai, or he had not expected his role to come to an end with the inception of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association. Perhaps he harboured bitter resentment towards those who, having failed, were now prepared to accept defeat instead of keeping up the struggle. Some, like Barshay, have stated that after 1941, Mik i resumed contact with the left, but I am not sure precisely what that means since his circle of acquaintances and the organizations he participated in changed during his work for the Showa Kenkyu K a i . 4 8 1 I think instead that Mik i was disillusioned with the New Order and the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere (the 4 / 5 Ibid., 66. 4 7 6 4 7 8 Janice Matsumura's monograph, More Than a Momentary Nightmare: The Yokohama Incident and Wartime Japan looks at this incident in considerable depth. The term "Yokohama Incident" referred to the city where much of the police investigation took place; this investigation had its origins in the arrest of the political writer Hosokawa Karoku, a former Showa Kenkyu Kai member, in September 1942 (13-14). The Political Economic Research Group was a key target; it had been organized by members of the Showa Academy, a sort of student wing of the Showa Kenkyu Kai that had proved a refuge for students expelled from school after being arrested for leftist activity (21). Some notable editors and journalists (such as those of Child Koron) were also rounded up (22); however, most of the people arrested were formerly in the Showa Kenkyu Kai. The Showa Academy, also originally found by Goto, was dissolved following the arrest of Ozaki Hotsumi, who had been one of its directors. 4 7 9 This is not to mean they were uninvolved politically (quite the contrary), but to mean they were supposedly immune from political threat and should not have suffered dissolution due to a change in the political structure. Indeed, many suggest for some reason that the Showa Kenkyu Kai members were somehow politically immune, but this was certainly not the case! 4 8 0 Sakai, 221. 4 8 1 Barshay, 28, 214-215. 74 actualization of which proved no better than the exploitive Western empires it was supposed to supercede), and that this resulted in him returning to a more idealistic and removed position, although he did not back away from his belief in political involvement and reality-centered philosophy. It is possible that although he still held these beliefs, Mik i had decided that he had tried his best and there was little else that he could do personally. Although his thought remained consistent, his most earnest attempt, through the Showa Kenkyu Kai, to put it into action had brought about a terrible failure, and while it was likely that he saw it as a failure of implementation and not of fundamentals, nevertheless the experience must have been one of profound disillusionment with the enterprise that he had been involved in. Mik i went on writing, and ironically enough, his later work showed his thought becoming slightly closer to Nishida's, which may explain why he has occasionally been seen as just a student of the Kyoto School. He had not abandoned his studies of history, having in 1939 written the two-volume The Logic of the Power of Conception in which he investigated the "ethics of historical creation."4 2 In early 1941 another work of Miki 's , " A History of the Sino-Japanese Cultural Relations," was published by the Institute of Pacific Relations of the Japanese Council, as part of a series of works addressing current developments in Japan that were translated; Ryu, Royama, and Ozaki were among others whose essays were translated for the series. Just as he had during his time as a member of the Showa Kenkyu Kai, he continued to work on a variety of projects. Miki faced another distraction from his work when he was drafted into the military propaganda branch in 1942 and proceeded to Manila; by now he was thoroughly disillusioned with Japan's road and wanted simply to return to his writing. However, Mik i retained his aggressive and outspoken nature to some extent. Not that Mik i was not prepared. Funayama recalled that Mik i hid himself quickly during the February 26th Affair, and was very proud of having built a strong shelter as soon as the control of goods during the war started, similarly encouraging his friends to build such shelters ~ why, wondered Funayama, did Mik i stay around Tokyo for so long? 4 8 4 Yet Mik i had always been one to court danger through both speech and pen, and considering what had happened to many other former members of the Showa Kenkyu Kai, who remained on police and military lists as potential threats, perhaps it was just a matter of time before his luck ran out. On March 28th, 1945, Mik i was arrested, for a "violation of protecting the maintainance of the public peace" because he had protected his friend, the Communist thinker Takakura Teru . Takakura was a writer and had been involved in the socialist movement; furthermore, he had been arrested in the April 1933 roundup, although he was released the next year on 487 bail. Yet Miki 's assistance hardly seems the sort of thing that should have landed him in jail. Actually, Takakura had escaped from the police, and come to see Mik i to get food and clothes.4 8 8 Hence, Mik i was in trouble for assisting "a fugitive anti-war activist who had escaped from 4 8 2 Furuta, 288. 4 8 3 Miki Kiyoshi, "A History of the Sino-Japanese Cultural Relations", Introductory Studies on the Sino-Japanese Conflict, (Tokyo: Japanese Council, Institute of Pacific Relations, 1941), 3-50. 4 8 4 Funayama, 6. 485 MM 4 8 6 Furuta, 288. 487|JLiIfH#1fe Yamano Haruo, ^Ws-MMl "Takakura Teru" in I" 0 ^ i f i l l f t A ^ S ? f t j Nihon Kingendai Jinmei Jiten [Encyclopedia of People in Modem and Contemporary Japan], Tokyo: 2001, 592. 4 8 8 Piovesana, 179-180. 75 j a i l . " 4 8 9 Yet how much Mik i knew is open to question, and we are right to be suspicious when we consider the debacle that resulted in his going to jail in 1930. Ohashi Ryosuke suggests that Miki was simply careless; comparing the potential of Mik i and Nishida to be arrested, he says Speaking of Miki, he was arrested, for the minor offense of cooperating with the escape of a Communist, close to a false charge, and it was not the case that he was eventually released alive. In his case in contrast [to Nishida], if he had behaved a little more cautiously, he would have avoided being arrested.490 It is certainly true that Mik i had never been one to be overly cautious. Funayama wondered about Miki 's arrest, Was it not connected with his carelessness, such as saying "Hitler will commit suicide " or "Japan will be occupied by the US military so master English conversation well from now " in a loud voice on the train shortly after the war started? Tosaka's being put in jail until death was the result of his being careful, but carelessness was working behind Miki's being put in jail until death.491 It remains suspicious that after so long Miki was arrested and imprisoned over this, though. One is naturally inclined to suspect Takakura Teru, and with good reason, according to Miki 's brother-in-law, Tohata Seiichi 4 9 . Tohata explains that bad luck was to blame for Mik i landing in jail a second time, but the 'luck' in question had a clearly identifiable source; when he heard from Iwanami Shoten4 9 3 that Mik i was arrested, he was shocked and assumed it was due to "the crazy suppression policy when Japan was becoming very likely to be defeated."494 However, this turned out to be not the case, because Takakura Teru, while released for a few days (probably because of his mother's funeral), escaped, and was finally re-arrested, but while escpaing he had visited Miki 's house and taken clothes or money, so it seems that "it was the case that Miki was arrested under the suspicion of the crime of helping him escape from j a i l . " 4 9 5 Tohata realized that Takakura Teru had told the police everything in order to save himself, dooming Mik i in the process: It was like a bolt from the blue, and I could not help but hold him in strong contempt for his speech and action, which was talking fluently of the matter from the beginning to the 4 8 9 ^ H # ShidaNoboru, \ =i.Mn(D r H ^ n f ^ t n J J "Miki Kiyoshi no 'Jissenteki Yuibutsuron'" [Miki Kiyoshi's Practical Materialism], BH^m-St^^f lx Yuibutsuron Kenkyu Nenpd [Materialism Research Annual] l(soukan-go) (1985.10), 48-68; 48 490±m&iv- Ohashi Ryosuke, \Wik 0 : H^ff i -1 mm'MMb m& 0 # © g i * & f f i f 2 ^ & j O E ^ r ^ o T V ^ c C V ^ ^ J "Sengo Nihon no Shiso Hyoshiki: Miki Kiyoshi to Nishida Kitaro -- Sengo Nihon no Tetsugaku Shiso wa Funinsho wo Wazuratteinai ka" [The Sign of Post-war Japanese Thought: Miki Kiyoshi and Nishida Kitaro - Was Post-war Japanese Philosophy Afflicted with Sterility?], ^•'r4 ifl^l AITEION 40 (spring 1996), 194-210; 207. 4 9 1 Funayama, 6. Emphasis his. 492 mmm-4 9 3 S Stiff J2J Iwanami's bookstore, now a major Japanese publisher. WM')MW~ Tohata Seiichi, t^bfrb $ h\ "Sotokara mita Miki-san" [The Miki I Saw from Outside], =.^lnikMM # 1 9 # Miki Kiyoshi Zenshu Geppo [Miki Kiyoshi Complete Works, Monthly Bulletin] 19 (1968.5), 1-4; 3 76 end to the police. In sum, Miki was not a criminal of thought, but a regular criminal + 496 suspect. Miki was locked up at the Tokyo House of Detention.497 He died there on September 26, 1945 at the age of 48. 4 9 8 It is not known precisely how he died, although it was most likely sickness. Writes Shida Noboru, ...on 26th September 1945, he died from sickness, in loneliness behind bars. It was a tragic death, as if symbolizing the life of the philosopher who raised the flags of "Humanism " and "Anti-Fascism, " and discussed a "limited situation.499 Furthermore, Ryu Shintaro observed that If the authorities could really have understood, [Miki] would not have hesitated to spend all of his brains and passion, and especially at least until 1935 he was really willing to help the government with his all, i f they could have understood his true meaning. But the reward the government gave Miki was death in jail, and this is not just an embarrasment but is truly terrible.5 0 0 Shida also notes that "It is said that Miki 's death became one 'affair,' and because of that the release of political prisoners by the occupation army was at last actualized."501 Indeed, Nakamura's account reveals that 439 political prisoners were released on the 10th of October, and the Peace Preservation Law was repealed on the 13th. Shortly afterwards, on the morning of the 16th of December 1945, Prince Konoe Fumimaro, who had worked to avoid war, planned to usher in a new era of reform, played a key role in the surrender in August 1945, and harboured hopes of working on a new constiution now that the country was free to reform (under the direction of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP), as opposed to that of the Showa Kenkyu Kai), upon learning that he was to be investigated as a war criminal, took poison rather than face such shame. Shortly before his suicide, Konoe called Goto and requested of him, "Since the China Incident, I repeated all manner of failures, but what I was aiming at was different. In the future I want this to be clear to the whole country. " The intentions of the Showa Kenkyu Kai too were quite different [from the failures in reality]?03 Conclusion / think he, ultimately, as intelligentsia, was not able to surpass the limits of petit-bourgeois. Yet, in spite of that, he, as an intelligentsia, facing the nationalism of the authorities, facing the conservatism of academism, and facing the aggression of the 4 9 6 Ibid. 4 9 7 Nakamura Takafusa, 266. 4 9 8 Miki's grave is at Shomiji Temple in Nakano (Furuta, 288). 4 9 9 Shida, 48. 5 0 0 Ryu, 6. Emphasis mine, although he does really stress "terrible." 5 0 1 Shida, 48. 5 0 2 Nakamura Takafusa, 266. 5 0 3 Sakai, 289. 77 military, with the weapon called thought he did his best attempting opposition, and fought. It was when fascism was running wild that the fate of imprisonment visited him. His death in prison is a tragedy, but a suitable death as an anti-fascist fighter. Relating to his imprisonment, a little earlier, the avant-garde [progressive] parties, empty-handed, had already disappeared, and the will to fight of the proletariat class also began weakening. I think, at such a time, until the last not breaking from the progressive position and trying to resist fascism through journalism was, even thinking of it now, courageous.504 -Kaba Shuno on Mik i Mik i was a complex thinker who had always retained a practical edge and saw the Showa Kenkyu Kai as a way to enact his ideas. Miki 's formative period set the stage for his involvement, as he learned a wide variety of philosophical perspectives which he studied with the same critical and humanistic eye, and, faced with the chaos, but also the opportunity of Japan in the 1930s, he became more politically involved, and began to publish widely at the same time that he participated in several organizations. Moreover, he was in fact very similar to Prince Konoe Fumimaro, with whom he shared similar interests and a desire to improve the world through philosophy. Miki 's decision to participate in the Showa Kenkyu Kai was a logical step in his career, offering him a chance to work alongside other intellectuals to forge a synthetic philsophy which was to form the basis of a New Order both in Japan domestically and in Asia internationally. There is a strong continuity, devoid of dramatic shifts, in Miki 's thought. Not only was Miki 's involvement in the Showa Kenkyu Kai not inconsistent with his earlier thought, but it is actually an entirely understandable step for someone who believed as strongly as he did that philosophy should lead politics and offer a solution to the rising militarists and the series of crises facing Japan from within and without. Mik i ultimately was able to fulfil his desire of truly involving himself in politics through the formulation of policy, just as Konoe was to fulfil his by attempting to usher in a new era that would enable Japan to stabalize domestically, end the war in China, and compete with the Western world's ideologies. The efforts of both men, and that of the organization that brought them together, the Showa Kenkyu Kai, were ultimately to end in bitter failure, a failure that doomed Japan to a course it could not shake itself free from. Further research is needed concerning various aspects of the Showa Kenkyu Kai, particularly with regard to what members had the strongest effect on particular policies. I mentioned earlier that Nishida is almost a household name in Japan whereas few know who Mik i was, and considering how important he was at the time and how the popular audience then only knew Nishida through Mik i , it is unforgivable that he has not received enough attention. He deserves better than I can offer him, and he deserves to have a fair treatment and a decent evaluation of his numerous and insightful writings, not mere reductions of him to a simple category to be filed and ignored. A l l of Miki 's works should be considered in evaluating him as a philosopher, not just those dealing with Marx, and more than ever he needs to be studied as an independent, individual thinker on his own grounds. I hope to some extent that my re-evaluation of him and his role in the Showa Kenkyu Kai can contribute to that. This has ultimately been a chronicle of failure: the Showa Kenkyu Kai failed to bring about its New Order, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association which resulted was reduced to a mere tool for mass mobilization, the army ran amok unchecked, Konoe failed to both control the army and keep the country out of war, and Miki saw his philosophical vision realized not in a glorious emancipation and worldly historical development of new thought, but in a reign of Kaba, 5-6. Emphasis mine. 78 terror, with his hopes reduced to mere bloody tatters across the Asia-Pacific. However, as Sakai observes, However, even though the result was to end in breakdown, intellectuals who until then had been indifferent to politics and but bystanders got together and seized Japan's destiny as their own; surpassing interests they discussed day and night, suffering, as they grappled with the issue of the Japan-China war which had become more serious and important than ever, and endeavouring to find a solution. 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