\(Nakano Seig\bar{o}\) and the Politics of Democracy, Empire and Fascism in Prewar and Wartime Japan

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\(Nakano Seig\bar{o}\) and the Politics of Democracy, Empire and Fascism in Prewar and Wartime Japan

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Title: \(Nakano Seig\bar{o}\) and the Politics of Democracy, Empire and Fascism in Prewar and Wartime Japan
Author: von Loë, Stefano
Citation: von Loë, Stefano. 2011. \(Nakano Seig\bar{o}\) and the Politics of Democracy, Empire and Fascism in Prewar and Wartime Japan. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: The subject of this dissertation is the life and career of \(Nakano Seig\bar{o}\), a Japanese journalist and politician born in Fukuoka-city on the southwestern island of \(Ky\bar{u}sh\bar{u}\) in 1886. Initially a liberal and a democrat, Nakano became enamored with European-style fascist movements in the 1930s and tried to start a similar political mass movement in Japan. Advocating a hard-line \(vis-\grave{a}-vis\) America and England, Nakano supported Japan’s entry into WW2. As early as mid-1942, however, he understood that Japan could not win the war and demanded that the government sue for peace – a position that put him into direct opposition with Japan’s military. After being imprisoned briefly for his attempt to bring down the \(T\bar{o}j\bar{o}\) cabinet in the summer of 1943, Nakano committed ritual suicide in October of the same year. The dissertation focuses on Nakano’s enchantment with European fascist movements – Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in particular - and his attempts to launch a similar movement in Japan. Nakano’s attraction to fascism was, in part, a reaction to the international economic and political trends following the Great Depression but also reflected his life-long admiration for charismatic political leaders. His fascist leanings were also the result of a complex political calculation that aimed to exploit the appearance of the masses on Japan’s political stage. The thesis argues that Nakano’s attempt to launch a popular mass movement modeled on the European fascist movements failed both because Nakano’s parties (first the \(Kokumin D\bar{o}mei\), 1931-6 and then the \(T\bar{o}h\bar{o}kai\), 1937 – 1943) lacked ideological cohesion as well as truly totalitarian scope and because Nakano refused to resort to political violence as a means to achieve his political ends.
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Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10121972
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