To build a strong nation: The political thought of Masao Maruyama

2006 2006

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Abstract (summary)

The greatest political thinker in post-WWII Japan, Masao Maruyama, insisted that Japan should be unarmed and neutral. Because of this advocacy, his security thought has been dismissed as impractical. But I found that his thought was founded on solid theory and political realism. This finding also reveals that Maruyama's primary goal was not the establishment of democracy nor the introduction of scientific politics as people believe, but to build a strong Japan. How, then, can this goal and unarmed neutrality be married?

To inquire the question, I analyzed all of Maruyama's works: 16 volumes of collected works, 9 volumes of conversations, 7 volumes of collected lectures, 7 volumes of collected letters, his diary. Also, I studied the criticisms on him in various sources. To understand the background against which he worked, I mainly read secondary books.

In my study I found out that Maruyama believed that modern nationalism is the most important for national security, its bedrock. He also believed that such nationalism must be led by the logic of politics pragmatically applied. Maruyama based his belief on his analysis of the causes of the WWII. His analysis taught that Japan was led by an ideology which prevented her from establishing a modern nationalism and from following the logic of politics.

After WWII, Maruyama, seeing the international environment pragmatically, thought that unarmed neutrality was the only policy consistent with Japan's interest: Alliance with the US would undermine modern nationalism; Rearmament in the nuclear age would go against the logic of politics.

Maruyama's advocacy of unarmed neutrality failed to prevail at the time. Now, however, after half a century has passed. The Japanese people have become receptive of Maruyama's security thought.

Indexing (details)

Political science
0615: Political science
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Japan; Maruyama, Masao; Nation-building; Neutrality; Postwar
To build a strong nation: The political thought of Masao Maruyama
Sasaki, Fumiko
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 66/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780542430961, 0542430967
Thayer, Nathaniel
The Johns Hopkins University
University location
United States -- Maryland
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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