Cultures of Modernity in the Making of the United States-Japan Cold War Alliance

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/305865
Title:
Cultures of Modernity in the Making of the United States-Japan Cold War Alliance
Author:
Kimura, Masami
Issue Date:
2013
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation explores the cultural and intellectual factors in the remaking of US-Japan relations which transformed as the two countries transitioned from enemies to allies after 1945. Diverging from the traditional approaches of diplomatic and political history that, focusing on state actors, describe policymaking processes, I comparatively study public discourses in 1940s-early 1950s America and Japan where various groups and actors - politicians, bureaucrats, journalists, scholars, and intellectuals - participated and created. Both peoples shared a similar discourse concerning modernization and, indeed, developed parallel ideas about modern Japanese history and the causes of Japanese militarism, the postwar democratization of Japan, and the making of a postwar Asian peace. They believed in the European progressive view of history, variously interpreted, and judged Japan to be "underdeveloped," compared with the "advanced West," having become an unlawful aggressor nation in the 1930s. Such views of a "failed" modernity and subsequent war rationalized Allied occupation and democratization reforms in post-surrender Japan. The more influenced by Marxian theories, the more critical they were of Japan's incomplete modernization, and the more enthusiastic for Allied - or American - intervention in postwar reforms. American and Japanese discourses on the reform of Japan's political organization, namely constitutional revision, show similar reformist plans from reconstruction of the constitutional monarchy to republican options. Those adopting Marxist analyses found the root cause of Japan's undemocratic and aggressive nature in the emperor system called for its elimination; those who did not believe that democratization required the overthrow of monarchy suggested reforming Japan's imperial institution to make democratic government function better. In addition, both Americans and Japanese shared the Wilsonian idea of internationalism, and they expected Japan to reenter the postwar Asia-Pacific as a totally demilitarized, democratic, and pacifist country that could contribute to peace and development of the region. With the Cold War, the US policies for Asia and Japan altered. So did the internationalist visions, causing political debates in the United States and Japan. My work ultimately shows such parallel and intersecting cultures where US-Japan relations were rehabilitated in the immediate-postwar years.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
diplomatic history; early Cold War period; intellectual history; US-Japan relations; History; cultural studies
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; History
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Schaller, Michael
Committee Chair:
Schaller, Michael

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleCultures of Modernity in the Making of the United States-Japan Cold War Allianceen_US
dc.creatorKimura, Masamien_US
dc.contributor.authorKimura, Masamien_US
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation explores the cultural and intellectual factors in the remaking of US-Japan relations which transformed as the two countries transitioned from enemies to allies after 1945. Diverging from the traditional approaches of diplomatic and political history that, focusing on state actors, describe policymaking processes, I comparatively study public discourses in 1940s-early 1950s America and Japan where various groups and actors - politicians, bureaucrats, journalists, scholars, and intellectuals - participated and created. Both peoples shared a similar discourse concerning modernization and, indeed, developed parallel ideas about modern Japanese history and the causes of Japanese militarism, the postwar democratization of Japan, and the making of a postwar Asian peace. They believed in the European progressive view of history, variously interpreted, and judged Japan to be "underdeveloped," compared with the "advanced West," having become an unlawful aggressor nation in the 1930s. Such views of a "failed" modernity and subsequent war rationalized Allied occupation and democratization reforms in post-surrender Japan. The more influenced by Marxian theories, the more critical they were of Japan's incomplete modernization, and the more enthusiastic for Allied - or American - intervention in postwar reforms. American and Japanese discourses on the reform of Japan's political organization, namely constitutional revision, show similar reformist plans from reconstruction of the constitutional monarchy to republican options. Those adopting Marxist analyses found the root cause of Japan's undemocratic and aggressive nature in the emperor system called for its elimination; those who did not believe that democratization required the overthrow of monarchy suggested reforming Japan's imperial institution to make democratic government function better. In addition, both Americans and Japanese shared the Wilsonian idea of internationalism, and they expected Japan to reenter the postwar Asia-Pacific as a totally demilitarized, democratic, and pacifist country that could contribute to peace and development of the region. With the Cold War, the US policies for Asia and Japan altered. So did the internationalist visions, causing political debates in the United States and Japan. My work ultimately shows such parallel and intersecting cultures where US-Japan relations were rehabilitated in the immediate-postwar years.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectdiplomatic historyen_US
dc.subjectearly Cold War perioden_US
dc.subjectintellectual historyen_US
dc.subjectUS-Japan relationsen_US
dc.subjectHistoryen_US
dc.subjectcultural studiesen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHistoryen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorSchaller, Michaelen_US
dc.contributor.chairSchaller, Michaelen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSchaller, Michaelen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberDean, Roberten_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBernstein, Gailen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLanza, Fabioen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMcVeigh, Brianen_US
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