In an ever more globalized world, sustainable global development requires effective intercultural co-operations. This dialogue between non-western and western cultures is essential to identifying global solutions for global socio-political challenges.
Modern Japanese Political Thought and International Relations critiques the formation of non-western International Relations by assessing Japanese political concepts to contemporary IR discourses since the Meji Restoration, to better understand knowledge exchanges in intercultural contexts. Each chapter focuses on a particular aspect of this dialogue, from international law and nationalism to concepts of peace and Daoism, this collection grapples with postcolonial questions of Japan’s indigenous IR theory.
Japan as Potential: Communicating across Boundaries for a Global International Relations: An Introduction, Felix Rösch and Atsuko Watanabe / Part I: Challenging International Law and towards a Global IR? Investigations into Japan’s Entry into the Westphalian System of Nation-States / Chapter 1. How Did Two Daos Perceive the International Differently? Atsuko Watanabe and Ariel Shangguan / Chapter 2. Japan's Early Challenge to Eurocentrism and the World Court, Tetsuya Toyoda / Chapter 3. Kōtarō Tanaka (1890-1974) and Global International Relations, Kevin M Doak / Part II. Empire-Building or in Search for Global Peace? Japanese Political Thought’s Encounter with the West / Chapter 4. Unlearning Asia: Fukuzawa’s Un-regionalism in the Late Nineteenth Century, Atsuko Watanabe / Chapter 5. Pursuing a More Dynamic Concept of Peace: Japanese Liberal Intellectuals' Responses to the Interwar Crisis, Seiko Mimaki / Chapter 6. Rethinking the Liberal/Pluralist Vision of Japan’s Colonial Studies, Ryoko Nakano / Part III. Local(ized) Japanese Political Concepts for a Twenty-First Century IR / Chapter 7. Who are the People? A History of Discourses on Political Collective Subjectivity in Post-War Japan, Eiji Oguma / Chapter 8. Amae as Emotional Interdependence: Analyzing Japan’s Nuclear Policy and US-Japan Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, Misato Matsuoka / Chapter 9. The Pitfalls in the Project of Overcoming Western Modernity: Rethinking the Lineage of the Japanese Historical Revisionism, Hiroyuki Tosa / Part IV. Forming an Imagined Community, yet Reaching People Globally? Japanese Popular Culture in Historical Perspective / Chapter 10. From Failure to Fame: Shōin Yoshida’s Shifting Role in the Mythology of Modern Japan, Sean O’Reilly / Chapter 11. Hayao Miyazaki as a Political Thinker: Culture, Soft Power, and Traditionalism beyond Nationalism, Kosuke Shimizu / Chapter 12. Who’s the Egg? Who’s the Wall? – Appropriating Haruki Murakami’s ‘Always on the Side of the Egg’ Speech in Hong Kong, Michael Tsang / Conclusion: Is there any Japanese International Relations Theory? Atsuko Watanabe and Felix Rösch / Notes on Contributors / Index
Opening innovative ways to rethink global politics through the lens of Japanese political theory, this book explores the implications arising from the classic twin IR banners of anarchy and sovereignty, and instead focuses on the notions of difference and dialogue in order to elucidate the value-added of a global IR. It combines Japanese political thought and International Relations theory in a fresh and stimulating way, taking its cues from a close reading of historical and legal, as well as popular cultural sources. To this end, Rösch and Watanabe have succeeded in bringing together the best possible team of scholars in the fields of international law, international political theory and Japanese political theory, in particular from within Japan, but also from the anglophone world. The quality of this coherently structured volume is outstanding. It is a must read both in IR and political theory, as it has something to offer for different audiences: experts on Japanese external relations and readers interested in theories of IR, as well as those looking for novel sources on philosophical and anthropological thought on the contested notion of the global. This is scholarship of the finest kind!
This book aims to overcome a difficulty that International Relations, the most international, but not necessarily global social science, is facing: by viewing Japan as ‘a potential’, it tries to put a global International Relations into practice. While this book looks at modern Japanese thought from an encompassing perspective, the chapters are surprisingly consistent in their concerted effort to elicit global implications from this local perspective. Dedicated students who are striving for going beyond conventional research and education will profit from reading this book.
Felix Rosch is Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Coventry University.
Atsuko Watanabe is Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo.