- 埼玉大学紀要. 教養学部 = Saitama University Review. Faculty of Liberal Arts (ISSN:1349824X)
- vol.54, no.1, pp.69-103, 2018
This essay criticizes the contention of Anglophone scholars that fascism best describes the polity of wartime Japan. It disputes their claim of a Japanese scholarly consensus on the question of Japanese fascism and points out a historiographical divergence on this matter between Japanese and Anglophone scholarship. It surveys perceptions of fascism in the 1930s, revealing the diverse and imprecise usage of the term and the futility of appealing to the views of any given contemporary observer in order to argue convincingly for a fascist Japan. This survey does indicate the importance of idealist nationalism and the socialist critique of capitalism to the era’s nationalist movement, and thus for identifying any fascist components to prewar nationalism and assessing their significance to the wartime polity. The essay also contests the blanket portrayal of the “new bureaucrats” as fascists by revealing the divided nature of contemporary opinion on this matter and their own critical reaction to the prospect of Japanese fascism.