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Author: Ildikó Farkas   |   Pages: 85–105



According to the secondary literature of past decades, many features of Meiji Japan (1868-1912) that had been regarded as 'traditionally Japanese' have been proven to be 'invented traditions' of an era of building a modern nation and a national consciousness as part of the process of modernization. The creation of a nation state based on a strong nationalism followed the European developmental pattern, but was built on Japanese cultural traditions. One of the aims of this paper is to trace back the sources of this process, suggesting that pre-modern and culturalist conceptions of community were also used. This paper suggests that in this respect, the Japanese cultural movement of nation-forming shows similarities not with the nation states of Western Europe (where nationalism was strongly attached to modernity) but rather with the 'national awakening' movements of the peoples of Central Europe, which have not yet been dealt with in the secondary literature.


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