Japanese Historians and the National Myths, 1600-1945: The Age of the Gods and Emperor Jinmu

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UBC Press, 1999 - History - 256 pages
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In Japanese Historians and the National Myths, John Brownlee examines how Japanese historians between 1600 and 1945 interpreted the ancient myths of their origins. Ancient tales tell of Japan's creation in the Age of the Gods, and of Jinmu, a direct descendant of the Sun Goddess and first emperor of the imperial line. These founding myths went unchallenged until Confucian scholars in the Tokugawa period initiated a reassessment of the ancient history of Japan. These myths lay at the core of Japanese identity and provided legitimacy for the imperial state. Focusing on the theme of conflict and accommodation between scholars on one side and government and society on the other, Brownlee follows the historians' reactions to pressure and trends and their eventual understanding of history as a science in the service of the Japanese nation.
  

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Contents

Introduction
3
The Betrayal of Scientific History 131
12
Dai Nihon Shi History of Great Japan
29
Arai Hakuseki 16571725
43
Three Stages in the History of Japan
54
The Resistance of the National Scholars
61
European Influences on Meiji Historical Writing
71
Ludwig Riess 18611928 and his wife Otsuka Fuku
75
Kume Kunitake 18391931 with an example of his calligraphy
93
The Development of Academic History 107
107
The Southern and Northern Courts Controversy 1911
118
Mikami Sanji 18651939
138
Tsuji Zennosuke 18771955 155
155
Hiraizumi Kiyoshi 18951984
169
Granite monument marking a historical site related to Emperor Jinmu 184
184
Two boys examine a textbook censored by the Ministry of Education
204

The Beginning of Academic History
81
The Kume Kunitake Incident 18902
92

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About the author (1999)

John S. Brownlee is Professor of Japanese History in the Department of History, University of Toronto.

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