The cultural career of the Japanese economy

Developmental and cultural nationalisms in historical perspective

Laura E Hein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This essay explores the connection between the economy and cultural identity in Japanese nationalism and the intellectual discourses that have historically defined it. Nationalism in the pre-war period was closely associated with the anxiety that Japanese modernity was deformed. After World War II Japan was part of the global trend towards developmental nationalism, including a transformation of its economy into both a wealthy and a highly egalitarian one. In the 1970s and 1980s ethnic nationalism re-emerged, this time arguing that economic success was the product of Japanese cultural uniqueness rather than of the developmental nationalist policies of the previous quarter-century. The economic downturn of the 1990s thus challenged Japan both economically and culturally, and reawakened anxieties about Japanese deformity. At first, this crisis led to a critical re-evaluation of national culture, manifested as serious attempts to both resolve tensions with Asia dating from World War II and to dismantle domestic social hierarchies. By the mid-1990s, however, this moment had passed and government and business leaders adopted fully fledged neoliberal policies, reversing the long postwar trend towards income equality, also expressing a more strident and militarist cultural nationalism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-465
Number of pages19
JournalThird World Quarterly
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

Fingerprint

cultural career
historical perspective
nationalism
economy
World War II
Japan
anxiety
deformity
cultural identity
economic success
national culture
modernity
trend
economics
equality
income
leader
discourse
evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development

Cite this

@article{cfa1779d97f14f64bd4192b723b96cfa,
title = "The cultural career of the Japanese economy: Developmental and cultural nationalisms in historical perspective",
abstract = "This essay explores the connection between the economy and cultural identity in Japanese nationalism and the intellectual discourses that have historically defined it. Nationalism in the pre-war period was closely associated with the anxiety that Japanese modernity was deformed. After World War II Japan was part of the global trend towards developmental nationalism, including a transformation of its economy into both a wealthy and a highly egalitarian one. In the 1970s and 1980s ethnic nationalism re-emerged, this time arguing that economic success was the product of Japanese cultural uniqueness rather than of the developmental nationalist policies of the previous quarter-century. The economic downturn of the 1990s thus challenged Japan both economically and culturally, and reawakened anxieties about Japanese deformity. At first, this crisis led to a critical re-evaluation of national culture, manifested as serious attempts to both resolve tensions with Asia dating from World War II and to dismantle domestic social hierarchies. By the mid-1990s, however, this moment had passed and government and business leaders adopted fully fledged neoliberal policies, reversing the long postwar trend towards income equality, also expressing a more strident and militarist cultural nationalism.",
author = "Hein, {Laura E}",
year = "2008",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/01436590801931439",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "29",
pages = "447--465",
journal = "Third World Quarterly",
issn = "0143-6597",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "3",

}

The cultural career of the Japanese economy : Developmental and cultural nationalisms in historical perspective. / Hein, Laura E.

In: Third World Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 3, 01.04.2008, p. 447-465.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The cultural career of the Japanese economy

T2 - Developmental and cultural nationalisms in historical perspective

AU - Hein, Laura E

PY - 2008/4/1

Y1 - 2008/4/1

N2 - This essay explores the connection between the economy and cultural identity in Japanese nationalism and the intellectual discourses that have historically defined it. Nationalism in the pre-war period was closely associated with the anxiety that Japanese modernity was deformed. After World War II Japan was part of the global trend towards developmental nationalism, including a transformation of its economy into both a wealthy and a highly egalitarian one. In the 1970s and 1980s ethnic nationalism re-emerged, this time arguing that economic success was the product of Japanese cultural uniqueness rather than of the developmental nationalist policies of the previous quarter-century. The economic downturn of the 1990s thus challenged Japan both economically and culturally, and reawakened anxieties about Japanese deformity. At first, this crisis led to a critical re-evaluation of national culture, manifested as serious attempts to both resolve tensions with Asia dating from World War II and to dismantle domestic social hierarchies. By the mid-1990s, however, this moment had passed and government and business leaders adopted fully fledged neoliberal policies, reversing the long postwar trend towards income equality, also expressing a more strident and militarist cultural nationalism.

AB - This essay explores the connection between the economy and cultural identity in Japanese nationalism and the intellectual discourses that have historically defined it. Nationalism in the pre-war period was closely associated with the anxiety that Japanese modernity was deformed. After World War II Japan was part of the global trend towards developmental nationalism, including a transformation of its economy into both a wealthy and a highly egalitarian one. In the 1970s and 1980s ethnic nationalism re-emerged, this time arguing that economic success was the product of Japanese cultural uniqueness rather than of the developmental nationalist policies of the previous quarter-century. The economic downturn of the 1990s thus challenged Japan both economically and culturally, and reawakened anxieties about Japanese deformity. At first, this crisis led to a critical re-evaluation of national culture, manifested as serious attempts to both resolve tensions with Asia dating from World War II and to dismantle domestic social hierarchies. By the mid-1990s, however, this moment had passed and government and business leaders adopted fully fledged neoliberal policies, reversing the long postwar trend towards income equality, also expressing a more strident and militarist cultural nationalism.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=42649141221&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=42649141221&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/01436590801931439

DO - 10.1080/01436590801931439

M3 - Article

VL - 29

SP - 447

EP - 465

JO - Third World Quarterly

JF - Third World Quarterly

SN - 0143-6597

IS - 3

ER -