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Post-war Japan: ethnological destruction of history




Unlike Nazi Germany, in Japan the ethnology was not before World War II and during it a component of official ideology. This ideology loved a unity metaphor. "Hundred million hearts fight as one" (to an itiok issin), - promotion claimed. Superiority of Japanese over other people was proved first of all by the fact that they, living in the country created by Shinto deities surpass other people in fidelity to the emperor. It was difficult to argue with it because world powers (USA, France, Germany and the USSR) on which Japan equaled already went through a stage of a monarchist system. The exception was made by Great Britain, but there such faithful rush really was not observed. The word "Japanese" in official documents was used seldom, instead of it there were in the course such designations as "yaponopoddanny" (nikhon sinmin) or just "subject".

On the occasion of the future accession to the throne of the emperor Taysyo (1912-1925) the precoronation album which maintenance was approved at the highest level was released. It opened the following words: "The mountain Oriental cherry which is smelling sweet in the mornings is really fine. However being replaced to the overseas countries, it will continue to grow. The divine Mount Fuji rising among clouds is high and esteemed. However in the overseas countries there are mountains which are higher than Fuji. Among customs and institutes there are different - there are such that it is better at them, and there are such that it is better at us and if there is desire to borrow them, then it is History and the present, No. 1, March 2008 175-188

perhaps. Now we borrowed them good - we wear the European clothes and we drive the cars. They borrowed us good too - organize a tea ceremony and ju-jitsus are engaged. Benefits which are brought by the amplifying communication are according to commands of time that leads to alignment of unlike. But there is that only thing that cannot be borrowed even if foreigners will wish that; that only thing that cannot be copied even if to wish that: our imperial house which governs without interruption throughout ten thousand generations - it is nowhere.

It is impossible even to imagine that in some country the sovereign would be "a father and mother for the people". And only in our great Japanese empire it is possible. There is no such country where the people would wish to bring the "vernopoddanichestvo and a filial duty" to perfection. And only in our great Japanese empire it is possible.

In our Japanese empire the imperial house and the people are not in the relations of the hated master and ruled. They are in the relations of the head of the family and member of this family. And as those relations proceed not a century and not two, and during long thousands of years since foundation of the state, this idea, passing from father to son, created innate sense of respect and love in relation to the imperial house, feeling which was strongly imprinted in minds of the people - in each representative of the Japanese people without withdrawal, having turned into its integral property" (Sokui Keenan... 1913: 2-3).

In this text it is well visible where the Japanese wind blew. The ideas about uniqueness of the Japanese nature and the Japanese customs remained on the second plan. The attention of ideologists completely concentrated on a figure of the sovereign and the continuity of a dynasty.

Studying local communities, the pre-war Japanese ethnology could not shade finally the fact that Japan consists of a set often of the isolated communities which quite strongly differ on language, customs, lifestyle. The ethnology represented the academic discipline about which existence knew only a narrow circle of intellectuals.

But after defeat in World War II the ethnologists were demanded. First of all it is connected with the fact that former forms of self-identification and first of all history were compromised. The textbooks of history completed with examples of a vernopoddanichestvo could not fulfill the purpose any more. The former fidelity to the emperor also stopped being as relevant, as in the past. And here the ethnology came to the rescue. Ethnologists led by Yanagida Kunio (1875-1962) offered such approaches which allowed to overcome the public disorder which was expressed in disappointment, feeling of humiliation, loss of ideals of unity, distribution of Marxism, rapid growth of "new religions". Requirement of the Japanese society with its undeveloped individual beginning in the uniting, sticking together ideas was big. Requirement was big also in separating itself from others. The habitual opposition "the - the stranger" demanded new judgment.

The outstanding role in public recognition of ethnology belonged Yanagida Kunio. By the time of the end of war he was the author of a set of works - art prose, poetry, an essayistics, scientific and pseudo-scientific works. Besides, it was well-known also in government circles. After the termination of law department of the Tokyo imperial university it started the career as the official in the Ministry of Agriculture and trade (1900), making as obliges numerous trips to the remote place. Observations of rural life formed a basis for its numerous traveling notes. Subsequently Yanagida served in combination in the secretariat of the Ministry of the yard (1908). In 1913 became one of founders of the "derevni Issledovaniya" magazine ("Kyodo kenkyu", was published till 1917). In 1914 held a position of the head of the secretariat of chamber of peers - the upper house of parliament (left this position in 1919 at own will). Subsequently Yanagida Kunio traveled much, performed with lectures on ethnology, cooperated with the Mainiti newspaper. In 1925 he began to publish the Etnografiya magazine (Mindzoka, it was published till 1929). In 1933 acted as one of cofounders of the Ostrov magazine (Sima, existed two years). During this time Yanagida Kunio

wrote a set of books, participated in ethnographic expeditions, collected folklore. However, despite the certain popularity in the academic circles, up to the end of war Yanagida did not enjoy wide popularity. He gained the real recognition only on the eighth decade. In July, 1946 he was appointed the adviser of Privy Council - advisory body at the Japanese emperor (The Privy Council was liquidated in May of the next year). In July, 1947 he became the member of Academy of arts, and in December, 1948 - the member of Academy of Sciences. In November, 1951 Yanagid Kunio was awarded the order by cultures. Public and state recognition Yanagida testifies not only to his personal merits, first of all it says that the ethnology was demanded by post-war Japan.

At the beginning of the 50th of the 20th century under the editorial office Yanagida Kunio there was a collection under the name "Japanese" (Nikhondzin) which can be considered program in transformation of ethnology from the academic discipline. Yanagida Kunio wrote: "Assessing a situation in general, it is necessary to tell that for the last few years the quality of Japanese terribly went down, they became thoughtless. They - as if fallen leaves of ordinary-looking fall, they are deprived of appeal, in the future they are waited by very few pleasures. To bring up from this crowd of one or many people who realize it and there is a scientific discipline capable not to lose courage and to move ahead. We, ethnologists, stay in the territory of small scientific discipline, however the point of our existence is that we bear all Japan on shoulders. Only the few scientists adhere to postulates of this science, but Japanese already notice that ethnologists are absolutely right, and for these people there is an opportunity to open for themselves the new significant facts concerning that hidden Japan about which they suspected nothing. As we are so dark, before us joy of knowledge opens, we can help a little at least to those people who shed tears and grieved. To force science to serve these purposes - here in what our task consists" (Nikhondzin 1976: 39).

Thus, ethnologists under guidance Yanagida realized themselves not so much the "room" scientists believing that

the point of their activity consists in clarification of the truth by means of rational methods how many "figures" and "sowers", creators of new Japan and its teachers. As it was traditionally accepted in Japan, they drew rather sharp distinction between "pure science" (gakumon) and "doctrine education" (kyo). At the same time the public status of the doctrine education assuming inclusiveness of the person in process of knowledge and its manual on the true way was much higher. Not without reason both the Buddhism, and Confucianism belonged to the category "kyo".

Itiro's polecats, the pupil Yanagida Kunio, echoed the teacher: "Let the book "Japanese" will help to find to ordinary people the true self-confidence, let it will give an opportunity for introspection" (Nikhondzin 1976: 263). Ethnologists built a design which it would be possible to call a monument to the unknown Japanese.

To erect this design, it was necessary to clear away for it the place, that is to settle accounts with historians, their "wrong" approaches and methods. Hagivara Tatsuo wrote: "It is necessary to specify insufficiency of their historical introspection as one of shortcomings of Japanese. In spite of the fact that during the war need of studying the Japanese history was emphasized with such intensity, in this education the subjective and sentimental element dominated, and the scientific bases were almost absent. After war began to pay attention to it, however the purpose is still very far. Unlimited pride of the country and unlimited self-abasement - these extremes still coexist. In the past the pride of the Japanese army was cultivated, but after defeat she began to be represented frankly pathetic. The history of Japan presented in impetuous praises and absolutely opposite history presented in self-abasement - here the contradictions which filled consciousness of Japanese. And therefore today not time for introspection of Japanese by means of history" (In the same place: 14).

Hagivara Tatsuo went further away, calling in question not only "the Japanese option" of history, but also methodological fundamentals of historical science. He claimed that it is guided almost only by written certificates, and their source are the authorities. Recently in the West engendered -

sya critical approach to sources which assumes operation of comparison of the sources reflecting the different points of view. By their comparison the objective picture also appears. However in present Japan, Hagivara said, such approach is impossible as till the most recent time the circle of educated people was extremely narrow, and therefore detection of various points of view is difficult. Besides, the existing sources do not reflect everyday life. However from the existing crisis situation there is an exit. It consists in ethnology. It would be possible to consider ethnology a part of historical science, but a part of ideal historical science which in Japan does not exist (Nikhondzin 1976: 23).

Noting "insufficiency of historical introspection" of Japanese, Hagivara Tatsuo noted that from this situation there is an exit. "In the basis of life of Japanese there is what is called "the Japanese's heart", what it would be possible to call "nature" or "character". Here it is also necessary to approach this concept from the scientific party. The ethnology is for this purpose the most suitable means... Having rich ethnological material in Japan, we do not treat it as to the sad evidence of backwardness of the country, we consider it as one of those purposes which Japanese in the world have" (In the same place: 20-21).

After Yanagida Kunio Hagivara Tatsuo claimed that collecting ethnological material can be carried out only by Japanese. In particular it concerns such area as "a world picture" (seykayets of an isika) as in the course of collecting such material not only eyes and ears, but also "heart" are involved (In the same place: 26). The patriotism of times of Meiji and Taysyo was based on pride of political force, growth of economy, military victories and on xenophobia. This patriotism was "external" and alluvial - if it was not that, would not cause damage such confusion in minds which is observed now. The task is in making patriotism "internal" that the person felt personal responsibility and like feeling of the purpose (Nikhondzin 1976: 28-29). In other words, it was offered to be proud of the fact that you are Japanese. Condemning poor development in Japanese of the individual beginning, ethnologists claimed what else needs to be made much for development real

democracies because present consciousness with ease generates dictatorship (In the same place: 77-78). It was democracy with a strong ethnological and country musty smell. Ethnologists took advantage of one of the main components of the country mentality drawing sharp line between "" and "others". In Japan with its abundance of the isolating landscapes this border was designated even more brightly, than in many other cultural traditions. Ethnologists tried to prove that, despite this, inhabitants of Japan represent the uniform people.

Yanagida Kunio wrote: "Despite very different from the area to the area the climatic conditions, rural people in Japan were animated, fortunately, by the same moods, had the same family experience. The Vyigryshnost of this situation is concluded that, considering some important problems, we, having compared several places which are a little remote from modern culture, will receive (necessary) results with unexpected ease. In it the enormous uniqueness of Japan is concluded. Results of inspections will have almost same value, as well as data of written sources. (Ethnological inspections) lacunas of two-thousand-year history, those lacunas which arise because are used exclusively this the books written by aristocrats from Kyoto or Buddhist monks, books which the ordinary person also cannot understand, books which cannot imitate will fill.

It is true that the neighboring China possesses an old story, however history of those people who inhabit it nowadays, does not come within miles of the Japanese. At distance in 500 ri, separating Kyushu from Tôhoku, there are mountains and the rivers; besides, long trips were not allowed people. In that process of the long changes happening in the conditions of isolation of people from each other we forgot a lot of things it that we would like to know. And we can remember experience of the past - and in it the huge uniqueness of the island country under the name Japan consists" (Nikhondzin 1976: 54-55).

Speaking about "uniqueness" of Japanese, Yanagida Kunio repeated the main thesis of pre-war promotion. However it filled a concept of "uniqueness" with other meanings: "The debt of our science is in telling the truth. However justice of those or

other values is defined by unfair people of the future. The author claims that history is not the few outstanding persons or the most esteemed people, history is formed by Japanese in general. And though in this education under the name "Japanese" between people there were also insignificant differences in happiness and social standing, education under the name "Japanese" surpasses these differences; the author also reflects on their history" (In the same place: 57).

At such approach that problem which always is extremely sharp in the societies struck with ideological crisis was pushed into the background: problem of assessment of any given historic figures. Ethnologists do not work with specific persons, they work with groups of people in whom the person who has no name is dissolved, but there is its social function. In this case - the person whom they considered the Japanese.

Instead of fidelity the ethnologists offered the particular person (emperor) other reference group - they suggested to be faithful to the Japanese people, to look for at it "core" of the Japanese culture. Hagivara Tatsuo noted that the essence of the Japanese culture is found not so much in ruling class or in the intellectuals, how many in "the simple people" (In the same place: 201). "the simple people" were understood, certainly, as peasants. Just as military propaganda, ethnologists did the main rate not on carriers of city culture, and on "people of the earth". Though Japan was promptly urbanized, most of citizens were born in the village. The task consisted in describing country culture, to make its catalog, to raise its status and to excite general nostalgia to turn country culture into fundamentals of national ideology.

Denial by ethnologists of historical science and its methods led to the fact that the world was presented to them invariable. The Japanese ethnologists were interested not in an event, not its originality, but repeatability of events. Therefore their main attention was directed to rituals and ceremonies of annual and vital cycles. At such approach the village, community, life lost a possibility of development. From there are numerous stretches and mistakes peculiar for Yanagida Kunio school. Ethnologists recognized that "Japanese" existed since the beginning of the world. However

foreign influence deprived their considerable part of primitive vernacularity. Arguing on the Chinese influence during eras of antiquity and the Middle Ages, Yanagida Kunio said: "The learning of that time completely depended on compositions in Chinese... Their study resulted in huge dependence on them, and there was no time left for identification of own identity. Re-reading historical compositions, you make sure of what the more was books, the more was also imitation, and the more primordial remained in the shadow" (Nikhondzin 1976: 257). Official chronicles of Ancient Japan were formed in Chinese too and, thus, were carriers of the Chinese, but not the Japanese meanings. And therefore because they do not reflect "soul" of the Japanese people, also their value is small.

is followed From here by the imperative need of studying not written forms of culture which are carriers initial - true! - meanings. Let's notice that during an initial stage of massive influence of the Chinese culture in UN-USh of centuries no "Japanese" existed yet, and the first use of this term belongs only to the 12th century. However "historical" reasons were for Yanagid Kunio and his pupils secondary, they operated with concepts "earlier" and "now", the difference in couple of thousands of years seemed unimportant: Whether "Japanese (to the Japanese archipelago) three or came five thousand years ago. It is important to understand whether they had already some properties - for example a worship for strong. I assume that this worship was created on their ancestral home" (In the same place: 262-263).

The lack of historicism was compensated by poetic approach and the frequent use of metaphors. Here is how describes Itiro's Polecats life of the abstract Japanese: "At the moment of emergence the baby already lives in this world in society. Without guardianship of mother which is the center of family association it is not capable to keep life. Society, recognizing the newborn as the member, places it in the melting copper, subjects to training. The person born in the village is a leaflet on a tree of rural society. It is a leaf on the branch called family through the thick bough called community it is connected to the whole tree of society in general. Roots of this tree go to depth of time of ancestors who napityvat it biological

cultural legend and heritage. Therefore the leaf person also lives - like the experience and energy which are saved up by uncountable dead men. Through group it forms itself(himself)" (Nikhondzin 1976: 65).

Itiro's polecats emphasizes that life of such person is not "free - as at an animal". Therefore he also enters the person into a vegetable metaphorical row. "The vegetable code" was svoystven for the Japanese culture. This culture readily fixes the attention on motionless natural objects which undergo changes in view of their "friction" about time (Meshcheryakov 2006). With a special brightness this feature is revealed in yaponoyazychny poetry which especially was pleasant to post-war ethnologists - it was written in Japanese. However ethnologists went further poets: they suggested not only "to freeze" space, they suggested to stop also time. In "cultural heroes" wrote down Sugavara Mitidzane (845-903) who acted as the initiator of cancellation of embassy to China. And it does not matter that it motivated cancellation of embassy with dangers of a travel to China politically unstable at that time. No matter, that Sugavara Mitidzane was known first of all as the expert on the Chinese literature. Without having on that any reasons, Yanagida Ku-nio and Itiro's Polecats claimed: true cancellation of embassy Sugavar Mitidzane's understanding caused the fact that at China to study there is nothing (In the same place: 266).

Denial of historical methods of knowledge led to the fact that such concepts which, according to ethnologists, had nadystorichesky character were introduced into circulation. First of all an environment which allegedly is invariable belong to their number. It seemed to ethnologists that an environment is the key moment in formation of national mentality.

The term "simagun" - "the island country" - was one of the most frequency in their dictionary. It was in the broad use and at pre-war propagandists who, justifying the expansionist plans, claimed that island Japan has not enough place for its increasing population. However territorial acquisitions (in particular on the continent - Korea and Man-chzhougo) led to the fact that it was replaced partly by such phraseological units as "continental Japan" (to a tayrik nikhon) and "the sea village -

zhava" (kaykok). Military victories deprived Japan its "trifle" about which those who proved expansion by the insufficient sizes of the territory spoke. And here on pages of school textbooks Japan in the eyes turned into "the sea power": "Present Japan, as well as tells the name "sea Japan", in all seas of the world lifted the "solar circle" (national flag. - A.M.) which lets out shine of the country... The space on which sea Japan bears the glory is immense. To move ahead on these broad lands with "a solar circle" - our noble purpose" (Irie of 2001: 45). At this time the sea began to be considered as Wednesday permeable as substance through which Japan will become - already becomes - great. However defeat in war and loss of overseas territories by it returned Japan to its historical island borders again.

Accepting the term "island country", post-war ethnologists drew completely different conclusions. Itiro's polecats wrote: "Japan is the island country, rural society was created as a result of manifestation of essentially "island" feudality which proved in introspective and conservative and so remarkable restraint and adaptability in the developed solidarity - in the people with the expressed national peculiarities. From there are also great achievements in the field of household culture, religion, art and literature. On the other hand, protrusion own "I", prevention of strangers and island consciousness barred the ways to primordial freedom. The circle of communal society by sea cultivated strong feeling of the homeland and a mimicry in Japanese." (Nikhondzin 1976: 78). Thus, the term "simagun" served as an argument in favor of exclusiveness of Japanese now - whether it be characteristics positive or negative. Rules of traditional etiquette demanded from the person of modesty. The Japanese taken in itself should not have stuck out the uniqueness. However rules of conduct of the nation demanded completely different: offices, oppositions, "individualization" of collective consciousness.

According to Yanagid Kunio, "island life" assumed existence of little communities. "The person simply had no place to get to - around the sea. Therefore just as in a case with birds and fishes, the separation from collective threatened with many dangerous

styam. (And at Japanese) almost same instinct was developed. Stay in collective strongly reduces dangers. Migratory birds are kept together - to become separated from the frock means to become production of enemies. I believe that from here and there is a feeling of affection for collective" (Nikhondzin 1976: 273).

Repeating that island Japan is surrounded with water elements, post-war ethnologists perceived the sea as a barrier, but not as an opportunity for communication. Syncretism of the Japanese culture (a combination of the autochthonic and borrowed elements from Korea, China and the countries of the West) interested them much less, than search of originality.

Ethnologists looked for and found signs of "exclusiveness" of Japanese. Their works receiving eventually the increasing resonance, as a rule, were deprived by an aggressive and expansionist component. Scientists spoke not only about "advantages" of Japanese, but also about their "shortcomings". But even these shortcomings were represented as exclusive. Recognizing a homonymy inherent in Japanese as an obstacle to free communication, From Tokikhiko noted that other such language does not exist (In the same place: 163). In other words, ethnologists, and after them and thinkers, journalists and charlatans looked for not the general for the whole world mental, behavioural and household structures, and "national" features distinguishing from a general series. At such approach the cross-cultural analysis substantially was a fiction. As a rule, thinkers spoke about the world "in general", about the world which is not dismembered on the certain countries and traditions. A turn "in comparison with other people, Japanese." became a platitude. Ethnologists claimed that in comparison with other people in the Japanese culture the division sacred and about-fannogo, "" and "others" is more accurately expressed, they feel a change of seasons more sharply, they more developed also feeling of collective solidarity, Japanese are exclusively curious, they are not afraid of death. The main carrier of cultural meanings, Japanese is characterized by improbable wealth, associativity. The Japanese way of speech communication differs in an etiketnost, innuendo, vagueness, poetry. The official ideology of wartime placed emphasis on peculiarities of Japanese too, but it was the peculiarity of other sort. In the volume devoted to the 2600 anniversary

it was said the Japanese empire which was widely celebrated in 1940: "Yapo-nopoddanny, on the occasion of the 2600 anniversary of the country, it is difficult for people to understand that warm awe which is experienced by us up to the end from other countries; it is very heavy to understand depths of our heart" (Tengyo José, page 3).

The all-Japanese political climate, scepticism in relation to recent history, efforts of ethnologists on denial of historical science brought resolute changes on Wednesday of professional historians. During the post-war period within more than two decades the historians Marxists played the leading role. These Japanese historians were "sick" with the same set of diseases which is characteristic of this direction of historical science. It is necessary to refer to these "diseases" first of all a primacy of the theory over the fact, idea of history as a product of exclusively class fight, ignoring of a role of the personality, a psychological component of history, local specifics of historical process. As a result in the image of these scientists the Japanese history - except for names and dates - began to look as the history of any other state. Thus, the Japanese historical science of the first post-war decades on the methodological installations ("all facts have to correspond to the theory") differed from a pre-war historiography in the little.

As opposed to them ethnologists offered such values which to resist Japanese appeared not in forces, - their efforts did not go to waste. In the second half of the 60th when the world started talking about the Japanese economic miracle, blossoming of the ideology known as "yaponizm" began (nikhondzinron). This ideology claimed from - the identity of Japanese from all other people. The number of publications on this subject does not give in to account, and their analysis represents a subject for an independent research. Let's note only that ruling circles actively supported ethnology. Visible expression of such support was the up-to-date huge state museum of ethnography opened in 1977 in Osaka. It possessed rich material resources and good selection of scientific shots. He held and holds a set of exhibitions, publications of employees cover various subject. However all this served in mass consciousness only as confirmation that Japanese very also are very other than other people. In rezul-

the Tat not only Japanese, but also the Western world believed in exclusive specifics of all Japanese (export of cultural stereotypes was carried out with direct state support). In this discourse the Japanese possessed exclusive sense of beauty, their relation to the nature was characterized by exclusive harmony (and it against the background of rapid development of the industry destroying the habitual habitat); the Japanese kimono was exclusively well adapted for the Japanese lifestyle (and this despite the fact that the kimono was more and more forced out by the European clothes); Japanese appeared as absolutely special (at the same time it was usually compared to English, but not with related to it the Altai languages); the food diet of Japanese was an example for imitation. The fact that intestines length at Japanese is more, than at other people in view of the fact that the basis of a traditional diet of Japanese is formed by products of plant origin became a subject of specific pride even. Business reached what was declared: even hemispheres of a brain work for Japanese not as at other people.

Propagandists of "yaponizm" among whom there were many charlatans from science began to enjoy wide popularity. The basis of their theoretical baggage was formed by works of Yanagi school - da Cunio who was declared "the father of the Japanese ethnology". The new option of "the Japanese nation" was as a result designed. This option mostly was deprived by an aggressive political component. Its task consisted in another - in achievement of psychological comfort which is possessed only by that Japanese who sees the possession surrounded with a high fence.


Irie Ecco. 2001. Nikhon of hectare kami-but kuna date dziday. Kokumin gakko-but kyokasyo-about a yoma. Tokyo: Ivanami.

Meshcheryakov, A.N. 2006. ancient Japan: culture and text. SPb.: Hyperion.

Nikhondzin. 1976. Yanagida Kunio Heng. You mine simbunsya.

Sokui Keenan to kosiyets dayten (The main establishments of rather imperial house dated for an enthronement). 1913. Tokyo: Tay cook dzitsugyo gakkay.

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