Nationalisms of Japan: Managing and Mystifying Identity

In This Review

Nationalisms of Japan: Managing and Mystifying Identity

By Brian J. Mcveigh
Rowman & Littlefield, 2003
352 pp. $75.00
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McVeigh takes on the assumptions of Japanese cultural homogeneity and nationalist passion, arguing that the extreme nationalism of the imperial era has been largely replaced by more rational sentiments. Outside observers continue to cling to the stereotype of a homogeneous Japanese populace, but McVeigh-who teaches at a Japanese university and thus has closely observed how different generations of Japanese have conceived of their collective identities-writes about plural nationalisms, with ethnic, economic, cultural, educational, gendered, and religious dimensions. In the past, Japan's leaders presented the Japanese nation as distinctive and heroic; today, the everydayness of ethnic, political, cultural, and social identities makes Japanese nationalism much the same as any other.