Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms and Nationalisms
The Militarization of Aesthetics in Japanese History
By (author) Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney
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Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms and Nationalisms by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney
Book DescriptionWhy did almost one thousand highly educated "student scholars" volunteer to serve in Japan's "tokkotai" (kamikaze) operations near the end of World War II, even though Japan was losing the war? Did they embody the imperial ideology both in thought and in action? In this study of the role of symbolism and aesthetics in totalitarian ideology, Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney shows how the state manipulated the time-honoured Japanese symbol of the cherry blossom to convince people that it was their honour to "die like beautiful falling cherry petals" for the emperor. Drawing on diaries never before published in English, Ohnuki-Tierney describes these young men's agonies and even defiance against the imperial ideology. Passionately devoted to cosmopolitan intellectual traditions, the pilots saw the cherry blossom not in militaristic terms, but as a symbol of the painful beauty and unresolved ambiguities of their tragically brief lives. Using Japan as an example, the author breaks new ground in the understanding of symbolic communication, nationalism and totalitarian ideologies and their execution.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780226620916
(223mm x 151mm x 25mm)
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 12-Nov-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney
Illness and Healing Among the Sakhalin Ainu, Paperback (May 2014)
Originally published in 1981, this book explores the issue of how a society understands human illness in the absence of a germ theory.
Kamikaze Diaries, Paperback (April 2007)
Presents diaries and correspondence left by kamikaze pilots and other Japanese student soldiers who perished during the war. These kamikaze pilots were considered unbridled fanatics who willingly sacrificed their lives for the emperor. This work is useful for those interested in the history of Japan and World War II.
Rice as Self, Paperback (November 1994)» View all books by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney
Are we what we eat? What does food reveal about how we live and how we think of ourselves in relation to others? And why do people have a strong attachment to their own cuisine and an aversion to the foodways of others? This title examines how people use the metaphor of a principal food in conceptualizing themselves in relation to other people.
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Author Biography - Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney
Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney is the William F. Vilas Research Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is the author of a number of books in English and Japanese, most recently Rice as Self: Japanese Identities through Time and The Monkey as Mirror: Symbolic Transformations in Japanese History and Ritual.
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