Takeuchi Yoshimi's Overcoming Modernity

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At the very beginning of the “Great Asia War and Our Resolve”, written at the very beginning of Pacific War, Takeuchi Yoshimi exclaims: “The history has been created! The World has been transformed!” Then he argues in the article: “the Sina Incident has been completed by Great Asia War successfully and gains its rebirth in the world history.” In this sense, we could hardly distinguishes Yoshimi from those who were swept by the war and condemned as “intellectual chaos and complete abandonment of the intellect” by Yoshimi himself. Thus, when Yoshimi claims that his effort of studies on “Overcoming Modernity” symposium is to “strip the ideology from ideas” or “to extract the ideas from ideology” after the war, I believe that Yoshimi is also trying to start reflection on himself. While he argues: “the real legacy of the ‘Overcoming Modernity’ symposium was not its status as war and fascist ideology. Rather it lies in the fact that the symposium failed to achieve even this, and that its attempt at intellectual formation resulted in intellectual loss”, I find his ambition to the “intellectual re-formation” in the “What is Modernity”, by bringing China, from which Japan…show more content…
Although Yoshimi maintains the “West/East” monolithic opposition, new concepts he brought in such like “history/self-consciousness” and “resistant/defeat” make his elaboration intriguing, especially the part of the comparison between China and Japan. By having recourse to Lu Xun’s story of “wise man, fool, slave”, Yoshimi suggests that Japan is the slave bearing “the hallucination of liberation”, which refers to the reception of European modernity without resistance, and Japan is crueler to others than the “master” (European Colonialism?) inasmuch as Japan is actually a slave; By contrast, China owns more possibility of modernization and self-consciousness because of its resisting

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