Japanese Individualism

1033 Words 4 Pages
In 1937, the Kokutai No Hongi (Cardinal Principles of the National Entity of Japan), the Ministry of Education published a series of ideals that provided the definition of Japanese cultural values and a fundamentals. This publication defined the national essence, or identity, of Japan in terms of loyalty to the Emperor, subjugation of the individual to the State, filial faithfulness within one’s family, to the Emperor, and to the nation, harmony among all citizens, and martial spirit through bushido (Strayer, 1022). Adolf Hitler, historically viewed as one of the cruelest and immoral conquerors to have ever lived, would have undoubtedly held a mixed review of the Japanese document. Hitler would most likely have approved of the rejection of Western ideals of individual equality and freedom, and the emphasis of the submission of the individual to the state. A key concept of Nazi government under Hitler’s rule was loyalty and faithfulness to the governmental powers. Hitler held political views supporting a single-party dictatorship and despised democracy (Strayer, 997). To the Japanese, the ideas of individualism that were encompassed in the Western Enlightenment …show more content…
The Kokutai states “our nation has adapted the good elements of the advanced education seen among European and American nations” and “the nation has also assimilated on a wide scale the scholarship of the West.” Hitler viewed the German race as the ultimate superior race, and held all others as inferior. He would have hade malicious objections of any “superior race” borrowing characteristics from others. Hitler held the view that “all who are not of good race in this world are chaff” (Strayer, 1019). He rejected racial assimilation, stating “the stronger must dominate and not bled with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness” (Strayer,

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