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With the promulgation of the Meiji Constitution , the quasi-ancient emperor state at one leap became a modern constitutional state, the Great Empire of Japan.

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In the curtain fell on this Great Empire of Japan. When the Great Empire of Japan disappeared, the imperial university disappeared with it. The university existed for the sake of the state the empire. But for the new university under the new constitution, the education of human talent for the sake of the state is not the primary goal. That is only secondary. The university exists primarily for the sake of individuals who wish to receive an education. Hence, the great prewar collisions between state and university that arose again and again over academic freedom—the subject of this book—no longer arise.

August 15, is indeed the end of the Meiji state.

It is fitting that this series, too, which began as the making of the Meiji state, end in The Meiji state was in essence an extreme emperor-centered state. Its basic idea was to return the fundamental structure of the state from samurai politics centered on the shogunate to direct imperial rule, as in ancient times.

In this sense, the Meiji state was born with emperor as ideological backbone, and with the promulgation of the Meiji Constitution, a country emerged that institutionalized that ideology. In Japan before World War II, the contradictions involved in the emperor system erupted time and time again on kokutai issues.

What my trip to Japan was like

After the China Incident and in conjunction with the military, they created a totally mobilized state. This was Japanese fascism under military leadership. But it died in mid-course: the May 15 Incident was the end of party cabinets. The Japanese kokutai was changed once again, temporarily.

Editor's Foreword on the Bibliographical Series

Via the right of supreme command in the express provision of the Meiji Constitution, the emperor should have had absolute control over the military. But the military ran amok time after time—the Manchurian Incident, May 15, February 26, the China Incident—and became uncontrollable by the emperor. Running amok bred running amok; in the end, it led to the declaration of war against England and the U.

In deciding to end the war by using his right of command over the military , the emperor recouped his ability to control affairs. Until that imperial decision, the fundamental structure of Japanese politics reverted from direct imperial rule to an age of samurai government by a shogunate—the army. Incidents symbolizing this era of rapid change arose repeatedly with the university as stage. These were academic freedom issues that pitted state against university; in a sense, it was inevitable that this series of events arose in this era.

The university is the modern element of the Meiji state, and the state order that tried to turn back the clock rejected the university. Why did the Meiji state create universities? In the case of Japanese universities, not only was the university system itself an import, but the knowledge and technology taught there were entirely imported including the fields of arts and letters—law, economics, philosophy, literature, history. The right-wing ultranationalist folks harbored great dissatisfaction with this state of affairs in the university, and from the early Meiji era on, they sought university reform.

But the right wing deployed political power to try to change it by force. The content of textbooks did change, in virtually token ways; the fundamental structure of university education was left untouched. This time their political power threw the university for a loop and furthered their ideas. In the face of this attack, the university retreated and then retreated some more. The tide of the times swung, and Japan fell under the control of the extreme right wing and the military.

Many people have this image of the wartime university: that the campus fires went out when students were mobilized and left for the front. Very fundamental information—how many students were mobilized, who died in battle—is not readily available.

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If they passed, they were called to the colors immediately, to designated units, and sent to the front or to other places of duty. Their status as students did not lapse; they were treated automatically as being on leave. In essence, the students whose deferments were ended reverted to the status of individuals of draft age and faced the military as loyal subjects. In bureaucratic terms, there was no provision for the university to intervene for them, so there are no university records to indicate their fate thereafter.

To cite a few noteworthy statistics from this volume, the call-up of students tilted overwhelmingly against students of the liberal arts. In August the student enrolment was 8,, of whom 3, had their deferments rescinded and entered the military. Listed in numerical order by faculty, here is the result the figures in parentheses give the ratio of those called up to the total number of students in that faculty :. Those sent to the battlefield came overwhelming from the liberal arts; science students had their deferments continued and overwhelmingly remained in Japan proper.

Of course, science students too were forced to cooperate in the war in various ways—as mobilized labor, mobilized scientists, mobilized researchers. In war deaths, too, the liberal arts students formed the overwhelming majority. Of 1, student war-dead, were liberal arts students. Why this heavy tilt to liberal arts students? As the war progressed, it became clear that there were far too few technicians in Japan to support military production, so to the extent possible, science students were protected for future use.

How inadequate were the human resources? Even in there were 90, job openings for 12, new graduates; thereafter, free choice for businesses was outlawed, and under the mobilization law, the future of new grads was entirely under state control. Given this situation, young scientists were left virtually untouched despite the war. That the Japanese economy was able to rebound rapidly after passing through the immediate postwar economic confusion owed greatly to the activities of this technical manpower that had been left untouched.

By contrast, the fate that awaited the liberal arts students sent to the front was harsh and tragic. Not only were there many war dead, but most of them died as members of special attack [ kamikaze ] units. Special attack raids began formally in the battle of Leyte in October , one year after the call-up of students; the loss rate was extraordinarily high, so the units had to be replenished constantly. So to a shocking extent the special attack soldiers were made up of those given accelerated training. The called-up students were best suited for accelerated training.

Both army and navy pinned their hopes on minds flexible enough to hold up under such frighteningly fast training and accustomed to abstract thinking; higher-school grads qualified and were trained as pilots. That faculty was established from scratch, engineering courses increased in number, and student numbers jumped.

Compared with earlier figures, there was no decline. Those actually on campus in numbered 12, Insofar as concerns the structure of the university, its organization, and its numbers, Tokyo Imperial University did not contract during the war; it expanded steadily. Based on the advice of the Scientific Council and the Scientific Research Group, the country handed out vast research monies via Ministry of Education research grants to all the sciences; government financial involvement led the way in setting research priorities.

This framework is an extension of the framework Hiraga created in Earlier, as similar state grants to encourage science, there had been Science Research Encouragement Funds. The increases skyrocketed. How did such vast research sums come about? The mobilization law was enacted in , and mobilization was born; it decreed that in time of war including the China Incident , all human and material resources could be mobilized simply by state order. Not merely resources: all businesses were included. Businesses included the service industries—transportation, communications, finance.


Not only that, but it included the education and training carried out in the university and the tests and research carried out in research facilities. Under this law, all these activities were subject to mobilization in wartime or quasi-wartime. Modern war requires the support of science and technology in every sense, so as the war progressed, the mobilization of science and of research came to be regarded as all the more important. In the guidelines for scientific mobilization were established by cabinet order, and the Planning Agency the cabinet office that controlled national mobilization became the focus and took charge of the mobilization of science.

University research commissioned by the army grew steadily. In short, when it got to this point, all scientific researchers had to set aside everything else and concentrate on military research of immediate value. What were the results? As this sort of direct military research came to be carried out steadily in the university, research money from the military flowed directly to the various parts of the university. Several Army and Navy branch research centers were established within the university; in March , there were nine of them.

Hiraga was not forced to be the banner-bearer for this sort of military-industrial-university complex. He himself thought that such a structure was absolutely necessary to achieve victory in this war. These were nationalism and internationalism, coexisting and yet in opposition. Hiraga undoubtedly was a military person in essence, even though by training he was a technician; his creed was vehement nationalism and loyalty to the emperor.

Hiraga was his host and greeted that day with the profoundest emotion. When Hiraga spoke of the emperor, he was the very model of an emperor-worshipper.

Beyond the Western Liberal Order

Today, under the august virtue of the emperor, brilliant war gains are being realized…. It was quite as if he foresaw the day the students would take the field. Since then it has come to light that the earlier editions were in fact not faithful reproductions of the documents left by the students who died in the war but that the editors had edited them quite deliberately, even making deletions.

Instruments to do the steering, without personality or emotion, of course without rationality—merely metal pieces in magnets locked onto enemy aircraft carriers. Cutting here, cutting there on the arbitrary scruples of editors of a later generation makes us see the age through the rose-colored glasses of the editors. Explaining how the difference came to be, he discusses the situation about which Watanabe wrote. At the time Odagiri agreed with Watanabe in following the judgment of the publishers, but as time passed, he came to feel it had been a mistake.

If you publish them all, the relation between war and human beings, the relation between militaristic education and the younger generation, and so on—these relations become apparent, their appalling inhumanity and misery all the more clear.

Shigeru Kashihara's Documents -

So why such rewriting? To put it simply, the work of editing Listen to the Voices from the Sea and the organization and work of the association to commemorate the student-dead that centered on this book were under very strong Communist Party control and were one facet of the peace movement directed by the Communist Party.

Elements thought not conducive to the promotion of the peace movement such facts as that most of the student-dead were patriots, that they went to their deaths gladly for country and for emperor were deleted quickly. It amounted to the falsification of history. As I accustomed myself to documents of the time, I came gradually to understand that that age was more right-wing, more ultranationalist than our later generations think.

They were emperor-worshippers.

Virtually all the common people of the time seem truly to have believed what today one can only think of as extreme right-wing views. When I understood that, I knew truly, at a gut level, what caused the war.