Although Western scholars have examined many aspects of contemporary Japan, Japanese postwar intellectual history has largely been overlooked. In this book, Olson introduces readers to four prominent postwar Japanese intellectuals whose writings illustrate the principal alternative native paths through which they sought to redefine their cultural identity and arrive at the meaning of Japanese nationality after defeat in World War II. Although virtually unknown outside Japan, Takeuchi Yoshimi, Tsurumi Shunsuke, Et Jun and Yoshimoto Takaaki found a wide audience for their books and artifices in leading journals. Behind their wall of linguistic and psychological isolation, these intellectuals weigh and go on weighing endlessly the relative value of traditional Japanese culture.
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