The Dignity of the Nation

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The Dignity of the Nation
The Dignity of the Nation.jpg
Author Masahiko Fujiwara
Original title 国家の品格
Translator Giles Murray
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Series Shinchō shinsho
Release number
141
Subject Nationalism, Japan
Publisher Shinchosha
Publication date
2005
Published in English
2007
Pages 191
ISBN 9784106101410
OCLC 62398096

The Dignity of a State (国家の品格, Kokka no Hinkaku) (also translated The Dignity of a Nation, The Dignity of Nations) is a bestselling book by Japanese essayist and mathematician Masahiko Fujiwara. The book has sold more than two million copies in Japan.[1] A bilingual Japanese and English version, translated by Giles Murray, was published in Japan in May 2007 by IBC Publishing under the English title The Dignity of the Nation.[2]

Overview[edit]

The title of the book mimics the title of a nationalist pamphlet issued by the Japanese government in 1937.[3] The Dignity of a State criticizes the emphasis on Western logic and individuality in Japanese society, and calls for a return to the value system of bushido.[4] It criticizes democracy, citing Adolf Hitler as an example of a leader using democracy to manipulate citizens.[5] It also criticizes the market economy, which Fujiwara claims is widening the economic gap between the wealthy and impoverished in Japan,[4] and globalism, which Fujiwara claims is only a "strategy of the U.S. that seeks world domination after the Cold War."[6] A recurring theme of the book is that American ideas of freedom and equality do not even work in the United States, so they should not be applied in Japanese society.[1]

Reception[edit]

Andrew Rankin of The Japan Times agreed with some of Fujiwara's criticisms of Western morality, but pointed out that "you can listen to most of Fujiwara’s other ideas for free at any noodle stand in Japan."[3] The book's popularity made "hinkaku" ("dignity") the most popular buzzword of 2006 in Japan.[7] It also inspired books with similar titles and themes, including Mariko Bando's The Dignity of a Woman, which sold more than three million copies.[8][7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Marquand, Robert (December 28, 2006). "In Japan, new nationalism takes hold". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  2. ^ Fujiwara, Masahiko (2007). The Dignity of the Nation. Translated by Murray, Giles. IBC Publishing. ISBN 9784896845686.
  3. ^ a b Rankin, Andrew (July 8, 2007). "A question of dignity or cause for embarrassment". The Japan Times. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Pilling, David (March 9, 2007). "Lunch with the FT: Masahiko Fujiwara". Financial Times. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  5. ^ Feng, Zhaokui (August 24, 2006). "Koizumi's tricks doomed to fail". China Daily. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  6. ^ Frederick, Jim (June 19, 2006). "The Japan That Says No". Time. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Wallace, Bruce (September 22, 2007). "Japan debates dignity, or the lack thereof". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  8. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (March 29, 2008). "Japanese Author Guides Women to 'Dignity,' but Others See Dullness". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2018.