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It is often taken for granted that ultranationalist ideologues of interwar Japan were anti-western, uncritical mouthpieces of state ideology. This article considers the case of Minoda Muneki (1894-1946) who led the purge of liberals and Marxists from imperial universities. In articulating his theory of nationalism and critique of Marxism, Minoda drew upon a global discourse of social theory. Furthermore, his rise to power was a product of a short-lived convergence of interests between his organization and government figures. I argue for a global historical approach to right-wing ideology that accounts for the relation between nationalist discourse and political power.