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As the first step toward a comprehensive reinterpretation of the role of evolutionary science and biomedicine in pre-1945 Japan, this book tackles the early writings of that era’s most influential exponent of shinkaron (evolutionism), the German-educated research zoologist and popularizer of biomedicine, Oka Asajirō (1868-1944). Concentrating on essays that Oka published in the years during and after the Russo–Japanese War (1904-5) the author describes the process by which Oka came to articulate a programmatic modernist vision of national regeneration that would prove integral to the ideological climate in Japan during the first half of the twentieth century. In contrast to other scholars, who insist that Oka was merely a rationalist enlightener bent on undermining state Shinto orthodoxy, the book explains how Oka used notions of organic individuality---especially that of the nation as a super-organism---from evolutionary biology to underwrite the social and geopolitical aims of the Meiji state. The author suggests that this generative scientism gained wide currency among early twentieth century political and intellectual elites, including Emperor Hirohito himself---who had personal connections to Oka---and that wartime ideology may represent an unfinished attempt to synthesize Shinto fundamentalism and the eugenically-oriented modernism that Oka was among the first to articulate.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half Title, Series Titles, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Figures
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preface and Acknowledgements
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Introduction: Moss Animal Nation
  2. pp. 1-34
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  1. Part I: Organicism
  1. Chapter 1. The Organic State: The Imperative of Ethical Life
  2. pp. 35-74
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  1. Chapter 2. Palingenetic Polypersons: Evolutionary Morphology and the Question of Organic Individuality
  2. pp. 75-110
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  1. Chapter 3. Generative Scientism: Organicism beyond Reform
  2. pp. 111-168
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  1. Part II: Metapolitics
  1. Chapter 4. World War Zero
  2. pp. 169-216
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  1. Chapter 5. The Human-Way: Nomic Instincts and the Transformation of Humanity
  2. pp. 217-260
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  1. Part III: Regeneration
  1. Chapter 6. Nomic Crisis
  2. pp. 261-328
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  1. Chapter 7. Decadence and Destiny
  2. pp. 329-372
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  1. Epilogue Evolution and the National Body: An Unfinished Synthesis
  2. pp. 373-396
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 397-402
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 403-410
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  1. Back Cover
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Additional Information

ISBN
9789633862117
Related ISBN
9789633862100
MARC Record
OCLC
1043975140
Pages
426
Launched on MUSE
2018-11-17
Language
English
Open Access
No
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