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Preparing a Perfect Place To Die: One Soldier's Engagement with the Requirement for Death under the kokutai

Citation

Eaves-Young, V, Preparing a Perfect Place To Die: One Soldier's Engagement with the Requirement for Death under the kokutai, Journal of the Oriental Society of Australia, 44, (Special Issue) pp. 65-96. ISSN 0030-5340 (2012) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 The Oriental Society of Australia

Official URL: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/publications/JOSA/journa...

Abstract

For Japanese soldiers in the Pacific War, yielding to the call to soldiering meant adhering to the principles of the kokutai. Underlying this all-encompassing ideology was a requirement to accept death as the ultimate act of loyalty to the emperor. Since the Meiji Restoration, the citizens of Japan had been told that death in war was a noble and glorious deed, and that sacrificing one’s life for the emperor, a living god no less, was to achieve true purification, for the soldier involved and for his own and his family’s wider reputation. Under the kokutai the rewards for a glorified death were death’s recognition as an ultimate sign of honour, masculinity and virility, and on a spiritual level, death in war promised eternal deification to those who died in accordance with the teachings of the kokutai.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Cultural Studies
Research Field:Asian Cultural Studies
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in Languages, Communication and Culture
Author:Eaves-Young, V (Dr Victoria Eaves-Young)
ID Code:83377
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Asian Languages and Studies
Deposited On:2013-03-12
Last Modified:2013-07-24
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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