HIST 142B Final
Kokutai is the national polity, sovereignty, body, and essence of the Japanese people but can also be thought of as the qualities that define a Japanese. The term originates from Aizawa Seishisai’s Shinron, which stated that the Emperor was a god and that the leader of the Japanese people, who were descendants of the gods. During the Meiji period, some scholars such as Kato Hiroyuki advocated for the separation of the government and the Emperor. They argued that kokutai should be focused on the Emperor while the government should be the one exercising legal authority. After the Meiji Restoration, the Constitution of the Empire of Japan basically stated that kokutai was the basis for the Emperor’s sovereignty over Japan but he ruled with the consent of the Japanese Diet. Kokutai also helped the Japanese government mobilize war efforts. After the war ended, the Emperor admitted his humanity and kokutai lost its meaning in the society.
2) The Three People’s Principles
The Three People’s Principles was a political philosophy developed by Sun Yat-sen as part of his campaign to guide China towards a democracy. His theory focused on nationalism, democracy, and the people’s livelihood. The principle of nationalism focused on the opposition of the rule by Manchus and foreign imperialism and advocated for the development of a Chinese nationalism to unite the major ethnic groups and a national consciousness to unite the Hans. By democracy, Sun wanted elections and a western constitutional government that represented the people’s power. He believed that the power of politics should be vested in the National Assembly which represented the people’s wishes while the power of governance incorporated western institutes. The people’s livelihood is focused on social welfare and socialism in four areas: food, clothing, housing, and transportation. The Three People’s Principles heavily influenced Chiang Kai Shek’s political views and by extension shaped the formation of modern day Taiwan.
After the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, the Japanese gained a presence in the North Eastern part of China and deemed that expansion was necessary for Japan as an emerging world power. The Mudken Incident in 1931 led Japan to invade Manchuria and established the puppet state of Manchukuo. The Japanese sought to separate Manchuria from the rest of China. They invited Puyi to head the pro-Japanese government in Manchukuo in order to give it an air of legitimacy. In order to support the puppet state and the stationed military, the Japanese built several industries and infrastructure and gradually transformed Manchukuo into an industrial powerhouse along with Korea. Manchukuo also served as a Japanese base at the start of the second Sino-Japanese War. After the end of World War II, the Soviets captured the territories of Manchukuo and Puyi before returning them to China.
4) Comfort women
Comfort women were girls and women forced into...