War and Religion in 20th Century Japan

War and Religion in 20th Century Japan

Masamichi Ogawara - Professor of Japanese Political Thought, Keio University; Visiting Scholar of Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Luce Hall (LUCE), Room 203 See map
34 Hillhouse Ave.
New Haven, CT 06511
(Location is wheelchair accessible)

Japan experienced a lot of wars in the 20th century. From the Russo-Japanese war through the Manchurian Incident, the Sino-Japanese War, and the Pacific War, what was the typical correspondence between different religions in Japan, including Buddhism, Christianity, and Shinto, to the war? Did they support and justify the war or did they oppose it? What did the Japanese Army and Government think about religion? Was religion used to protect the freedom of Japanese citizens or as a means of control and war mobilization? This lecture will explore these actual conditions, structures, and doctrines, while being conscious of the historical timeline of 19th century Japan. Ogawara will utilize an interdisciplinary approach by examining evidence including historical, religious and political analyses.

Masamichi Ogawara began studying Japanese politics as an undergraduate at Keio University, and received his doctorate in 2003. His research focuses on the political thought of the Meiji era, especially focusing on Yukichi Fukuzawa, the founder of Keio University and a famous thinker of the time. He also focuses on the relationship between religion/faith and the state/statesman in the Meiji period. His latest book is Meiji no Seijika to Sinkō; Christian Minkenka no Shōzō (Tokyo: Yoshikawakōbunkan, 2013). His current research centers on the issue of political thought and the relationship between religion and state in Pre-war Japan.