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CASTLES AND THE MILITARISATION OF URBAN SOCIETY IN IMPERIAL JAPAN

  • Oleg Benesch (a1)
Abstract

Castles are some of Japan's most iconic structures and popular tourist destinations. They are prominent symbols of local, regional and national identity recognised both at home and abroad. Castles occupy large areas of land at the centre of most Japanese cities, shaping the urban space. Many castles have their roots in the period of civil war that ended in the early seventeenth century, and now house museums, parks and reconstructions of historic buildings. The current heritage status of Japan's castles obscures their troubled modern history. During the imperial period (1868–1945), the vast majority of pre-modern castles were abandoned, dismantled or destroyed before being rediscovered and reinvented as physical links to an idealised martial past. Japan's most important castles were converted to host military garrisons that dominated city centres and caused conflict with civilian groups. Various interests competed for control and access, and castles became sites of convergence between civilian and military agendas in the 1920s and 1930s. This paper argues that castles contributed both symbolically and physically to the militarisation of Japanese society in the imperial period. The study of these unique urban spaces provides new approaches to understanding militarism, continuity and change in modern Japan.

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The arguments introduced here build on a forthcoming monograph, co-authored with Ran Zwigenberg, Japan's Castles: Citadels of Modernity in War and Peace (Cambridge, 2019). I would also like to thank David Clayton, Nathan Hopson, Jon Howlett, Helena Simmonds, the anonymous readers for the TRHS and the audience in Chester for their feedback and suggestions. This research was supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and Japan Foundation Endowment Committee. Japanese names that appear in this paper and references are rendered in the standard Japanese format, with the family name first. Japanese scholars writing primarily in English are rendered with the family name second in references.

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1 Hideto, Kishida, Japanese Architecture, 2nd edn (Tokyo, 1936), 108.

2 Noboru, Orui and Masao, Toba, Castles in Japan, Tourist Library, 9 (Tokyo, 1935), 72–3.

3 Shigeharu, Furukawa, Nihon jōkaku kō (Tokyo, 1974), 607. For a discussion of cherry blossom symbolism in imperial Japan, see Ohnuki-Tierney, Emiko, Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms, and Nationalisms: The Militarization of Aesthetics in Japanese History (Chicago, 2002).

4 For an examination of this ‘mega-event’, see Nathan Hopson, ‘“A Bad Peace?” – The 1937 Pan-Pacific Peace Exhibition’, Japanese Studies (Sept. 2018).

5 For example Kim, Hak Jae, ‘The Fatal Affinity of the “Sonderweg” Revisited: The Diffusion of Emergency Powers in Germany, Japan and Korea (1871–1987)’, Journal of Historical Sociology, 30 (2017), 110–42; Grimmer-Solem, Erik, ‘German Social Science, Meiji Conservatism, and the Peculiarities of Japanese History’, Journal of World History, 16 (2005), 187222.

6 For a more recent example, see Iritani Toshio, Group Psychology of the Japanese in War-Time (1991), 160–7.

7 Benedict, Ruth, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture (New York, 1946), 21–2.

8 Dower, John, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (New York, 1999), 488521.

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10 Yoshiaki, Yoshimi, Grassroots Fascism: The War Experience of the Japanese People, trans. Mark, Ethan (New York, 2015).

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12 Dickinson, Frederick, World War I and the Triumph of a New Japan, 1919–1930 (Cambridge, 2013).

13 Hitoshi, Nakai, ‘Honpō chikujō shi hen iinkai to Nihon jōkaku shi shiryō ni tsuite’, Chūsei jōkaku kenkyū, 7 (1993), 3453. In the 1980s, the post-war generation of scholars held vigorous debates on the role castle researchers played in supporting Japan's wartime efforts. For an overview of these debates, see Takao, Yamaki, ‘Meiji kara haisen made no jōkaku kenkyū no nagare ni tsuite’, Chūsei jōkaku kenkyū, 1 (1987), 184232.

14 Hitoshi, Nakai, Masafumi, Katō and Masayuki, Kido, Kamera ga toraeta furoshashin de miru Nihon no meijō (Tokyo, 2015), 10.

15 Hirai Makoto, ‘Meiji ki ni okeru haijō no hensen to chiiki dōkō: Ehime ken nai no jōkaku, chinya wo rei toshite’, Ehime ken rekishi bunka hakubutsukan kenkyū kiyō, 7 (Mar. 2003), 26; Tarō, Ichisaka, Bakumatsu ishin no shiro: ken'i no shōchō ka, jissen no yōki ka (Tokyo, 2014), 203.

16 Hirai, ‘Meiji ki ni okeru haijō no hensen to chiiki dōkō’, 29.

17 Noboru, Ōrui and Masao, Toba, Nihon jōkaku shi (Tokyo, 1936), 694.

18 For a discussion of problems with the application of the concept of ‘feudalism’ to Japan, see Keirstead, Thomas, ‘Inventing Medieval Japan: The History and Politics of National Identity’, Medieval History Journal, 1 (1998), 4771.

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20 Dresser, Christopher, Japan: Its Architecture, Art, and Art Manufactures (1882), 13.

21 Although English texts tended to use the term ‘palace’, the Japanese refers explicitly to a ‘castle’ in line with the official designation.

22 Thompson, William R. and Rasler, Karen, ‘War, the Military Revolution(s) Controversy, and Army Expansion: A Test of Two Explanations of Historical Influences on European State Making’, Comparative Political Studies, 32 (Feb. 1999), 331.

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24 Eiichi, Moriyama, Meiji ishin / haijō ichiran (Tokyo, 1989), 1819.

25 Data from Hiroshi, Katō, Kōichi, Ibuchi and Yasuo, Nagai, ‘Meiji ki ni okeru rikugun butai heiei chi no haichi ni tsuite’, Nihon kenchiku gakkai Tōhoku shibu kenkyū hōkoku kai (June 2004), 203–8.

26 von Brandt, Max August Scipio, Dreiunddreissig Jahre in Ost-asien: Erinnerungen eines deutschen Diplomaten, 2. Band (Leipzig, 1901), 281–2.

27 Yukio, Nishimura, ‘Kenzōbutsu no hozon ni itaru Meiji zenki no bunkazai hogo gyōsei no tenkai: “rekishi teki kankyō” gainen no seisei shi sono 1’, Nihon kenchiku gakkai ronbun hōkoku shū, 340 (June 1984), 106.

28 Ōkuma haku hyakuwa, ed. Taikichi, Emori (Tokyo, 1909), 255–9.

29 Shively, Donald H., ‘The Japanization of the Middle Meiji’, in Tradition and Modernization in Japanese Culture, ed. Shively, Donald (New Jersey, 1971), 77119.

30 Benesch, Oleg, Inventing the Way of the Samurai: Nationalism, Internationalism, and Bushido in Modern Japan (Oxford, 2014).

31 Gluck, Carol, ‘The Invention of Edo’, in Mirror of Modernity: Invented Traditions in Modern Japan, ed. Vlastos, Stephen (Berkeley, 1998), 262–84.

32 Tadashi, Fujio, ‘Tenshu no fukugen to sono shūhen: Ōsaka to Tōkyō’, Jūtaku kenchiku (May 1999), 160–5.

33 Takaaki, Matsushita, Guntai wo yūchi seyo: rikukaigun to toshi keisei (Tokyo, 2013), 36.

34 Furu ehagaki de miru Nihon no shiro, ed. Toyokimi, Gotō and Yasuhiro, Nishigaya (Tokyo, 2009), iviii.

35 Katsutoshi, Nonaka, ‘“Haijō” go no jōshi ni okeru kōen ka no keiki to keika, kinsei jōkamachi no kōshin to saihen ni yoru kindai ka’, Randosukēpu kenkyū, 79 (2016), 419–24.

36 Naoto, Nakajima, ‘Shōwa shoki ni okeru Nihon hokatsu kai no katsudō ni kansuru kenkyu’, Toshi keikaku ronbun shū, 41 (2006), 905–10.

37 Tadashi, Fujio, ‘Aichi-ken baiten: mō hitotsu no Nagoya jō tenshu’, Ouroboros, 14 (13 July 2001).

38 Katsutoshi, Nonaka, ‘Jōshi ni kensetsu sareta kasetsu mogi tenshukaku no kensetsu keii to igi: senzen no chihō toshi ni okeru mogi tenshukaku no kensetsu ni kan suru kenkyū, sono 3’, Nihon kenchiku gakkai keikaku kei ronbun shū, 78 (2013), 1553–4.

39 Katsutoshi, Nonaka, ‘Sengoku ki jōkaku no jōshi ni kensetsu sareta mogi tenshukaku no kensetsu keii to igi: senzen no chihō toshi ni okeru mogi tenshukaku no kensetsu ni kan suru kenkyū, sono 1’, Nihon kenchiku gakkai keikaku kei ronbun shū, 75 (2010), 837–42.

40 Noboru, Ōrui, ‘Honpō jōkaku no bikan’, Shinri kenkyū, 1 (1912), 636.

41 Kato, Ibuchi and Nagai, ‘Meiji ki’, 203–8.

42 Ibid.

43 Matsushita, Guntai wo yūchi seyo.

44 Okamoto, Shumpei, ‘The Emperor and the Crowd: The Historical Significance of the Hibiya Riot’, in Conflict in Modern Japanese History: The Neglected Tradition, ed. Najita, Tetsuo et al. (Princeton, 1982), 260–2, 266–7.

45 Ibid., 268.

46 Najita, Tetsuo, Hara Kei and the Politics of Compromise 1905–1915 (Cambridge, MA, 1967).

47 Yutaka, Yoshida, Nihon no guntai: heishi tachi no kindai shi (Tokyo, 2002), 160–8.

48 Tipton, Elise K., The Japanese Police State: Tokko in Interwar Japan (2012), 123–7.

49 Hiroharu, Kobayashi, ‘Gunto Himeji to minshū’, in Chiiki no naka no guntai, iv: Koto, shōto no guntai, Kinki, ed. Keiichi, Harada (Tokyo, 2015), 8999; Matsushita, Guntai wo yūchi seyo, 244–8; Ryūichirō, Tsukuda, ‘Tōkai gunto ron: Toyohashi to, kanren shite no Nagoya, Hamamatsu’, in Chiiki no naka no guntai, iii: Retto chūō no gunji kyoten, Chūbu, ed. Hidemichi, Kawanishi (Tokyo, 2014), 837.

50 Crump, John, The Anarchist Movement in Japan, 1906–1996 (Sheffield, 1996).

51 Hajime, Seki, Seki Hajime nikki (Osaka, 1918), www.mus-his.city.osaka.jp/news/2008/komesodo.html (accessed 26 Apr. 2017).

52 Tsunehisa, Abe, ‘Kome sōdō’, Chūgakkō shakaika no shiori, 1 (2011), 40.

53 Humphreys, Leonard A., The Way of the Heavenly Sword: The Japanese Army in the 1920s (Stanford, 1995), 43.

54 Garon, Sheldon, The State and Labor in Modern Japan (Berkeley, 1987), 41; Barshay, Andrew E., State and Intellectual in Imperial Japan: The Public Man in Crisis (Berkeley, 1988), 150.

55 ‘Kome sōdō no sono go’, Osaka mainichi shinbun (18 Aug. 1918).

56 Mitsuo, Saitō, Aizu Wakamatsu jō (Tokyo, 1989), 182–3.

57 ‘Kome sōdō no sono go’.

58 Humphreys, The Way of the Heavenly Sword, 54–9.

59 Ibid., 52–3.

60 Ibid., 46–9.

61 Ibid., 82.

62 Ibid., 84–5.

63 Jaundrill, Samurai to Soldier, 116.

64 Fujio, ‘Tenshu no fukugen to sono shūhen: Ōsaka to Tōkyō’, 161; Takashi, Matsushita, ‘Ōsaka hōhei kōshō to Ōsaka sangyō shūseki to no kankei sei: tekkō, aruminiumu, kikai kinzoku kakō gijutsu kara kōsatsu’, Sankaiken ronshū, 24 (2012), 10.

65 Miyake Kōji writes that other calculations put the number of arsenal workers at the time of surrender at more than 200,000 and the total size of the arsenal land at almost six square kilometres. Kōji, Miyake, Ōsaka hōhei kōshō no kenkyū (Kyoto, 1993), 404, 408.

66 Ōsakajo no kindaishi, ed. tenshukaku, Ōsakajō (Osaka, 2004), 7.

67 Japan Chronicle (10 Dec. 1902), 574.

68 Yasuharu, Nogawa, ‘Ōsaka jō tenshukaku fukkō zenshi: rikugun shiryō ni miru Ōsaka jō no kankōchi ka to Naniwa Jingū zōei mondai (tokushū Nishi Ōsaka)’, Ōsaka no rekishi, 73 (2009), 94–6.

69 Ibid., 100–1.

70 Seiichirō, Miki, ‘Hōkokusha no zōei ni kansuru ichikōsatsu’, Nagoya Daigaku bungakubu kenkyū ronshū shigaku, 33 (1987), 206.

71 Ōsakajō no kindaishi, ed. tenshukaku, Ōsakajō (Osaka, 2004), 41.

72 ‘Koju ichii Toyotomi Hideyoshi zōi no ken’ (10 Nov. 1915) (Japan Center for Asian Historical Records: A11112488700).

73 Endō Shunroku, ‘Ōsaka-fu ka no nyūei, enshū, zaigō gunjinkai’, in Chiiki no naka no guntai, ed. Harada, iv, 170–1.

74 Nogawa, ‘Ōsaka jō tenshukaku fukkō zenshi’, 100–1.

75 ‘Ōsaka shinai seito sōkōsha kengaku daiichinichi’, Osaka asahi shinbun (evening, 11 Apr. 1919), 2.

76 Naoyuki, Kinoshita, ‘Kindai Nihon no shiro ni tsuite’, Kindai gasetsu, 9 (2000), 92.

77 Hiroshi, Kitagawa, ‘Ōsaka jō tenshukaku: fukkō kara genzai ni itaru made’, Rekishi kagaku, 157 (1999), 17.

78 Ōsaka fu shashin chō, ed. fu, Ōsaka (Osaka, 1914), 29.

79 Beard, Charles Austin, The Administration and Politics of Tokyo: A Survey and Opinions (New York, 1923), 177–8.

80 Hanes, Jeffrey, The City as Subject: Seki Hajime and the Reinvention of Modern Osaka (Berkeley, 2002), 205.

81 Ibid., 200–2.

82 Nogawa, ‘Ōsaka jō tenshukaku fukkō zenshi’, 104–6.

83 Kinoshita, ‘Kindai Nihon no shiro ni tsuite’, 92; Naoyuki, Kinoshita, Watashi no jōkamachi: tenshukaku kara mieru sengo no Nihon (Tokyo, 2007), 263.

84 Kitagawa, ‘Ōsaka jō tenshukaku’, 16.

85 Nogawa, ‘Ōsaka jō tenshukaku fukkō zenshi’, 109.

86 Tomoko, Hashitera, ‘Kaienji no Ōsaka jō kōen to Taishō ki no keikaku an ni tsuite: kindai no Ōsaka jōshi no riyō ni kan suru kenkyū’, Nihon kenchiku gakkai Kinki shibu kenkyū hōkoku shū (2002), 1032.

87 Kitagawa, ‘Ōsaka jō tenshukaku’, 16.

88 For example, see Todd, Nancy, New York's Historic Armories: An Illustrated History (Albany, 2006).

89 Shigeharu, Furukawa, Kinjō fukkō ki (Osaka, 1931), Foreword 1.

90 Ibid., 2.

91 Ibid., 465–8; Kōzō, Amano, Toshiharu, Sazaki, Takeru, Watanabe, Hiroshi, Kitagawa, Haruoki, Ochiai and Katsumi, Kawasaki, ‘Shōwa no Ōsaka jō fukkō tenshukaku no kiso kōzō ni tsuite’, Dobokushi kenkyū, 17 (1997), 405–11.

92 Furukawa, Kinjō fukkō ki, 462, 468–9.

93 Ibid., 464.

94 Kitagawa, ‘Ōsaka jō tenshukaku’, 16–17.

95 ‘Tenshukaku go tōrin’, Yomiuri shinbun (17 Nov. 1932), 4.

96 Hiroshi, Katō, ‘Dai ni shidan to Sendai’, in Chiiki no naka no guntai, i: Kita no guntai to gunto, Hokkaidō, Tōhoku, ed. Kazushige, Yamamoto (Tokyo, 2015), 35–6.

97 Katsutoshi, Nonaka, ‘Kumamoto, Hagi, oyobi Wakamatsu ni okeru jōshi de no mogi tenshukaku no kensetsu kōsō to sono haikei: senzen no chihō toshi ni okeru mogi tenshukaku no kensetsu ni kan suru kenkyū, sono 4’, Nihon kenchiku gakkai keikaku kei ronbun shū, 79 (2014), 1346–8.

98 Japan Times, 24 Aug. 1930.

99 Hozon: Architectural and Urban Conservation in Japan, ed. Enders, Siegfried R. C. T. and Gutschow, Niels (Stuttgart, 1998), 31.

100 Iga bunka sangyō jō rakusei ki'nen zenkoku hakurankai shi, ed. Chō, Mie Ken Ueno (Ueno, 1938), 2.

101 Shimazu, Naoko, Japanese Society at War: Death, Memory and the Russo-Japanese War (Cambridge, 2009), 241–8.

The arguments introduced here build on a forthcoming monograph, co-authored with Ran Zwigenberg, Japan's Castles: Citadels of Modernity in War and Peace (Cambridge, 2019). I would also like to thank David Clayton, Nathan Hopson, Jon Howlett, Helena Simmonds, the anonymous readers for the TRHS and the audience in Chester for their feedback and suggestions. This research was supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and Japan Foundation Endowment Committee. Japanese names that appear in this paper and references are rendered in the standard Japanese format, with the family name first. Japanese scholars writing primarily in English are rendered with the family name second in references.

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