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Affirmation of the Greater East Asia War.

Novelist and onetime Marxist, friend and sometime mentor to Yukio Mishima, Fusao Hayashi (1903-1905) is a case in point. Purged as a right-wing militarist by the Occupation (which subsequently purged some 13,000 Japanese on suspicion of Communist affiliation), he went on to publish a two-volume Affirmation of the Greater East Asia War in the sixties. Hayashi's astonishingly witty affirmation is controversial across the political spectrum. Even postwar Greater East Asianists would modify his claim that, "although the Greater East Asia War seemed, in form, to be a war of aggression, it was in essence a war of liberation." They would agree that the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars were undertaken in self-defense and, furthermore, had positive effects on anticolonial struggles in China and India, but they argue that the subsequent annexation of Korea and the various China incidents were the work of runaway militarists who distorted the defensive/emancipatory agenda. Hayashi's response was that the Manchuria and China incidents were the result, not the cause, of the war between the United States and Japan. That war, he claimed, began with the 1905 Portsmouth (New Hampshire) Treaty ending the Russo-Japanese War, a treaty embodying Theodore Roosevelt's imperialist and increasingly anti-Japanese agenda.

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Author:Field, Norma
Publication:The Nation
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Dec 23, 1991
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