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Inventing the Way of the SamuraiNationalism, Internationalism, and Bushidō in Modern Japan$
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Oleg Benesch

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198706625

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198706625.001.0001

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The Late Bushidō Boom, 1905–1914

The Late Bushidō Boom, 1905–1914

(p.111) 4 The Late Bushidō Boom, 1905–1914
Inventing the Way of the Samurai

Oleg Benesch

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the second half of the bushidō boom, when bushidō became widely popular in Japan and abroad. It considers the processes by which ‘imperial bushidō’ ideology became firmly established, and how this and other bushidō interpretations spread throughout literature, academia, sport, religion, and other spheres of public life. Through government support, bushidō came to play a central role in military and civilian education, especially with the growth of spiritual education programmes used to indoctrinate troops with the desired virtues of loyalty and self-sacrifice. Members of religious orders and promoters of various types of sport, both native and foreign, invoked bushidō to popularize their causes and give them patriotic legitimacy. Foreign interpreters of Japan also showed great interest in bushidō, further raising its profile, and by 1912 Japanese public life was saturated with bushidō.

Keywords:   National Morality, Meiji, imperial bushidō, Buddhism, Christianity, martial arts, baseball, education, literature

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