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Contemporary Japan is in the midst of an identity crisis grounded in conditions of economic, political and social confusion and a lost sense of national direction and purpose. This paper explores the bases of Japan's evolving national political identity. It notes the construction of a sense of Japanese homogeneity and the role of official discourses in the formation of Japan's national identity. The paper argues that internationalisation, cybernetic contacts and community insecurities are undermining the received idea of what it means to be Japanese and posing fundamental challenges to the legitimacy of the contemporary Japanese state.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2001

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