Japan's Global Claim to Asia and the World of Islam: Transnational Nationalism and World Power, 1900–1945
November 12, 2004 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Japan's Global Claim to Asia and the World of Islam: Transnational Nationalism and World Power, 1900-1945 During the years 1900-1945, the question that motivated Muslims and some Japanese was whether Japan could be the "Savior of Islam" against Western imperialism and colonialism if this meant collaboration with Japanese imperialism. Even during the 1930s, when there was little hope left for prospects of democracy and liberalism in Japan (for that matter in Europe as well), the vision of a "Muslim Japan" was so compelling to many Muslims in Asia and beyond, even among black Muslims of Harlem, as a means for emancipation from Western hegemony/colonial reality that it justified cooperation with Japanese intelligence overseas. Okawa Shumei, the major intellectual figure of Pan-Asianism, the "mastermind of Japanese fascism" in the Tokyo trials, who justified Japan's mission to liberate Asia from Western colonialism by war if necessary, saw Islam as the means. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the relationship transformed into a major Japanese military strategy as the Japanese government began to implement its Islamic policy by mobilizing Muslim forces against the United Kingdom, Holland, China and Russia in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.      Alternately, The Fukuwaza Doctrine
posted by y2karl (11 comments total)
Is this a joke?
posted by jellybuzz at 1:24 PM on November 12, 2004

Good lord, this is fascinating. I've studied both Japan and Islam, and I had no idea about this. Karl, you never cease to amaze me -- keep digging out these pearls, and don't let the snarkers get you down!

Striking quotes:
"When Muslim newspapers celebrated Japan's defeat of Russia in the 1904–1905 Russo-Japanese War as the victory of the downtrodden Eastern peoples over the invincible West, a Turkish nationalist feminist, Halide Edip, like many other women, named her son Togo."
"In 1945, Suzuki trained local Indonesian youths as a militia on the eve of surrender to ensure their capacity to fight against the imminent return of the colonial Dutch authorities. The name of Suzuki's guerrilla organization was Hezbollah, the faction of God—a name that stops us in our tracks."

History is so much more complicated and interesting than the simple-minded linear stories they tell you in school...
posted by languagehat at 1:41 PM on November 12, 2004

gold. thanks, karl
posted by matteo at 1:50 PM on November 12, 2004

Articles in The American Historical Review are free only while the issue is current, it should be mentioned. After that, it's subscribers only.
posted by y2karl at 1:50 PM on November 12, 2004

Hey, it's the flip side of the Fugu Plan! (See also.) Cool find.
posted by Asparagirl at 2:21 PM on November 12, 2004

Fascinating! Excellent post.
posted by Celery at 2:23 PM on November 12, 2004

I'm confused; the page linked to under the words "The Fukuzawa Doctrine" is some kind of alternate history, right? I'm pretty sure the Japanese military did not invade Indonesia to drive out the Dutch in 1959. Is that why you used the word "alternately"? Am I just being dense?

I know that Fukuzawa, at least, was real. Is there really a so-called "Fukuzawa doctrine"?
posted by mr_roboto at 2:23 PM on November 12, 2004

Am I just being dense?

::cough of polite demurral::
posted by y2karl at 2:36 PM on November 12, 2004

Ah! Web pages have titles! Amazing!

You know, I was just being generous. Pointing that out for the more dense among us. You know.

The main link is, as others have pointed out, fascinating.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:41 PM on November 12, 2004

It's not often that such a radical new light is shed on our assumptions about several nations and movements we thought we knew so well. You've done us a service, y2k - going back to finish that major essay now.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:06 PM on November 12, 2004

Consider my mind boggled. I knew about the Pan-Asia thing. I knew there were (and are) Muslim majorities in many Asians countries. I just never thought about the implications.

Thanks, y2karl. Very nice post (and a good site to boot).
posted by skyscraper at 8:29 PM on November 13, 2004

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