Japan has completely fallen into the control of American soft power. From the perspective of the United States, this kind of schoolwork implemented by the United States can be said to have successfully disciplined Japan. Democracy, economic prosperity and the suppression of military power have become the achievements praised by the United States and Japan with one voice.

Emperor Hirohito of Japan visited the US embassy and general. Japan September 1945

on August 30, 1945, the US military aircraft arrived at the houki airport on the outskirts of Tokyo, and Douglas MacArthur set foot on the land of Japan, “as if he were the emperor of the 20th century”. The plot of the US Japan relationship changed from this moment: the two sides turned war into friendship and began to stage an exchange drama containing warmth, understanding and respect. American elites are amazed at the docility of the Japanese people, while the Japanese are grateful for the generosity of the United States. Since then, the two sides formed a “US Japan alliance”. Is everyone happy? Because the nature of the US Japan alliance has exceeded people’s general understanding, people lack accurate grasp of its essence and significance. This book, American soft power in postwar Japan, gives readers such an impression; However, it provides us with indispensable historical materials to gain insight into the essence of this alliance.

this is a book discussing how the United States implemented its cultural policy towards Japan after World War II. Based on the newly declassified archives, the author Takeji Matsuda, a professor at Kyoto University and an expert in the history of Japanese American diplomacy, describes in detail the interactive process between the occupying force command, the US State Department, private consortia and Japanese academic research institutions. These interactions all point to a high sounding goal: to promote cultural exchanges between the United States and Japan. Under the dissecting knife of the author’s history, the “symbiotic relationship” of the three organizations (the United States and Japan) government, consortium and university has been displayed; “American soft power” in the title is another expression of this relationship. Generally speaking, in the context of hard power, soft power needs two conditions to play its role: first, the academic community has conducted long-term research on the target country and has a large amount of knowledge reserve; The second is the application of these knowledge by policy makers. After World War II, American policy makers against Japan made the best use of American Japanese research results, thus giving effective play to their soft power. The author of

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then concluded that Japan has completely fallen into the control of American soft power and “formed a permanent semi dependent structure on the United States mentally and psychologically”. This sentence is not sensational, because the limited description of “spiritually and psychologically” is life-threatening. What does this conclusion mean? Is this a hymn for the success of the US policy towards Japan or an alarm for the fate and living conditions of the Japanese people? If we stop at the level of “Nation-State”, we will not be able to get an understanding of the essence of the “US Japan alliance”. We must further broaden our horizons: what significance does the post-war US Japan relationship mentioned here have for world history and human society?

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the concept of “empire” (note not “imperialism”) in recent decades, rather than the familiar “Nation-State”, provides us with a new perspective. Among the emerging concepts, “empire”, the ruling order of human beings over themselves and regions, is considered to be more in line with the normal of history, so it has the ability to explain reality.

from this point of view, the author Matsuda and even John W. Doyle, an expert in American Japanese history who wrote the introduction to this book (see Chinese translation “embracing defeat”, translated by Hu Bo, Sanlian publishing house, 2008), did not realize that the Japanese policy of the United States after the war was part of the imperial course of the United States, that is, disciplining Japan. Matsuda’s re textual research on the cultural exchange between the United States and Japan, especially the history of academic exchange, only stays in the implementation details of this course. Because he did not clearly express the perspective of imperial schoolwork, which is really of political significance, he fell into the refutation of some specious ideas, such as “cultural imperialism”, although this practice is consistent with the mentality of the world and the understanding of the world.

a passage quoted by Matsuda in the preface of this book reveals his blind spot. On February 10, 2002, Thomas Friedman, a famous American journalist, wrote an article for the New York Times. When referring to the concept of American nationals, Friedman pointed out: Only by criticizing one’s own view of the country and that of others, can people avoid their own responsibility for the prosperity of the country. If only one of their leaders can avoid their own responsibility for the prosperity of the country so far Only by finding out the truth of the facts can we devote ourselves to solving the real problems through the political process. ”

these words are just common sense for both American and Japanese citizens with sound judgment. Matsuda deliberately quoted it because of his “hardship”: he thought that he was dealing with a sensitive issue in post-war US Japan relations, which might touch the self-esteem of the parties, so he asked everyone to keep rational clarity in advance. In fact, Matsuda’s theme itself is in line in the field of history. However, if the derogatory term “cultural imperialism” is introduced, the nature of the problem will change abruptly: this word means that American officials and scholars who formulate policies on US Japan relations boast that they are superior to the Japanese in morality, culture and knowledge. Therefore, the so-called “cultural exchange” is not equal exchange, It’s just flowing from the dominant US side to Japan. In this concept, the United States has become the guardian of Japanese politics, the teacher of democratization and the mentor of national spirit.

what is the truth? Matsuda focused on American consortia and American research academia in Japan. In the view of some Japanese historians, the US led democratization reform in Japan is the result of the cooperation between Japanese political activists and the US occupation authorities. The problem is that what we call “harmony” hereWhat does “doing” mean? In the process of Japan being disciplined as a liberal and democratic country after the war, what is the relationship between the actual concept of the parties and the world understanding of the United States? The truth of

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does not embarrass people with a sense of justice in the United States and Japan. In the informative narration of this book, the United States has shown extraordinary generosity and goodwill in its policy towards Japan, although sometimes Japan’s foreign policy is forced to conform to the U.S. strategy, and even though individual parties in the United States have a contemptuous attitude towards Japan in this process. The Rockefeller consortium has made great contributions in this process.

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in order to prevent being labeled as “cultural imperialism”, which was discussed by scholars later, Rockefeller III, who participated in the peace talks with Japan, deliberately put forward the concept of “two-way street” when he conceived the cultural exchange between the United States and Japan; He expected that such exchanges would be reciprocal and equal. He said, “if one side is overemphasized, it will face the problem of cultural imperialism”, and “in the long run, cultural imperialism is unfortunate not only for Japan but also for the United States”. This sentence was soon verified on the surface.

after the war, Japan finally formed a structure dependent on the United States. This dependence has a very different meaning for the United States and Japan. From the perspective of the United States, this kind of schoolwork implemented by the United States can be said to have successfully disciplined Japan. Democracy, economic prosperity and the suppression of military power have become the achievements praised by the United States and Japan with one voice. However, the experience gained by the United States has in turn affected the United States itself, especially its world understanding and foreign policy. After the war, the global significance of American schoolwork began to emerge.

on May 5, 1951, at the hearing of the US Senate Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee, MacArthur made a famous remark: “If the Anglo Saxon nation is in the 45 year old stage of development in science, art, religion and culture, the Germans are quite mature. However, although the Japanese have a long history, they are still in the stage of guidance. From the benchmark of modern civilization, compared with the 45 year old of the United States, Japan is still a 12-year-old.” This remark caused an uproar in Japan; Previously, MacArthur was regarded as a benefactor of national reconstruction, a hero and highly respected in Japan. Shortly after returning from Japan, Rockefeller III immediately launched a fire-fighting operation and repeatedly stressed that the United States and Japan should “respect each other”.

in April of the same year, Rockefeller III submitted an 80 page report on U.S. – Japan cultural relations to John F. Dulles, then assistant secretary of state. The report specifically listed five plans, including the establishment of a cultural center in Tokyo, the establishment of International exchange halls for students in Tokyo and Kyoto respectively Carry out personnel exchange activities with national instructors and students as the core, and implement thorough English education. Dulles has a close relationship with the Rockefeller family. He has been the chairman of the Rockefeller consortium since 1950 and became the US Secretary of state two years later. After receiving the report, he immediately submitted it to the US State Department in a “confidential” manner.

what Rockefeller III did not realize was that the more sincere his statements and ideas were, the more he expressed part of the essence of “cultural imperialism” in a highly concise way – in the way that the other party agreed, the Empire gained cultural leadership. With the help of Italian theorist Gramsci’s concept of “cultural leadership”, Matsuda tried to bleach the American cultural policy towards Japan. However, from the perspective of the formation of imperial order, Matsuda’s concerns and work are meaningless. He underestimated – if not ignored – the possible understanding and maturity of American politicians in politics and general human affairs after World War II.

what is the world understanding and political maturity of the United States? This can only be left for readers to think. From the perspective of power, we need to turn our attention to Japan for the time being. What makes Japanese scholars ashamed may be the part that concerns themselves. In order to obtain the support of research funds from the United States, some people call it “academic resources”, the parties have shown interest centered calculation, stinginess and domineering when competing for “resources”; Intellectuals have lost their due reserve. Tokyo University and Kyoto University, two prestigious universities in Japan, one east and one west, are involved in the vortex.

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since they were stationed in 1945, the occupying forces authorities launched a “spiritual offensive” against Japanese intellectuals. The purpose is very clear: to replace the ideology of emperor rule and emperor system based on theocratic order with democratic spirit. In fact, Japanese intellectuals at that time were in a “spiritual vacuum”. Dulles, who has a devout religious belief, found that “Japanese people have the characteristics of free change”, and realized that they may be easy to accept the propaganda of communism. Although Dulles did not understand why these former militarists had simply become Democrats, his policy was extremely firm: strengthening the democratic concept and position of Japanese intellectuals.

on the other hand, at that time, Japanese intellectuals generally believed that “the misfortune they are facing now is largely due to the lack of a correct understanding of the United States”. In this way, Japan’s American research has received the common attention of both sides. With the escalation of the cold war, this field is regarded as the most important academic research field to deepen understanding of the United States and strengthen friendly relations between the United States and Japan. To this end, the US government and private consortia invest a lot of money every year to support American researchers in Japan to engage in research and exchange activities. In April 1950, the University of Tokyo and Stanford University jointly held an American Research Seminar in Tokyo, which became a model of such activities. Since then, this activity has been held for seven consecutive years, and first-class American professors are recruited every year to explain the humanities and Social Sciences in the United States. According to statistics, nearly 600 American researchers from Japan participated in the above activities.

the success of the Tokyo seminar stimulatedAmerican scholar of western Japan. In 1952, Kyoto University and gay society University prepared to hold a similar American Research Seminar in Kyoto. In their view, winning the same subsidy treatment from the US government and private consortia means that their knowledge has been recognized. Nan yuanfan, then president of the University of Tokyo and a representative of post-war democracy, was furious at the behavior of professors at Kyoto University. The US authorities had to mediate. After the

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Kyoto seminar was finally held successfully, there was another discord between Kyoto University and its co-author gay society University, which broke up a few years later. The American parties soon understood the reason: This is the conflict between famous national universities and private universities, in which reputation and interests are mixed.

however, these academic disputes are still superficial. This academic production mechanism relying on the United States is pregnant with a deep negative result – intellectuals, as political and social critics, have lost their functions. After Japan became an economic power in the 1980s, the economic friction between the United States and Japan became more and more serious, and the relationship between the two countries became the main topic in Japan’s political life. Keep the army for a thousand days and use it for a while. At this time, in order to find a safe solution to the situation, Japanese politicians and citizens turned their attention to American researchers in Japan, hoping to obtain in-depth expertise. Although the Japanese government and the public at home and abroad strongly hope to obtain correct information and policy suggestions about the United States, most American researchers remain silent.

accordingly, Matsuda believes that the activities of the US government and consortia have successfully cultivated a “pro american faction”. As noted by the Rockefeller consortium, “the assistance from the U.S. government’s tenderness may erode people’s indomitable spirit and make people’s will fragile”. These explanations are all good. But is this the result of “cultural imperialism”? Is it the “conspiracy” of the United States?

in fact, “cultural imperialism” is only an ideology supporting the ruling order of the Empire, not the Empire itself. The universal mechanism underlying this ideology cannot be ignored or even abandoned because of its own clumsiness.

after the war, Japan finally formed a structure dependent on the United States. This dependence has a very different meaning for the United States and Japan. From the perspective of the United States, this kind of schoolwork implemented by the United States can be said to have successfully disciplined Japan. Democracy, economic prosperity and the suppression of military power have become the achievements praised by the United States and Japan with one voice. However, the experience gained by the United States has in turn affected the United States itself, especially its world understanding and foreign policy. After the war, the global significance of American schoolwork began to emerge.

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slightly lengthen our historical vision. It can be said that the post-war US Japan relationship is a practice of imperial schoolwork. Some concepts familiar to people today, such as democracy, modernization, human rights, security, freedom and order, provide universal conceptual support for this course. Of course, it was through the reconstruction of the post-war world order that the above-mentioned universal human concepts gradually became a reality.

therefore, it was not the “conspiracy” of the strong, but the “conspiracy” of the parties. A sociological interaction led to the compilation and implementation of imperial schoolwork and the formation of post-war US Japan relations. In this complex and extensive project, there is no outsider, let alone continuous “conspiracy” against a specific country; Persecution delusion and victimization delusion are floating clouds. The “magnanimity” of the United States after the war has its own character; But only in a higher level of human universal sense can people talk about their gains and losses.