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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10928/885

Title: 岡本恵徳「水平軸の発想」と「中央集権」への批判
Other Titles: Okamoto Keitoku “The Idea of a Horizontal Axis” and Criticism of “Centralization of Power”
Authors: 神子島, 健
Kagoshima, Takeshi
Issue Date: Nov-2016
Publisher: 成蹊大学アジア太平洋研究センター
Abstract: In this paper, I argue that “The Idea of a Horizontal Axis” represents a criticism of the process of Japanese modernization, and of the radical centralization of power. “The Idea of a Horizontal Axis” was written by Okamoto Keitoku, an Okinawan thinker, in 1970. From the Meiji Restoration to the recent period of rapid economic growth, mainstream thought in Japan considered modernization to be good. In this way of thinking, the community, which refers here to feudal relationships, can be made obsolete and Okinawa, which was regarded as one of the most backward regions in Japan, is allowed to assimilate into mainland Japan. In “the Idea of a Horizontal Axis”, Okamoto argues both for the importance of the community and of the people’s war experiences in Okinawa. In March 1945, during the battle of Okinawa, a case of “compulsory group suicide” occurred on okashiki Island, near mainland Okinawa. Many writers argued that the suicide was caused by the strong community in Okinawa, but Okamoto contends that, even though the strong community might have caused it, it was just an extreme case. A strong community is usually a place of co-existence for community members. He argues that the belief in the modernization is connected to the notion of centralization; therefore, it denies local traditions and community in modern Japan. It also means that the vertical (and hierarchical) relations among regions are centered on the capital. He argues instead for horizontal relations among communities, and this affords a perspective through which to criticize the history of the centralization of power in modern Japan in a radical way.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10928/885
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