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The Ideology of KokugoNationalizing Language in Modern Japan$
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Yeounsuk Lee

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833053

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833053.001.0001

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The Early Period of Ueda Kazutoshi

The Early Period of Ueda Kazutoshi

(p.73) Chapter 4 The Early Period of Ueda Kazutoshi
The Ideology of Kokugo

Lee Yeounsuk

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter outlines Ueda Kazutoshi's criticism of traditional kokugaku and his acceptance of modern linguistics. The central figure behind the ideology of kokugo's prevalence in Meiji-era linguistic debates, Ueda Kazutoshi recognized that more and more people had come to understand recently that kokugo and kokubun were “vital for maintaining the nation's independence.” Moreover, he asserted a particular “distinction between language and literature.” He used the same rhetoric as the comparative linguists in the West who challenged the authority of classical philology in the nineteenth century. Nonetheless, Ueda sensed some radical ideology in modern linguistics—not just a new methodology for language analysis—which would shake the very definition of language. For Ueda, such linguistic ideology was not merely a Western novelty to worship but a matter of deep conviction.

Keywords:   kokugo, kokugaku, kokubun, Ueda Kazutoshi, modern linguistics, linguistic ideology, classical philology, Neogrammarians, Germany

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