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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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(p.212) Chapter 15 Conclusion
The Ideology of Kokugo

Lee Yeounsuk

University of Hawai'i Press

This concluding chapter looks back to the weaknesses of kokugo in the context of a Japan on the brink of modernity. The coerciveness of kokugo policy in modern Japan, the chapter argued, was a sign not of the strength of kokugo but of its weakness. Japan was not able to establish a consistent language policy for its colonies, or even for itself. The chapter presents some ideas from notable Japanese intellectuals who had despaired of the plight of kokugo. More broadly, it covers the continuing competition over the hegemony of kokugo between the conservatives and the reformists, acknowledging that the ideology of kokugo has been solidified through their competition, because both conservatives and reformists share the same tacit premise: the unshakable homogeneity of the Japanese language.

Keywords:   modern Japan, kokugo, Japanese language, Yamada Yoshio, reformists, conservatives, Hoshina Kōichi, Ueda Kazutoshi, Kita Ikki

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