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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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Tradition and Reform in Kokugo

Tradition and Reform in Kokugo

(p.137) Chapter 9 Tradition and Reform in Kokugo
The Ideology of Kokugo

Lee Yeounsuk

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter shows how the intense conflict over the idea of kokugo between linguistics scholars and traditional kokugogaku scholars not only took place in academia but also directly reflected the conflicting views of conservatives and reformers on “kokugo issues.” Unlike Yamada or Tokieda, Hoshina refused to create a unity of kokugo by conjuring up “tradition.” He did not believe that such a conservative “tradition” could be appreciated by the entire nation's people, since it was a tradition agreed upon among the limited class of intellectuals, especially poets and scholars of ancient Japanese culture. The conservative power of tradition as the norm relied on written language, which contradicted Hoshina's conviction that spoken language was the organic heart of language. The norm he envisioned had to be drawn not from conventions of the past but from current usage of language.

Keywords:   kokugo reform, Hoshina Kōichi, Yamada Yoshio, Tokieda Motoki, kokugo issues, conservative tradition, written language, spoken language, kana, kanji

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