Francesco Campagnola

Machiavelli as an anti-colonial thinker in 1930s and 1940s Japan

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The present paper explores the Japanese use of Niccolò Machiavelli immediately before and during the Second World War. The aim of the paper is to cast light onto the new lease on life that the specific context of militarist Japan and colonised Asia afforded to the Florentine secretary, making of him a tool of Asianist and – paradoxically – anti-colonial ideology. Our analysis, while surveying the wider history of Machiavelli’s translation and interpretation in modern Japan, focuses mainly on Ōiwa Makoto, whose scientific career and personal life offer us novel insight into Japanese culture and politics during the turbulent 1930s and 1940s


  • Shõ
  • wa era
  • asianism
  • Õ
  • iwa Makoto
  • imperialism
  • machiavellianism


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