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Anti-Semitism without Jews; The Anti-Jewish Ideology of Japan during the World War II / שנאת ישראל ללא יהודים האידיאולוגיה האנטישמית של יאפאן בתקופת מלחמת העולם השנייה

בן-עמי שילוני and B. Shillony
Zion / ציון
Vol. מו‎, חוברת ב‎ (תשמ"א / 1981), pp. 125-145
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23557966
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Anti-Semitism without Jews; The Anti-Jewish Ideology of Japan during the World War II / שנאת ישראל ללא יהודים האידיאולוגיה האנטישמית של יאפאן בתקופת מלחמת העולם השנייה
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Abstract

For about twenty five years, between the end of World War I and the end of World War II, anti-Semitic literature flourished in Japan. It was not aimed against concrete Jews, neither the several hundreds who had settled in Japan during this period nor the few thousands who lived in China, but rather attempted to provide an explanation of the world situation: the unscrupulous and powerful Jews united in a clandestine international conspiracy against Japan. Japanese anti-Semitism derived its concepts and terminology from the West, but whereas in European anti-Semitism the Jews were depicted as Asians threatening Western culture, in Japan they were viewed as the epitome of Western civilization bent on the destruction of Japanese society and values. The image of the greedy, domineering, crafty and successful Jew was just a caricature of the avaricious and omnipotent West which had been confronting Japan since the middle of the nineteenth century. therefore the attitude toward the Jews, like the attitude toward the West, remained an ambivalent mixture of admiration, fear and hatered. Unlike in Nazi Germany, anti-Semiitism was never the official ideology in Japan, although during the war it was supported by the semi'official press and various representative organizations. It could not be further developed because there was no residue of popular anti-Jewish feelings in Japan and because it ultimately contradicted Japan's official propaganda of establishing 'racial harmony' in Asia. Being rather an intellectual, than a social phenomenon, anti-Semitism vanished quickly after Japanis defeat in world war II. But the stereotype of the all-powerful Jew has survived and it often reappears in Japanese writings concerning Jews.

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