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Munderloh, Moritz (2012): The Imperial Japanese Army as a Factor in Spreading Militarism and Fascism in Prewar Japan. Master of Arts, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
(Munich University Japan Center Graduation Theses)




Although a broad variety of aspects concerning militarism and fascism in Japan have been focal points of research, little attention has been given to the Imperial Japanese Army as an actor in spreading militarist and fascist ideology among the Japanese populace. Japan lacked a fascist mass movement centered in a fascist political party. Nonetheless, the majority of the populace supported the government’s policies, the Imperial Japanese Army's adventurism, and right wing terrorism. In order to depict the comprehensive indoctrination which the Japanese populace underwent in the time span from the beginning of the Meiji period until the end of World War II, the oeuvre of two Japanese officers and statesmen, Yamagata Aritomo and Tanaka Giichi, has to be examined. Both men had substantial influence on establishing the framework which enabled the army to spread militarism and fascism in Japan. This thesis concentrates on the question of how, and by what means the Imperial Japanese Army secured the populace as willing supporters, enabling it to guide Japan into World War II without significant opposition.