HIEA 3172 Final

Choose ONE of the following TWO questions and write a take-home final paper, complete with Chicago footnotes, of roughly 2000-2500 words. Use the details of these texts to discipline your writing–don’t just use them as word association for you to riff on. Start with them and see how far and deep you can go. As in the Shanghai paper, the key for either question will be to not merely state, but demonstrate your arguments. In other words, theorize the details of both the text and the empire. Do not merely attach a few examples to your theory.

1. Making explicit references to at least three of our course readings, use the following quote to critique the Japanese Empire.

“When monopoly capitalism becomes imperialistic it attempts to hide the contradictions of imperialism domestically through state power, and internationally by building up the perception that it can solve the problems by force. Fascism is precisely the political mechanism that, in order to accomplish these measures, takes advantage of the petit bourgeois, or the middle-class in the broad sense, a class which is experiencing turmoil in their social consciousness through various particular domestic and international political circumstances. Fascism is the relatively advantageous method that appears to be succeeding in realizing its ultimate goal of extending finance capitalism, by taking advantage of the middle-class who have emotionally lost all faith in both the dictatorship of the proletariat and the explicit domination of the bourgeoisie. They just as emotionally hold onto the fantasy that they share the interests of fascism.” —Tosaka Jun, 1935

Note: here “critique “does not mean criticize. It means demonstrate the ideologies and practices that constitute the actual functioning of the empire—on the ground, as it were.

2. Making explicit references to at least three of our course readings, use the following quote to critique the Japanese Empire.

“Quite some time ago… a specialist in Japanese religious history once told me this story: how the venerable Honen having read the entire Tripitaka for the fourth or fifth time, hit upon the invocation of Amida Buddha—Namu Amida Butsu”, or “Hail to thee, Amitabha Buddha.” Although I personally have no sense of the preciousness of invoking the name, the fact that out of this enormous text, Honen found its heart in these six characters struck me as interesting, and I’ve never forgotten it. Not that I regard Capital as a sutra, to be chanted as my morning devotion. The first time I read Capital was also the only time I read it from beginning to end…. But since then…I’ve reread it, eventually going through it entirely a number of times and discovering its essence in the notion of “the commodification of labor power…. [t]reating commodification [of labor power] as pivotal to the theory not only of accumulation (this goes without saying) but [also] of value and crisis….”                                                                        —Uno Kozo (abridged)

Note: here “critique “does not mean criticize. It means demonstrate the ideologies and practices that constitute the actual functioning of the empire—on the ground, as it were.

Due according to registrar final exam schedule at 5 pm Saturday May 3 in Collab “assignments–>final”