Japanese militarism, fascism, and nazism

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,861
Florania
We know that Japanese militarism wasn't fascist, but for convenience, many people have called the Japanese militarism during the Pacific War Japanese fascism.
Nazism was another story.
Please clarify! Wikipedia isn't exactly the most reliable source.
 

Pacific_Victory

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
7,654
MARE PACIFICVM
I'm not sure I understand the question...

Where exactly does Nazism come in here?

You can call the Japanese Empire of the early 20th century fascism if you like, although generally I hear it referred to as militaristic imperialism, or simply Japanese imperialism. It differed from fascism in many ways, but at least I can see the similarities.

Nazism however, refers to a specific German brand of fascist National Socialism which eventually became intertwined with white ("aryan") supremacy. Nothing to do with Japan.
 

mark87

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,117
Santiago de Chile
Everything I've read about imperial japan leads me to believe it to be one of the most successful and brutal military dictatorships of the 20th century. It was nationalistic but its state apparatus was not built like a fascist or Nazi corporate state. I suppose part of the problem is that it mixed feudal traditions with 'modern' ones making things even odder, and the divine position of the Emperor would equate it even to a absolute monarchy which would be odd for the 1930's.
 

xander.XVII

Ad Honorem
Nov 2009
3,888
Outer world
I'm not sure I understand the question...

Where exactly does Nazism come in here?

You can call the Japanese Empire of the early 20th century fascism if you like, although generally I hear it referred to as militaristic imperialism, or simply Japanese imperialism. It differed from fascism in many ways, but at least I can see the similarities.

Nazism however, refers to a specific German brand of fascist National Socialism which eventually became intertwined with white ("aryan") supremacy. Nothing to do with Japan.
Yet Japanese "fascism" shared with Nazism the racial component, although not as marked as in Nazism; something that Fascism lacked or just aped from Germany (i.e. Italian racial laws).
Beware, I'm not saying Italian Fascism didn't have a sense of racial supremacy in it, just that it was pretty marginal.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,861
Florania
Yet Japanese "fascism" shared with Nazism the racial component, although not as marked as in Nazism; something that Fascism lacked or just aped from Germany (i.e. Italian racial laws).
Beware, I'm not saying Italian Fascism didn't have a sense of racial supremacy in it, just that it was pretty marginal.
I have phrased it badly; if I say Nazism, fascism, and Japanese militarism it would be clearer.
Japanese militarism was unique that the military was actually governing the state; in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, civilian governance was maintained.
 

Black Dog

Ad Honorem
Mar 2008
9,990
Damned England
Actually, Japanese militarism and Nazism had a great deal in common.

Both succeeded in turning civilised and humane societies into brutal ones, under the banner of being "racially superior". During the Russo-Japanese war of pre-Soviet times, the Japanese treated Russian prisoners very well and acted with humanity far removed from their war in Manchuria and/or WW2.

Both the Nazis and the Japanese empire portrayed themselves as saving their respective continents. The Japanese, for instance, claimed to be freeing Asia from the dead hand of white European imperialists: a message often enthusiastically taken up by other Asians. Like the Nazis in occupied Europe, the "saviour" was even worse than the previous "tyrant". Nazi Germany used Europe to feed Germany and relentlessly used cheap, forced or slave labour.

Both systems operated to create a largely fictional, militaristic past and even a denial of their own origins. For instance, many Japanese are actually ethnically Korean, yet, like the Nazis ludicrous "Pure Aryan" claims, state propaganda played this down.

Both systems actively encouraged xenophobia and resentment. In the case of Japan, American embargoes "proved" than "Japan must defend her own interests in a hostile world". A similar attitude prevailed in Hitler's Germany, not least because of the Versailles Treaty and the myth of the post ww1 "stab in the back".

Certainly, it is not hard to work out that the fate the Japanese leaders had in mind for the Chinese, for instance, was not unlike that Hitler had planned for the "racially inferior" Russians, Poles and others.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,861
Florania
Actually, Japanese militarism and Nazism had a great deal in common.

Both succeeded in turning civilised and humane societies into brutal ones, under the banner of being "racially superior". During the Russo-Japanese war of pre-Soviet times, the Japanese treated Russian prisoners very well and acted with humanity far removed from their war in Manchuria and/or WW2.

Both the Nazis and the Japanese empire portrayed themselves as saving their respective continents. The Japanese, for instance, claimed to be freeing Asia from the dead hand of white European imperialists: a message often enthusiastically taken up by other Asians. Like the Nazis in occupied Europe, the "saviour" was even worse than the previous "tyrant". Nazi Germany used Europe to feed Germany and relentlessly used cheap, forced or slave labour.

Both systems operated to create a largely fictional, militaristic past and even a denial of their own origins. For instance, many Japanese are actually ethnically Korean, yet, like the Nazis ludicrous "Pure Aryan" claims, state propaganda played this down.

Both systems actively encouraged xenophobia and resentment. In the case of Japan, American embargoes "proved" than "Japan must defend her own interests in a hostile world". A similar attitude prevailed in Hitler's Germany, not least because of the Versailles Treaty and the myth of the post ww1 "stab in the back".

Certainly, it is not hard to work out that the fate the Japanese leaders had in mind for the Chinese, for instance, was not unlike that Hitler had planned for the "racially inferior" Russians, Poles and others.
I'm thinking about Italian fascism as well; historical education in China tends to class everything about the Axis powers fascist.
Chinese suffered severe civilian deaths during the Pacific War, and there is no question about it.
Still, the fact was that Japanese failed to fully control the areas they occupied in China, and Dolittle Raiders definitely took advantage of the situation.
I keep trying to point out that Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy weren't under the direct governance of the military, but was it true or not?
 

Black Dog

Ad Honorem
Mar 2008
9,990
Damned England
Effectively, both fascist Italy and Germany were ruled by leaders who completely controlled the military and who portrayed themselves as great military leaders. Their organisations were characterised by a paramilitary image. Mussolini and his Blackshirts or Hitler's SA and SS.

Both effectively constructed a parallel state using party apparatus. This was often military in character.