神国の行方 – Where to next for Shinkoku thought?

Satō, Hiroo GND

This is an English translation of “Shinkoku no yukue” (神国の行方 ‘Where to next for Shinkoku thought?’), the final chapter of Shinkoku Nihon (神国日本‘Japan, Land of the Gods’) by Satō Hirō. In this chapter, Satō traces the history of the controversial notion of Japan as “shinkoku” – a divine ‘land of the gods’ – that is often associated with ultranationalism in Japan. Taking issue with what he sees as the common misunderstanding of shinkoku thought in contemporary Japan, Satō argues for the way it ought to be conceptualized and studied in future.