Sociological studies on nationalism in Japan

Shunsuke Tanabe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Issues regarding nationalism have been increasing since the 1990s on an international scale. This article reviews and summarizes the current state of sociological studies concerning Japanese nationalism and the changes therein, as many sociologists in Japan have focused on nationalism and its related problems. The first half of the article examines historical sociological studies about the emergence and development of nationalism in Japan, which demystify the fictions concerning Japan’s ethnic and cultural homogeneity and describe the specific historical roots of this myth. The latter half of the article reviews various aspects of modern sociological works on Japanese nationalism. While some studies empirically show various forms of nationalism, others demonstrate political components of Japanese nationalism or inquire about this recent phenomenon and related issues that have arisen since the 2010s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-182
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Sociology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar


  • Japanese nationalism
  • myth of monoethnic state
  • varieties of nationalism
  • xenophobia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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