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SEJJIR: Volume 2, 2007





Shingetsu Electronic Journal of Japanese-Islamic Relations,
Volume 2, 2007
Research Papers

Africa between the Meiji Restoration and the Legacy of Ataturk: Comparative Dilemmas of Modernization
By Ali A. Mazrui

Abstract: This paper considers the relevance of the examples of both the Meiji Restoration in Japan and the Ataturk reforms in Turkey for the current dilemmas of modernization faced by African societies. It is suggested that the Japanese experience can broadly be described as a case in which modernization was successfully carried out in the absence of excessive westernization. The vision of Ataturk, in contrast, asserted that westernization was needed as an essential component of modernization, and Turkey succeeded to some degree in transforming its society in the desired directions. On the other hand, Africa can be best described as a case in which westernization has surely advanced among the elite, but this has not led to a successful African modernization. The paper concludes with a discussion of the conditions that may therefore be necessary for Africa to begin to realize its potential and to finally carry out a successful modernization.

Ali A. Mazrui is Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies and Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities at State University of New York at Binghamton; Albert Luthuli Professor-at-Large at the University of Jos, Nigeria; Ibn Khaldun Professor-at-Large at the School of Islamic and Social Sciences, Leesburg, Virginia; Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large Emeritus and Senior Scholar in Africana Studies at Cornell University; and Walter Rodney Professor of the University of Guyana, Georgetown, Guyana.

Malay Women and Syonanto
By Tai Wei Lim

Abstract: Social mobilization for the creation of a modern nation modeled after the West was a state initiative in Japan. Japan made the step from a feudal society to a modern nation-state beginning with the Meiji government’s implementation of ideological education, propaganda and moral suasion to effect social mobilization. Just as it was necessary to create greater nationalistic awareness necessary for nationhood, it was also necessary to create a sense of Japanese nationhood in other parts of its empire. Following this precedent of state mobilization, this article examines how the Syonanto military administration (1942-45) tried to integrate racially-diverse women into the war efforts and engineer consensus through propaganda and moral suasion. There was extensive mobilization of Indian and Malay women for the “New Order.” Malay and Indian women were allowed, and in the case of Malay women encouraged, to participate in social movements.

Tai Wei Lim is a Biggerstaff Fellow at Cornell University; Assistant Professor at Georgian Court University (New Jersey) Department of History; and Research Fellow-Designate at the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore.


A Sea Voyage to the Persian Gulf (1880)
By Ienori Honjuku

Abstract: This is a translated account of the earliest Japanese naval voyage to the Persian Gulf in July 1880. The author was a Japanese naval officer, and the descriptions he provided were the first eyewitness reports of the Persian Gulf region in Japan. All previous knowledge of the area had come secondhand through foreign sources. The account begins in the Arabian Sea, and goes on to describe visits to Muscat and Bushire, as well as the general climate of the Persian Gulf. His description of Muscat is the earliest known account of the Omani capital by a Japanese visitor, and includes a description of Sultan Turki ibn Said and his court. In Bushire, he makes several interesting observations about the status of women and the poor armaments of the Persian military. The account of Ienori Honjuku gives us a rare opportunity to observe how Meiji Japanese perceived the Islamic world at a very early period in the establishment of direct contact.

Ienori Honjuku (1852-1891) was an officer in the Meiji Japanese Navy.

Source: Shingetsu Institute