This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to contribute to a growing body of scholarship that reassesses the problem of Japanese fascism and fascism more generally. It argues that fascism in Japan was not the preserve of the zealous, irrational right wing. Wartime planning documents, essays, speeches, and interviews with Japanese technocrats suggest that a wide range of professionals embraced its ideology, policies, and programs. Fascism offered a means to overcome the crisis of capitalism and resolve the problems of class conflict and authority in modern industrial society. It was viewed as a “third way,” an alternative path to modernity that was superior to liberalism and communism and best suited to meet the technological challenges of the modern era. A brief overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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