Authoritarian Rule Over the Japanese and Chinese Citizens in the 20th Century
The books "Patriotism" by Yukio Mishima and "Sofia Petrovna" by Lydia Chukovskaya, show its audience how loyal, dedicated, and sometimes ignorant the people of China and Japan were in the 1930's. The authoritarian nationalist regime gave little freedom to its citizens in both cultures. Although not readily seen in the book "Patriotism", one can see the effects of totalitarian rule on the Soviet people in "Sofia Pertrovna". Authoritarian regimes heavily influenced their people's support for the government's practices, or simply to have unconditional loyalty to their country.
In the 1930's, Japan was wracked by internal discord. The effects of the international depression and general dissatisfaction with Japan's loss of prestige in the 1920's led young officers in the military to oppose the civilian government of Japan. These young officers complained that the civilian bureaucrats were weak, inefficient, indecisive, and corrupt, and openly agitated for a "Showa restoration," in which the emperor would be placed in charge of the government in place of the inefficient bureaucracy.
A series of maneuvers by these self-proclaimed saviors of Japan slowly put Japan on a militaristic and aggressive path which would eventually lead to the invasion of China in 1937.
Mishima invests many positive values in his book. The main characters are a young couple, lieutenant Takeyama and his wife. The book exhibits the extreme devotion the couple has for one another and also their country. Mishima depicts this lovely/bittersweet romance in the midst of a militaristic rule. The lieutenant has been given orders by the military to kill his "regime opposing friends". Having the option to remain loyal to his country, or remain loyal to his friends; Mishima knows he cannot chose and decides to kill himself. This choice displays just how...