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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Event Series
March 27, 2024

Hybrid Study Group on education at Japan’s National Defense Academy

© Ben Moeller

After the physical and moral devastation brought by the defeat in the Asia-Pacific War, Japanese administrations in the Cold War era charted a course of gradual rearmament against the backdrop of substantial anti-militarist sentiments among the wider society. This tension placed members of the newly rebranded Self-Defense Forces (SDF) in an uneasy position. This research project examines the institutional socialisation of the SDF’s leadership through a one-year ethnography of Japan’s National Defense Academy (NDA), where the bulk of the future senior officers of the SDF’s three branches are educated. Through this anthropological inquiry, this presentation seeks to answer how history, tradition, and identity of the Japanese SDF are negotiated at the NDA. Details and registration here

Ben Moeller, University of Oxford/DIJ Tokyo