chapter  6
30 Pages

Meiji anti-Christian discourse: Modern national ideology and conservatism

If we wish to establish a constitution now, first we must look for a central axis for our nation, and establish what we should say that central axis is. Without a central axis, then at times when governance is left to the disordered arguments of the masses, ordered governance will be lost, and thereby the nation lost. If we have any wish to make the nation a nation which will survive and rule the people, then we must consider this matter deeply, and plan so that the instrumentality of rule is not lost. In Europe, the seed of constitutional government has existed for around a thousand years. Not only the training of each person in this system, but the existence of religion, and the employment of religion as a central axis, deeply embedded in the minds of the people, has ultimately unified the minds of the people. In our country, however, religion does not possess this kind of power. Not one of our religions is capable of acting as the central axis of the nation. While at one point the power of Buddhism was very strong, capable of binding together people of all stations, these days that power has declined. Shinto is a learning based on the teachings of our imperial ancestors, but its power as a religion to direct the minds of the people is weak. In our country the only thing that can be used as a central axis is the imperial house. Therefore, in the drafting of the constitution, we must focus our minds on using this point, raising up imperial rule, and striving that it not be restrained.1