The concept of kokutai* or ‘national structure’ derived from the fundamental insularity and isolation of the Japanese. The concept served as a powerful linguistic weapon both for attack and defence in the political arena of the period 1931-1945. Although the expression ‘national structure’ disappeared with Japan’s defeat in 1945 and a new style of political argument was initiated by the United States occupation, the concept, if not the term, is still alive in a submerged form in Japanese politics.