Multiple Modernities and Japan
Nagai Kafū and H.G. Wells
This article aims to explore the analytical framework and its basic premises to consider the situation of current societies as multiple second modernities under glocalization and deals with Japan as its case study. This paper analyses different patterns of relationships among the individual, the intermediate group and the state in each region/local area, and tracks the transformation of those patterns in the contemporary society. Sometimes the structural tension inherent in modern society between traditional and more ‘contractual’ elements after modern, is expressed in the institutional patterns of the relations among the individual, the intermediate group and the state in each area. In current society, which is the age of multiple second modernities, the relational pattern is expressed in the configuration of individuality (not individual), intermediate networks (not intermediate group) and transforming state (not just state). To observe the distinctness of each locality in plurality, we need to consider not only the institutional structure of these three factors but also the more fundamental logic for collectivity/individual formation in each society in question. Considering the example of Nagai Kafū’s and H.G. Wells’ works, the article investigates this issue. In considering these issues, the article focuses on contemporary Japan as one of the cases of the multiple second modernities under glocalization based on the observation of Japan’s historical and cultural distinctness.