International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Japan
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While Japanology is no longer an autonomous field of East Asian studies in the USA and other countries, in Russia, it’s still a specialized field. Moreover, Japanology in Russia is on the rise. What are the reasons for that? On the one hand, Japanese politics, economics, and modern history research had strategic meaning. Due to international relations, as influenced by geographical factors, Japanese studies are in line with Soviet and then Russian politics. Japanology has been generously supported by Soviet and Russian governments. Additionally, group solidarity and social order in Japan were close to the propaganda of communism and aroused interest in Japanese study in the Soviet Union. On the other hand, the humanitarian studies in USSR had to deal with Marxism-Leninism methodology and were liberty-inhibiting. In spite of it, the research interest in the Classical Japanese and Pre-modern history of Japan rose as an opposition to the political course and official ideology. On top of that, Japanology in USSR and Russia has always been more than purely academic activity. It also was a form of escapism from reality and intellectual privilege. In my presentation, I will examine how Japanalogy represents and also depends on the social climate in modern Russia. And I will analyze the reasons for its significant rise.