Author:  Pamela Ann J. Boongaling

Research Article

Year: 2019, Volume 19 Number 4

Pages: 100-111



In this paper, I will argue that Masao Maruyama’s concept, basso ostinato, is best understood in conjunction with the evolution of the term consciousness in Japanese intellectual thought. Doing so allows us (1) to provide a more charitable interpretation of Maruyama’s basso ostinato and (2) to supply a more methodological account of Maruyama’s politicalphilosophy. Such an interpretation of Maruyama’s views also enables us (3) to demonstrate the continuous significance andapplicability of his framework and methodology as I use his basso ostinato to show why Japan’s “education-based nation” policy cannot sustain its post-war form of ultranationalism due to the embeddedness of the association of consciousness and autonomy in the current Japanese worldview.

Keywords: autonomy, basso ostinato, consciousness, education-based nation, Masao Maruyama, ultranationalism