Looking From the Outside:

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We must have more than the perspective of one enclosed within the Japanese islands to discern the possibilities and impossibilities contained within modern Japan. An outside perspective considering Asia as a broader whole is necessary. Manchuria was a fictional empire created to resist Soviet communism, American capitalism, and the ethnic self-determination of the Republic of China. Modifying the fundamentals of ancient shamanism, it was possible to merge various religious teachings. While Manchuria was a combination of the pre-modern and the ultramodern, these contradictory forces came together as one. Its way of being was like the photographic negative of the Empire of Japan, dually acting as the forerunner of the state of contemporary Japan. Till today, there are still odd groups of buildings that intentionally combine elements from various Asian regions. If the goal of criticism is to be a practice that questions the very grounds one stands on from the foundation up, it must, above all, be a practical endeavor that is closely related to historical and cultural memory. The reconsideration of Manchuria should be a creative effort that enables us to turn a critical eye to modern Japan and modern Japanese criticism from its very roots.