I am deeply grateful to a number of scholars in the United States, Japan,
and Europe who have taught me and enthusiastically supported me and
my research projects over the past two decades. First, and foremost, how-
ever, I owe a special debt of gratitude to Professor Harry Harootunian,
my main advisor at the University of Chicago. I wish to thank this remark-
able scholar once again for welcoming me to Chicago. I could not have
asked for a better mentor. It has been said that higher education is
America’s greatest industry because the American system is better than
any other at developing the critical faculties of the mind. I am convinced
that scholars like Harootunian deserve credit for this nation’s great in-
novation because they teach their students to think. The volume of ideas
coming from the mind of this prolific writer over the years has never
ceased to amaze me. Equally important, he has had the intellectual vigor
and personal courage to challenge entrenched orthodoxies. Without his
encouragement and support, this book on Shint¯o nationalism, a topic
that has been conspicuously shunned by American academics, would
have not been possible. Also, I feel I was extremely fortunate to have had
the privilege to attend the University of Chicago during a time when Chi-
cago was an intellectual powerhouse of world-class scholars in the field of
Japanese studies. In addition to Harry Harootunian, I had the opportu-
nity to learn from professors Tetsuo Najita, Akira Iriye, Norma Field, and
Bernard Silberman, all of whom contributed a nexus of courses, lectures,
visiting scholars, symposiums, and study groups that made for a truly
stimulating and exciting intellectual climate for graduate studies.
Many other scholars offered me advice and assistance throughout the
various stages in the preparation of this book. However, I would first like
to thank Reynolds Smith, Executive Editor of Duke University Press, for
providing three conscientious anonymous readers for my manuscript
whose careful and diligent reading greatly improved my work. My special
thanks and appreciation go to the following individuals: Professor Bruce
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