Individualism is the principle that advocates for the moral worth of a person. It allows people to exercise their sovereignty and desires to promote their self-dependence. This paper discusses the notion of the individualism from the narratives of Soseki and Ishikawa.
Natsume Soseki observes the relationship between the individual and the nation as a complex category. According to him, as people are born with the individualism in themselves, they should exercise the individuality and ensure that it can move on steadily and develop constantly (Soseki 37). It will give time for the identity to grow in humans and realize their unique qualities. Besides, people will learn their desires in life, be able to appreciate the society and engage in the day-to-day activities of their community. They will be happy and will make a successful nation.
Soseki argues that each of the Japanese has the right to seek individuality. That is, people should grow up determined to pursue their identity and aspirations in life. All individuals should be hard working in their endeavor to make whatever they want to fulfill in life. Accordingly, one’s aspirations should not conflict or undermine the individuality of another person. Simply put, people need to be free and at ease about their individualities and practice it within their limits. Where individuals do not violate the rights of others, the nation will have a firm foundation.
The nationalism should not conflict the individualism. Soseki argues that the sense of individualism, which is the share of freedom, is subjected to the peace and stability in the nation. Therefore, the liberty of each person will rise or fall like a thermometer when their nation is under external threat. Under such conditions, people need to abandon or put on hold their freedom and pursue the liberation of their country from the hands of their enemy. Therefore, the individuality, according to Soseki, is important in ensuring that persons and the nation as a whole do not fall victim of European countries. Moreover, all individuals should adopt and recognize their culture as a unifying factor for their nation. Consequently, a great individuality will create a great nation.
Ishikawa portrays the personality of the Japanese soldiers as courageous, ruthless, and fearless in their endeavor to fight the Chinese. Thee prepare well for the fight with all their consciousness and are incapable of backing down. Armed with rifles and ammunition all around the body, the warriors do not find any reason to opt out of the confrontation but are ready to earn their freedom from Chinese troops at all costs (Ishikawa 673). They believe that they are going to conquer the enemy and liberate their country. Besides, the warriors believe that they are going to earn respect for their state as one ready to protect its borders.
The Chinese soldiers, in their turn, are not prepared to giving up in the fight, too. They display consistency and motivation toward the war. The soldiers demonstrate high-end tactics in the battlefield. The warriors believe that by being consistent and showing unity in the fight they will earn the respect and inflict a defeat not only to the Japanese soldiers but also to the whole Japan as a nation. Liberating their country is their ultimate goal to achieve. Accordingly, their fury towards their enemy is the only powerful tool they have to struggle and bring victory to their country.
From the two accounts, individualism is a powerful unifying factor. With it, people can talk the same language and eat from the same table. This aspect ensures that humans gain an appreciation of their culture before adopting other cultures. That is why nationalism is dependent on the individualism.