The Life and thoughts of every subject of the Emperor of Japan have been guided at every point by an incredibly meticulous officialdom. Accepted as a truism in Occidental discussions, this miracle has escaped critical analysis. That aspect of Japanese governance which through sumptuary laws and minatory regulations grinds so exceedingly small that everything in the life of the individual conforms to authoritative patterns merits detailed analysis.

During the war of 1941–1945, with a minimum transfer of effective authority to local governments, the Imperial Government was able so completely to control its subjects that the pull of a string in Tokyo produced a response from any one or all of the 73 million rippana nihonjin from Hokkaido to Kyushu. The degree to which the wartime controls of the Japanese Government were efficient and effective was due in part to the psychological homogeneity of the Japanese people. To no lesser extent was it due to the centralized nature of Japanese government, to those institutions and techniques peculiar to Japanese life which have tended to concentrate authority in the central government.

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