Original Article

The Aporia of Welfare Culture as War Culture in Postwar Japan

Takuya Shinohara


This study showed a fundamental perspective for discussing the relationship between war and social welfare. The author focused on and investigated the relationship between war and welfare within the cultural understanding of war in postwar Japan. First, the background and theoretical point of view on welfare culture are studied, as reported in section II. Then, discussions of the relationship between war and culture are classified, as reported in section III. Then, the concept of war culture, as an interdisciplinary concept, is examined, and value judgments of the concept in the study of welfare culture are questioned in section IV. Several studies that have suggested a compatibility between war and welfare are reviewed, and a war culture that is compatible with welfare culture is defined in section V. The war culture found in postwar Japan is characterized in section VI, and finally the investigation is concluded in section VII. War culture in postwar Japan is a compound of war weariness and life conservatism, which has supported the Japan-US security system. When social welfare studies takes the perspective of culture, we should not only confront war but investigate welfare of ourselves as well.

Keywords: war, culture, welfare, social welfare

Japanese Journal of Social Welfare, 60 (5), 13–20 2020