In this study, the modernization processes of Turkey and Japan, which are outside the countries of origin of modern concepts such as modernization and nationalism, are evaluated and interpreted to the extent that they enable the comparison of their conceptions of nationalism. With a focus on the Atatürk and Meiji periods, the role of nationalism in the processes of nation-state building is analyzed. In this framework, the study examines the nation-building in the Turkish and Japanese modernization processes through the conceptions of nationalism of these countries. In this context, the comparative method was applied and historical conceptualizations were included. Along with the comparison method, it has included a basic evaluation of the similarities and differences of Turkish and Japanese nationalism processes in general and in particular. The study is designed to understand how different nationalism perspectives are handled in accordance with the conjuncture, the role they play in nation-state formations and to present a comparative perspective. In this framework, since Japan is an island country, its existence was unknown to many European countries until the 16th century and thus it differs in terms of common cultural elements. Thus, although it does not seem possible to compare the Turkish and Japanese conceptions of nationalism in a common lane, a general perspective has been focused on the nation and statehood processes of both countries and a comparison has been tried to be made by focusing on a certain time period. The most important difference in the statehood processes of Turkey and Japan is that religious elements were handled differently in both societies. However, the common goal for both states during this period was to create a modern nation-state out of the cosmopolitan empire. While reform conflicts emerged in Turkey, this was not the case in Japan. With this examination, the attitudes and experiences of these two countries are considered as a common feature in understanding their modernization experiences apart from Europe. The most important result of the study is that it reveals the complex layers of historical conditions that affect or determine the nature of the processes through the comparison of the nationalism of the ruling elites in Turkey and Japan in the processes of nation-state building.


Modernization, nationalism, comparative perspective.