Shinchosha Co., Ltd.
Popular historian Naotaka Kimizuka’s new book “What is Nobility? Light and Shadow of Noblesse Oblige” (Shincho Sensho) is on sale today! What is the difference between “senior citizens” and “real
aristocrats”? A leading British history researcher known for his Twitter account “Her Majesty the Queen” explores the turbulent world history of the aristocracy and the “essence of the aristocratic spirit” I will ask again!
Kanto Gakuin University professor Naotaka Kimizuka’s new book “What is Noblesse: Light and Shadow of Noblesse Oblige” (Shincho Sensho) was released today by Shinchosha on January 25 (Wednesday).
Speaking of nobles, many people may have a negative image of “unfair people who occupy unjustified privileges and property without making any effort.” These include “Olympic aristocrats” (IOC members who demand exorbitant entertainment), “bachelor aristocrats” (people who do not have a household and live freely), and “labor aristocrats” (people who reign in labor unions and receive high treatment). It is also reflected in coined words.
However, Naotaka Kimizuka, a professor at Kanto Gakuin University who has been studying the British royal family and aristocrats for many years, believes that the true aristocracy is “noblesse oblige” (the responsibility of the noble), and is responsible for the stability and development of society. This book clarifies that it was an existence that contributed to
In today’s Japan, where inequality is widening and the term “upper class citizens” is even being talked about, this book will make you reconsider the significance of the existence of the elite class in society.
Lazy people who have unfair privileges and property and live luxurious and hedonistic lives–this kind of negative image is just one aspect of the nobility. From ancient Greece to modern England, we carefully trace the history of the nobility of all ages and countries, revealing how the aristocracy was formed, what kind of social role they played, and why they declined in many countries.
Woburn Abbey, the residence of the Duke of Bedford
Recent photo of the author (c) Shinchosha photo department
■ Author’s comment
Looking at the current state of the world, which has been devastated by the corona crisis, it seems that the economic disparity is widening. Under these circumstances, I believe that there is something to be learned from the ancient “wisdom of the aristocrats” in order to alleviate the gap between rich and poor and various social problems. Of course, I don’t think we should recreate the privileged class in the modern world of the 21st century. Rather, the term “senior citizens” symbolizes the arbitrariness of “hard (with power) aristocrats” who possess both political and economic power, and the “soft (with power) aristocrats” whose responsibility is to solve social problems. I believe that the “wisdom of nobility” is useful for creating (spiritual) nobility. In that sense as well, I think it is extremely important to consider historically what the aristocracy is.
■ Author introduction
Born in Tokyo in 1967. Graduated from the Department of History, Faculty of Letters, Rikkyo University. Studied abroad at St. Anthony’s College, University of Oxford, England. Completed the doctoral course at Sophia University Graduate School of Letters, majoring in history. PhD (History). After working as a visiting associate professor at the University of Tokyo and a professor at the Kanagawa Prefectural College of Foreign Languages, he became a professor at the Faculty of International Culture at Kanto Gakuin University. His majors are the history of British politics and diplomacy, and the history of international politics in Europe. Author of many books, including “Constitutional Monarchy Today” (2018 Suntory Prize for Arts and Sciences), “British Empire of Villains”, “Queen Victoria”, “Queen Elizabeth”, “Monogatari: British History” and many others.
■ Book data
What is an aristocrat? The light and shadow of Noblesse Oblige [Author name] Naotaka Kimizuka
[Release date] Wednesday, January 25, 2022
[Bookbinding] Shincho Sensho (46-size modified soft cover)
[Body list price] 1,760 yen (tax included)
Details about this release: