'The younger generation are more nationalistic'. Discuss this proposition with reference to either Japan or any other country of your choice.
When discussing the question of whether the younger generation are more nationalistic or not, a multitude of factors must be taken into consideration as the emergence of nationalism worldwide among youth is a contemporary phenomenon that is multi-faceted in nature. In this analysis the question as to whether the younger generation is more nationalistic or not will be explored through my own personal life experiences with particular focus on two countries: Japan and Hungary.
Although I was born in Japan to Japanese parents and am ethnically and legally Japanese, I personally have mixed feelings on identifying myself as Japanese. One of the main reasons for this is that I moved to Indiana when I was 2 (and to Michigan when I was 9) and only returned to Japan in 2010. Consequently, I suffered tremendous bullying at the hands of xenophobic, conformist and monolingual Japanese people my age (in other words, junjapa/純ジャパ people) in both Japan and the horrible hoshūkō (補習校), or weekend Japanese schools, that I was forced to attend (the fact that this and my abusive household were the only spheres where I used the Japanese language in America led me to neglect my Japanese in favor of English). However, another reason I have mixed feelings on my Japanese identity is due to differences in opinions regarding nationalism. Although nowadays I personally abhor Japanese nationalism, a decade ago (when I was 10), I was an ardent Japanese ultranationalist and an advocate of the Greater Japanese Empire. At the time I was living in Michigan and although I experienced severe bullying in the hoshūkō, I believed at the time that what I experienced at the hands of Americans in my regular elementary and middle schools was even worse. This was exacerbated by nationalistic sentiments that were openly encouraged by the American education system; I remember learning about "constitutional values" in 5th grade and that one of these values was "patriotism," which stipulated that "we're all Americans so we shouldn't fight or bully each other." However, since I am not American this was used to justify bullying and discrimination against me. In retrospect my reactionary Japanese ultranationalism at the time could be seen as a coping mechanism. I remained an ardent Japanese ultranationalist even after I returned to Japan in 2010, but this all changed on Friday, November 4th, 2011, when my sentiments shifted to the opposite extreme and I became a fervent Boomerang Bigot. Ever since I returned to Japan at the age of 13, I was subjected to bullying, discrimination, and ostracism more extreme than anything I had experienced in American schools or even the hoshūkō. This was exacerbated by my mediocre Japanese language skills compared to other Japanese my age coupled with the fact that I am a Kikokushijo with varying viewpoints from the junjapa Japanese majority. I finally snapped on Friday, November 4th, 2011, when a horde of Japanese bullies in my middle school-cum-high school Hiroo Gakuen mobbed me and this led to one of my many suicide attempts in 2011. In the context of nationalism, this has led me to conclude that Japanese youth are either disinterested in nationalism as I was bullied despite "shared nationalistic beliefs", or that they are so jingoistic that they do not hesitate to ostracize Kikokushijos like myself.
In stark contrast to nationalism among the Japanese younger generation, nationalism among the younger generation in Hungary is both common and explicit. Despite this, I have never had a negative experience with young Hungarian nationalists. Although I have never lived in Hungary and only visited the country twice so far, I feel a deep connection to Hungarians and speak Hungarian as my third language. My connection to Hungary started in 2009, when my mother bought me a book on vampires that took place in Transylvania at a time when it was still part of the Kingdom of Hungary. This book contained several Hungarian phrases that triggered my interest in the country and consequently led to me studying the language. Due to my mixed feelings towards Japan and my disinterest in American patriotism, I identified with Hungary even back then and my Magyarophilia only deepened after I returned to Japan and rebuked the Japanese nation; my history of being bullied and attempting suicide only made the Hungarians who, as a nation, have experienced tremendous hardships (this can be seen in their national anthem, Himnusz, which details the calamities they have suffered) easier for me to identify with; I even sang the Himnusz at my high school graduation ceremony instead of the Kimigayo. Due to the paucity of Hungarians in Japan, my interactions with them mainly take place on social media (although I have attended the annual Farsang festival at the Hungarian embassy in Tokyo every year since 2013). As a result, I have been exposed to Hungarian youth of many different ideologies and opinions and I can conclude that nationalism is extremely common among them. Nationalistic sentiments among Hungarians include calls for rejecting the Treaty of Trianon (which reduced Hungary's territory by 72%), rights for Hungarian minorities in Central Europe, and opposition to the EU. In my experience, Hungarian nationalists are far more hospitable than Japanese nationalists and when I express pro Hungarian sentiments, I am met with only support and on a few occasions they have mistaken me as one of their own despite my obviously non-Hungarian name and face. I have also met several young Hungarian nationalists in person during my second trip to Hungary in the summer of 2016 and I was not treated with any malice, despite international media portraying Hungary as dangerously right wing. From my experiences with young Hungarian nationalists, I can conclude that their nationalism is far more explicit, but at the same time they are willing to accept outsiders who agree with them, unlike young Japanese.
When compared with the older generation, whether the younger generation is more nationalistic or not is country-specific. Regarding Japan and Hungary, I believe that overall, the older generation still remains more nationalistic. In both countries, nationalism is still predominantly enforced by elderly right wing politicians and the youth adopting their attitudes can be seen as diverting their attention away from other pressing issues. Nevertheless, nationalism is still omnipresent in Hungary and may be implicitly present among a large proportion of Japanese youth. This may be accounted for by overall dissatisfaction with modern life and a need for belonging. Ultimately, it can be concluded that the younger generation, at least in Japan and Hungary, is no more nationalistic than the older generation, but possess more avenues to express their sentiments as a result of a society created by the older generation.