Transactions of the Japan Academy
Online ISSN : 2424-1903
Print ISSN : 0388-0036
ISSN-L : 0388-0036
Volume 46 , Issue 3
Showing 1-2 articles out of 2 articles from the selected issue
  • Makoto SAITO
    1992 Volume 46 Issue 3 Pages 159-173
    Published: 1992
    Released: June 22, 2007
    Needless to say, the Bill of Rights plays a significant role in the American Constitution of today as the stronghold for the guarantee of human rights. However, the Bill of Rights was not contained in the original Constitution of 1787; it was later added to the Constitution after its effectuation.
    To begin with, the United States of America after her Independence actually meant to be a confederation of thirteen independent States. In the Federal Convention of 1787 its leading delegates attempted to transform the United States of America from this loose form of confederation to the single consolidated central state. Which is to say, they wanted to create a single extended republic instead of having thirteen small republics. They also attempted to rectify“the excess of democracy”frequently seen in the postrevolutionary period so as to make possible a governance by some qualified and competent leaders.
    But, they did not forget the general sentiment of the contemporary Americans who often entertained apprehensions of strong centralized power and aristocracy as well; so they, instead of adhering to the consolidated state, drafted the Constitution which aimed at having the constitution of the federal republic. In its ratification procedures by several States, however, the proposed Constitution was criticized as oriented toward consolidation and aristocracy as well. Though these issues were fraught with ambiguities, the absence of a bill of rights in the original Constitution was conspicuous. To be sure, the Federalists argued that since the federal government was a limited government and could use only certain powers enumerated in the Constitution, a bill of rights was unnecessary. They also maintained that the proposed Constitution as a whole was nothing less than“a bill of rights”. But they later conceded to counter-opinion in the last phase of negotiation and guaranteed that after the effectuation of the Constitution a bill of rights would be surely added to it. Thus, as a matter of fact, the so-called“Bill of Rights”was stipulated in the Constitution as the First Ten Amendments in 1791.
    Considered in the historical context, the Bill of Rights was established not only to keep individual rights, human rights and civil rights from the encroachment of the central government but also to protect states' rights vis-à-vis the power of the central government. For, as it was clearly shown in the Tenth Amendment, the Bill of Rights included many provisions to make sure the federal character of the constitution of America's body politic. For instance, while the First Amendment stipulated the separation of church and state, it did not prohibit several States from maintaining the established church. Moreover, the Second Amendment guaranteed a State right to keep militia and a personal right to keep and bear arms. Because the republic basically meant to be but a small republic to most of Americans living in the end of the 18th century, as Montesqueu as an authority, upon whom they often fell back, had earlier described, it was natural for the Bill of Rights to have come to possess as well a role to protect the right of each State from the central government. But, it is a well-known fact today that the Bill of Rights has come to obtain a protective role to keep human rights within each State under the Court interpretation of the“due process”clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
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  • Masao SEKINE
    1992 Volume 46 Issue 3 Pages 175-190
    Published: 1992
    Released: June 22, 2007
    M. Basho, der auf dem Gipfel der japanischen Kurzdichtung, Haiku, steht, bringt Humor und Ironie der Japaner am klarsten zum Ausdruck, indem er sich selbst mit der allumfassenden Natur vereinigt. Während Humor und Ironie in Japan die Natur in den Mittelpunkt stellen, steht in der Bibel dabei Gott in dem Vordergrund.
    In der Bibel herrscht alles der allmächtige und allwissende Gott der Freiheit, während der unfreie und nichtswissende Mensch in der Situation des Dilemmas stehen muss, weil er sich mit diesem Gott immer zu tun hat. L. R. Klein erblickt das Wesen der biblischen Ironie in diesem Dilemma. Aber ich möchte behaupten, dass Humor in der Heilsgeschichte der Bibel eine entscheidende Rolle spielt. So glaube ich z. B. in der Auseinandersetzung Jesu mit den Pharisäern (Mk 3, 1-6) Ironie und Humor ausfindig machen zu müssen.
    Auch H.-P. Müller sieht Ironie als die vermittelnde Metaebene in der Situation der Menschen Gott gegenüber an, aber man muss u. E. auch hier nicht nur von der Ironie, sondern auch von dem Humor als befreiender Macht in der Situation der zwielichtigen Erscheinungen der Welt und der Geschichte sprechen.
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