Fusion with the Body of the Sovereign
Richard Koenigsberg
Citations are from Walter Skya’s Japan’s Holy War (2009), one of the most significant books on totalitarian ideology. Please refer to the image directly below before reading this piece.
Skya discusses Hozumi Yatsuka’s (1860-1912) concept of godo seizon (literally, fused or amalgamated existence): the merging of individuals who fuse together to create “society.” Kakehi Katsuhiko (1872-1961) stated that individuals had to “totally submerge the self into the collective.”

The individual would enter into the “mystical body of the emperor once one’s own individuality is abandoned.” Skya hypothesizes that the goal of Japanese ideology—and many other totalitarian movements—is the “total assimilation of the individual into a collective body.”

It would appear that the image below conveys an idea that is not unique to the West. In Japan, too, sovereignty was defined in terms of the fantasy that many bodies merge or fuse with the body of the Emperor—to create one mystical body. Individuals—bound to the body of the sovereign—are unable to resist his will.

Hobbes, Thomas (1651). Leviathan.