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This book examines the making of heritage in contemporary Japan, investigating the ways in which particular objects, practices and institutions are ascribed public recognition and political significance. Through detailed ethnographic and historical case studies, it analyses the social, economic, and even global political dimensions of cultural heritage. It shows how claims to heritage status in Japan stress different material qualities of objects, places and people - based upon their ages, originality and usage. Following on an introduction that thoroughly assesses the field, the ethnographic and historiographic case studies range from geisha; noh masks; and the tea ceremony; urban architecture; automata; a utopian commune and the sites of Mitsubishi company history. They examine how their heritage value is made and re-made, and appraise the construction of heritage in cases where the heritage value resides in the very substance of the object’s material composition - for example, in architecture, landscapes and designs - and show how the heritage industry adds values to existing assets: such as sacredness, urban charm or architectural and ethnic distinctiveness. The book questions the interpretation of material heritage as an enduring expression of social relations, aesthetic values and authenticity which, once conferred, undergoes no subsequent change, and standard dismissals of heritage as merely a tool for enshrining the nation; supporting the powerful; fostering nostalgic escapism; or advancing capitalist exploitation. Finally, it considers the role of people as agents of heritage production, and analyses the complexity of the relationships between people and objects. This book is a rigorous assessment of how conceptions of Japanese heritage have been forged, and provides a wealth of evidence that questions established assumptions on the nature and social roles of heritage.
In Making Intangible Heritage, Valdimar Tr. Hafstein—folklorist and official delegate to UNESCO—tells the story of UNESCO's Intangible Heritage Convention. In the ethnographic tradition, Hafstein peers underneath the official account, revealing the context important for understanding UNESCO as an organization, the concept of intangible heritage, and the global impact of both. Looking beyond official narratives of compromise and solidarity, this book invites readers to witness the diplomatic jostling behind the curtains, the making and breaking of alliances, and the confrontation and resistance, all of which marked the path towards agreement and shaped the convention and the concept. Various stories circulate within UNESCO about the origins of intangible heritage. Bringing the sensibilities of a folklorist to these narratives, Hafstein explores how they help imagine coherence, conjure up contrast, and provide charters for action in the United Nations and on the ground. Examining the international organization of UNESCO through an ethnographic lens, Hafstein demonstrates how concepts that are central to the discipline of folklore gain force and traction outside of the academic field and go to work in the world, ultimately shaping people's understanding of their own practices and the practices themselves. From the cultural space of the Jemaa el-Fna marketplace in Marrakech to the Ise Shrine in Japan, Making Intangible Heritage considers both the positive and the troubling outcomes of safeguarding intangible heritage, the lists it brings into being, the festivals it animates, the communities it summons into existence, and the way it orchestrates difference in modern societies.
One of the untold stories of the American military occupation of Japan, from 1945 to 1952, is that of efforts by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Power's (SCAP) Arts and Monuments Division for the preservation of Japan's cultural heritage. While the role of Allies after WWII in salvaging the cultural heritage of Europe has recently become better known, not much is written of the extraordinary vision, planning and endeavors by the curators and art specialists embedded in the US military and later based in Tokyo, and their peers and political masters back in Washington D.C. -all of whom ensured that defeated Japan's cultural heritage was protected in the chaos and misery of post-war years.
Offering extensive coverage, this Encyclopedia is a new reference that reflects the vibrant, diverse and evolving culture of modern Japan, spanning from the end of the Japanese Imperialist period in 1945 to the present day. Entries cover areas such as literature, film, architecture, food, health, political economy, religion and technology and they range from shorter definitions, histories or biographies to longer overview essays giving an in-depth treatment of major issues. With over 700 alphabetically arranged entries, this Encyclopedia will be an invaluable reference tool for students of Japanese and Asian Studies, as well as providing a fascinating insight into Japanese culture for the general reader. Suggestions for further reading, a comprehensive system of cross-referencing, a thematic contents list and an extensive index all help navigate the reader around the Encyclopedia and on to further study.
Japan’s heritage conservation policy and practice, as deployed through its foreign aid programs, has become one of the main means through which post-World War II Japan has sought to mark its presence in the international arena, both globally and regionally. Heritage conservation has been intimately linked to Japan’s sense of national identity, in addition to its self-portrayal as a responsible global and regional citizen. This book explores the concepts of heritage, nationalism and Japanese national identity in the context of Japanese and international history since the second half of the nineteenth century. In doing so, it shows how Japan has built on its distinctive approach to conservation to develop a heritage-based strategy, which has been used as part of its cultural diplomacy designed to increase its ‘soft power’ both globally and within the Asian region. More broadly, Natsuko Akagawa underlines the theoretical nexus between the politics of heritage conservation, cultural diplomacy and national interest, and in turn highlights how issues of heritage conservation practice and policy are crucial to a comprehensive understanding of geo-politics. Heritage Conservation and Japan’s Cultural Diplomacy will be of great interest to students, scholars and professionals working in the fields of heritage and museum studies, heritage conservation, international relations and Asian/Japanese studies.
Heritage language education is a relatively new field developed as "heritage" has become an important trope of belonging, legitimacy and commodification. Many recent studies treat the "heritage language learner" as an objective category. However, it is a social construct, whose meaning is contested by researchers, school administrators and the students themselves. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in 2007-2011 at a weekend Japanese language school in the United States, this monograph investigates the construction of the heritage language learner at the intersections of the knowledge-power complex, ideologies of language and national belonging, and politics of schooling. It examines the ways individuals become, resist and negotiate their new subjectivity as heritage language learners through becoming objects of study, being caught in nationalist aspirations and school politics regarding what to teach to whom, and negotiating with peers with various linguistic proficiency and family backgrounds. The volume proposes a new approach to view the notion of heritage language learner as a site of negotiation regarding the legitimate knowledge of language and ways of belonging, while offering practical suggestions for schools.
The tea ceremony persists as one of the most evocative symbols of Japan. Originally a pastime of elite warriors in premodern society, it was later recast as an emblem of the modern Japanese state, only to be transformed again into its current incarnation, largely the hobby of middle-class housewives. How does the cultural practice of a few come to represent a nation as a whole? Although few non-Japanese scholars have peered behind the walls of a tea room, sociologist Kristin Surak came to know the inner workings of the tea world over the course of ten years of tea training. Here she offers the first comprehensive analysis of the practice that includes new material on its historical changes, a detailed excavation of its institutional organization, and a careful examination of what she terms "nation-work"—the labor that connects the national meanings of a cultural practice and the actual experience and enactment of it. She concludes by placing tea ceremony in comparative perspective, drawing on other expressions of nation-work, such as gymnastics and music, in Europe and Asia. Taking readers on a rare journey into the elusive world of tea ceremony, Surak offers an insightful account of the fundamental processes of modernity—the work of making nations.
"Did you know that the martial arts include such former Western pursuits as dueling, gunfighting, and gladiatorial combat? Nearly 100 articles by scholars discuss specific martial arts, countries, and concepts such as religion and spiritual development common to martial arts traditions of the world. Definitions of unfamiliar terms and an index that notes the historical figures and classic texts dicussed within articles help to make this set a scholarly corrective in an area often informed by the movies."--"Outstanding Reference Sources," American Libraries, May 2002.
This book examines Japanese tourism and travel, both today and in the past, showing how over hundreds of years a distinct culture of travel developed, and exploring how this has permeated the perceptions and traditions of Japanese society. It considers the diverse dimensions of modern tourism including appropriation and consumption of history, nostalgia, identity, domesticated foreignness, and the search for authenticity and invention of tradition. Japanese people are one of the most widely travelling peoples in the world both historically and in contemporary times. What may be understood as incipient mass tourism started around the 17th century in various forms (including religious pilgrimages) long before it became a prevalent cultural phenomenon in the West. Within Asia, Japan has long remained the main tourist sending society since the beginning of the 20th century when it started colonising Asian countries. In 2005, some 17.8 million Japanese travelled overseas across Europe, Asia, the South Pacific and America. In recent times, however, tourist demands are fast growing in other Asian countries such as Korea and China. Japan is not only consuming other Asian societies and cultures, it is also being consumed by them in tourist contexts. This book considers the patterns of travelling of the Japanese, examining travel inside and outside the Japanese archipelago and how tourist demands inside influence and shape patterns of travel outside the country. Overall, this book draws important insights for understanding the phenomenon of tourism on the one hand and the nature of Japanese society and culture on the other.
This text rethinks the contours of Japanese history, culture and nationality. Challenging the mythology of a historically unitary, even monolithic Japan, it offers a different perspective on culture and identity in modern Japan.
This book is a must; it is best reading for all interested in or working on environmental policy formulation and implementation, be it in a polluted industrial country or in a polluting developing country. Environmentalist . . . a well-conceptualized analysis of the evolution of Japan s environmental policies and programmes. . . The quality of integration from chapter to chapter is much superior to that of most multiple-author texts. International Sociology Review of Books The eleven contributors to this book provide profound retrospective view son the fearsome damage inflicted on the environment of Japan and on its people during the rapid economic growth period from late 1950s to the early 1970s. The book also presents a clear vision of how developing countries might draw lessons from Japan s experiences in overcoming some of its pollution problems. Hiroshi Ohta, Pacific Affairs This is, I m sure, the most comprehensive and the best book ever on Japan s environmental policy. This book is a must; it is best reading for all interested in or working on environmental policy formulation and implementation, be it in a polluted industrial country or in a polluting developing country. Udo E. Simonis, Internationales Asienforum The volume is a great source to explain what factors have made Japanese pollution control policy so successful. . . Imura and Schreurs have unveiled the intricacies of Japanese pollution control policy in this volume. The book can be used at the undergraduate and graduate level, particularly as a stepping stone in projects focused on minimization of contaminant emissions and on Japanese environmental policy and politics. Raul Pacheco-Vega, Global Environmental Politics A gold mine of information, this book gives a balanced, comprehensive, and authoritative analysis of Japan s environmental policy and candidly covers both its considerable achievements and persistent limitations. Although this volume focuses on issues of policy implementation, it impressively addresses most aspects of environmental issues in Japan. . . This is indeed a superb book that provides encyclopedia-like information about environmental issues in Japan and is unmatched, especially in its emphasis on policy implementation. Lam Peng Er, Journal of Japanese Studies Japanese environmental management style is in many ways distinct from that found in Europe or the USA. There is less emphasis on litigation, more emphasis on administrative guidance and considerable use of voluntary mechanisms for policy implementation. This volume considers what factors may have contributed to Japan s relatively successful efforts at dealing with severe industrial pollution and problems associated with rapid urbanization. The book introduces Japan s environmental history, its key environmental regulations and the forces that have driven Japan to introduce these environmental regulations and programs. It also examines the various formal and informal institutional mechanisms and policy instruments that have been introduced over the past several decades to implement pollution control and energy conservation. The authors conclude by putting Japan s environmental policy experiences in comparative perspective and considering what useful lessons can be drawn from the Japanese experience for developing nations. Providing a detailed analysis of environmental policies and policy instruments in Japan by leading experts in the field, this book will be of great interest to students of environmental policy and politics and policymakers concerned with environmental protection in Asia.
A sweeping history of modern Japan begins in 1600 and retraces the three major upheavals in Japanese history that have helped shape it into a modern Asian nation.
Since the early 1990s, Okinawan music has experienced an extraordinary boom in popularity throughout Japan. Musicians from this island prefecture in the very south of Japan have found success as performers and recording artists, and have been featured in a number of hit films and television dramas. In particular, the Yaeyama region in the south of Okinawa has long been known as a region rich in performing arts, and Yaeyaman musicians such as BEGIN, Daiku Tetsuhiro, and Natsukawa Rimi have been at the forefront of the recent Okinawan music boom. This popularity of Okinawan music represents only the surface of a diverse and thriving musical culture within modern-day Yaeyama. Traditional music continues to be an important component of traditional ritual and social life in the islands, while Yaeyama's unique geographical and cultural position at the very edge of Japan have produced varied discourses surrounding issues such as tradition versus modernity, preservation, and cultural identity. Songs from the Edge of Japan explores some of the reasons for the high profile of Yaeyaman music in recent years, both inside and outside Yaeyama. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork carried out since 2000, the book uses interviews, articles from the popular media, musical and lyrical analysis of field and commercial recordings, as well as the author's experiences as a performer of Yaeyaman and Okinawan music, to paint a picture of what it means to perform Yaeyaman music in the 21st century.
Based on a comprehensive work produced by Japan's art scholars, this volume is a chronological and historical overview of Japanese painting, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, woodblock prints, lacquer ware and metalwork.
This volume is based on papers from the second in a series of three conferences that deal with the multi-scalar processes of heritage-making, ranging from the local to the national and international levels, involving different players with different degrees of agency and interests. These players include citizens and civil society, the state, and international organizations and actors. The current volume focuses on the role of citizens and civil society in the politics of heritage-making, looking at how these players at the grass-roots level make sense of the past in the present. Who are these local players that seek to define the meaning of heritage in their everyday lives? How do they negotiate with the state, or contest the influence of the state, in determining what their heritage is? These and other questions will be taken up in various Asian contexts in this volume to foreground the local dynamics of heritage politics.
Decentralized policymaking power in Japan had developed under the reign of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), yet in the1990s, institutional changes fundamentally altered Japan's political landscape. Tomohito Shinoda tracks these developments in the operation of and tensions between Japan's political parties and the public's behavior in elections, as well as in the government's ability to coordinate diverse policy preferences and respond to political crises. The selection of Junichiro Koizumi, an anti-mainstream politician, as prime minister in 2001 initiated a power shift to the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and ended LDP rule. Shinoda details these events and Prime Minister Koizumi's use of them to practice strong policymaking leadership. He also outlines the institutional initiatives introduced by the DPJ government and their impact on policymaking, illustrating the importance of balanced centralized institutions and bureaucratic support.

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