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Geographies of Identity in Nineteenth-Century Japan
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Geographies of Identity in Nineteenth-Century Japan

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  8 ratings  ·  3 reviews
In this pioneering study, David L. Howell looks beneath the surface structures of the Japanese state to reveal the mechanism by which markers of polity, status, and civilization came together over the divide of the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Howell illustrates how a short roster of malleable, explicitly superficial customs—hairstyle, clothing, and personal names— served to ...more
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published February 7th 2005 by University of California Press (first published January 1st 2005)
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David Howell looks at the ways in which identity--that is how the Japanese state defined people--changed from the pre-modern Tokugawa Shogunate to the modern Meiji era. I find the idea of "geographies" of identity interesting, although I think he could have elucidated the concept a bit more.
Chelsea Szendi
I like this new trend of spatial metaphors to think about history. I'm not crazy about "identity" these days, but I do appreciate Howell's emphasis on the institutional dimension of identity.
morning Os
I would assign the first chapter on the status order during the Edo to my Japan civ.
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