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Bonds of Civility: Aesthetic Networks and the Political Origins of Japanese Culture
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Bonds of Civility: Aesthetic Networks and the Political Origins of Japanese Culture

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  20 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
In this path breaking book, Eiko Ikegami uncovers a complex history of social life in which aesthetic images became central to Japan's cultural identities. The people of premodern Japan built on earlier aesthetic traditions in part for their own sake, but also to find space for self-expression in the increasingly rigid and tightly controlled Tokugawa political system. In s ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Cambridge University Press (first published January 1st 2005)
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Meghan Fidler
Jan 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Ikegami's "Bonds of Civility" combines the historical analysis of poetry, flower arrangement and the tea ceremony with sociological theory, revamping ideas of public and private civil society in Japan. Many of Ikegami's lines of analysis are interesting: the difference between the Habermas's analysis of politics and the emergence of autonomous individuals as civil society in Europe and the emergence of a different kind of civil society in Japan with the Shogunate and feudal Japan, for example, i ...more
Crystal
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recently I have heard a lot of Japanese scholars challenging the idea that Tokugawa Japan was a constricted feudal society. Eiko Ikegami argues that the Tokugawa aesthetic publics of haiku, flower arranging, and tea ceremony groups, and the spread of "common knowledge" through literacy and the publishing industry, are part of the reason Japan was able to make its rapid transition to "modernity" in Meiji.
As a participant in a haiku circle and a resident of modern Japan, I found myself nodding i
...more
Albert
Oct 09, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: japanesehistory
Suggestive thesis of trying to expand Habermas's notions of the public sphere, as well as looking at the Elias thesis of civility in Japan. But like a lot of historical sociology, too much theory, not enough evidence.
morning Os
Sep 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
She is bold in making theoretical claims, which makes the book a little awkward. But there are many intriguing descriptions of aesthetic lives in Tokugawa Japan.
Jacqueline Lewis
Jul 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
eiko is a genius AND she gave me an a. holler.
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