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Politics and Piety in Japanese Native-Place Studies: The Rhetoric of Solidarity in Shinano

Politics and Piety in Japanese Native-Place Studies: The Rhetoric of Solidarity in Shinano positim 4:3 0 1996 by Duke University Press Winter intellectual discourses is a constant conversation about local distinctiveness, with strong overtones of reverence for the native place. In important ways, this conversation is an old one. T h e habit of paying reverence to local places long predates the twentieth century. Japanese poetry since classical times has often dwelled on the poignant beauty of particular landscapes; medieval diaries and scroll paintings paid homage to specific countryside curiosities; and with the spread of woodblock printing in the early modern era, enthusiastic guidebooks, comprehensive gazetteers, and lively travel accounts were published by the thousands. Twentieth-century Japanese are thus heirs to a varied and vigorous tradition of geopiety. But the synthetic category of b e d o studies, as an interdisciplinary venue where native-place reverence is wedded to scientific investigation, is essentially a product of the modern age. Its foundation was laid in the late 1890s: a time of intensive industrialization and patriotic fervor following Japan’s first major imperial victory. It was in this climate that the modern study of local distinctiveness became institutionalized, with the new discipline of historical geography at its core. Since then, the discourse of the local http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

Politics and Piety in Japanese Native-Place Studies: The Rhetoric of Solidarity in Shinano

positions asia critique , Volume 4 (3) – Dec 1, 1996

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 1996 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-4-3-491
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

positim 4:3 0 1996 by Duke University Press Winter intellectual discourses is a constant conversation about local distinctiveness, with strong overtones of reverence for the native place. In important ways, this conversation is an old one. T h e habit of paying reverence to local places long predates the twentieth century. Japanese poetry since classical times has often dwelled on the poignant beauty of particular landscapes; medieval diaries and scroll paintings paid homage to specific countryside curiosities; and with the spread of woodblock printing in the early modern era, enthusiastic guidebooks, comprehensive gazetteers, and lively travel accounts were published by the thousands. Twentieth-century Japanese are thus heirs to a varied and vigorous tradition of geopiety. But the synthetic category of b e d o studies, as an interdisciplinary venue where native-place reverence is wedded to scientific investigation, is essentially a product of the modern age. Its foundation was laid in the late 1890s: a time of intensive industrialization and patriotic fervor following Japan’s first major imperial victory. It was in this climate that the modern study of local distinctiveness became institutionalized, with the new discipline of historical geography at its core. Since then, the discourse of the local

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 1996

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