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By Laura Nenzi

In the Edo interval (1600–1868), prestige- and gender-based expectancies mostly outlined a person’s position and identification in society. The wayfarers of the time, even if, chanced on that go back and forth supplied the chance to flee from the confines of the typical. Cultured tourists of the 17th and eighteenth centuries wrote go back and forth memoirs to rejoice their career as belle-lettrists. for girls specifically the open street and the clean web page of the diary provided a valuable chance to create own hierarchies outlined much less by means of gender and extra through tradition and refinement. After the mid-eighteenth century―which observed the popularization of tradition and the increase of business printing―textbooks, courses, comical fiction, and woodblock prints allowed no longer a couple of commoners to acquaint themselves with the historic, lyrical, or inventive pedigree of Japan’s recognized websites. via opting for themselves with recognized literary and old icons of the earlier, a few between those erudite commoners observed a chance to rewrite their lives and re-create their identities within the pages in their trip diaries.

The chapters partly One, “Re-creating Spaces,” introduce the inspiration that the areas of commute have been malleable, accommodating reconceptualization throughout interpretive frames. Laura Nenzi indicates that, faraway from being static backgrounds, those travelscapes proliferated in a myriad of loci the place one person’s heart used to be another’s outer edge. partially , “Re-creating Identities,” we see how, during the Edo interval, proficient individuals used shuttle to, or via, respected lyrical websites to claim and improve their roles and identities. eventually, partly 3, “Purchasing Re-creation,” Nenzi appears on the intersection among leisure trip and the emerging advertisement economic climate, which allowed viewers to acceptable landscapes via new ability: financial transactions, acquisition of actual icons, or different kinds of actual interaction.

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Additional info for Excursions in Identity: Travel and the Intersection of Place, Gender, and Status in Edo Japan

Sample text

The first was that of popular culture and the publishing industry. Initially represented in refined mandalas and in elegant works of art only accessible to few wealthy patrons, by the second half of the Edo period images of Fuji (and of many other numinous sites) multiplied, making their appearance in countless woodblock series, in the pages of popular literature, and in an array of travel guides. The second front involved more concrete attempts at reproduction. Small-scale copies of sacred sites popped up throughout the country.

However, in these days we have heard that [the temples] are disorderly. Therefore, from now on the path [set by] the previous provision should no longer be disregarded. The rigid rule [stipulates that] no relatives—including one’s mother and elder or younger sisters—are allowed within temples, halls, and monks’ quarters. We hereby reissue the order, which all should studiously obey. —“Official Memorandum on the Prohibition to Lodge Women in Temples, Halls, and Monks Residences” (1688) We are confronted not by one social space but by many.

While it would be anachronistic to speculate that there existed an embryonic sense of “nationwide” cohesion on the part of the government, it is safe to argue that, in naming the site, the Tokugawa may have been inspired by a strong centripetal vision. According to a chronicler of the time, Miura Jòshin (1565–1644), notions of centrality had in fact affected the choice. ”33 By establishing a symbolic point of origin for all movements, the Tokugawa made of mile markers what they would later make of checkpoints: powerful reminders of the government’s geopolitical ubiquity and efficacious tools in its appropriation of space.

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