By Laura Nenzi

ISBN-10: 0824831179

ISBN-13: 9780824831172

In the Edo interval (1600–1868), prestige- and gender-based expectancies principally outlined a person’s position and identification in society. The wayfarers of the time, even if, came across 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 trip memoirs to rejoice their occupation as belle-lettrists. for ladies specifically the open street and the clean web page of the diary provided a priceless chance to create own hierarchies outlined much less by way 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, publications, comical fiction, and woodblock prints allowed no longer a number of commoners to acquaint themselves with the old, lyrical, or inventive pedigree of Japan’s recognized websites. by means of opting for themselves with recognized literary and ancient icons of the previous, a few between those erudite commoners observed a chance to rewrite their lives and re-create their identities within the pages in their shuttle diaries.

The chapters partly One, “Re-creating Spaces,” introduce the suggestion that the areas of shuttle have been malleable, accommodating reconceptualization throughout interpretive frames. Laura Nenzi exhibits that, faraway from being static backgrounds, those travelscapes proliferated in a myriad of loci the place one person’s heart was once another’s outer edge. partly , “Re-creating Identities,” we see how, throughout the Edo interval, informed folks used shuttle to, or via, respected lyrical websites to say and improve their roles and identities. eventually, partly 3, “Purchasing Re-creation,” Nenzi seems on the intersection among leisure go back and forth and the emerging advertisement economic system, which allowed viewers to acceptable landscapes via new potential: financial transactions, acquisition of actual icons, or other kinds of actual interaction.

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

Sample text

At the same time, the maps of lyrical discourse were also promoting their own spatial hierarchies and their own centers. The Spaces of Travel in Lyrical Discourse A human life cannot be graphed, whatever people may say, by two virtual ­perpendiculars, representing what a man believed himself to be and what he wished to be, plus a flat horizontal for what he actually was; rather, the diagram has to be composed of three curving lines, extended to infinity, ever meeting and ever diverging. —Marguerite Yourcenar 92 36 Re-creating spaces Adding to the chorus of voices that narrated the same space in a multi­ tude of distinct idioms were artists, poets, and lyrical travelers.

In the map of the official cartographer the road, artificially enlarged, stands out as the focal point, while Mount Fuji, its towering majesty notwithstanding, remains a distant fixture of the landscape. In the religious representation, on the other hand, the road, though included, does not count. The vertical layout suggests that the focus is on the mountain and on its role as the space of a spiritual ascent. Distances, measurements, cardinal ­directions, and any other symbols of a rational and calculating approach to space are completely absent.

The existence, by the late Edo period, of multiple centers of faith (Ise and Nikkò, or Mount Hiei and Kan’eiji at the intersection of religion and politics; the various stages of circuits at a more popular level), and of surrogates and icons, was in part the result of a political strategy effected by the Tokugawa, in part the outcome of the religious establishment’s attempts at expansion, and in part the inevitable consequence of economic and cultural changes that had opened the door to commodified, commercialized travel.

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Excursions in Identity: Travel and the Intersection of Place, Gender, and Status in Edo Japan by Laura Nenzi


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