Chapter

The Forbidden Chrysanthemum: Male-Male Sexuality in Meiji Legal Discourse

Gregory M. Pflugfelder

in Cartographies of Desire

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2000 | ISBN: 9780520209091
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940871 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520209091.003.0003
The Forbidden Chrysanthemum: Male-Male Sexuality in Meiji Legal Discourse

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“Civilization and enlightenment” (bunmei kaika) is a phrase which the historians of Japan used to assign to a cultural era extending from shortly after Meiji Restoration of 1868 until the late 1870s or early 1880s. “Civilization” was represented for such thinkers and their audiences as the ultimate destination on an evolutionary path upward from “barbarism” (yaban), a goal understood as having been achieved most fully at the time by the societies of Europe and North America. With this imaginary axis, Japan's current stage of development lay somewhere in the middle — “half-enlightened” (hankai); the emulation of contemporary Western practices and values thus seemed indispensable in order for Japan swiftly to join the friendship of “civilized” nations.

Keywords: civilization; barbarism; Japan; friendship; Western practices

Chapter.  21273 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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