. The National Essence

Gregory Clancey

in Earthquake Nation

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780520246072
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932296 | DOI:
. The National Essence

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Amid massive social and political changes from the late 1860s to the mid-1880s, a period of relative seismic quietude in Japan, the Meiji government patronized architecture primarily as a branch of diplomacy, geology as an aid to mining, and engineering as the means to industrialization. This began to change in the later 1880s, as debates among foreigners were met by a more widespread Japanese critique of the westernizing project itself. Under the slogan “preservation of the national essence” (kokusui hozon) things “Japanese” were positively reexamined, and “foreigner worship” named and problematized by young intellectuals of the Seikyōsha (Society for Politics and Education), led by Shiga Shigetaka and Miyake Setsurei. This generation was able to construct a Japan based largely on indigenous aesthetics and landscape.

Keywords: industrialization; Meiji government; geology; foreigner worship; Shiga Shigetaka; Miyake Setsurei

Chapter.  9303 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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