Kären Wigen

in A Malleable Map

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780520259188
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945807 | DOI:

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Shinano was not a classic Japanese region. This province had a singular geography mounted on the highest mountains anywhere in the country. Working with maps of early modern Shinano illuminates a subtle way in which Bizen's geography made it distinctive. The shift of power from Kyoto to Edo barely registered from the vantage point of Bizen. Local resources might be marshaled under a succession of different regimes, but all of those modes of organization developed within a consistent spatial framework that was oriented to the east. Shinano reveals a sharply different story by viewing those same centuries from a different standpoint. Shinano lays to the east relative to the original imperial capital to the rugged gateway to the unconquered lands of the Emishi and the Ainu. Shinano was no longer a route to the eastern frontier from the standpoint of Japan's medieval and early modern governments.

Keywords: Bizen; Kyoto; Emishi; Ainu; regime

Chapter.  7332 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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