Sept 21-23: The Early Ishin

Now we need to start thinking about “what is Meiji”? We’ll start with a basic question: if many thinkers and activists thought Meiji was something “new” or “renewed” we need to ask what that was? What is it that is new? If it is renewed as in the common translation the “Meiji Restoration,” what is it that is being “renewed.” A further question might be to start thinking about: what is the relation of the Meiji present to the past? especially the near, revolutionary past? Is it continuous? A complete break? An inflected tradition?…

Readings

Fujitani, Splendid Monarchy, pp. 1-92.

Steele, “The Emperor’s New Food

Kanagaki Robun, “The Beefeater

Recommended: Pierre Nora, “Les Lieux de Mémoire” & Louis Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses