The Japanese Trajectory: Modernization and Beyond by Gavan McCormack (editor), Yoshio Sugimoto (editor)

By Gavan McCormack (editor), Yoshio Sugimoto (editor)

This wide-ranging and cutting edge number of essays addresses the japanese measurement of 1 of the main sociological problems with our time: the character of socio-economic modernisation and the emergence or another way of 'post-modern' business society. the increase to financial supremacy of post-war Japan constitutes an incredible problem to that western orthodoxy which posits an primarily unilinear means of modernisation from the 17th century to the current day within which nationwide and nearby variety has been eroded by means of the sluggish social convergence of the foremost commercial powers. How does a society of contrasting social and cultural traditions healthy inside of this development? Can one sensibly converse of eastern society as 'modern' whilst such utilization is successfully outlined by means of different, western, presuppositions? during this quantity a global workforce of participants assesses those questions and investigates the true effect of modernisation upon the japanese themselves.

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Their patronage was responsible for the emergence of a number of cultural forms which for the first time competed with elite culture on its own terms. The latter half of the seventeenth century saw the appearance of popular fiction, produced by printing presses in Osaka and elsewhere. Simultaneously, the wood block print was developed, in a process ultimately capable of bringing art to the masses for a few cents a sheet. In the theatre, where the first Ichikawa Danjuro (1660—1704) was striking heroic poses and for which Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653—1724) was writing his puppet plays, common people were, for the first time, at the centre of a cultural life of their own, rather than, as previously, at the periphery of something controlled by the elite.

While concentrating on defending their territories, military leaders in the Eastern region such as Uesugi (Ji ^ ) and Takeda (jj£ 03) looked back West and waited. 11 Azuchi castle in 6mi broke away from the convention of building mountain protected castles and started a new trend by opening up towards the ocean. And the man at the vanguard of this reversal of current trend was Hideyoshi. Why then didn't Hideyoshi build his castle in Nagoya, his hometown? While at that time Nagoya did have a remarkably high rice production output, it was nevertheless necessary to relocate to Osaka.

This latter temple, built originally to house the remains of all those unidentifiable dead killed during the great fire of 1657, was to become Edo's Luna Park or Coney Island, an entertainment centre where freaks, sideshows, amusements and wrestling could be seen at various times throughout the year. Like the quarter of Edo in which it had been established, it was anything but genteel. So too were the wrestlers themselves, all country boys, and almost all of them sporting the emblem of their trade, the cauliflower ear.

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