Deep anxieties about the potential loss of national identity and continuity disturb many in Japan, despite widespread insistence that it has remained culturally intact. In this conjoining of ethnography, history and cultural criticism, Marilyn Ivy discloses these anxieties, as she tracks what she calls the vanishing: marginalized events, sites and cultural practices suspended at moments of impending disappearance. Ivy shows how a fascination with cultural margins accompanied the emergence of Japan as a modern nation-state. This fascination culminated in the early 20th-century establishment of Japanese folklore studies and its attempts to record the spectral, sometimes violent, narratives of those margins. She then traces the obsession with the vanishing through a range of contemporary reconfigurations: efforts by remote communities to promote themselves as nostalgic sites of authenticity, storytelling practices as signs of pre-modern presence, mass travel campaigns, recallings of the dead by blind mediums, and itinerant, kabuki-inspired populist theatre.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press ISBN: 9780226388328 Number of pages: 256 Weight: 558 g Dimensions: 236 x 180 x 21 mm
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