Printing Landmarks: Popular Geography and Meisho Zue in Late Tokugawa Japan - Harvard East Asian Monographs (Hardback)
  • Printing Landmarks: Popular Geography and Meisho Zue in Late Tokugawa Japan - Harvard East Asian Monographs (Hardback)
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Printing Landmarks: Popular Geography and Meisho Zue in Late Tokugawa Japan - Harvard East Asian Monographs (Hardback)

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£54.95
Hardback 400 Pages
Published: 15/09/2020
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Printing Landmarks tells the story of the late Tokugawa period’s most distinctive form of popular geography: meisho zue. Beginning with the publication of Miyako meisho zue in 1780, these monumental books deployed lovingly detailed illustrations and informative prose to showcase famous places (meisho) in ways that transcended the limited scope, quality, and reliability of earlier guidebooks and gazetteers. Putting into spellbinding print countless landmarks of cultural significance, the makers of meisho zue created an opportunity for readers to experience places located all over the Japanese archipelago.

In this groundbreaking multidisciplinary study, Robert Goree draws on diverse archival and scholarly sources to explore why meisho zue enjoyed widespread and enduring popularity. Examining their readership, compilation practices, illustration techniques, cartographic properties, ideological import, and production networks, Goree finds that the appeal of the books, far from accidental, resulted from specific choices editors and illustrators made about form, content, and process. Spanning the fields of book history, travel literature, map history, and visual culture, Printing Landmarks provides a new perspective on Tokugawa-period culture by showing how meisho zue depicted inspiring geographies in which social harmony, economic prosperity, and natural stability made for a peaceful polity.

Publisher: Harvard University, Asia Center
ISBN: 9780674247871
Number of pages: 400
Dimensions: 254 x 178 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A valuable addition to the understanding of early modern publishing culture and geographical imagination. - Radu Leca, Journal of Japanese Studies

Goree’s work is methodologically rigorous, insightful, and well researched in English and Japanese… Printing Landmarks is a terrific work of scholarship, and it should change how we read, cite, and understand meisho zue for many years to come. - R. Keller Kimbrough, Monumenta Nipponica

Constitutes not only an important introduction to an underrepresented genre, but also a model for approaching the complex illustrated printed works of the Tokugawa period. …Goree’s book will no doubt be invaluable for specialists who must contend with this dense and complex material. …[This] book illustrates just how groundbreaking it was for a Tokugawa-period reader to enjoy virtual travel through meisho zue. This important study of meisho zue shows the broad-reaching possibilities of popular geography in print, shaping a common understanding of places near and far - Quintana Heathman Scherer, Journal of Asian Studies

A tour de force of interdisciplinary scholarship that draws on studies of literature, history, art history, cartography, and visual culture in order to create the first comprehensive account of meisho zue… The meticulousness and precision of Goree’s prose facilitates his presentation of documents that might otherwise appear obscure to modern readers, thereby rendering them as living texts. Perhaps the greatest virtue of Printing Landmarks is that it makes meisho zue readable in an intuitive way, thereby opening up an entire world of topographic literature that was previously inaccessible to nonspecialists. - Pedro Bassoe, Journal of the American Oriental Society

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