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Reconfiguring Modernity – Concepts of Nature in Japanese Political Ideology - California Scholarship Online
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Reconfiguring Modernity: Concepts of Nature in Japanese Political Ideology

Julia Adeney Thomas


This book turns the concept of nature into a powerful analytical lens through which to view Japanese modernity. The author shows that nature necessarily functions as a political concept and that changing ideas of nature's political authority were central during Japan's transformation from a semifeudal world to an industrializing colonial empire. In political documents from the nineteenth to the early twentieth century, nature was redefined, moving from the universal, spatial concept of the Tokugawa period, through temporal, social Darwinian ideas of inevitable progress and competitive struggle ... More

Keywords: Japanese modernity, semifeudal Japan, colonial Japan, political documents, Tokugawa period, Darwinian ideas, state power, prewar Japan, liberal democracy, non-Western nations

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2002 Print ISBN-13: 9780520228542
Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520228542.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Julia Adeney Thomas, author