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Geographies of Identity in Nineteenth-Century Japan - California Scholarship Online
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Geographies of Identity in Nineteenth-Century Japan

David Howell


This pioneering study looks beneath the surface structures of the Japanese state to reveal the mechanism by which markers of polity, status, and civilization came together over the divide of the Meiji Restoration of 1868. The book illustrates how a short roster of malleable, explicitly superficial customs—hairstyle, clothing, and personal names—served to distinguish the “civilized” realm of the Japanese from the “barbarian” realm of the Ainu in the Tokugawa era. Within the core polity, moreover, these same customs distinguished members of different social status groups from one another, such a ... More

Keywords: Meiji Restoration, hairstyle, clothing, personal names, Ainu, Tokugawa era, social status, samurai warriors, commoners, outcasts

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780520240858
Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520240858.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Howell, author