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Earthquake NationThe Cultural Politics of Japanese Seismicity, 1868-1930$
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Greg Clancey

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520246072

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520246072.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

. The National Essence

. The National Essence

(p.91) Four. The National Essence
Earthquake Nation

Gregory Clancey

University of California Press

Amid massive social and political changes from the late 1860s to the mid-1880s, a period of relative seismic quietude in Japan, the Meiji government patronized architecture primarily as a branch of diplomacy, geology as an aid to mining, and engineering as the means to industrialization. This began to change in the later 1880s, as debates among foreigners were met by a more widespread Japanese critique of the westernizing project itself. Under the slogan “preservation of the national essence” (kokusui hozon) things “Japanese” were positively reexamined, and “foreigner worship” named and problematized by young intellectuals of the Seikyōsha (Society for Politics and Education), led by Shiga Shigetaka and Miyake Setsurei. This generation was able to construct a Japan based largely on indigenous aesthetics and landscape.

Keywords:   industrialization, Meiji government, geology, foreigner worship, Shiga Shigetaka, Miyake Setsurei

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