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Beyond the MetropolisSecond Cities and Modern Life in Interwar Japan$
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Louise Young

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520275201

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520275201.001.0001

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The Past in the Present

The Past in the Present

(p.141) Four The Past in the Present
Beyond the Metropolis

Louise Young

University of California Press

In the 1910s and 1920s, a local-history boom took place across the country, producing new forms of urban biography, whose storylines came to define the local community. A growing local-tourism industry picked up on this movement, promoting the preservation of local history and folklore that turned their cities into living museums of regional culture. The obsession with collecting local crafts, legends, and with branding local products (meibutsu) and famous sites (meisho) reflected a desire to possess and commodify the past. These efforts placed history in the service of regional identity. In the process, they deployed temporal strategies to develop a local brand and spirit of community, linking past to present to define the unique character and singular story of their communities.

Keywords:   local history, urban biography, regional culture, folklore movement, tourism, famous place, local community

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