Japan’s Modern Castles: Reclaiming the Past and Proclaiming the Future

Le Centre de recherhes sur le Japon accueillera Ran Zwigenberg, Professeur à l’Université de Pennsylvania State, pour une conférence exceptionnelle intitulée « Japan’s Modern Castles: Reclaiming the Past and Proclaiming the Future » avec la participation de Caroline Bodolec (CECMC-CCJ), discutante, le 13 juin 2018.

Ran Zwigenberg est l’auteur de l’ouvrage Hiroshima: The Origins of Global Memory Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Mercredi 13 juin 2018, 11h-13h 

EHESS, Salle 7-51, 54 boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris

Both home and abroad, Japan’s castles serve as prominent symbols of local, regional, and national identity. Castles occupy the center of most major Japanese cities and are universally recognizable as sites of heritage and as a link to the nation’s past.  The current prominence of castles obscures their troubled modern history. After the restoration of 1868, castles, no longer of immediate military significance, became symbols of authority, on one hand, and of vaunted tradition on the other.  Castles were major sites of exhibitions, where they were often contrasted with Japan’s achievements in acquiring modern technology, serving as potent illustrations of Wakon-yōsai (Japanese spirit and Western technology). As the specific role castles played changed over time, they became sites of fierce contention. Particularly, castles were a major factor in the militarization of Japanese society before the Second World War and, after 1945, were important tools for demilitarizing Japan both physically and symbolically to turn it into a “nation of peace and culture.” This talk examines Japan’s castles from the late nineteenth century to the present to reconsider narratives of continuity and change in modern Japan; examining the changing role of castles in Japan’s troubled politics of history. 

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Contact: aleksandra.kobiljski@ehess.fr

Yasuko D'Hulst

Ingénieure d'études, documentaliste

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Japan and Its margins: Okinawa, Hokkaidō, Taiwan and Korea

Atelier d’étude organisé à l’occasion de la venue en France du Professeure Uchida Jun (Université de Stanford, professeure invitée à l’EHESS en juin 2018), le 12 juin 2018.

Mardi 12 juin 2018, 14h-16h
EHESS, salle A07-51 (7e étage), 54 boulevard Raspail, 75006 Paris (à confirmer)

This session is dedicated to discussion of a working draft of Chapter 2 for the new edition of  The Cambridge History of Japan, Volume III: The Modern Japanese Nation and Empire (1876-2011), edited by Laura Hein. I am co-authoring this chapter with Prof. Asano Toyomi of Waseda University. This chapter examines Japan’s dual transformation into a modern nation-state and an empire, or a “nation-empire” (kokumin teikoku), from the late nineteenth century to end of the Asia-Pacific War. Departing from convention to treat Okinawa and Hokkaidō separately from colonial Taiwan and Korea, it examines all four territories within a unified analytical framework. Its central concern is to identify and highlight the common logic, ideologies, and practices that governed the acquisition and administration of these territories. By tracing the process of national integration (kokumin tōgō) from the metropole to its peripheries (commonly understood in terms of naichi enchō), the chapter aims to elucidate Japan’s co-production of nation and empire, a process quite distinct from the trajectory of Western powers. Yet rather than treating Japan as “an anomaly,” the essay traces its evolution as part of the global formation of empires, while raising key issues of comparative significance, from assimilation and collaboration to “colonial modernization.”

For a copy of the paper, please write to: crj@ehess.fr

Contact: aleksandra.kobiljski@ehess.fr

Yasuko D'Hulst

Ingénieure d'études, documentaliste

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Empires on the Waterfront: Japan’s Ports and Power, 1858-1899

Catherine L. Phipps, Professeur à l’Université de Memphis, professeur invitée à l’EHESS au mois de mai 2018, donnera une conférence dans le cadre du séminaire de F. Gipouloux (CECMC-CCJ) et A. Kobiljski (CRJ-CCJ) « Aux origines de la mondialisation et de la divergence Europe-Asie », le 9 mai 2018.

Catherine L. Phipps est l’auteur d’un livre du même titre, publié en 2015 par Harvard University Press.

This talk examines a largely unacknowledged system of “special trading ports” that operated under full Japanese jurisdiction in the shadow of the better-known treaty ports and unequal treaties. In so doing, it recasts the rise of Japan’s empire as a process deeply embedded in the complicated system of maritime relations in East Asia during the pivotal second half of the nineteenth century.

The opening of Japan from the time of Matthew Perry’s visit and the revision of the unequal treaties look very different with the inclusion of special trading ports. Instead of five working international ports in 1899, Japan had 27 at home plus more in its new colony of Taiwan. Many of these ports were modernized and equipped to properly handle large ships and international trade. Further, they had customs houses, merchants who knew how to conduct foreign trade, and Moji, in particular, played a prominent role in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95. The Japanese port city of Moji provides a new spatial framework for understanding Japan’s extended transition into the modern world of nation-states and helps to explain the rapidity of Japan’s industrialization and expansion.

Mercredi 9 mai 2018 de 11h à 13h
Salle A07-51, 54 boulevard Raspail, 75006 Paris

Yasuko D'Hulst

Ingénieure d'études, documentaliste

More Posts - Website