Special Issue: Race and Empire in Meiji Japan
The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 18 | Issue 20 | Number 5 | Article ID 5500 | Oct 15, 2020
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus.
21st Century Edition of Fukuzawa Yukichi’s Geography Textbook
This essay takes a constructionist approach to Representation Studies, examining Fukuzawa Yukichi’s elementary geography textbook Sekai kunizukushi (1869) and its hierarchical images of the West, juxtaposed against representations of Japan as framed by concepts of race and civilization. Furthermore, it compares these images to their “recycled” versions as constructed in the vast extra-textual apparatus of Fukuzawa Yukichi no Sekai kunizukushi de sekai wo manabu (2017), a recent translation of Fukuzawa’s textbook into modern Japanese. The move to reintroduce older textbooks is here examined as an “imagebuilding” strategy, one that allows the (re-) construction of influential images in support of an ideological agenda.