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Searching for Japan20th Century Italy's Fascination with Japanese Culture$
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Michele Monserrati

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621075

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621075.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Introduction: Searching for Japan

Introduction: Searching for Japan

(p.1) Introduction: Searching for Japan
Searching for Japan

Michele Monserrati

Liverpool University Press

The introduction explains the books’ methodological foundation in transnational theory. It defines key-terms such as “Transnationalism,” “relational Orientalism,” “coeval exoticism” and “cosmopolitan aspirations.” It provides an historical outline of the relations between Italy and Japan before and after the watershed period of the Meiji era (1866) and the Italian unification (1861). This historical section suggests that Italian fascination with Japan largely depended on the fact that Japan shared with Italy the condition of being a ‘latecomer’ in the world stage. The introduction also offers a summary of each chapter and explains the advantage of using travel narratives as source to uncover unstable conceptions of ‘nation’ and ‘identity.’

Keywords:   Transnationalism, Orientalism, Exoticism, Cosmopolitanism, Italy-Japan historical relations, Travel narratives

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