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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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(p.233) Postscript
Searching for Japan

Michele Monserrati

Liverpool University Press

The “Postscript” outlines the history of Japanese institutions created in Italy in the years following the Italian unification to make the case for the need to account for this Japanese fascination in the context of Italian history. The foundation of these institutions points in the direction of a lesser known historical trajectory that modern Italy had been pursuing since its foundation. The Postscript suggests that while the colonial enterprise was moving the geopolitical interests of the country toward the African continent, a parallel non-violent movement of diplomatic, cultural and commercial exchanges took place with Japan, reaching its peak during the period of the Axis Alliance. A possible explanation of why the notion of these two countries as international partners seems almost counterintuitive today is identified in the post-war period of ‘Pax Americana,’ which removed the material evidence of this alliance. Yet, the chapter ends by noticing a positive overarching approach toward Japan that resisted historical change.

Keywords:   Orientalist institutions in Italy, Japanese studies in Italy, Iwakura mission in Italy

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