This book examines the making of heritage in contemporary Japan, investigating the ways in which particular objects, practices and institutions are ascribed public recognition and political significance. Through detailed ethgraphic and historical case studies, it analyses the social, ecomic, and even global political dimensions of cultural heritage. It shows how claims to heritage status in Japan stress different material qualities of objects, places and people - based upon their ages, originality and usage. Following on an introduction that thoroughly assesses the field, the ethgraphic and historiographic case studies range from geisha; h masks; and the tea ceremony; urban architecture; automata; a utopian commune and the sites of Mitsubishi company history. They examine how their heritage value is made and re-made, and appraise the construction of heritage in cases where the heritage value resides in the very substance of the object's material composition - for example, in architecture, landscapes and designs - and show how the heritage industry adds values to existing assets: such as sacredness, urban charm or architectural and ethnic distinctiveness. The book questions the interpretation of material heritage as an enduring expression of social relations, aesthetic values and authenticity which, once conferred, undergoes subsequent change, and standard dismissals of heritage as merely a tool for enshrining the nation; supporting the powerful; fostering stalgic escapism; or advancing capitalist exploitation. Finally, it considers the role of people as agents of heritage production, and analyses the complexity of the relationships between people and objects. This book is a rigorous assessment of how conceptions of Japanese heritage have been forged, and provides a wealth of evidence that questions established assumptions on the nature and social roles of heritage.
Rupert Cox: (important publications) 'Is there a Japanese Way of Playing in Japan at Play: The ludic and logic of power eds Hendry and Ravieri (Routledge 2001) The Zen-Arts: An Anthropological Study of the Culture of Aesthetic Form in Japan (ROutledge, 2003) Wagamama technology - An uncanny history of Japanese robot technology in Japan as a model of Asian modernisation eds Raud Japan and the Cultures of Copying: Historical and anthropological approaches (Routledge) Christoph Brumann: (select list) Whose Kyoto? Machizukuri, Local Autonomy and Patonashippu in an Old City. In: Carola Hein & Philippe Pelletier (ed.) Cities, Autonomy, and Decentralization. London: Routledge. Writing for Culture: Why a Successful Concept Should Not Be Discarded. In: Robert L. Welsch & Kirk M. Endicott (eds.), Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Cultural Anthropology. (Second ed.) New York: McGraw-Hill (Reprint of 1999 Current Anthropology article). Copying Kyoto: The Legitimacy of Imitation in Kyoto's Townscape Debates. In: Rupert Cox (ed.) Japan and the Culture of Copying. London: RoutledgeCurzon. Stamm - Volk - Ethnizitat - Kultur: Die aktuelle Diskussion [Tribe - People - Ethnicity - Culture: The Current Debate]. In: Sabine Rieckhoff & Ulrike Sommer (eds.) Auf der Suche nach Identitaten: Volk - Stamm - Kultur - Ethnos. Internationale Tagung 8.-9.12.2000, Leipzig [In Pursuit of Identities: People- Tribe - Culture - Ethnos]. (British Archaeological Reports, International Series.) Oxford. Writing for Culture: Why a Successful Concept Should Not Be Discarded. Pp. 43-77 in: Adam Muller (ed.), Concepts of Culture: Arts, Politics, and Society, Calgary: University of Calgary Press (Reprint of 1999 Current Anthropology article). Kyotos Dilemma: Das Stadtbild als commons [Kyoto's Dilemma: The Townscape as Commons]. In: Werner Pascha & Cornelia Storz (eds.) Wirkung und Wandel von Institutionen: Das Beispiel Ostasien [Institutional Effects and Institutional Change: The Case of East Asia], pp. 133-168. Stuttgart: Lucius & Lucius. Der urbane Raum als offentliches Gut: Kyoto und die Stadtbildkonflikte [Urban Space as a Public Good: Kyoto and the Townscape Conflicts]. Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie 129:183-210. Intentional Communities in Japan. In: Karen Christensen & David Levinson (eds.) Encyclopedia of Community, vol. 2, pp. 739-743. Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage. All the Flesh Kindred That Ever I See : A Reconsideration of Family and Kinship in Utopian Communes. Comparative Studies in Society and History 45:395-421.
Taylor & Francis Ltd
Date of Publication
Japan Anthropology Workshop Series
Place of Publication
Country of Publication
23 black & white illustrations, 1 black & white tables, 23 black & white halftones