The 26th GJS LectureIndividuality in Early Modern Japan

Date and time: May 15, 2018 (Tue.) 3:00-5:00PM
Venue: 1st Meeting Room (3rd Floor), The Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo
Speaker: Peter Nosco (Professor, Japanese History, University of British Columbia, Canada)
Language: English
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Abstract: The primary goal of my recently published scholarship has been to challenge a number of long-standing assumptions regarding various aspects of Japanese society before the Meiji period, and secondarily to examine briefly these same aspects of Japanese society in the early twenty-first century. In this scholarship I have focused on the construction of individual identity, aggressive pursuit of self-interest, defiant practice of forbidden religious traditions, interest in self-cultivation and personal betterment, understandings of happiness and well-being, and embrace of “neglected” counter-ideological values. In the book--and in this presentation--I argue that taken together these point to higher degrees of individuality in early modern Japan than has heretofore been acknowledged, and I invite consideration of whether these aspects of individuality in Japan may have been more prominent two centuries ago than today.

Organizer: The Global Japan Studies Network (GJS)
Co-organizer: Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo
Contact: gjs[at]ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp