By R. Starrs
An in-depth and complete account of the advanced heritage of jap modernism from the mid-19th century 'opening to the West' until eventually the twenty first century globalized international of 'postmodernism.' Its proposal of modernism encompasses not only the cultured avant-garde yet a large spectrum of social, political and cultural phenomena.
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Extra info for Modernism and Japanese Culture
Luckily the Bizen troops had only just been issued with their American riﬂes, and they were still such poor shots that not a single foreign dignitary was killed. Nonetheless, Taki had acted on the spur of the moment, apparently on his own whim, and the brand-new, still insecure, Meiji government could not be seen to allow such unauthorized ‘initiatives’ by han or feudal domain samurai not directly under their control. Thus Taki’s punishment had been decreed in the name of no less an authority than the young Meiji emperor himself, and it was intended to demonstrate both to the aggrieved foreign powers and to the restless feudal lords that the new government was capable of enforcing its own brand of law and order.
He was the ﬁrst man of the new age, the ﬁrst ‘man of Meiji’, in that his own brilliant career exempliﬁed the new ideal of risshin shusse (rising in the world). Through study, Part I Modernism and Anti-Modernism in Meiji Japan 23 enterprise, hard work, and independence of mind he had raised himself from poverty and a lowly feudal status to a position of eminence and great inﬂuence in the new Japan. For generations of Japanese, he became the model of what an individual could achieve through ‘self-improvement’ in a rational ‘modern society’.
The ﬁrst was that Westernization would be needed to achieve these goals. 10 Later on in the Meiji period, the naively optimistic, unreservedly positive attitude toward modernity changed 18 Modernism and Japanese Culture into something darker or, at least, more ambivalent. ‘Modernism’ became more complex and started to fracture – to divide against itself. Then even ‘progressive’ intellectuals began to have second thoughts, to share some of the ‘anti-modern’ ideas formerly associated mainly with disempowered and disaffected samurai.