Tourism is a nexus for movement across, and the blurring of, national, cultural, linguistic and imaginative boundaries. Diverse actors attempt to utilize tourism to reinforce, shape, and sometimes challenge popular concepts of these boundaries. This chapter examines three early Anglophone guidebooks about Kyoto to explore how guidebook authors of differing national backgrounds seek to mediate corporal and imaginative encounters between tourists and locals. Through analyzing and comparing guidebooks written by authors from the West and Japan, including pre-modern texts, this chapter challenges assumptions in previous research that tourist discourses of non-Western “others” are simple impositions of Western Orientalism. Further, it demonstrates that representations are not only a product of a writer’s national and cultural background, but are also influenced by the commissioning organization, anticipated audience, and local and international discourses. The study thus highlights the complexities of representation in texts that mediate the imaginative boundaries of international tourism.
The essentialist, implied equation between a territory and a culture has prevailed in anthropological discourse and in translation studies it was also common to most academic approaches. Faced with modern multiculturalism this view is no longer tenable. Unlike geographical borders, cultural ones are far from being fixed barriers and individuals, especially those who serve as cultural agents, have the power to define and re-define cultural boundaries. Following a “cultural turn” in the 1980s, translators have come to be conceptualized as agents of communicative process and cultural change, actively acting at so called cultural borders. However, little research has explored what translators themselves say about this aspect of their work and how they conceptualize their profession. This chapter focuses on literary translators, who in their intercultural encounters act as cultural communicative agents: persons who create contexts where cross-cultural contacts are highlighted or actually take place. It assesses the way translators understand and conceptualize their profession within the paradigmatic context of borders between cultures, and examines differences between the representations of conceptual and operational levels of translation.
This chapter analyzes a selection of recent Japanese pop-cultural representations of the 1853–54 diplomatic mission to Japan led by US Navy Commodore Matthew Perry. The first section takes up the manga series Shingeki no kyojin, Gintama, and Code geass. It argues that the Perry mission or a Perry(-like) figure functions in these narratives as a metonymic target for generalized expressions of animosity toward the outside world (US/West), whose intervention has resulted in national-cultural loss. The second section considers recent TV historical dramas that depict the Perry mission as a liberating event, upsetting the status quo and furnishing new, empowering identities for those previously disenfranchised on the basis of class or gender. However, in that individual liberation takes place within a national framework, the potential for border-crossing cosmopolitan identities is restricted. The third section picks up a wide range of texts that use self-reflexive, metatextual humor to depict Perry. Presupposing a shared awareness between text and audience regarding the historical figure and subsequent reception history, these works show how Perry has been installed as foreign “other” within the national “self.” This reception history shows how this early US-Japan encounter has been mobilized by different groups in Japan for diverse agendas.
This chapter looks at coffee as a point of cultural encounter. It explores how both the substance and the social place where it is taken—the coffee house—has carved various spaces of encounter in Japan’s modern history. It uses coffee as a prism through which changes undergone by Japanese society, from the reforms of modernization of the Meiji era to the membership in the global village of the last decades, may be traced. Japan’s encounter with coffee took place against the background of modernization and all-encompassing reform. The chapter outlines the evolution of Japanese cafés and the role they played in Japan’s transformations; it focuses on the manner in which coffee has been integrated into Japan’s collective and personal memories. It then discusses the cafés’ most recent incarnation—the coffee chains—and the manner in which they provide a site for mundane experiences of globalization. Lastly, it touches upon a new vector in coffee’s movement, namely, the export of Japanese coffee culture to the West.
Puentes de la Communidad (Community Bridges) was a novel, strength-based program designed to solve migration problems of Spanish-speaking migrants served by a public magnet school. The program utilized an ecological approach, cultural competencies of a diverse professional team, and many nonverbal communication techniques and strategies. This chapter details the many personal, social, cultural and educational identity boundaries that were traversed and that empowered the community.
In the 1920s and 1930s the Rockefeller Foundation and its associated philanthropies had an extensive global program of fellowships for public health officials. This chapter focuses on fellowships awarded to Chinese and Japanese public health officials, most of whom were sent to institutions in the United States for one to three years for what was perceived as advanced science-based education in public health. On their return to their home countries fellows were expected to infuse public health institutions with their new knowledge. However, the fellows’ new knowledge was accompanied by new cultural perspectives, including an adherence to international norms, that led to a view that they were “infected with a foreignness” that to some degree alienated them from their native cultures. This chapter places the Rockefeller fellowship program in the recent historiography of the global effects of Rockefeller philanthropies, as well as its context in early twentieth-century public health.
This study focuses on the idea of cosmopolitanism as advocated by some Japanese-American intellectuals in the 1920s and 1930s, and clarifies the ideal identity sought by the first generation of Japanese Americans. While the idea of cosmopolitanism goes back to the ancient Greeks, the cosmopolitanism envisioned by Kyūin Okina, Riichirō Hoashi, and Issō Shimoyama, the Japanese American writers and intellectuals analyzed in this study, has a different context. Japanese Americans’ cosmopolitanism was mainly perceived through their process of identity quest, as they struggled to live in the United States as members of Japanese-American communities confronting racial discrimination and different cultural values and ideas. Their cosmopolitanism is also compared with the similar ideas of cosmopolitanism presented by other American intellectuals and philosophers such as Alain Locke, Horace Kallen, and Randolph Bourne. Considering the idea of cosmopolitanism in this context is suggestive of the contemporary issues of people who are crossing borders in today’s globalization era.