cover of book

Musashino in Tuscany: Japanese Overseas Travel Literature, 1860–1912
by Susanna Fessler
University of Michigan Press, 2004
Paper: 978-0-472-03830-5 | eISBN: 978-0-472-90197-5 | Cloth: 978-1-929280-29-2
Library of Congress Classification PL721.T75F47 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 895.684208094914

By the late Meiji period Japanese were venturing abroad in great numbers, and some of those who traveled kept diaries and wrote formal travelogues. These travelogues reflected a changing view of the West and changing artistic sensibilities in the long-standing Japanese literary tradition of travel writing (kikoobungaku). This book shows that overseas Meiji-period travel writers struck out to create a dynamic new type of travel literature, one that had a solid foundation in traditional Japanese kikobungaku yet also displayed influence from the West.

Musashino in Tuscany specifically examines the poetic imagery and allusion in these travelogues and reveals that when Japanese traveled to the West in the mid-nineteenth century, the images they wrote about tended to be associated not with places initially discovered by the Japanese traveler but with places that already existed in Western fame and lore. And unlike imagery from Japanese traveling in Japan, which was predominantly nature based, Japanese overseas travel imagery was often associated with the manmade world.

See other books on: 19th century | Authors, Japanese | Description and travel | Travel | Tuscany
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