The Orient Strikes Back : A Global View of Cultural Display
At the turn of the 20th Century, Japanese 'villages' and their exotic occupants delighted and mystified visitors to the Great Exhibitions and Worlds' Fairs . At the beginning of the 21st Century, Japanese tourists have reversed the gaze and now may visit a range of European 'countries', as well as several other cultural worlds, without ever leaving the shores of Japan. This book suggests that these and other exciting Asian theme parks pose a challenge to Western notions of leisure, education, and entertainment. Is this a case of reverse orientalism? Or is it simply a commercial follow-up on the success of Tokyo Disneyland? Is it an appropriation by one rich nation of a whole world of cultural delights from the countries that have influenced its twentieth-century success? Can the parks be seen as political statements about the heritage on which Japan now draws so freely? Or are they new forms of ethnographic museum? Examining Japanese parks in the context of a variety of historical examples of cultural display in Europe, the U.S. and Australia, as well as other Asian examples, the author calls into question the too easy adoption of postmodern theory as an ethnocentrically Western phenomenon and clearly shows that Japan has given theme parks an entirely new mode of interpretation.
- Hardback | 256 pages
- 156 x 234 x 18mm | 543g
- 01 Oct 2000
- Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Berg Publishers
- London, United Kingdom
- 40 illustrations, 16 colour pictures, biblio, inde
Other books in this series
'To make the leap from doing anthropology in what were taken to be small bounded communities to exploring a global phenomenon is one that many anthropologists have yet to make ... Joy Hendry appears to have successfully crossed that divide by beginning with a global topic and then following it through to a particular place: Japan ... This is a book to read and enjoy. Teachers of anthropology, Japanese Studies, museum and tourism studies, will want to add it to their reading lists.' The Japan Foundation London Newsletter'Hendry has written a book which is both extremely academically satisfying and accessible to readers without an anthropological background. The large number of photographs, along with her lively descriptions of the theme parks, ensure that even the reader who, like myself, may not have visited even one such park, remains interetsed and intrigued. Indeed my appetite to visit foreign country theme parks was well and truly whetted.'The Japan Society'A scholarly and
About Joy Hendry
Joy Hendry is Professor of Social Anthropology, Oxford Brookes University.