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Products for grant FO-50026-06

Geopolitics and Geopieties in 20th-Century Nagano
Karen Wigen, Stanford University

Grant details:

A Malleable Map: Geographies of Restoration in Central Japan, 1600-1912 (Book)
Title: A Malleable Map: Geographies of Restoration in Central Japan, 1600-1912
Author: Karen Wigen
Abstract: Through an extended meditation on regional cartography, chorography, and statecraft, this book proposes to redefine “restoration” (ishin) in modern Japanese history. As developed here, that term designates not the quick coup d’etat of 1868, but a three-centuries-long project of rehabilitating an ancient map for modern purposes. Drawing on geographical documents from Shinano (present-day Nagano Prefecture), it contends that the reformers of the Meiji era (1868-1912) recruited classical geography to the cause of administrative reform. Under the guise of the prefecture (or ken—a term that, like ishin itself, had Chinese origins), these men effectively reinscribed an ancient set of imperial boundaries on the landscape of modern Japan. But it also goes on to show how a classicizing strategy initially promoted by power-holders at the center (starting with Tokugawa Ieyasu himself) was ultimately embraced and carried forward by leading lights in the region. The book substantiates these claims by tracing the continuing career of the classical court’s most important unit of governance, the province or kuni, in central Honshu.
Year: 2010
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: University of California Press website
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description:
Publisher: University of California Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 978-0520259188
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes