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Primitive Selves: Koreana in the Japanese Colonial Gaze, 1910–1945

From the publisher’s website:

This remarkable book examines the complex history of Japanese colonial and postcolonial interactions with Korea, particularly in matters of cultural policy. E. Taylor Atkins focuses on past and present Japanese fascination with Korean culture as he reassesses colonial anthropology, heritage curation, cultural policy, and Korean performance art in Japanese mass media culture. Atkins challenges the prevailing view that imperial Japan demonstrated contempt for Koreans through suppression of Korean culture. In his analysis, the Japanese preoccupation with Koreana provided the empire with a poignant vision of its own past, now lost–including communal living and social solidarity–which then allowed Japanese to grieve for their former selves. At the same time, the specific objects of Japan’s gaze–folk theater, dances, shamanism, music, and material heritage–became emblems of national identity in postcolonial Korea.

E. Taylor Atkins is Professor of History at Northern Illinois University and the author of Blue Nippon: Authenticating Jazz in Japan.


List of Illustrations
Note on Transliteration

1. A Long Engagement
2. Ethnography as Self-Reflection: Japanese Anthropology in Colonial Korea
3. Curating Koreana: The Management of Culture in Colonial Korea
4. The First K-Wave: Koreaphilia in Imperial Japanese Popular Culture

Epilogue: Postcolonial Valorizations

Entry on here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.