Sunday, November 9, 2008

Becoming "アルプス"

The blog One Hundred Mountains recently contained a post Weighing up Walter Weston, that explores the validity of Weston's title as "the father of the Japanese Alps".

Weston's place in Japanese history has a lot to do with what was happening in Japan at the time as the Meiji government was creating a political space that required a reconfiguring of the entire landscape. Berkeley geographer Karen Wigen takes up this topic and argues that the mountains of central Japan were "discovered" as the alps (アルプス) and reconfigured to meet the political and social needs of the Meiji regime.

Here is the full reference

Wigen K. 2005. Discovering the Japanese Alps: Meiji Mountaineering and the Quest for Geographical Enlightenment. Journal of Japanese Studies 31

If anyone wants the article, but can't find it online, I can email a PDF.

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