Regional Identity on Japan's Northern Periphery
Nanyan Guo, Seiichi Hasegawa, Hidemichi Kawanishi, Kanako Kitahara, Henry
Johnson, Anthony Rausch
Tsugaru is located in the northwest corner of Japan's main island,
Honshu. With a rugged landscape and challenging weather, it was bypassed
by Japan's industrial development after World War II. It has remained
relatively rustic, with its countryside dotted with rice paddies and apple
orchards. As a result, it is rich in culture and diversity, with people
of many different dialects and traditions.
This book serves both as an introduction to the region and as an essay
on regional identity in the modern state. The contributing authors, from
Japan and New Zealand, began working together as academics located in
unique regions: Tsugaru and Otago. In a series of interesting essays
many aspects of Tsugaru life and culture: some history (including the
arrival of Christian missionaries in the nieneteenth century), the 'Tsugaru
shamisen' (a unique folk musical instrument enjoying a revival in
Japanese popular music), the region's distinctive lacquerware, sculpture,
literature (looking at the work of writers Dazai Osamu and Osabe Hideo)
and performing arts. The resulting volume is both interesting and comprehensive
in examining Tsugaru's identity in modern Japan.
2 Establishing Tsugaru Identity through Oura Mitsunobu
3 Christianity in the Tsugaru District
4 The Transformation of Tsugaru Identity
5 Nation and Region in the Work of Dazai Osamu
6 Osabe Hideo: Signifying Tsugaru's Music
7 Tsugaru Shamisen: From Region to Nation (and Beyond) and Back Again
8 Tsugaru Nuri Lacquerware: Nation-state Patronage and the Representation
of a Local Craft;
Appendix: Performing Arts of Tsugaru
Notes and References.
Published with the assistance of the Japan Foundation.
Nanyan Guo, Seiichi Hasegawa, Henry Johnson, Hidemichi Kawanishi, Kanako
Kitahara, Anthony S. Rausch, Takefusa Sasamori, Roy Starrs.
Nanyan Guo and Henry Johnson are both lecturers at the University
of Otago, New Zealand.
Hidemichi Kawanishi is associate professor at Joetsu University
of Education, Japan.
Kanako Kitahara lectures at universities and colleges in the
Aomori and Akita Prefectures, Japan.
Anthony Rausch is a lecturer in the Faculty of Education,
Hirosaki University, Japan.
Seiichi Hasegawa is currently professor in the Faculty
of Humanities of Hirosaki University, Japan.
ISBN 1 877372 08 0, paperback, 230 x 150 mm, 160 pages,
Release: April 2005