Earthquake Nation: The Cultural Politics of Japanese Seismicity, 1868-1930

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University of California Press, 2006 - History - 346 pages
2 Reviews
Accelerating seismic activity in late Meiji Japan climaxed in the legendary Great Nobi Earthquake of 1891, which rocked the main island from Tokyo to Osaka, killing thousands. Ironically, the earthquake brought down many "modern" structures built on the advice of foreign architects and engineers, while leaving certain traditional, wooden ones standing. This book, the first English-language history of modern Japanese earthquakes and earthquake science, considers the cultural and political ramifications of this and other catastrophic events on Japan s relationship with the West, with modern science, and with itself. Gregory Clancey argues that seismicity was both the Achilles heel of Japan's nation-building project revealing the state s western-style infrastructure to be surprisingly fragile and a new focus for nativizing discourses which credited traditional Japanese architecture with unique abilities to ride out seismic waves. Tracing his subject from the Meiji Restoration to the Great Kant Earthquake of 1923 (which destroyed Tokyo), Clancey shows earthquakes to have been a continual though mercurial agent in Japan s self-fashioning; a catastrophic undercurrent to Japanese modernity. This innovative and absorbing study not only moves earthquakes nearer the center of modern Japan change both materially and symbolically but shows how fundamentally Japan shaped the global art, science, and culture of natural disaster."
  

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Review: Earthquake Nation: The Cultural Politics of Japanese Seismicity, 1868-1930

User Review  - Margaret Sankey - Goodreads

Encountering traditional Japanese construction, westerners judged it to be "delicate" and by implication effeminate and backwards--and thus the Meiji government invested in modernization via red brick ... Read full review

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Strong Nation Stone Nation
11
2 Earthquakes
39
3 The Seismologists
63
4 The National Essence
91
5 A Great Earthquake
113
6 Japan as Earthquake Nation
151
7 Japanese Architecture after Nobi
180
8 The Great Kanto Earthquake and the Submergence of the Earthquake Nation
212
Notes
235
Bibliography
299
Index
319
Copyright

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David G. Wittner - Earthquake Nation: The Cultural Politics of ...
Copyright © 2007 The Society for the History of Technology. All rights reserved. Technology and Culture 48.2 (2007) 462-465 ...
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Blackwell Synergy - Historian, Volume 69 Issue 3 Page 569-571 ...
To cite this article: James L. Huffman (2007) Earthquake Nation: The Cultural Politics of Japanese Seismicity, 1868-1930 - By Gregory Clancey ...
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GEOPHYSICS: Building on Shaken Ground
GEOPHYSICS: Building on Shaken Ground Iain Stewart* Earthquake Nation The Cultural Politics of Japanese Seismicity, 1868-1930 by Gregory Clancey University ...
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Gregory CLANCEY, Earthquake Nation: The Cultural Politics of Japanese Seismicity, 1868-1930, Berkeley: Univeristy of California Press, 2006, 331 pp, ...
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About the author (2006)

Gregory Clancey, Associate Professor of History at the National University of Singapore, is editor, with Alan Chan and Loy Hui-chieh, of Historical Perspectives on East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine (2002) and editor, with M.R. Smith, of Major Problems in the History of American Technology (1998).

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