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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book Japan and Russia Three centuries of mutual images is concerned with the role played by representations and visual images in Russian-Japanese relations over the past three hundred years. The chapters in this book are united by the notion that visual information can and often does take precedence over words in imparting meaning. The visual, has an unusual capacity to mould public minds, and as such plays a powerful role in reflecting and creating images of 'self' and 'other'. Graphic and other visual representations have a life of their own, influencing the mind of their beholders, and often not in conformity with the intentions of their creators. Visual narratives tend to hide the diversity of reality and contribute to the creation of stereotypes. The study of images is an important part of the study of Japanese international relations.

Keywords: graphic representations; Japan; Japanese international relations; Russia; visual representations



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