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Afterword: The End Of The Meiji Period And Beyond

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Chapter Summary

The year 1912 not only marks the end of the reign of the Emperor Meiji, but the date can also stand as a signifier for the end of the prolific output of travel narratives about Japan. The writing by women travellers, for so long focused on the picturesque and based on the intimate aspects of domestic life, lost much of its relevance in Japan now visually little different from any other industrialized nation and now focused on the essentially male domain of military expansionism. From the 1970s, technological developments also impacted on the genre of travel narratives. The writing of Victorian women travellers, inextricably bound to both their gender and their own culture, present interpretations of both Old and New Japan, of the picturesque past and the rapidly changing political situations and cultural mores of the Meiji period.

Keywords: Japan; Meiji period; military expansionism; Victorian women travellers



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