The notion of race, and notably the anxiety over the global hierarchy of the races alongside doubts about the capacity for survival of the Japanese 'race', were a matter of unprecedented concern in Meiji era Japan. It was essentially a mere chance that the forced opening of Japan and the subsequent process of modernization carried out according to the Western model coincided with the rise of scientific racism in the West. Nonetheless, Japan had had its share of rudimental racial worldviews much earlier, including a certain degree of ethnographic knowledge of the Other and an indigenous sense of xenophobia. This chapter seeks to examine the interaction between the domestic and foreign views of race in Japan during the Meiji-era (1868-1912) and the way in which they amalgamated to form a national discourse surrounding self and the Other.
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- Blood purity
- Meiji era Japan
- National identity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Arts and Humanities