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Assembling Japan

Modernity, Technology and Global Culture

Edited By Griseldis Kirsch, Dolores P. Martinez and Merry White

Assembling Japan focuses on Japan’s modernization as a long-term process that is reliant on changing technology and that has led to the nation’s full engagement with the global system. This process forms a complex field of tensions, full of interesting dynamisms and synergies that can be best understood through the book’s methodology: anthropological analysis combined with historical contextualization.
The approaches in this collection are manifold. Some chapters examine the themes of modernity, technology and Japan’s global experience though popular culture, from reggae to football, from television to film. Other topics include coffee, travel, economics, cultural politics and technological innovation in the field of robotics. All of the contributions aim to show how these global interactions have occurred and continue to take place in twenty-first-century Japan.
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Rewrapping the Message: Museums, Healing and Communicative Power


Museums and Display

Museums and other forms of public display have been changing, within a global context, in order to accommodate the views of peoples whose cultural heritage is on show. In the colonial past, museums often formed part of the construction of national or imperial power and the people whose ancestral objects were chosen for display had little choice about their use. More recently, as ideas from one part of the world have spread rapidly to others, those whose ethnic groups have been showcased in museums have taken more of an active role (e.g. see Conaty 2003; Doxtator 1985; Eoe 1990; Fuller 1992; Hakiwai 1990; Hendry 2002; Kaplan 1994; Pannell 1994; Simpson 2001). Although local manifestations have been various, there are some common features which I examine here.

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