The Lens Within the Heart: The Western Scientific Gaze and Popular Imagery in Later Edo Japan
Timon Screech

ISBN: 9780824825942 | 320 pages | 8 Mb


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The Lens Within the Heart: The Western Scientific Gaze and Popular Imagery in Later Edo Japan Timon Screech
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press, The


Overview
It has long been assumed that Japan's closed country policy meant that the country was isolated from the influence of the outside, and in particular, the western world. However, this study of eighteenth century Japan, using sources wholly unstudied since their writing, reveals the profound influence that the introduction of western technology and scientific instruments including glass, lenses and mirrors, had on Japanese notions of sight, and how the change in perception was reflected most clearly in popular culture. Screech offers interpretations of 18th century thought through popular objects, and makes propositions which many scholars considered groundbreaking on the book's first publication in 1996. The conclusions reached here have yet to be substantially challenged.
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