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

1st Edition

Timon Screech

Routledge
Published March 7, 2002
Reference - 330 Pages
ISBN 9780700715732 - CAT# RU30649

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Summary

Presenting a revised edition with a new preface of this important work, previously available only in hardback. It has long been assumed that Japan's closed country policy meant that Japan was isolated from the influence of the outside, and in particular the Western, world. However, this study of 18th 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 this change in perception was reflected most clearly in popular culture. Screech goes to the core of later eighteenth century thought through popular objects and the propositions which many considered groundbreaking on the book's first publication in 1996 have yet to be substantially challenged.

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