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  • 1.
    Hennessey, John
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
    Moving Up in the World: Japan’s Manipulation of Colonial Imagery at the 1910 Japan-British Exhibition2018In: Museum History Journal, ISSN 1936-9816, E-ISSN 1936-9824, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 24-41Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article uses 1910 Japan–British Exhibition as a case study for examining the strategies employed by Japanese leaders to win Western acceptance for Japan as a ‘great power’ in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Like other contemporaneous imperial powers, Japanese leaders employed colonial imagery and discourses of otherness at large expositions to raise their status compared to ostensibly inferior colonised peoples. This article argues that contrary to some previous assertions, Japan presented its history and traditional culture at Western expositions not as an intentional concession to Western Orientalism but rather in an attempt to show that an alternative path to modernity was possible. Though largely successful in winning Western recognition as an important empire, Japanese leaders were nonetheless unable to fully escape becoming victim to the very colonial tools they sought to employ.

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