The Newsletter 50 Spring 2009

The cartography of self-assertion

Anna Beerens

Nenzi, Laura. 2008. Excursions in Identity, Travel and the Intersection of Place, Gender, and Status in Edo Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. xi, 260 pages, ISBN 978 0 8248 3117 2.

Travel is about time and space, faith and ideology, constructs and concepts, about who we are and how we see the world. It is, as Laura Nenzi states in the introduction to her book on recreational travel in early-modern Japan, ‘an activity through which life itself could be defined’ (p.1). In this fine study Nenzi amply demonstrates that the investigation of mobility and movement is indeed an excellent way to explore the structures and evolution of a society.

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