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Ennobling Japan’s Savage Northeast

harvard east asian monographs 407

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Ennobling Japan’s Savage Northeast Tōhoku as Postwar Thought, 1945–2011

Nathan Hopson

Published by the Harvard University Asia Center Distributed by Harvard University Press Cambridge (Massachusetts) and London 2017

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© 2017 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College Printed in the United States of America The Harvard University Asia Center publishes a monograph series and, in coordination with the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Korea Institute, the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, and other faculties and institutes, administers research projects designed to further scholarly understanding of China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, and other Asian countries. The Center also sponsors projects addressing multidisciplinary and regional issues in Asia. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Hopson, Nathan, 1976– author. Ennobling Japan’s Savage Northeast : Tōhoku as Postwar Thought, 1945–2011 / Nathan Hopson. Harvard East Asian monographs ; 407. Cambridge, Massachusetts : Published by the Harvard University Asia Center, 2017. | Series: Harvard East Asian monographs; 407 Based on the author’s thesis (Ph. D.—University of Pennsylvania, 2012).| Includes bibliographical references and index. LCCN 2016052865 | ISBN 978-0-674-97700-6 (hardcover : alk. paper) Tōhoku Region (Japan)—History—20th century. | Tōhoku Region (Japan)—History—21st century. | Nationalism—Japan. | National characteristics, Japanese. LCC DS894.385 .H67 2017 | DDC 952/.1104—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016052865 Index by Anne Holmes Printed on acid-free paper Last figure below indicates year of this printing 21 20 19 18 17

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Looking back into history must also be about staring down the present and looking toward the future. This research is dedicated to those who have lost their lives, loved ones, livelihoods, and hope since 3/11. My thoughts are equally with those who struggle on as they are with those who have passed on. My hope is that a better understanding of the history of Tōhoku will somehow lead to a better future for the Northeast and its people.

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List of Maps and Figures






Note to the Reader




1 The Moment: Hiraizumi, 1950


2 Japan’s First Colony and the “Culture of Resistance”


3 Ennobling the Emishi


4 Hiraizumi, the Phoenix


5 Tōhoku Studies as Neo-Japanism—“Jōmonism” and “Tōhokugaku”




Appendix: Charter of the Tōhoku Culture Research Center (Tōbunken)








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Maps and Figures

Maps 1 Contemporary Tōhoku 2 Location of Hiraizumi at the north-south center of Tōhoku 3 Japanese expansion into ancient Tōhoku 4 Contemporary Hiraizumi

xvi 25 33 157

Figures 1 Tōhoku as victim, from Sōbō no daichi, horobu 14 2 Children gnawing on raw daikon during the 1934 Tōhoku famine 87 3a Noble Japanese, ignoble Emishi, and modern parallels: Origin of the Kiyomizu Temple (Kiyomizudera engi emaki), 1517, detail 131 3b Noble Japanese, ignoble Emishi, and modern parallels: Yōshū Chikanobu (1838–1912), Minister Ōtori Escorts the Korean King into the Castle (Ōtori kōshi Taiinkun o yōgo nyūjō no zu) 131 4 “Jōmon will save the world” 214

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Research and writing is a highly efficient method for accumulating unrepayable debts, both financial and intellectual. My work has been enriched at every turn by the generosity of numerous individuals and organizations. What shortcomings remain are mine and mine alone. The germ of this project began before graduate school. During the process of translating the website of Iwate Prefecture for Japan’s government-sponsored Internet Fair 2001, I was struck by two things. First, learning about northern Japan opened my eyes to a gaping lacuna in my own knowledge and in a great deal of academic writing about Japan. Second, I realized that faced with a dearth of primary materials from the premodern Northeast, scholars and intellectuals had developed a fascinating secondary and tertiary literature of interpretation and reinterpretation. This cottage industry of books and articles, I found as I dug further, was highly political and polemical, revealing in its idiosyncrasies and vicissitudes many aspects of the central discourses about Japanese identity, both past and present. I was hooked. A preliminary result of this interest was a master’s project completed at the University of Sheffield under the tutelage of Beverly Yamamoto, Thomas McAuley, and Richard Siddle. During this time, I also benefited greatly from the generosity and insights of Kawashima Shigeru and Kanno Seikan. I continued to pursue this research at the University of Pennsylvania, where I enjoyed warmth, support, and stimulation from numerous faculty, staff,

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acknow led gm e n ts

and graduate colleagues. The list is far too long; forgive me for singling out Fred Dickinson, Ayako Kano, Linda Chance, and the late William LaFleur as outstanding role models and supporters. I am grateful to Mimi Yiengpruksawan for adding her expert guidance to my dissertation and for subsequently helping to provide a home for me as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale’s Council on East Asian Studies. At Yale, I was additionally supported and challenged by Dani Botsman, Fabian Drixler, and William Kelly, as well as graduate students and fellow postdocs, including Mia Liu, Hyung-Wook Kim, Sam Malissa, Stephen Poland, Chika Watanabe, and especially Ran Zwigenberg. It was a privilege to engage with each and every one. In both Japan and the United States, I have been surrounded by extraordinary colleagues, to all of whom I am deeply grateful. During research stints in Japan, I was welcomed and aided by Kawashima Hidemichi, Irumada Nobuo, Suga Yutaka, and many others. Professor Kawashima, in particular, has been a superlative mentor. At Nagoya, my research has benefited greatly from the wisdom of Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt. For most recently offering their time and insights to drafts of this book as it evolved from my dissertation, I would like to thank Oleg Benesch, Beth Carter, Frank Clements, Robert Hegwood, Chelsea Szendi Schieder, and again Ran Zwigenberg. Finally, my greatest debt is to my family, without whom this project would neither have been possible nor worth it.

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Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan ERC Farm, Mountain, and Fishing Village Economic Revitalization Campaign ICOMOS International Council on Monuments and Sites INES International Nuclear Event Scale JR Japan Railways Group (or any of its six component companies) MEXT Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology NHK Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) NIMBY “Not in My Back Yard” OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ORC Open Research Center OUV Outstanding Universal Value Tepco Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (also “TEPCO”) TPA Tōhoku Promotion Association TUAD Tōhoku University of Art and Design UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

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Note to the Reader

Standard caveats apply regarding the orthographic conventions of Japanese transliteration. Most important, macrons are given to indicate long vowels in romanized words, with the exception of Japanese words now a generally accepted part of the English lexicon. Japanese names are given in Japanese order, surname first, save in the case of multiple-author English-language works, authors publishing primarily or exclusively in English, and authors cited for English-language works only.

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Hirosaki Odate


Akita Akita


Lake Towada

Lake Tazawa


Yokote Hiraizumi






Yonezawa Aizu-Wakamatsu Lake Inawashiro

Fukushima Gunma








Fukushima Koriyama Iwaki


Map 1  Contemporary Tōhoku. Courtesy of CELC, Inc., Morioka, Iwate, Japan.

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Ennobling the Savage Northeast Tōhoku is more than Japan’s Northeast, though that is what the word means. The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown of March 2011 sparked a frenzy of global interest in the region. In the years since “3/11,” scholarly and popular articles, presentations, books, documentaries, websites, and more have sprung up and sprung forth to address various aspects of disaster and recovery. From reportage and survivor testimony archives to seismographic analyses, and from analyses of artistic representation and response to critiques of Tepco’s mishandling of the nuclear crisis and cleanup or Tokyo’s lack of enthusiasm for recovery, there is now a tremendous body of literature on the Great East Japan earthquake and its aftermath. Conspicuous by its absence, however, is perspective on the “pre-3/11” history of Tōhoku and the meanings of the Northeast within Japanese national history.1 From 1945 until 2011, Tōhoku was a kind of floating or empty signifier in Japanese discourses of national reinvention during the postwar, pre-3/11 period, a symbol ready to be filled with new meanings at every turn. After Japan’s defeat in World War II, the region’s past was “discovered” as a possible remedy for the tragic course charted by mainstream Japanese history. This was only possible because Tōhoku had previously been so far outside that mainstream, regarded as a victim and a pariah. By the time of the triple disaster of March 11, Tōhoku had assumed a position at the

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center of discourses about national origins and traditions. This book places the radical discursive transformation of Tōhoku within regional, national, and global contexts. This ordering reflects the scope and flow of the discourse itself: what began in the 1950s as a local-national dialogue had become by the 1980s a part of cultural nationalist (re)assertions of Japan’s special place in the world. For much of Japan’s recorded history, Tōhoku had been synonymous with some combination of savagery and backwardness, a troublesome region either resisting or dragging down Japan. However, this same region was reimagined as a privileged locus for the creation of postwar values in Japan from 1945 to 2011. Sitting on the physical and cultural margins of Japanese history, the Northeast proved a potent, protean symbol appropriated by diverse parties throughout the postwar years. In the decade before the reestablishment of the conservative order in 1955, local scholars began to explore the subaltern history of Tōhoku as an alternative source of sociopolitical legitimacy, a tradition that could be mobilized to shape the new postwar order. By the 1990s, though the contours of the original critique were not entirely effaced, they had been transformed as a result of discovery by and integration into the discourse of neoconservative intellectuals for whom the Northeast was the linchpin of a second postwar redefinition of Japan. This time, Tōhoku was not the centerpiece of an effort to salvage Japan, but of one in which Japan was to save the world.

Tōhoku as Place, Tōhoku as Idea The modern term Tōhoku describes an area of Honshu, Japan’s largest isle, measuring nearly 67,000 square kilometers (map 1). As a whole, the Northeast is an overwhelmingly rural region, the kind often referred to as “undeveloped” or socioeconomically “backward.” The six prefectures of Tōhoku—Akita, Aomori, Iwate, Fukushima, Miyagi, and Yamagata—account for about 30 percent

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of the total landmass of Japan’s main island. To put this in some perspective, the area is larger than Denmark or the Netherlands, nearly three and a half times as large as Shikoku, more than one and a half times larger than Kyushu, and a little more than half the size of Pennsylvania. The prefectures are large and generally sparsely populated. Nationally, Iwate and Fukushima rank behind only Hokkaido in size. Among Japan’s forty-seven prefectures, the only Tōhoku Prefecture ranked higher than fortieth in population density is Miyagi. Its capital, Sendai, is the only million-person city in the Northeast. Sendai’s population is three times the size of the next largest city in Tōhoku, though only half that of Sapporo. The economy is rural, peripheral, and focused on primary industries. Together with neighboring Niigata—once considered part of the region—the Tōhoku region is the rice basket of Japan and produces about a quarter of all the rice grown nationally. In contrast, only 5 percent of the country’s manufactured goods by value are made in Tōhoku. Despite its size, even before the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster of 2011, the Northeast as a whole accounted for barely 6 percent of Japan’s GDP, but more than 16 percent of national output from primary industries.2 The region is poor. Per capita income across the region is well under the national average, as is population density. These socioeconomic indicators (large administrative areas with low population and heavy reliance on primary industries) are products of the Northeast’s historical distance from the centers of Japanese government, industry, and culture, and are often considered its defining features. Tōhoku is not only far from Tokyo and Kyoto, it is far from homogenous and far from static. The region is defined not by uniformity, but by wide variations in climate, topography, demography, language, and culture, to name a few. Tōhoku has always been divided, diverse, and changing, a fact highlighted and heightened by the experience of March 11 and its aftermath. For historical and climatic reasons, the affected prefectures, Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate, were already different from the Japan Sea coast prefectures of Yamagata and Akita, but also wildly different from each other.3 Sendai, the region’s biggest

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population and financial services sector, is fully recovered, while the Fukushima coast is littered with irradiated ghost towns. Even the individual prefectures are characterized more by obvious internal differences than they are by homogeneity. Iwate is a fine example of this, both before and after 2011. The tsunami of 3/11 wreaked shocking destruction on its southern coast, but inland the scale of disaster was comparatively small, despite the earthquake’s intensity. This is a testament to the prefecture’s geographical diversity: Iwate is divided east–west by mountain ranges into at least three major ecological zones, north–south along historical lines, and everywhere along urban–rural lines. The rich farmlands of the Kitakami River valley are entirely unlike the ria coasts, and the dialects of the two areas occasionally approach mutual incomprehensibility. The town of Tōno, made famous by Yanagita Kunio’s pioneering folkloric study, has become a furusato tourist mecca selling a carefully packaged experience of rural folk life to busloads of souvenir shoppers. To the west, the prefecture’s “Industrial City,” Kitakami, has staked its economy on massive industrial parks. Kitakami is located along the oldest northern trunk line of the shinkansen, Japan’s superexpress “bullet” train, whose transformative socioeconomic effects are among the many reasons that the Northeast has seen dynamism and change, public opinion notwithstanding. And yet. And yet, the idea of Tōhoku has had coherence and meaning for the people who live there, as well as for those who do not. It is not the only way to think about the lived space that is the six northern prefectures of Honshu, but it is, and has been, one of the most popular and important. In this sense, Tōhoku is a bit like the American Midwest, a label applied to a region so large and diverse that the word itself ought to be meaningless. But it is not. It is invested with particular significance as a region unto itself and as part of the discourse of American national character. As Oguma Eiji warned, “Of course, ‘Tokyo’ and ‘Tōhoku,’ ‘metropole’ and ‘frontier,’ are without substance. They are concepts created in a particular relationality.”4 The Midwest is a place, but also an idea. The same is true of Tōhoku. The question asked by this book

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is what the idea(s) of Tōhoku from 1945 to 2011 can tell us about Japan, about historical ressentiment, about discourses of race, about regionalism and nationalism, or about the Northeast itself.

Tōhoku as Postwar Thought The field of postwar Tōhoku studies has always been a kind of “memory activism,” what Yifat Gutman calls “reimagining the past for the future.”5 In his Meiji Restoration Losers, Michael Wert explores the processes by which “memory activists” rehabilitated a bureaucrat villainized in standard histories of the Meiji Restoration. “By commemorating the vanquished,” argues Wert, “these memory activists, bent on rehabilitating their fallen heroes, make claims to plurality in the formation of national identity, memory, and history.”6 Rather than focusing on an individual fallen hero, postwar Tōhoku studies acted at the regional level, rehabilitating the region’s bitter legacy. And more than just staking a claim to national plurality, early postwar writing on Tōhoku attempted to establish the region as a new locus of legitimacy for national identity. At war’s end, instead of depicting an economically and culturally desolate wasteland, a small band of historians and archaeologists reinterpreted the Northeast as the cradle of a unique history and culture that could serve as a foundation for the new postwar Japan. This change in perspective reflects, among other things, the caesura of 1945, after which distance from and resistance to the centers of Japan were a badge of honor. In the first years after war’s end, for most in Japan (and Europe), just getting by in the face of material destruction and physical and emotional exhaustion was the overwhelming, or even only, priority. But even in the midst of the horrific aftermath of World War II, some began looking to the future almost immediately.7 And when they did, they often looked to the past. As Wolfgang Schivelbusch noted, “Defeat . . . becomes synonymous with liberation,” and history often plays a crucial role as the vanquished look to a halcyon past as both a comfort and a roadmap

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to a different yet equally glorious future to that originally imagined. Though the path to war and even the casus belli might be rejected, the collective imagination of the defeated can return to “the stretch of history before the mistaken detour,” declaring it “more consonant with its spirit, destiny, and true character,” and with a mission to transform defeat into a moral lesson that will contribute to the future of all humanity.8 The radical revisionism of historians like Takahashi Tomio, whose work is central to early postwar Tōhoku studies, was overtly critical of the course of Japanese history, but never rejected Japan or sought independence. Even in the massive disillusionment and despair after World War II its purpose was, as Takahashi later reflected, to find—or create, if necessary—“a Japan that we could be proud of and have hope for.”9 Tōhoku was a kind of postwar thought, a response to the physically and emotionally devastating experiences of war and defeat. To put it another way, the Northeast was a solution proposed to the problem of what to do with Japan after 1945. Its importance was measured in its contribution to righting the course of Japanese history. Until about 1980, the field of Tōhoku studies was driven by this desire to reconfigure the history of the Northeast as a source of new Japanese values, and to recuperate Japan by recuperating the Northeast. This process gradually evolved, coming to fruition after 1980, as Tōhoku was removed from the margins and placed in the center of some influential discourses on national identity. What had begun as a minor, outsider academic movement steered by a small cadre of regional historians came to influence local intellectuals by the 1960s. Tōhoku leapt onto the national stage in the early 1980s, as evidenced in part by the popularity of novels and television dramas that had absorbed and adapted its themes. This jump precipitated transformations of both form and scale. From that point forward, a number of leading neoconservative intellectuals resituated this argument, encompassing within their beliefs that Japanese culture enjoyed a special destiny as the panacea for modernity’s ills and transforming the purview of this discourse from the regional-national (TōhokuJapan) to the universal (Tōhoku-Japan-world). They discovered in the Northeast the best-preserved essence of a traditional Japanese

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culture that was not only an antidote for the ills of modern or postwar Japanese society, but also a cure for modernity’s evils at the global level, from environmental destruction to the threat of nuclear warfare in a Cold War world.

Tōhoku as Noble Savage, Tōhoku as Nostalgia Postwar Tōhoku studies, 1945–2011, can be divided usefully into two periods, one on either side of 1980. The first was the era of Tōhoku as Noble Savage, as the Other leveraged to critique Japan. The rise of nostalgia was the most salient characteristic of the post-1980 period, in part because it was symptomatic of a move toward the end of Northeastern alterity. Throughout, the field of Tōhoku studies was colored by primitivism, though there was a distinct difference in tenor between the two periods. From war’s end until about 1980, Tōhoku studies was animated by a desire to ennoble the savage Northeast. Rather than a recalcitrant backward region of historical and ethnic savagery, in the context of defeat and rebuilding, the history and culture of Tōhoku were reread as part of a critique of mainstream Japan, especially its avaricious expansionism and colonialism. The indigenous people of the Northeast, called Emishi by the Japanese, were fiercely, justly independent. Even after nominal incorporation into the Japanese state’s administrative structures at the end of the eighth century, this desire for self-determination manifested itself in the great northern polity of Hiraizumi. For a century, this regime hybridized Emishi and Japanese elements and policies to carve out an autonomous sphere encompassing roughly all of modern Tōhoku before its demise—once again at the hands of Japanese invaders. Because the Northeast was Japan’s first and oldest colony, marginalized and oppressed throughout history and peripheralized by the modern state, it could be a wellspring of “new” values for a new age, the postwar. Victimization and disenfranchisement were legitimacy. Regional autonomy and character, too. But most of all, the “culture of resistance” against Japan

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throughout history was a badge of honor, consequences—socioeconomic and cultural “backwardness”—be damned.10 This reevaluation of the region, its people, and its culture was a dramatic volte-face only plausible or even possible in the midcentury valley of self-doubt after 1945. Historically, when Japan was confident, Tōhoku had been made to play the role of Ignoble Savage, a stagnant, boorish, and primitive site of protracted, irrational resistance to progress and civilization represented by mainstream Japan. As Japan expanded its influence and territory northward out of the Kanto plains from the seventh century the Emishi offered increasing resistance.11 This was especially true in northern Tōhoku, where the name Emishi became synonymous with fierce, protracted struggle and warfare against Japanese expansionism. Though the Emishi were eventually mostly “conquered” and assimilated, the word became a trope for Tōhoku as the Ignoble Savage, a metonym linking the space, culture, and people of the Northeast under a single, savage label. In later centuries, this archetype of Tōhoku backwardness persisted as a facile explanation for any and all problems encountered north of the Kanto plains, and was married to racial theory in the nineteenth century. In the 1950s, in the writings of historians like Takahashi Tomio, Tōhoku emerged as a Noble Savage. War and surrender forced people at all levels of Japanese society to rethink the nation’s values and path, including attitudes toward the Emishi heritage of resistance to Japanese (ancient) imperialism. Rather than an alien race mired in predetermined savagery, the Emishi were recast as noble freedom fighters. They had defended their homeland against Japanese invasion, never taking up arms as aggressors. As such, the Emishi had something to teach the new, post-1945 Japan. Rather than “free land” for the taking à la the American West, the Northeast was Japan’s first colony and the Emishi its first colonized people. This was Tōhoku’s new heritage and identity: a virtuous victim and marginal repository of values and traditions oppressed, suppressed, and ignored by mainstream Japan. In this way, the most important group of academics working on the Northeast reimagined their work as a powerful critique of Japanese history and culture.12

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After 1980, science and nostalgia, the latter feeding on the former, conspired to place Tōhoku in the center of national identity discourse. Because of its rich pre-rice indigenous history, eastern Honshu—especially the Northeast—became central to the concerns of archaeologists and anthropologists studying Japanese ethnogenesis. Umehara Takeshi, one of Japan’s most influential public intellectuals, brought nostalgia to the fore of both academic and public interpretations of the meaning of Tōhoku. On the one hand, Umehara’s enthusiastic nostalgia for an authentically Japanese rural tradition preserved in the blood and culture of the region revived the antimodernism and ruralist xenophobia (and to a lesser extent antistatism) of the founding father of Japanese folkloristics (minzokugaku), Yanagita Kunio. Yanagita had imagined the Northeast as a storehouse of native Japanese traditions to be preserved in the face of the amnesiac effects of imported modernization and industrialization and the modern authoritarian-bureaucratic state. On the other hand, Umehara effectively tapped into widespread disaffection with the postwar social order, the general malaise born of the displacements and disconnections of high capitalism and high growth. The “backwardness” of Tōhoku was reconfigured as the comforts of a “vanishing” home—Japan’s heartland. Tōhoku’s transformation into Japan’s universal “home” (where the heart, the rice, and grandmother’s house is) began with men like Yanagita Kunio, but took a more complex turn in the public mind during the postwar boom, when physical, economic, and cultural rifts sundered the majority of Japanese from ancestral lands, occupations, and practices. The Northeast became Japan’s past as much as its home: the unchanging place of origin and possible return, frozen in an eternally premodern homeostasis, materially impoverished but spiritually and culturally richer than the frenetic displacement of the modern city to which so many migrated. This was a process of incorporation. The Noble Savage perforce exists beyond the core of the national Self, at its margins or beyond. In its primitivism, the idea of noble savagery can have a temporal dimension (and must have a cultural aspect), but the label is highly spacialized. On the other hand, Tōhoku as nostalgia was integrated into a national past.

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Svetlana Boym’s writings on nostalgia and Marilyn Ivy’s observations on the spectacular persistence of the “vanishing” are apposite for understanding this reframing. Nostalgia is a fantasy in which the temporal and spatial are imbricated and inextricable, according to Boym. The experience of longing for a place, for example, can be the expression of a desire to return to a lost time, “the time of our childhood, the slower rhythms of our dreams,” or a halcyon era of traditional values and virtues. “Nostalgia,” explains Boym, “is a longing for a home that no longer exists or has never existed.” Nostos is the return home, algia the longing. Boym identifies two types of nostalgia, reflective and restorative. Her interest is primarily in the more ironic and playful, more intimate and personal algia of the former. Mine is in the dead serious nostos of the latter. Restorative nostalgia is devoid of self-aware distance from either longing or its object. Rather than finding pleasure in the longing, restorative nostalgia seeks to revive “a perfect snapshot” of the past—it seeks the return home. Rather than the personal, it “evokes national past and future. . . . Restorative nostalgia does not think of itself as nostalgia, but rather as truth and tradition.” Especially prevalent in times of upheaval and anxiety, restorative nostalgia seeks the comfort of a return to origins, to the mythical home of a perfectly preserved, utopian past.13 That past, as we know, is often found in “invented traditions,” which are frequently constructed from and constituted by the “vanishing.” The “vanishing,” as defined by Ivy, refers to things “passing away, but not quite, suspended between presence and absence.” These practices and discourses, as Ivy demonstrated, often “live out partial destinies of spectacular recovery” at the core of national identity.14 This was certainly the case for Tōhoku from the 1980s, as the Northeast became a linchpin in discourses of Japaneseness (Nihonjinron). Both early and late postwar Tōhoku studies dabble in primitivism, though there are important differences. Tōhoku as Noble Savage was a product of cultural primitivism, a device with which to reappraise and critique society. Chronological primitivism, common in primordialist narratives of national identity like Umehara’s, locates the “most excellent condition of human life” in

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the distant past before the fall. Cultural primitivism, on the other hand, is an expression of “the discontent of the civilized with civilization.”15 Tōhoku as nostalgia relied on both cultural and chronological primitivism, though not always in equal measures. In other words, for later postwar Tōhoku studies, there were multiple national falls from grace. The first came in unrecorded antiquity, when the autochthonic Jōmon (Neolithic) culture was driven to extinction by the encroachment of rice-centered social structures and people from the Korean Peninsula. The Jōmon period was, in the estimation of men like Umehara, the Edenic idyll of the “affluent forager,” the hunter-gatherer living in small, egalitarian bands close to nature—the quintessence of the Noble Savage. In contrast, while rice brought material wealth, it also introduced hierarchy, exploitation, and hitherto unknown violence. An analogous situation was seen in Meiji, when Western influences dragged the Japanese even further from their indigenous heritage and national character. For Umehara, once the layers of this palimpsest were peeled off to reveal the true Japan hidden underneath foreign contamination, the authentically Japanese culture that emerged was a beacon of hope and direction for modern societies around the world trapped in late capitalist ennui and faced with the prospect of global environmental destruction or thermonuclear war. In the 1990s, when this cultural nationalist rereading of Tōhoku as Japan’s original and authentic past encountered sudden and fevered public interest in Jōmon sparked by excavations of the Sannai Maruyama settlement site in far-north Aomori, Tōhoku studies was rebooted by folklorist (and Umehara and Yanagita devotee) Akasaka Norio as the novel field of Tōhokugaku (“Tōhokuology”), which he described as a “new Japanology.” Tōhokugaku was syncretic, the synthesis of many different threads of modern and postwar thought about the Tōhoku region and Japan. From positions staked by thinkers including Yanagita Kunio, Takahashi Tomio, and Umehara Takeshi, Akasaka constructed a folkloristics-driven area studies model. Drawing on Umehara especially, Akasaka sought ethnographic evidence of unbroken strands of Japan’s original Jōmon culture in the folk lifeways of the Northeast.

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In doing so, he completed the transformation of the Northeast from a marginal or alterior position (within the archipelago, beyond “Japan”) to one at the core of the national past.

Tōhoku as Popular Culture Despite the relatively small number of academics writing on Tōhoku before the 1980s, the influence of their ideas was not confined to elite intellectual circles. Takahashi Tomio, for example, wrote polemics for public consumption almost as often as for his professorial peers. Popular writings reflecting the basic positions of early postwar Tōhoku studies grew more common in the 1970s. One important nonacademic manifesto was penned by Ichiriki Kazuo in 1979. Ichiriki was the grandson of Sendai entrepreneur Ichiriki Kenjirō, whose daily newspaper, Kahoku Shinpō, had a long history as an advocate for Tōhoku—and had, like a number of other regional dailies, been a forceful political critic even in the 1930s, surviving press blackouts and raids by the military police.16 In his foreword to an edited volume on Tōhoku, Ichiriki argued that the Northeast had only truly become part of Japan in the postwar, ending a history of violence and oppression against the region and its people. He railed against the self-proclaimed superiority of the Japanese core, asserting the victimization and value of Tōhoku: We Tōhoku people are descendants of the Ezo [Emishi]. . . . To the central government off in the west, with its imported Continental and Peninsular culture, perhaps the Ezo were eastern barbarians. But though they may have been uncivilized, they lived in peace before the central government’s rule. . . . The Ezo never raised an army to invade the west. . . . They fought against invading government armies, but that was simply self-defense. Despite this, they were called insurgents and rebels, the object of subjugation and conquest. Imagine the American Indians in Westerns; the situation was identical. . . . We Northeasterners are proud to be the descendants of the Ezo.17

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In addition to masterfully distilling the basic concepts of Tōhoku as Noble Savages unilaterally victimized by an evil Japan—particularly in his comparison with Native Americans—Ichiriki suggested that the peaceful existence of the Emishi before Japanese invasion was more civilized than that of the violent and rapacious Japanese, and that therein lay the power and worth of the Northeast. Bookending 1980, two representative fictional works portrayed the modern Northeast seceding from Japan as a reaction to the interminable series of grudges accumulated in the course of victimization by Japan. The first of these was Nishimura Toshiyuki’s The Rich Green Land, Devastated (Sōbō no daichi, horobu), a panic novel published in 1978 and reissued in manga format two years later. When nearly two hundred million tons of locusts descend upon the Northeast, Japan turns a cold shoulder. Citing a long list of historical injustices leading to Tōhoku’s modern “enslavement” to the Japanese state, the governor of Aomori successfully leads a split from Japan. The new nation of Ōshū—a name pointedly hearkening back to the region’s autonomous past—is recognized by the United States and the Soviet Union, who provide food aid. After the locusts die off and a series of pitched battles are won by the Northeasterners, Ōshū (Tōhoku) rebuilds, presumably happy ever after (fig. 1).18 The other Tōhoku irredentist novel of the period was the more famous Kirikirijin, Inoue Hisashi’s critically acclaimed 1981 satire. In the novel, the titular “people of Kirikiri,” a fictional snowbound village in the southeast of Iwate Prefecture, declare independence from Japan, again citing centuries of oppression.19 What Christopher Robins calls Inoue’s “satirical inversion” of the entire Japanese modern nation-building process was a far more nuanced and delightfully rich vision than Nishimura’s simpler tale of disaster, cheap romance, and breathless battle. Inoue had originally pitched his idea in 1964 to NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, as a radio drama. In that year of buoyant Olympic nationalism, the author’s “irreverent, anti-nationalist satire” was unwelcome.20 But when the novel appeared, it enjoyed both critical and popular acclaim, becoming a bestseller and claiming several major literary prizes. All this despite the fact that much of the dialogue in this 834-page satirical masterpiece is written in the stigmatized and

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Fig. 1  Tōhoku as victim. Illustration from Nishimura, Sōbō no daichi, horobu, vol. 2 (1980), 70. Courtesy of Sekai Bunkasha, Tokyo (holder of the copyright since 2003). The text reads, “In the Sino-Japanese, Russo-Japanese, and Pacific Wars, in war after war Tōhoku regiments were sent to the front. They supported the nation as human bullets—no, they were made to support it!”

difficult-to-understand dialect of northern Tōhoku, adopted as the official language of Kirikiri. In any case, the new nation is tolerant, progressive, peaceful, and builds a rich economy as a tax haven and provider of cutting-edge medicine. Kirikirijin is the superlative literary expression of the idea that a new and better Japan could and should come from the Northeast.21 Two years later came the watershed for postwar Tōhoku studies, the highest rated television drama in Japanese history, Oshin. This serial aired on NHK for a full year beginning in April 1983, only two years after Kirikirijin. Average viewership topped 50 percent, a social phenomenon jokingly referred to as the “Oshindrome.”22 If Kirikirijin was biting, Oshin was maudlin. The eponymous protagonist’s rags-to-riches life story takes Oshin from grinding poverty in a bitterly cold Northeastern village to a successful career as a supermarket magnate. The narrative unfolds as Oshin retraces, with the

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help of her grandson, her own life’s path. This morning melodrama was “the saga of modern Japan,” a synecdoche of the nation’s modern history, closely following the course of twentieth-century Japan in an up-and-down, but ultimately feel-good narrative that praised the national character of Japan, and its long-suffering women in particular.23 More than one Japanese prime minister compared himself to the show’s protagonist (disingenuously, it must be said), and even Ronald Reagan praised Oshin as the symbol of the “endurance, tenacity, and sheer hard work” that had raised Japan from the ashes of war.24 Oshin’s indomitable perseverance in the face of a life of tremendous hardship was a deliberate challenge to the generation who had grown up during Japan’s period of high growth, knowing nothing of war and little of deprivation. Told in flashbacks over nearly three hundred episodes, Oshin was deliberately and unapologetically nostalgic for values that the show’s creator, Hashida Sugako, believed were being erased by economic growth. Oshin was an encomium to the resilience and optimism of an older generation of women especially, and a morality play for their daughters and granddaughters.25 For Oshin, Tōhoku was a symbol of the national past to be surveyed from the safe place of modernity and prosperity. It was at once the physical and temporal locus of the “bad old days” of abject rural poverty and a privileged repository of values and traditions lost to middle-class, urban Japan as the nation moved ever onward and upward. Consumed by the fetish of growthism since the 1950s, dislocated and relocated around the archipelago by shifting economic structures and opportunities, accommodating to the homogenizing forces of “rational” economic growth in a repeat of a pattern seen in the 1880s, for example, many Japanese a century later were beginning to struggle with a sense of unease about their identity.26 Oshin, as the mouthpiece of Japan itself, explains to her grandson that she worries that something has been lost in the headlong rush to overcome the past and build the future.27 “I threw myself into work. I ran with everything I had, never looking back.”28 It is no coincidence that when she does look back for that lost something, she returns first to her birthplace in the mountains of Tōhoku, in a small, (significantly) abandoned village in Yamagata.

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As noted, Oshin was not the first to head north into the past or to find in the rural villages of Tōhoku the preserved remnants of a talismanic national identity that could serve as a form of resistance to the sweeping vicissitudes of modernity. But by the time her grandson piggybacked the fictional Oshin through knee-deep snow to her birthplace in April 1983, the Northeast was firmly established in the canon of sentimental balladry known as enka as an imaginary national home (furusato), what L. Keith Brown called “the place of one’s origins, if not birth.”29 Oshin built on these preexisting notions of Tōhoku as the heartland and privileged locus of the sacrosanct national past. In turn, this new interpretive frame was drawn upon by popular public intellectuals like Umehara Takeshi. Tōhoku as nostalgia did not erase Tōhoku as Noble Savage. Though nostalgia tended to overshadow nobility after the early 1980s, it was an addition, not a replacement. Because of his broad popular appeal, Umehara’s post-Oshin intervention was of special importance in making nostalgia a key emotional prism through which both intellectuals and the reading public interpreted Tōhoku. Akasaka Norio inherited and systematized this perspective as Tōhokugaku, modeling himself on the Yanagita-Umehara romance of “folklore as history” to become the most popular figure writing on the culture and history of the Northeast. Still, the image of the Noble Savage lived on, perhaps most strikingly in popular media. NHK’s 1993 flagship historical drama, Homura tatsu (Blazing Flame), was undoubtedly a landmark in this sense, ennobling the Emishi for television audiences as never before. But it was Miyazaki Hayao, unarguably one of the most important purveyors of popular culture in Japan, who brought Tōhoku as Noble Savage to Japan and the world in the 1990s. Miyazaki’s 1997 blockbuster animated feature Princess Mononoke remains one of the top grossing feature films in Japanese history. Reviewers and fans alike lavishly praised the movie’s story, artwork, cinematography, and soundtrack. Mostly lost in this avalanche of kudos was the fact that the movie’s protagonist, Ashitaka, is an Emishi prince. Ashitaka is an archetypal Noble Savage, strong and heroic but also fair, self-sacrificing, highminded, and virtuous, uncorrupted by the temptations and hubris of

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technology-driven anthropocentric modernity. Casting an Emishi as the hero, especially in opposition to a range of antagonists that represent various aspects of “Japanese” culture and modernity, was a quantum leap akin to the transformation of “Indians” into heroes and “Cowboys” into villains in the Westerns Ichiriki mentions. Miyazaki neatly tied together the strands of Takahashi’s victimized Emishi, Ichiriki’s Native American Emishi, and Umehara’s affluent forager Emishi to create the ultimate Noble Savage. This book is a history of ideas, ideas about the idea of Tōhoku. I emphasize this because it is important to be clear that my intention is neither to verify nor refute the truth claims of the authors discussed. For instance, I do not question whether Tōhoku is a meaningful category of analysis. As discussed above, there are many solid reasons not to assume internal Tōhoku unity at any period in history, but it is the discursive construction of Tōhoku as an idea and its relationship to narratives of Japanese history that concern me. My intervention in such areas is deliberately minimal because my interests lie in questions of narrative plausibility and collective identity discourse. Fundamentally, the field of postwar Tōhoku studies has always been invested in the question of large-group collective identities, both national and regional. It is therefore always-already entwined in the dialectic of “us” and “them,” and exhibits commonalities with other “us-them” discourses. As such, the psychological literature of largegroup identity can be employed to see Tōhoku studies as more than just a phenomenon of Japanese postwar history. Though heavily inflected by the particularities of time, place, and historical context in which it arose, the postwar Tōhoku studies movement is simultaneously an expression of psychological universals. One of these is the role of trauma in narrating collective identity. Psychologist Vamik Volkan is known for his important research on the role of “chosen traumas” and “chosen glories” in producing and sustaining ethnic, national, and religious large-group identities. His work helps explain why and how Tōhoku studies has “worked” since 1945. According to Volkan, collective glories and traumas, mythologized and transmitted intergenerationally, form a critical basis for large-group identity. Chosen glories are positive representations of

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events and people important to group identity. These narratives are pleasurable, building self-esteem through association with a glorious collective past.30 In contrast, chosen traumas are collective mental representations of tragedies given significance as shared markers of collective identity.31 This means that trauma has a dual function in enforcing group identity, one negative and the other positive. First, the wrongs of the past against the collective must be righted by the collective. Volkan echoed Ernest Renan’s observation a century earlier that, when it comes to national memory, “tragedies matter more than triumphs, for they impose tasks and command communal effort.”32 In other words, chosen traumas are a command from the past to rectify injustices perpetrated on the collective body. Even in those unusual cases where redemption is found, the satisfaction of this new “chosen glory” also bolsters positive group identity. This is related to the second point, namely that surviving or overcoming victimization can “build a group’s self-esteem as . . . the progeny of a long line of survivors.”33 This is why humiliation and the threat of humiliation feature prominently in the origin myths and identities of so many collectivities. National humiliation is a prominent aspect of contemporary Chinese nationalism, for example, which draws heavily on the trope of a “century of humiliation” beginning with the Opium Wars and ending with victory over Japan in 1945.34 The word “myth” has dual meaning. Though in common parlance, the term connotes fabrication and misrepresentation of the facts, as Richard White wrote in his magisterial history of the American West, “myths are not so much falsehoods as explanations. Myths are stories that tell why things and people are what they are.” Myths shape our understanding of the world and the actions we take, thereby shaping the world itself.35 This is why Walker Connor argued that “what ultimately matters is not what is but what people believe is,” and why Svetlana Boym wrote, “Fantasies of the past determined by needs of the present have a direct impact on realities of the future.”36 Myth is a narrative product of struggle with our past, with our history, with memories both personal and historical, private and collective. As we struggle, we “engender a collective field of imaginable possibilities . . . a restricted array of plausible scenarios” for understanding the past, present, and possible futures.37 Myth may

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be a kind of fantasy of the past, but it is the kind that determines the actions we take to understand and shape the present and future. The myths that are the central concern of this book relate to the social imaginary of Japanese national identity. The social imaginary is composed of the shared visions of past, present, and future that together form a hegemonic field “of national history and public memory, where the past is collectively constructed, disputed, and perpetuated” as part of imagined collective identities like that of the nation, according to Carol Gluck.38 The difference, if any, is the orientation toward the past or future, though as noted, memory, imagination, and action are locked in a web of mutual reinforcement. The popular imagination of a shared past and identity is indispensable to the study of history. As sociologist Mita Munesuke argued, “if history is approached as currents in the life experience of people . . . then the images of modern Japanese history which have precipitated in the hearts and minds of the people are indispensable to a grasp of the nation’s past or future.”39 It is the social reality of national identity, and its relation to shifting popular conceptions of national history, that is at stake in postwar Tōhoku studies. This book is divided into two sections. The first three chapters focus on early postwar Tōhoku studies. The final two chapters take a longer perspective, covering the entire period from 1945 to 2011. Postwar Tōhoku studies, I argue in chapter 1, was born in March 1950 at Chūsonji, a temple in northern Tōhoku. Data from scientific studies carried out there that spring were responsible, along with the intellectual consequences of war and defeat, for an epistemic break, a revolution in the ways that the Northeast could be understood. Chapters 2 and 3 address the intellectual foundations of postwar Tōhoku studies, viz. the reinterpretation of the region as Japan’s oldest colonial victim, and the refutation of racially founded views of Northeastern inferiority. In both cases, I show that the context of Japan’s failed modern empire were read into the ancient history to produce a narrative that was rhetorically powerful and had emotional plausibility in the atmosphere of the early post-defeat years.

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The subject of chapter 4 is Hiraizumi, a twelfth-century polity whose domain encompassed the entire Northeast. By the 1960s, one thrust of postwar Tōhoku studies was emphasis on the glories of Hiraizumi. Hiraizumi’s appeal to scholars of Tōhoku was twofold. It was autonomous—not incorporated into “Japan proper”—and had achieved cultural and economic heights rivaling Kyoto by hybridizing the best of Japan with the best of Tōhoku. When early Tōhoku studies sought new values for Japan, Hiraizumi was most often the source. But only a few years after Umehara Takeshi began to insert the Northeast into a position of privilege within the core narrative of Japanese national history, Hiraizumi was claimed by the Japanese state as part of its integral patrimony. The identity of Hiraizumi was sharply redefined by Tokyo’s sudden interest in nominating the northern city as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hiraizumi became part of the national past, but also the patrimony of humankind. Perhaps inevitably, Japan’s international soft power game stripped Hiraizumi of much local meaning. Finally, chapter 5 shows how midcentury primitivist “Jōmonism” was integrated into Tōhoku studies by Umehara Takeshi in the 1980s, and how this line of analysis was taken up and institutionalized by folklorist Akasaka Norio in the 1990s. Umehara combined the messages of early postwar Tōhoku studies with evidence from art history, archaeology, and anthropology in his argument that Japanese national culture was a hybrid of Jōmon (indigenous, Neolithic hunting-gathering) and Yayoi (foreign, wet-rice agriculture) elements. Jōmon was the true root of the Japanese ethnic nation and culture, and Tōhoku the area in which Jōmon flourished most. Umehara inverted the standard narrative of Japanese national identity, making Tōhoku Japan’s true homeland and true past. Akasaka carried on Umehara’s new (nostalgic) Tōhoku studies as Tōhokugaku, modeling his Tōhoku Culture Research Center (Tōbunken) on Umehara’s International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto (Nichibunken). Tōbunken glorified Tōhoku’s history and culture as a panacea for the ills of civilization and modernity, shifting emphasis from Japan as a whole to the ostensible roots of national culture in the Northeast.

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Chapter One

The Moment Hiraizumi, 1950

The Birth of Postwar Tōhoku Studies The study of Tōhoku’s history in the first decades of the postwar was defined by a desire to redefine the region’s place within Japanese national history. It would be predicated on the newfound nobility of resistance to Japanese rule, and the associated disassociation of the region’s ancient population from simplistic racial definitions that had pitted superior Japanese against Tōhoku’s savage indigenes in a colonialist morality play of the mission civilisatrice. By the 1960s, the twelfth-century Hiraizumi polity that had ruled over the region would be held up by some scholars not just as the fruition of the Northeast’s dream of independence from Japan, but simultaneously as a model for postwar Japanese socioeconomic development and a new value system. March 1950 marks the “moment” at which distinctively postwar Tōhoku studies began. The quantitative authority of science was brought to bear on the mummies of Hiraizumi’s long-dead rulers and their de facto mausoleum, decisively changing the historical narrative of what Tōhoku had been and could be. As Kikuchi Tetsuo would later reflect, this was the dawn of an age of scientific positivism in the study of Hiraizumi and Tōhoku, in which the task of reading between the lines of a sparse documentary record that was by turns merely prejudiced and outright hostile was made easier by

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accrual of anthropological and archaeological data.1 More broadly, scholars and public intellectuals in subsequent years and decades had access to a repertoire of scientific justifications for rereading Tōhoku’s history, and these findings informed and enriched new interpretations that grew out of the experience of Japan’s defeat in World War II. In a word, the studies conducted at Chūsonji in 1950 shook up conventional views of Tōhoku’s history, setting the stage for a reimagining of the region’s history as a legitimate source of materials for postwar national renaissance. Methodologically, the 1950 studies covered multiple disciplines, bringing together documentary history, archaeology, and the natural sciences. This was the first time that the natural sciences had been applied to a major public research project on the history of the Northeast, and the results were eye-opening and path-breaking. In addition to several historical analyses, the scholars and scientists gathered at Chūsonji that spring produced research on a wide range of subjects, including physiological and radiological analyses of the corpses, classification of the parasites and microbes found in the coffins, and phytobiological analysis of seeds buried together with the bodies. The historical studies that accompanied these new findings seem to have been written with a sense of anticipation that the new data would result in major strides forward for the study of Tōhoku and Hiraizumi within the context of Japanese national history. All of this research was presented at a conference at Chūsonji and the preliminary reports were published that year as Chūsonji to Fujiwara yondai. This research was a watershed, a point from which prevailing views of the Northeast and its history and culture were irrevocably changed. This was neither an immediate nor an absolute shift, but it tipped the balance of the scales. Though it is unlikely that the scholars involved saw it in these terms, the research conducted in 1950 was a catalyst, the impetus for epistemological change. What was at stake that spring? Why were these studies so impor­ tant and influential? The answers can be found in long-standing uncertainties about the historical and racial identity of Hiraizumi. The significance of the 1950 studies at Chūsonji can only be grasped

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in the dual context of Hiraizumi’s history and historiography. In other words, we must first understand, to the greatest extent possible, what transpired in the centuries between the proclamation of the Taika Reforms in 645 and the fall of Hiraizumi in 1189. During these centuries, Tōhoku was a contested territory. This time was marked by Emishi-Japanese tensions that sporadically flared up into spectacular violence, capped by a century-long Pax Hiraizumi. It is also imperative to situate the 1950 studies within a lineage of scholarly interpretations of Hiraizumi’s heritage, history, and significance for Japanese national history. What did it mean, for example, in the years of the Japanese Empire, that Hiraizumi had prospered beyond the pale, yet clearly in constant and intimate dialogue with Japan? Rank, power, and wealth did not, however, erase lingering prejudices against Hiraizumi in either the twelfth century or the twentieth. Though its Ōshū Fujiwara patriarchs were trusted and capable managers of estates, taxes, and trade, there is no lack of evidence that many in Kyoto’s upper echelons looked down on Hiraizumi as a nouveau riche backwater run by men barely better than their barbarian (Emishi) ancestors.2 Hiraizumi was not just a major political and economic power, but also a cultural force to be reckoned with. Hidehira, grandson of the city’s founder and so-called “king of the north” (hoppō no ōja), exemplified the stature of Hiraizumi at its zenith. As an indispensable strategic ally to high-ranking Fujiwara and Taira nobles in the capital, he was elevated to the highest court rank ever attained by a man of Emishi descent, and was named general of the peacekeeping command (chinjufu shōgun), the highest military rank in the Northeast. These unprecedented heights for a provincial—let alone an Emishi—were the cause of not a little consternation and scandal in the capital. Hidehira presided over a massive domain reputedly capable of fielding more than ten thousand cavalrymen, and traded with partners throughout and beyond the archipelago, including Ainu traders, Song merchants, and noble allies in Kyoto. And Hidehira commissioned Hiraizumi’s third great temple, Muryōkōin, which he modeled on the famous Phoenix Hall (Hōōdō) of Fujiwara no Michinaga’s Byōdōin, outside of Kyoto.

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The question of how the Emishi and Hiraizumi fit into Japanese history remained unresolved in 1950, and indeed unanswerable without some solid conclusion about the racial and cultural identities of the Ōshū Fujiwara. In the twentieth century, with the injection of an explicit Western discourse of race into the mix, the possibility that Hiraizumi’s ruling family was not just uncivilized but actually Ainu was troubling. The racial identity of the Hiraizumi Fujiwara men (as a synecdoche for the identity of Hiraizumi as a whole) was considered highly relevant to the question of how Hiraizumi fit into Japanese national history—the history of the Japanese people and their state. Modern racial thinking had reframed the historical question of Emishi identity as one of an immutable racial boundary between the Japanese Self and the Emishi-Ainu Other. And the vague conflation of race and culture that characterized racial thinking implied that there existed incompatible Ainu and Japanese “racial cultures.”3 If so, in light of the dominant EmishiAinu thesis, what of the universal agreement of the genealogies and old stories that the Ōshū Fujiwara were half Emishi? Even without this racialism, east-west historical animosities and a pervasive sense of Tōhoku’s cultural and socioeconomic backwardness vis-àvis Japan were enough to make any admission of independent value to Hiraizumi—as representative of the Northeast—unpalatable. For these reasons, race, history, and their relationships to national identity were front and center in the minds of the small group of scholars who clustered around the coffins of the Fujiwara men in the spring of 1950.

Toward Hiraizumi, 1950 In 1950, little remained of the glorious twelfth-century city of Hiraizumi, from which four generations of the Ōshū Fujiwara family presided over a domain that nominally included all of Northeast Japan, from Fukushima to the Tsugaru Strait and perhaps beyond. Hiraizumi, deliberately and strategically located in the center of

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Sotogahama Aomori

Akita Iwate









Map 2  Location of Hiraizumi at the north-south center of Tōhoku. Courtesy of CELC, Inc., Morioka, Iwate, Japan.

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Tōhoku on the Kitakami River and main north–south road through the region (map 2), controlled Japan’s only significant gold mines, and used this wealth wisely over the course of a century to become a major nexus of economic, political, and cultural power in Japan and East Asia. The city and its polity were part of trade networks that stretched across not just the Japanese archipelago, but north into the Kurile Islands, south into the tropics, and west across the Asian continent as far as Africa. As many as one hundred thousand may have inhabited Hiraizumi at its peak, but that number has shrunk to less than nine thousand today.4 Modern Hiraizumi is mostly a tourist trap, unassuming save for a few exceptional buildings, relics, and ruins that have survived the ravages of unkind centuries or been exhumed in recent decades. In 1950, the town had not even begun this postwar transformation. It was dominated by the scars of war and recent typhoons, and a sense of bleak melancholy had settled over the ruins. One of these ruins was that of Mōtsūji, once a massive temple complex at the southern edge of the great city. Mōtsūji had been strategically placed at the main overland entrance to Hiraizumi, at the point where the great outback road leading from the Kanto plains fed into the northern capital. The effect was calculated to be staggering. Nearly identical twinned halls were set at the edge of an artificial lake spanned by a set of two bridges meeting at a central island. The temple grounds were laid out according to the precepts of Sakuteiki, the treatise on garden making favored by the Kyoto nobility. Weary travelers making the long northward journey were greeted by a spectacle of wealth, power, and cultural currency the likes of which could be found nowhere between Hiraizumi and Kyoto, hundreds of kilometers and many days and weeks of travel to the southwest. Mōtsūji today presents quite a different picture to tourists making the ten-minute walk from Hiraizumi’s small rail station or from one of the town’s other nearby attractions. Nothing remains of the great halls but their foundation stones. Though the lake and garden have now been partially restored, the new main hall, slab concrete museum, and scattered smaller halls of varying age and

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importance fail to make the kind of breathtaking impression for which the temple was originally designed. Standing at the remains of the old temple gate, gazing over the island to where Mōtsūji’s halls, Enryakuji and Kashōji, once stood, it is easy to be struck by a feeling of irreparable loss. Indeed, one of tourists’ most memorable encounters at Mōtsūji is often with a stone monument standing unobtrusively off to the side of the path leading from the ticket window to the main hall. Like Mōtsūji’s main halls, two monuments are paired. To the right of the path is the Japanese version of a famous haiku by the master, Bashō, to the left an English translation by one of modern Japan’s most famous modern statesmen, Nitobe Inazō: The summer grass ’Tis all that’s left Of ancient warriors’ dreams

Bashō’s brief verse brilliantly evokes the pathos of visiting Hiraizumi after its fall in 1189 to the conquering armies of Minamoto no Yoritomo, who would soon thereafter establish the first shogunate in Kamakura. By the time Bashō mused on the cruelty of history five centuries after the city was taken, Hiraizumi was a provincial backwater of relatively little importance beyond its one major working temple, Chūsonji. The meteoric rise and equally precipitous fall of the greatest provincial power Japan has ever known is infused with the bittersweet romance of great aspirations unfulfilled and audacious paths never walked. Never one to pass up the opportunity for a pithy and erudite reference, immediately before his ode to Hiraizumi’s tragic past, Bashō wrote, with a nod toward the great Chinese poet Du Fu: “The state is destroyed, only the mountains and rivers remain.” With respect, Bashō was a better poet than historian. Hiraizumi left behind more than just mountains and rivers. The warriors whose frustrated dreams Bashō lamented are interred at neighboring Chūsonji, preserved in the daises of Hiraizumi’s sole extant twelfth-century structure, the hall known as the Konjikidō. Chūsonji is Hiraizumi’s major attraction, and the Konjikidō its crowning jewel. Though less than six meters

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on a side and not more than eight meters high, the hall is a remarkable structure. Completed in 1124, the Konjikidō is, as the name indicates, a “golden hall.” It is covered in gold leaf, its interior richly outfitted with lacquer, jewels (now missing), and imported iridescent shell and ivory inlay. Here again, Bashō provides the enduring classical image. In another poignant tribute to Hiraizumi—and one that not incidentally shows that, literary flourishes aside, Bashō was fully aware of the miraculous survival of Hiraizumi’s greatest treasure—he called the Konjikidō “hikaridō,” the “Radiant Hall,” or as Haruo Shirane more literally translates it, the “Hall of Light.” Summer rains Come and gone, leaving The Radiant Hall5

The Radiant Hall still sits, as it has for nine centuries, near the peak of a hillock called Kanzan that houses the Chūsonji temple complex. In its current state, the wooden roof tiles are bare, but the entire hall was once covered entirely from base to finial in gold leaf. Inside are three daises, each with an array of Buddhist statuary that includes a central Amida (Amitābha) and six Jizō (Ks·itigarbha) statues, one for each of the six realms of existence. The flanking daises are set further back in the hall; the pillars surround the central dais. The Konjikidō is now shielded from the elements—and cameras— by a nondescript concrete shell completed in 1965. The decrepit wooden “sheath hall” (sayadō) that once protected the golden hall is preserved nearby. Even before Hiraizumi’s cultural heritage was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in the summer of 2011, the temple grounds bustled with carloads and busloads of tourists from near and far, dutifully filing past the golden hall on the way to or from the temple museum, completed in 2000, many pausing for group photos in front of the protective concrete outer building. In 2012, the first full year following World Heritage designation, the number of tourists visiting Hiraizumi topped 2.6 million, nearly all of whom made their way through to Chūsonji.

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But in the late 1940s, like so much of Japan, Chūsonji was physically and financially devastated by nearly two decades of war and occupation. The war had bled most of Japan dry, impoverishing all but a very few. In the Northeast, the ravages of war were compounded by deadly typhoons. Tōhoku had not yet recovered from 1947’s Typhoon Kathleen when Ione tore through the area in mid-September of the following year. Ione left more than six hundred dead or missing, nearly five hundred injured, over three thousand five hundred buildings destroyed or damaged, and total damage exceeding 12.75 billion yen in Iwate Prefecture alone. The Hiraizumi area was particularly hard hit; newspapers reported that more than 80 percent of the buildings in neighboring Ichinoseki were damaged.6 Moreover, Chūsonji was hurt by the American-led occupation’s land reforms of 1947–50, losing all of its paddy land. As a result of these hard times, twenty monks were forced to leave the temple and seek other employment. Most of all, the Konjikidō, the temple’s sole extant original structure, was in terrible disrepair, and there was little hope that the nearly bankrupt temple could afford what were sure to be exceptionally expensive repairs. Almost 90 percent of the hall’s original gold leaf was gone, and the lacquer and shell-inlay decoration of the Konjikidō’s interior was cracked or missing in many places. Even the sheath hall, originally erected in the thirteenth century, was no longer enough to protect the Konjikidō or hide its sorry state. If anything, this exostructure was on the verge of collapse, threatening rather than protecting the golden hall. Faced with these seemingly insurmountable obstacles, in 1949 one of Chūsonji’s remaining monks, Sasaki Jikkō, visited Tokyo to beg for government assistance. Though Sasaki intended only to protect his temple and its precious cultural heritage, his trip to Tokyo set off a chain reaction that changed the way Hiraizumi and the Northeast are understood both in academic circles and in the public consciousness. The data collected paved the way for an intellectual and scholarly movement to reenvision first Hiraizumi’s and then Tōhoku’s history and culture. The Konjikidō was rumored to be the resting place of Hiraizumi’s Fujiwara patriarchs: Kiyohira, Motohira, and Hidehira. The first known mention of the bodies interred in the Konjikidō was in the

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second quarter of the seventeenth century. But the government official who met with Sasaki complained that without evidence affirming the Fujiwara men were indeed buried in the golden hall, the value of the Konjikidō could not be proven and a restoration could not be undertaken. The Japanese government had other priorities and insufficient resources, so costly repairs to a ruined temple could hardly be made frivolously. So Sasaki returned to Hiraizumi and informed the other monks that they would have to open the Konjikidō’s daises in order to show that rumors were accurate. As in the case of many sacred burial spaces, rumors and tall tales of men foolish enough to disturb the eternal slumber of the Ōshū Fujiwara abounded, including stories of curses and ill fortune.7 Against these and other objections, Sasaki stood firm. He enlisted aid from the cultural foundation of the Asahi Shimbun Company, producer of one of Japan’s major newspapers, to raise the money and attract the scholars needed to carry out the large-scale, delicate, and multifaceted effort required to procure government funding for repairs. Finally, on March 22, 1950, work began. The primary task of the scientists and historians assembled at Chūsonji that spring was to exhume and study the preserved remains of the daises’ bodies to determine whether they could be positively identified as Hiraizumi’s Fujiwara patriarchs. This proved relatively easy, though the process was not entirely without surprises. The first, an extra head, came when the coffins were removed from the Konjikidō, one from each of its daises. The severed head had belonged to the fourth Fujiwara lord, Yasuhira, who held the reins of power between the time of his father’s death in late 1187 and Hiraizumi’s conquest at the hands of Yoritomo two years later; Yasuhira was beheaded by one of his own retainers as he fled his fallen capital. Perhaps the bigger surprise was the relatively good condition of all four men. It has never been definitively established whether the process of preservation was intentional for all four sets of remains, though the preponderance of evidence would seem to lead toward such a conclusion.8 In addition to the bones and teeth that they had expected to find, scholars were presented with enough skin and tissue to fingerprint and blood-type the bodies without much difficulty. X-rays were also

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taken, and the burial garments and goods studied in painstaking detail. Blood and fingerprint analysis corroborated the hypothesis that the remains belonged to the four generations of Hiraizumi’s ruling family, and dental and morphological data were found to be consistent with the documented ages of death for each of the four men.9 Satisfied with the evidence presented, Tokyo slowly fulfilled its commitment to repair and preserve the Konjikidō. In 1951, the golden hall was declared one of postwar Japan’s first group of National Treasures. It would be five years before repairs began, but in the end the Konjikidō was disassembled piece by piece, analyzed and studied in excruciating detail, and restored to an approximation of its original, twelfth-century state. The studies that preceded and accompanied this reconstruction project promised answers to troubling questions about the identity of Hiriazumi. By the time the Konjikidō was completed, Hiraizumi had brought peace, stability, and prosperity to Tōhoku after centuries of Japanese northward expansion punctuated by sporadic but often rancorous warfare between the Japanese court and the so-called Emishi of northern Tōhoku, who refused to yield their lands and freedom. In 1950, the Emishi were generally considered to have been the ancestors of the Ainu. Hiraizumi, though it had flourished as probably the richest and most powerful political and economic center outside Kyoto in the twelfth century, appeared to have been founded by men who were half Ainu. And for many, half Ainu was too Ainu by half. Hiraizumi’s lineage and location, both far from the centers of Japan, raised too many questions and anxieties. Science would provide the answers, and with them the impetus for a wholesale revision of Tōhoku’s ancient history.

Toward Hiraizumi, 1124 To understand the deep concerns about Hiraizumi’s identity that plagued the scholars assembled at Chūsonji and the prejudices filling the minds of the public in 1950, two contexts are important. The

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first is the history of Hiraizumi itself, particularly its Emishi prehistory, up to the dedication of Chūsonji in 1124. The second is the lineage of scholarship on Hiraizumi, especially a 1915 conference at Chūsonji. The former is treated in this section, the latter in the next. Hiraizumi was the product of centuries of conflict between an expanding Japanese state and local resistance (map 3). Initially, Japanese involvement in the Northeast was peaceful, mostly a matter of applying the pattern of elite alliances and proxy rule that had been successful in the Kanto plain, slowly transforming into policies of cultural and economic assimilation. By the eighth century, however, tensions were rising. Japanese control extended throughout southern Tōhoku, roughly the modern prefectures of Fukushima and Yamagata, and part of the fertile plains of Miyagi. The northern frontier became increasingly violent after 720, as Japanese expansion increasingly threatened the lands and interests of northern Emishi unwilling to assimilate. The 724 upgrade of the state outpost at Taga to the Michinoku region’s pacification headquarters and provincial government office ushered in a new, more aggressive stance by the state, one of “armed colonization.”10 The 749 discovery of gold in modern Miyagi made intensive military conflict unavoidable. Gold was too important a resource for the court to leave anything to chance, and the area still eluded solid Japanese control. The gold strike precipitated a shift from intimidation and show of force to conquest by overwhelming force. Within a decade or so, the court had embarked on what would turn out to be a nearly four-decade series of military campaigns. During this period, the “Emishi problem” was at the center of court politics and policy, as successive administrations organized and directed expeditions against defiant northern Emishi (sometimes called the “Emishi proper” to distinguish them from northerners who did not violently resist Japan), expeditions ending thirty-eight years later with the victory of Sakanoue no Tamuramaro at the dawn of the ninth century. After Tamuramaro’s victory, Japan drew down. Control of the northernmost regions returned to Emishi proxy control; the combination of formal and informal arrangements that allowed this

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Stockades and Fortresses

○ Documented ● Undocumented

△ Documented but unconfirmed Barrier



○ Noshiro ● 878

Akita ○ 733 ● Omono

▲Yuri △

● Hotta

Shiwa 803 ● ○ ○ Tokutan ● 814 Kitakami



Ogachi ○ ● 758 ▲ △ Koromogawa  Kinowa 789▲ △ Hirahoko ● △ ▲ △ ▲ Korehari Dewa (Capital) 767 ● ○ 708 △ ▲ Mogami △ ▲ Nezu ○ ● ○ ● Mid-C7 ○ ● △ ▲ Shikama 737 Taga (Capital)● ○ Iwafune 724 ▲ 648 △ Natori Corps Abukuma

Nutari △ 647 ▲

Isawa 802 Kakubetsu 780 Tamatsukuri 737 Niita 737 Nakayama

Monō 758 Oshika 737 Oda Corps

Agano Namekata Corps


Tamatsukuri Corps

Asaka Corps Shirakawa Corps


Iwaki Corps Shirakawa


Nakoso 0



Map 3  Japanese expansion into ancient Tōhoku. Courtesy of CELC, Inc., Morioka, Iwate, Japan.

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to happen resembled those Japan had employed in the Kanto area before 645. Basically, the Japanese court had applied the Chinese policy of “ruling barbarians with barbarians” in Kanto and southern Tōhoku, naming cooperative local elites to district posts and providing them with titles and prestige within the codes of the state. From the ninth century onward, a version of this policy was implemented in northern Tōhoku. Within this new-old system, the official endorsement enjoyed by the Abe family of “assimilated Emishi” (fushū) in southern Iwate was an exception to the rule.11 The clan’s wealth and power peaked in the eleventh century. Kitakamae Yasuo proposes that the Abe either escaped the notice of the provincial government outpost at Taga (Tagajō) until their power structure had matured, or that officials simply looked the other way in return for the safe delivery of trade goods and tax revenues.12 The latter alternative, or perhaps some combination of the two, seems more plausible; for Kyoto and its provincial administrators, when not a money pit of expeditions and counterinsurgency campaigns, the northern provinces were sources of enormous wealth. For Japan, this was a return to the extractive, informal empire that had succeeded in Kanto and southern Tōhoku.13 For the Abe, safe delivery of taxes accompanied by a few well-chosen extras for highly placed patrons ensured a high degree of autonomy and stability. The Abe lined the pockets of government officials with rare goods from the north while continuing to perform their sanctioned, if extranumerary, role as administrative peacekeepers from their base in southern Iwate. The story of the Abe family’s downfall is well known to historians, recorded as it is in relatively reliable sources like the Tale of Mutsu (Mutsu waki).14 In brief, hubris proved their downfall. Alleging that the Abe refused to pay taxes and corvée, the local governor attacked them in 1051. The next decade was marked by interludes of violence, with the Abe waging a defensive war from their strongholds in the Kitakami River valley. In 1061, the court enlisted another fushū family, the Kiyohara, and with these reinforcements from Akita fielded an army numbered at ten thousand accustomed to the bitter cold of Tōhoku winters. Kiyohara partic-

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ipation decided the conflict known to historians as the Former Nine-Year War.15 In a return to the policy of “barbarians over barbarians,” the Kiyohara replaced the Abe as sanctioned controllers of the north.16 But this new arrangement soon crumbled from within, resulting in a Kiyohara civil war. From the ashes of this conflict rose Hiraizumi’s founder, Fujiwara no Kiyohira, a man who combined Emishi and Japanese noble lineages. Abe no Yoritoki had married off his daughters strategically. His sons-in-law included Fujiwara no Tsunekiyo, a bona fide court noble and formerly a high-ranking Mutsu official. Tsunekiyo fought alongside the Abe, and for his trouble was captured and beheaded with a blunt sword as punishment for treason. His wife and son, Kiyohira, were given as spoils to the Kiyohara leader. The boy’s position in the clan hierarchy was quite tenuous. He was blood relative to none but clan enemies, and heir to nothing. But his fate was to be something altogether unpredictable from these precarious beginnings. When the Kiyohara collapsed from within, the Mutsu governor, a famous scion of the powerful Minamoto family, gave Kiyohira and his younger half-brother Iehira jurisdiction over the Kitakami River basin. Iehira felt slighted when Kiyohira received the richer southern districts.17 Perhaps in a rage, perhaps hoping to eliminate the competition, Iehira sacked Kiyohira’s residence in 1086, massacring his family. Iehira’s plan, whatever it was, backfired. The governor and his brother came to Kiyohira’s aid, and in an unsanctioned war, their combined force permanently destroyed the Kiyohara.18 The so-called Latter Three-Year War concluded with the Kiyohara eliminated, the Minamoto momentarily removed from the scene, and Kyoto wondering when a lasting, stable, profitable peace would return to the Northeast. Power vacuums invite new leadership. The invitee in this case was Kiyohira. Kiyohira next appears in the historical record in 1091. That year he gave horses to the regent Fujiwara no Morozane using his paternal Fujiwara surname. From this, it is generally surmised that Kiyohira took the Fujiwara name and moved his headquarters to Hiraizumi sometime around 1090. This was the beginning,

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as they say, of a beautiful relationship. In addition to official titles conferred and taxes delivered to Kyoto, Kiyohira’s Ōshū Fujiwara line earned legitimacy, stability, and a high degree of autonomy as capable administrators of the estate holdings (shōen) of the Fujiwara regent family in northern Japan.19 Kiyohira was the obvious choice to take control of Tōhoku. He was the last man standing. But he was also more than that. As heir to both the Abe and Kiyohara, Kiyohira undoubtedly found many sympathetic supporters among local warriors and other persons of influence. As a son of the celebrated Fujiwara lineage, he was a legitimate candidate for rank and office. Kiyohira was appointed to the constabulary position of ōryōshi—probably of both Mutsu and Dewa, and at least of the former—which placed him in the third tier of Tōhoku’s provincial administrative hierarchy after the governors and vice-governors. In actuality, the primary functions of the entire provincial government were transferred to Kiyohira, including most importantly the collection, storage, and secure delivery of taxes to the court.20 Kiyohira’s move south across the Koromo River into Hiraizumi was momentous, even epochal. His Abe forebears had been crushed in part because their ambitions were seen to cross this border into Japanese territory, and, as Mimi Yiengpruksawan observes, “no fushū stockade had ever been built on the southern bank of a tributary of the Kitakami River.” In the end, it was Kiyohira’s political acumen, and the seemingly bottomless resources supporting it, that stabilized his position atop a semiautonomous domain that stretched across Tōhoku. Settling in Hiraizumi was the first step to the formation of this regional polity; Kiyohira was redrawing the geopolitical map of the archipelago. He was signaling his choice to be a full participant in the Japanese state, and simultaneously transgressing a sacrosanct boundary.21 Though the Abe and Kiyohara had participated in official governance of the Northeast, with his adoptive grandfather even appointed peacekeeper general, it was Kiyohira’s crossing of the Koromo that in a very literal and physical sense (re)inserted the Emishi into Japan. It was at once a moment of pushback against centuries of Japanese northern expansionism and a declaration of his desire to work with and within Japan.

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Kiyohira’s move south did not erase deep-seated prejudice against the Emishi as cultural inferiors. But the flowering of Hiraizumi under his progeny went a long way to troubling the relationship, calling into question (especially retrospectively) the assumed hierarchy of raw and cooked in the archipelago. Though the trope of the uncivilized Emishi was resurrected time and again down the subsequent centuries as an easy explanation for the socioeconomic backwardness or political resistance of the Northeast, a seed of doubt was planted by the extraordinary heights to which the culture of Hiraizumi rose, rivaling (and by some, admittedly radical, accounts surpassing) that of Kyoto. This seed became a surprisingly robust tree, one that cast a shadow over the study of Hiraizumi into the twentieth century.

Empire, Social Darwinism, and the Emishi-Ainu Problem A second shadow was cast by the addition of modern notions of race—including their conflation with culture and geography—to enforce and fix these ancient prejudices. According to the majority scholarly opinion in the early decades of the twentieth century, Emishi was a racial label, identified with the Ainu. If there was any difference between the two, it was temporal, that is, the Emishi were proto-Ainu. Moreover, that racial heritage was commonly linked to a lasting and fundamental regional identity, so that Tōhoku was considered to have inherited some or all of the Ainu inferiority. The implications for Tōhoku of racial characterization were grim. Japan’s nineteenth-century encounter with the West coincided with tectonic shifts in European and American attitudes about class and race and the continued expansion of both formal and informal empire around the world.22 W. E. Griffis summarized a consensus view when he proclaimed in 1907, “Race is the key to history.”23 Race was a core concern in this new colonial age—and no less

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so in Japan. With racialized reinterpretations of history came the pernicious and self-serving doctrines of Social Darwinism. Though they actually challenged the idea that race was immutable, Darwin’s writings on human diversity did nothing to eliminate beliefs about race and the social effects of racial hierarchy. Quite the opposite.24 Social Darwinist “scientific racism” transformed the worldview of Japanese elites, who had previously shared much with their Chinese counterparts when it came to conceptions of social hierarchies based on birth and culture. The Japanese intelligentsia learned a new set of lessons in the first decades of Meiji. Race was a matter of more than theoretical importance; it was clear to policymakers and intellectuals in Japan that the racial identity of the Japanese would be a determining factor in the fate of the fledgling nation-state. Darwin and Spencer were translated and read widely as Japan scrambled for a favorable place in the world hierarchy of races, nations, and states. Social Darwinist ideas found willing ears not only because of the realpolitik of Japan’s relative weakness vis-à-vis the West, but also because, as Tessa Morris-Suzuki has pointed out, these descriptions fit well with widespread fondness for classification of the peoples of the world that had grown strong in Japan during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the genetic component of racism was accepted relatively easily because it confirmed native traditions of eugenics and selective breeding.25 Social Darwinism naturalized racial hierarchy not as a set of stable, unchanging relationships, but as dynamic relationships between social and racial groups at different stages of human progress and civilization, though in practice the gaps between the “superior” and “advanced” races and their “inferior” and “backward” counterparts were insurmountable, and there was no real diminution of racial prejudice as a result. If anything, the addition of a (pseudo-)scientific apologia (Social Darwinism) contributed to European racism because it naturalized existing hierarchies and placed them within a teleology of progress. Different ethnic and social groups represented different stages of human progress and civilization. Social Darwinist pseudoscience gave the veneer of destiny to vertical racial hierarchies, justifying what was already felt in the gut and acted upon as a matter of both public and

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private policy.26 It would have similar effects in Japan for policies toward the Ainu. By the eighteenth century, even without the introduction of Social Darwinian race theory, the history of Tōhoku was being reconceived as a record of sociocultural and economic “backwardness” linked in a cause-effect loop with a less cultural and more stable concept akin to racial or ethnic difference. Prominent Tokugawa-period scholars like Arai Hakuseki and Motoori Norinaga, for example, propagated this reading of Japan’s National Histories. Their view arose primarily from the fact that the term “Ezo” was used in the ancient chronicles, with the same characters and pronunciation, to mean both Hokkaido and the people of the north (especially, but not exclusively Hokkaido).27 It logically followed that the Ezo on Honshu (Emishi) were identical to the Ezo on Ezo (Hokkaido), in other words, the Ainu. Those Ainu who had once inhabited the northern reaches of Honshu had been driven out or assimilated, according to the Histories. Those primitives marooned on Ezo were their descendants, displaced by the superior Yamato ethnic Japanese after centuries of fierce resistance. Overall, geographical overlap in the greater trans–Tsugaru Strait region, a common hunting-gathering subsistence economy, and similar material culture were evidence enough to treat the Emishi and Ainu as a single population line in different historical stages. One variation, the “Jōmon-Ezo-Ainu” theory, additionally proposed that the pre­ agrarian, hunting-gathering Ezo-Ainu peoples were the descendants of the archipelago’s original inhabitants, that is, the Jōmon people.28 Modern Japanese elites reimagined race relations both in the international arena and domestically, within the fledgling state and then empire. Japan tried—as Fukuzawa Yukichi iconically recommended—to “leave Asia and enter the West,” though it was more successful in convincing the West that the Japanese were unlike other Asians than in eliciting sympathy for claims that the Japanese were like Europeans.29 At home, Japan developed its own “racisms of the interior.”30 The Ainu were made into an inferior internal minority, mirroring prejudices toward African-Americans in the United States and the Roma in Europe.31 The Ainu came to be

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considered a moribund race, their circumstances a consequence of racial inferiority and refusal—exemplified by Emishi (proto-Ainu) defiance in antiquity—to accept the culture and rule of the superior Japanese. Though a small number of scholars questioned the historical accuracy of the divine origins of the Japanese and their imperial lineage, they were the exception. If the Japanese were immigrants, as historical records suggested, the presence of pre-Japanese relics and sites in the isles had to be accounted for. In this, the Ainu were the increasingly obvious choice.32 This was particularly convenient since it appeared that the Japanese had, in the mode of the strong modern nation-state into which the Meiji oligarchs sought to transform Japan, driven those Emishi-Ainu they could not assimilate and Japanize across the Tsugaru Strait into the frozen northlands of Hokkaido.33 By this definition, the Ainu—and by association the Emishi and Tōhoku itself—were “Savages.” After the European encounter with the Americas, the myth of the Savage, first personified by the native peoples of the “New World,” played a dual role in Western thought. The Savage was a comparative tool for both validating and critiquing the superiority of Western civilization. In both cases, the Savage served as the antithesis of Western society. The valence of antipodality shifted, however, as exemplified by the dichotomy between “Noble Savage” and “Ignoble Savage.” On the one hand, the “Children of Nature” (the former) were free from the bonds of civilization, law, and social or sexual restrictions, living in harmony with nature and their own desires. On the other, “Primitive” peoples (the latter) lived outside of time, stagnant, mean, illogical, and uncivilized. If the first perspective was a critique of European society, the second was an homage to progress and development that justified colonization and, by turns, both assimilation and exclusion.34 Relegation of the Ainu to ignobility reflected the dominant evolutionist narrative of civilization, which presented difference temporally.35 When Japan was an expansionist imperial power, it was convenient to see the Emishi, and their historical successors, the Ainu, as a failed race conquered and driven from the rich lands of Honshu to inhospitable Hokkaido by the superior Japanese.36 Thus, Western “scientific

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racism” and the imbricated discourses of cultural and political hierarchy that Japanese elites encountered and embraced from the late nineteenth century enforced pre-existing tendencies to see cultural difference in terms of race, and to see racial difference as hierarchical, with hunting-gathering populations as primitive and in need of civilization by a superior racial-civilizational group.37 This teleology of racial superiority evidenced by cultural accomplishment made race the best explanation for the perceived cultural inferiority of the Ainu. With the Emishi defined as the ancestors of the Ainu, the National Histories’ narrative of Japanese superiority mirrored Japan’s growing confidence as a colonial power, capable of governing inferior peoples.

(In) the Shadows: Ōu Enkakushi Ron, 1915 Both shadows lay long over the 1915 seminar at Chūsonji that produced Ōu enkakushi ron (“On the historical records of Ōu [Tōhoku]”), the most significant prewar work of Tōhoku history. In turn, Ōu enkakushi ron would become the shadow hanging over the 1950 studies.38 The scholars who spoke were explicitly concerned with defining Hiraizumi within the hierarchy of Japanese national history, especially in the light of modern ideas of race and empire. Some six hundred members of the public gathered on the temple grounds as an audience for a seminar cosponsored by the Association of Historical Geographers in Japan and the prefectural and local boards of education. Speakers included respected academics like Hara Katsurō, Kita Sadakichi, Tsuji Zennosuke, Okabe Seiichi, and Ōmori Kingorō. The papers given that summer on various aspects of Tōhoku’s history, Hiraizumi foremost among them, were revised and published the following year. In an impor­ tant sense, this was the culmination and crystallization of scholarly knowledge on the Northeast prior to 1945, and the group assembled at Chūsonji in 1950 was keenly aware of its findings and importance.

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As 1950s Chūsonji to Fujiwara yondai would be, Ōu enkakushi ron was a groundbreaking volume that defined an era of scholarship. The authors brought new approaches and evidence to a subject that appeared intractably mired in historical aporiae. For centuries before this momentous conference, the official history of the Kamakura shogunate, Azuma kagami, had been chief among a small handful of sources on Hiraizumi generally considered reliable. Victors do write the histories, after all. The next impor­ tant work on Hiraizumi had to await the late eighteenth century, when Sendai clan doctor Aihara Tomonao produced his eclectic “Hiraizumi trilogy” (Hiraizumi jikki, Hiraizumi kyūseki shi, and Hiraizumi zakki). Aihara combined materials from Azuma kagami and literary sources with ethnographic details gleaned from his own visits to Hiraizumi.39 In contrast, Ōu enkakushi ron for the first time incorporated courtier diaries such as Gyokuyō and additional fictional and semi-fictional narratives such as Konjaku monogatari to supplement the traditional sources. It was also highly influenced by the context of empire, as reflected in sudden increased interest in the “development” of the Northeast through the importation of the culture of the capital, and in Hiraizumi as the pinnacle of culture in the Northeast. In short, Ōu enkakushi ron was momentous for both its attention to triangulating Hiraizumi historically through the use of more sources than ever before, and also its revival of concerns about the racial lineage of the Hiraizumi Fujiwara. Ōu enkakushi ron became a landmark for subsequent historical research on Tōhoku and Hiraizumi in the twentieth century, a fixed point to which both admirers and critics returned and around which they oriented their work. The papers presented by Hara Katsurō and Kita Sadakichi were of particular importance. Both historians saw Tōhoku and Hiraizumi through the lens of Japan’s modern empire building. Hara addressed culture and economy, Kita race and assimilation. These were key issues on the minds of Japanese intellectual elites and policymakers at the time, especially in the wake of Japan’s unprecedented victory in the Russo-Japanese War and the waves of approbation from colonized peoples around Asia and the world, as a sense of mission to “liberate” Asia from the

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“white peril” was driving many to consider the future of an Asian order with Japan at its apex and the many “backward races” of Asia under its protection.40 To some extent, these concerns had always colored the historiography of the Northeast, though prior to the twentieth century they had been conceived in narrowly domestic terms. In 1915, however, with Japan a rising world power and Europe in the throes of the early stages of the Great War, these issues took on greater urgency. The exceptional influence of Hara and Kita’s papers means that they merit a closer look. That summer at Chūsonji, Hara presented a grim meditation on the history of Tōhoku that typified attitudes widespread in Japanese society at the time about the origins of Tōhoku’s apparent economic and cultural “backwardness,” reaffirming that Hiraizumi had been an anomaly, a flash in the pan. Kita is considered one of the most important ideologues of assimilationism in imperial Japan. Despite this, and despite the fact that, as was typical—even de rigueur—at the time, he relied almost exclusively on the official National Histories (the so-called Kiki) for his data, Kita crafted an argument that questioned the inflexibility of racial categories and hierarchies that had been imposed on these ancient depictions of the Emishi. His lengthy paper would become a reference point for the postwar deracialization of historical relations between Japanese and “Other” groups in ancient history. Largely because Kita shook the foundations of racialized perspectives on the Emishi, it was possible for later scholars to see Tōhoku’s history in terms of the merits of culture and the possibility of change on both sides.

Ha r a Katsurō: Tōhok u as Hum i liation Hara Katsurō was a proud nationalist for whom Tōhoku was a humiliation. Born in 1871 as the son of a samurai in the Morioka domain of present-day Iwate, Hara was educated at Tokyo Imperial

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University and became the first professor of Western history at the newly established Kyoto Imperial University. He helped import and naturalize the idea of the “medieval” period to Japanese history, and wrote the first English-language survey history of Japan by a Japanese author, An Introduction to the History of Japan, published in 1920.41 As a renowned world historian and devotee of the West on the one hand and a proud nationalist on the other, Hara found Tōhoku’s backwardness embarrassing. This sense of shame colored his 1915 paper, in which he ascribed its origins to the fact that the Northeast had never been sufficiently integrated into the Japanese cultural and political system. He articulated the view, common in his time, that Tōhoku had always been the most savage and backward region of the archipelago, beginning with the “Eastern savages” of the National Histories. Tōhoku remained an undeveloped outback even after its conquest by Japan, and had only begun its ascent out of abject barbarism due to the concerted efforts of Tokugawa-period daimyo. The region offered little or no value to Japan, argued Hara, who concluded that despite some recent progress, Tōhoku still threatened to drag the entire empire down.42 The roots of this modern problem were ancient. Japan’s failure to civilize the Northeast was, he concluded, much to the detriment of both Tōhoku and Japan as a whole. Since the beginning of historic times, the Japanese have pushed their settlements more and more toward the north, so that the population in those regions has grown denser and denser. If this process had continued with the same vigour until today, the northern provinces might have become far more populous, civilised, and prosperous, than we see them now.43

In short, and appropriately to an age in which Japanese elites were developing a keen sense of Japan’s special mission to liberate and civilize their backward Asian brethren—a “yellow man’s burden”— the level of civilization and economic productivity in the Northeast was proportionate to the degree of Japanese influence.44

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Hara alleged that even within the Northeast, Michinoku (eastern Tōhoku) had always lagged behind when compared not only to the home provinces of southwestern Japan but also to its brother province, Dewa (western Tōhoku). This was related directly to the level of Japanese cultural inflow he found. Influenced by the environmental determinism of American geographer and social theorist Ellsworth Huntington, at Chūsonji Hara cited geography as the central factor in creating a developmental time differential east and west within Tōhoku, blaming the “great spine” of the north–south Ōu Mountain Range, which acted as a formidable barrier to east– west flows of information, goods, and people. Hara argued that, considering the fact that the Ōu range remained a major obstacle to intra-Tōhoku traffic even in the twentieth century, the logistical difficulties must have been truly formidable in the ancient past.45 Though the northern latitudes of the Japan Sea have never been hospitable to sailors, Hara still saw the ocean as a more viable route for bringing “Japanese civilization” to the wild north.46 Hara referenced Ellsworth Huntington’s Civilization and Climate as evidence that northern Japan remained Japan’s backward frontier. Huntington was at heart a eugenicist who emphasized nature over nurture for humans as for plants and other animals. Despite Huntington’s willingness to accept Japan’s meteoric modernization as an exception to his hierarchical model placing the nations of Europe at the top of the world pyramid of civilizations, his “data” showed that northern Japan was still a backwater. In passing, it is worth noting that while these data were entirely subjective they were presented as objective fact. Huntington had surveyed “experts” from around the globe to gauge perceptions of the relative civilizational levels of various world regions. On a scale of 1 to 10, only England was found deserving of a perfect 10. Huntington’s survey split Japan north and south, with the latter scoring a very respectable 8.3 and the former a middling 6.2. If Huntington’s data were specious, Hara’s citation of Huntington was disingenuous. Hara himself was one of the three Japanese surveyed by Huntington to create these world rankings; another was fellow Morioka native Nitobe Inazō, whose translation of Bashō is cited above.47 Nevertheless, Huntington’s

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Japanese informants represented quite well the common sense of their time. Between 1910 and 1920, Hara’s position on Tōhoku shifted somewhat, but it remained negative at its base. Hara struggled to come to grips with the circumstances of his native place during this decade, when Tōhoku’s image as the most backward region of the home islands was solidifying in the public consciousness.48 In a 1911 essay, Hara exhorted his fellow Northeasterners—the “Slavs of Japan,” as he called them—to fulfill their long-frustrated destiny to renew and revitalize Japanese culture: It seems that the new civilization of Meiji continues its endless progress, and that society is ceaselessly moving from one transitional period to another. Yet on the other hand, this new civilization, which was wrought primarily by southerners, is already showing signs of fatigue. The work of rescuing this civilization is the sacred calling of northerners [hokujin no tenshoku].49

What stands out even in this essay is less the exhortation at its conclusion than Hara’s observation that Tōhoku had repeatedly failed to fulfill this “sacred calling” at any time in history, including, pointedly, at the time of the recent Meiji coup d’état. Kawanishi Hidemichi reads this as a “risky and extreme position” occasioned by Tōhoku’s “desperate state.”50 However, this was an isolated outburst in a body of writing that tended more toward frustration and disdain for the Northeast; perhaps it is better understood in light of one Scottish nationalist’s comment, “I am not a nationalist because I am proud—but because I am ashamed, ashamed of Scotland.”51 In 1920, on the other hand, Hara shifted the blame for Tōhoku’s sorry state away from ancient history and placed it firmly on the shoulders of the Meiji state. He had come “to believe that the reason for Tohoku’s backwardness lay in modern Japan’s policy of overseas imperialist expansion.”52 Sadly, he wrote, “just at the most critical time in [Tōhoku’s] development, the attention of the nation was

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compelled to turn from inner colonisation to foreign relations.” Moreover, “subsequent acquisition of new dominions oversea [sic] made the nation still more indifferent to the exploitation of the less remunerative” Northeast.53 Expressed as it was in an Englishlanguage history for foreign audiences, however, Hara’s updated outlook had little effect on the ways that Japanese intellectuals saw the Northeast. The view he articulated in 1915 was far more influential in Japan.

K i ta Sadaki chi : Re l ati vizin g th e E mi shi While Hara’s attention in Ōu enkakushi ron was trained on the problem of modern development and its consequences, Kita Sadakichi focused on the ancient history of Tōhoku-Japan relations. Despite this difference, like Hara, Kita concluded that the inferiority of the Northeast was the result of an unhappy lack of Japanese influence. This was a position drawn directly from the National Histories, which said of peoples like the Emishi, “The distant savages . . . are yet unaccustomed to the civilizing influences of our rule.”54 Befitting the heady context of Japan’s thriving modern empire, Kita agreed with Hara’s primary argument that the backwardness of Tōhoku was a result of the fact that the region had been deprived of Japanese political and cultural influence. It is perhaps ironic then that because Kita’s presentation challenged the racial identity of Tōhoku’s “Emishi” indigenes, it would strongly influence postwar scholars attempting to undo that very conclusion, namely, that Emishi (and Tōhoku) inferiority was the result of insufficient Japanese influence. First, Kita claimed that though known separately as Japanese, Emishi, and Ainu, the peoples appearing in the history of the Northeast were originally and fundamentally of one (mixed) racial lineage, and that the differences between them were cultural and therefore malleable. Kita attempted to sever the ill-formulated linkages between race and culture that dominated contemporary thinking, and to apply this to a reenvi-

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sioning of Japanese history. Second, he showed that the toponym Hitakami and the collection of associated terms were ontological and relative rather than specific and absolute. Hitakami was the land of the Emishi, but neither Hitakami nor Emishi had the same referent over time. Though consistent in terms of the geographies and hierarchies they delineated, the content of both terms was transformed with time and circumstance. Kita disagreed vehemently with the standard view, the EmishiAinu theory. He argued that historically, those peoples who had unwisely resisted assimilation by Japan and refused to take up agriculture were mostly forced off the fertile lowland plains and into the mountains.55 Their descendants were the of Japanese history—“mountain people,” burakumin, eta, and the like. Though the discrimination against them was real, it was the result of their choice not to join the majority culture, concluded Kita. The same was true for the Emishi-Ainu, save that in the case of the Ainu the problem was compounded by isolation. Though of the same rootstock as the Japanese, trapped on Hokkaido the Ainu had diverged from the core Japanese bloodline.56 For Kita, the Ainu were racial brethren of the Japanese, and under the right circumstances— Japanese colonial stewardship—could be assimilated and brought up to the cultural level of the Japanese.57 The same must be true, then, for the Emishi. Kita’s lecture at Chūsonji, based on a two-part article originally published the previous year in the journal Rekishi chiri, is a lengthy and formidable discourse on the subjugation of the Emishi.58 It lasted three and a half hours, requiring an intermission, and spanned more than one hundred pages in print. Kita paid particular attention to the term “Emishi.” Emishi, also read “Ezo,” and occasionally “Ebisu,” is a term with a history and pedigree as fraught and complicated as these multiple readings suggest.59 In the National Histories (Kiki), Emishi referred to peoples in Tōhoku, especially those who resisted assimilation, but in modern interpretations the word had taken on a more explicitly racial dimension. The Emishi were one of several groups treated by the court as non-Japanese, but unlike the Tsuchigumo, Hayato, and Kumaso, for instance, the Emishi were

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a political problem at the time the early Histories were compiled. Though the distinction made in the Histories appeared to the modern eye to be one of race, with the Emishi-Ebisu-Ezo simply the Ainu or their ancestors, Kita brought this assumption into serious question. In Kita’s recounting, when Japanese moved into the Northeast and developed towns, roads, and other infrastructure, many Emishi-Ainu voluntarily joined the project of development, assimilating to superior Japanese culture. This process was mostly peaceful and benign by Kita’s estimation, since the majority of indigenes actively and willingly subjected themselves to the culturally superior Japanese. Consistent with his underlying assumption that the Japanese people were made, not born, Kita argued that this process of “Japanization” (Nihonjinka) repeated a pattern from Kanto and Chūbu in earlier centuries. Kita was reading his own concerns with modern empire and assimilation back into the ancient past. He imagined the Japanese as a mixed race who intermarried with indigenes as they expanded their territory. “Kita was the most important ideologue of the mixed nation theory in the Great Japanese Empire,” as Oguma Eiji has noted, and he has been reviled for this role by some. Others have viewed him more sympathetically, as a rare individual who struggled with the reality of discrimination in the Japanese empire.60 Like many of his contemporaries, Kita considered assimilationism morally and socially superior to the exclusionary racism of the West. Complete assimilation, Kita believed, would relieve internal disparity within the empire. A historical emphasis on assimilation, Kita proudly claimed, accounted for the lack of Western-style racism in Japanese history; distinctions of class and lineage were made, he argued, but not of race.61 Kita understood that race was not a real, salient category for understanding ancient Japan. In the article on which his presentation at Chūsonji was based, he provided a detailed rebuttal to the idea of a racial divide between “Japanese” and “Easterners” (Azumabito). He claimed that “Easterners” were in the end an ethnic and racial hodge-podge, a hybrid like the Japanese (tenson shuzoku, tenson minzoku, or Yamato minzoku)62 but with a different

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culture and economy. When considered as a whole, he continued, the documentary and archaeological record indicated that both Azumabito and Emishi were terms used for peoples prospering east of the Japanese state and its culture—as opposed, necessarily, to the Japanese people, who were part of the mix in the Kanto and Tōhoku areas. As the Japanese state expanded and developed, Easterners and then Northeasterners generally abandoned their old ways and were incorporated into the Japanese state, according to Kita, or were assimilated more gradually and informally by intermarrying and intermingling with Japanese until their original identity was lost.63 If these savages could be Japanized, then they were either of a similar racial stock, or—as Kita himself believed more strongly—the issue of race was irrelevant to the question of imperial assimilation. For Kita, the question was less one of dominance than of assimilation. Inferiority was cultural, and therefore malleable. While it was undoubtedly important to Kita that the Japanese and Ainu shared racial roots, it was more important that the latter could be taught the superior ways of Japanese culture and assimilated as equals into the Japanese empire. When applied to the history of Tōhoku, however, the significance of his contention that the Japanese and Ainu were descendants of the same original group was to begin the process of freeing not the Ainu but rather the Emishi from the yoke of racial categorization. It was an observation made by Kita about the ontology of difference as presented in the National Histories that would cast the greatest doubts on the Emishi-Ainu racial equation. At Chūsonji, Kita presented the germ of an argument that would later be developed into a 1928 article. His conclusions hinged on observations about the term Hitakami. This toponym designated the southern Iwate area recorded as the last and most ferocious bastion of Emishi resistance to the Japanese state in the eighth century. Kita observed linguistic evidence that the Isawa area was merely one of many Hitakamis, and its Emishi similarly one group in a long line of Emishi. According to Kita, “Hitakami” meant a land inhabited by non-Japanese populations (iminzoku). Variants of this term— including Shida, Hida, Hina, Hita, Hitaka, Hidaka, etc.—are found

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in increasing frequency in toponyms of eastern provinces like Suruga, Hitachi, and Michinoku. They are related to and probably derived from hina, the second character in Emishi. This is a character generally translated as “barbarian,” but also homophonous— and therefore, given a degree of overlap in both meaning and usage, easily associated with—another character meaning “rustic” or “uncivilized” and used in opposition to the “civilized” inner provinces that made up the Japanese state. As the state expanded eastward and then northward, Hitakami and its people were driven back in successive iterations. As the Japanese state expanded its sphere of control and civilization to the east, Hitakami receded. Conceptual “Hitakami” was the land beyond, the untamed frontier, regardless of where (or whether) the borders were drawn. As the frontier was assimilated, new wilderness, new frontiers, new “Hitakamis” were revealed. Hitakami continued to identify the land beyond, rather than being permanently associated with any single land area until the final Hitakami frontier in the Kitakami River valley, which, recorded in the historical chronicles, gave the name the illusion of fixity.64 But the real meaning and identity of Hitakami was as a concept, not as a place. The same must be true, Kita concluded, for the Emishi; if Hitakami was the land of the Emishi, then the Emishi were the people of Hitakami. Wherever the Emishi were, that was Hitakami. Wherever Hitakami was, its people were Emishi. If Hitakami was an idea, then so were the Emishi. And if they were an idea, then they were not (simply) the Ainu.65

The 1950 Chūsonji Studies The legacy of Ōu enkakushi ron had added yet another layer of shadow to the 1950 studies. How appropriate, then, that it was research on the “Radiant Hall” and its contents that shed so much new light on Hiraizumi, on the Emishi, and on Tōhoku. While the studies’ official purpose was to analyze the golden hall ahead of its restoration, anxieties about the identity and

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significance of the Ōshū Fujiwara made positive identification of their racial and cultural affiliation a major theme. One participant explained candidly that the team’s mission was twofold. First, members attempted to determine whether the bodies were artificially preserved, and if so by what means. Second, they examined the morphology of the Ōshū Fujiwara to answer the question of whether the “Emishi were racially Ainu or Japanese.”66 The study of the Konjikidō’s mummies was an unprecedented opportunity to apply the techniques of modern science (physical anthropology) to determine whether the Ōshū Fujiwara exhibited characteristics that would confirm the commonsense equation of Emishi and Ainu. The conclusions reached represent an incomplete transformation from prewar and wartime views of the Japanese nation and its racial makeup, but they proved a sufficient foundation for future discourse. On the matter of culture, however, the picture remained unclear and the shadows of the past had not yet entirely dissipated. Historians and anthropologists took the lead in discussing race and culture, as they had done since the previous century. The team of scientists included Suzuki Hisashi and Hasebe Kotondo, the eminent physical anthropologists from the University of Tokyo; physician Tarusawa Sannosuke; microbiologist and biochemist Ōtsuki Torao; botanist Ōga Ichirō; entomologist Mori Hachirō; chemist Asahina Teiichi; and cultural properties specialists Sakurai Takakage and Tazawa Kingo. The non-scientists involved in this project were historians Tsuda Sōkichi and Mori Kahei; archaeologist Ishida Mosaku; art historian Mōri Noboru; and novelist Osaragi Jirō.67 Their conclusions would furnish the ingredients for postwar Tōhoku studies to begin taking shape.

Th e Em i shi and the Proble m of R ac e The lone hardline defense of the Emishi-Ainu theory was made by Tazawa Kingo, who attempted to determine the historical and

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cultural roots of the “mummification” of the Konjikidō’s bodies. Tazawa’s findings were inconclusive, but his contribution to Chūsonji to Fujiwara yondai is important not just because he aggressively argued from and for the Emishi-Ainu theory, but also because he subscribed to a theory of racial hypodescent. Tazawa flatly dismissed as nonsense suggestions that the Emishi were anything but Ainu. “It is obvious,” wrote Tazawa, “that the descendants of the Emishi, who appear in history from ancient times, are the Ainu.” In a classic statement of the so-called “one-drop rule” that has historically dominated racial theory in the United States, Tazawa added that no amount of miscegenation could alter this Emishi (Ainu) lineage.68 Tazawa combined this racial theorizing with the common view of the Ainu as “Ignoble Savages,” assuming that Ainu culture was unchanging and outside of the flow of progress and time. If so, Ainu customs of the present or near past could be assumed to be representative of those at any point in history. Tazawa found precedent for the preservation of the Ōshū Fujiwara men in the funerary practices of the nineteenth-century Ainu ruling classes in the Kurile Islands. In doing so, he stressed the inferiority of the prevailing Ainu characteristics he described. Tazawa wrote of the vast gulf between the “refined sensibilities of the [Heian-period] Japanese” and the “coarse and uncivilized” construction and feel of the Ōshū Fujiwara coffins, and called the mummification process—which he considered artificial—“incomplete and primitive.”69 He thus linked the Ōshū Fujiwara to the Ainu both racially and culturally, and reproduced the unbreachable hierarchy separating Ainu and Japanese. Tazawa reached the conclusion—or more properly, never budged from the presupposition—that the Emishi and Ainu were a single, identical group separated in time and space, and that the Ōshū Fujiwara, polluted by Ainu blood, were Ainu. Tazawa’s Emishi-Ainu position was opposed by the most influential scholars on the project, Hasebe Kotondo, his disciple Suzuki, and historians Mori Kahei and Tsuda Sōkichi. Based on the belief, dominant at the time, that racial characteristics are concentrated in the skull and face, Suzuki and Hasebe together provided an in-depth accounting of the craniofacial measurements taken of the

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Ōshū Fujiwara. Their data showed no Ainu typical characteristics, leading both men to conclude that all four of Hiraizumi’s rulers were “Japanese.” Mori and Tsuda reexamined the historical sources on the Hiraizumi Fujiwara in light of the anthropologists’ new findings. Differences of opinion notwithstanding, there was agreement that the Fujiwara patriarchs were not biologically Ainu, which brought the relationship of the Emishi and Ainu into question. Tazawa had a long tradition to support his assumptions, but the 1950 research would prove, in hindsight, something of a watershed moment when this tradition began ceding ground to new, postwar paradigms for apprehending Tōhoku, Hiraizumi, and the EmishiAinu issue. Over the half century or so of the Japanese Empire, dominant theories of Japanese ethnogenesis had tended to situate the Japanese as a hybrid or mixed nation. This did not, of course, preclude the idea that other races, like the Ainu, were not hybrid. If anything, the unalloyed (ignoble) savage could be mobilized as proof of the merits of miscegenation; the Japanese were superior for having mixed and assimilated, the backward Other was inferior for having failed to do so. Implied in the view that Japan was the “melting pot” of Asia, an amalgam of the continent’s peoples, was a pseudoscientific eugenic perspective suggesting Japan was the most evolved and advanced Asian nation because it was the fruition of Asian evolution. Japanese technological, political, and military accomplishments were proof of Japanese superiority, which was explained by racial origins. As Japan became the self-appointed shepherd and defender of its Asian brothers against exploitation by the powers of the white West, intellectuals justified the nation’s mission to save Asia from itself, beginning with Taiwan and Korea, in terms of consanguinity and Confucian ideals of vertical hierarchy.70 In short, the “mixed-race theories” championed by men like Kita Sadakichi were compatible with the mission of an imperial power attempting to assimilate diverse ethnic populations under its aegis. It is of no small interest, then, that the researchers gathered at Chūsonji in 1950 included three prominent advocates of theories of Japanese endogeny, ergo racial purity, the ideology that would come

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to dominate popular consciousness in succeeding decades. Chief among these was Hasebe Kotondo, the leading anthropologist of the transwar generation. From 1936, the German-trained medical doctor and physical anthropologist chaired Japan’s most impor­ tant center for research and training in anthropology, the anthropology program at Tokyo Imperial University. Hasebe’s place at the apex of Japan’s physical anthropology establishment meant that the German academy greatly influenced Japanese physical anthropology in the 1930s.71 Hasebe also made anthropometrics the defining feature of wartime anthropology. With Kiyono Kenji, a polymath usually remembered as an anthropologist, Hasebe was instrumental in bringing biometric research to the study of Japanese ethnogenesis and population history. According to Morris Low, “Kiyono and Hasebe used physical anthropology to argue that the Japanese had evolved from the Jōmon people with very little mixing from outside,” challenging the views of the Japanese as a mixed nation, and of the archipelago’s population history as one of conquest and replacement, that were dominant in the time and context of empire.72 Oguma Eiji has noted both scholars’ emphasis on ethnic or racial continuity and, especially for Hasebe, the long-term stability of the Japanese national core.73 Hasebe believed in the purity of the Japanese race, but not its endogeny. He understood Japan’s modern population to be the product of partial mixing between two distinct ethnic groups, one Korean in origin. But he located this foreign incursion in the distant mists of prehistory and insisted on the continuity of the Japanese population from at least the Yayoi period. Hasebe’s findings were cited by Furuhata and Suzuki, who shared his basic view that the Japanese were a pure race. Furuhata contended that blood type ratios indicated lengthy Japanese isolation on the archipelago.74 Hasebe and Furuhata believed that despite mixed origins, the Japanese were pure because there had been a lack of genetic admixture after pre- and protohistory. Hasebe’s insistence on minimal genetic admixture after prehistory—that is, on a relatively direct line from the original population of the archipelago to the modern ethnic Japanese, with changes occurring as a result of diet, lifestyle,

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and climate—was in part an expression of a desire for racial purity parity with the nations of the West. After all, was it not the case for the “races” of the West that they, too, had formed not ex nihilo but over time and in response to the unique conditions of their environments?75 Suzuki, Hasebe’s successor at the University of Tokyo, developed the so-called “microevolution” hypothesis of Japanese ethnic continuity, which helped his mentor’s endogenous model of Japanese ethnogenesis to dominate postwar intellectual circles and the popular imagination.76 In the prewar period, Hasebe had been one of a handful of prominent scholars to agree with Kita Sadakichi’s Emishi–non-Ainu hypothesis, and he reiterated this position at Chūsonji. In earlier work, Hasebe had argued that the morphological and documentary data were was insufficient to support the Emishi-Ainu theory. One was inconclusive, the other ambivalent.77 Evidence for cultural, religious, or linguistic commonality between the Emishi and Ainu similarly did not impress Hasebe as proof of any ethnic-racial connection between the two groups.78 While the hypothesis of Emishi-Ainu identity dates back at least as far as the Kamakura period, little more than tradition and ancient documents supported it, he remarked, which proved nothing more than the persistence of old prejudices.79 Instead, remarking that the Emishi were simply one among many “eastern savages” (tōi) in the National Histories, Hasebe concurred with Kita that “Emishi” was essentially a spatially delimited plastic ontological label, not an ethnonym.80 In 1950, Hasebe argued that the Emishi had been “regional peoples among the Japanese” (Nihonjinchū no hōmin).81 Moreover, by the late seventh century, the regional peoples of Hokuriku, Tōkai, and Kanto were mostly or completely assimilated, intermarrying and living together with “Japanese” proper—those politically and economically categorized and claimed by the Japanese state as taxed citizens (chōyō no tami)—who had moved into those areas. By Hiraizumi’s time, the same would have been true in the Northeast, with southern and northern regional peoples mixing even across the Tsugaru Strait. By the twelfth century, residents of both southern and northern Tōhoku included the descendants of

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indigenous “Emishi proper,” transplanted southern Japanese, and Ainu who had crossed over the Tsugaru Strait to live in Honshu. It is unclear, Hasebe wrote, whether there were any left who could be meaningfully distinguished as Emishi, as so many groups had mixed so thoroughly to form a unified, hybrid population.82 Emishi, then, was a cultural label without necessary correlation to race. This new conjuncture opened up previously impossible new avenues of interpretation, avenues that would be explored and exploited by the postwar Tōhoku studies movement of Takahashi Tomio and his cohort beginning almost immediately in the wake of the 1950 studies. Yet the question of culture—of the relative value of Japanese and Emishi cultures—was far from resolved in 1950, as discussed in the following section.

Tr a n spl antation and the Probl em of C ulture Historian Tsuda Sōkichi’s chapter on the historical and cultural foundations of Hiraizumi as published in the 1950 report was adapted from a conference paper read at Chūsonji two years earlier, and therefore does not fully reflect the implications of the research carried out in 1950.83 Nevertheless, it deserves a brief examination for two reasons. First, Tsuda was one of the most influential historians of the early postwar.84 Second, his description of Hiraizumi as nothing more than a poor copy of Kyoto court culture, artificially transplanted into the Northeast, represented a commonly held opinion. Tsuda recognized that the label “Emishi” was probably used for fractious and divided groups without a sense of shared ethnic identity until the Japanese state penetrated deeper into the north, both treating the Emishi as one and necessitating greater unity across previous divides. Nevertheless, Tsuda saw the history of ancient Tōhoku as one of tension and conflict between “our nation (ware ware no minzoku), in other words, the Japanese,” and the “non-Japanese (iminzoku) Emishi,” an indication that more

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important for Tsuda than any possible internal diversity within the Emishi was their incommensurable non-Japaneseness.85 This recreated the standard modern racial or ethnic dichotomy between Japanese and Emishi, in which one was clearly superior to the other. Like Kita, Tsuda professed a belief that the Japanese had always preferred to integrate rather than conquer and enslave foreign peoples, and that it was a measure of the superiority of Japanese culture that many willingly assimilated. For instance, in the seventh century especially, elite Emishi in southern Tōhoku were attracted to the material and status benefits of assimilation, as powerbrokers in the Chūbu and Kanto regions had been before them, and were welcomed by the Japanese. As Emishi leaders aligned themselves with the Japanese state, the Northeast gradually “became culturally Japanese territory (Nihon no naichi).”86 According to Tsuda, by the eleventh century, families like the Abe and Kiyohara, with whom Kiyohira spent his formative years, were so thoroughly Japanized that Fujiwara no Kiyohira “was raised in the atmosphere of Japanese culture” and established his regime on that cultural foundation.87 Nevertheless, Tsuda found this Tōhoku Japanese culture derivative and shallow. According to him, Hiraizumi was not an innovator, but an imitator, not a creator but a follower, and not entirely successful even at that. It was not authentic, little more than a veil that concealed the inferior Emishi nature of its practitioners. His attitude in fact echoes the discrimination apparently suffered by acculturated Emishi in antiquity as second-class citizens: once an Emishi, always an Emishi.88 For this reason, the same dichotomy— and therefore hierarchy—in Tsuda’s interpretation of the EmishiAinu question influenced his analysis of Hiraizumi’s cultural heritage and identity. Hiraizumi was, in Tsuda’s judgment, an admirable but ultimately failed attempt to copy Kyoto, created with a combination of assimilation and transplantation by men who were not quite Japanese in an area isolated from the richness of real Japanese high culture. The failure of Tōhoku to produce a successor to Hiraizumi after the north fell to Yoritomo in 1189 was proof that Japanese (national) culture was the exclusive property of the Japanese, and could not

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be appropriated, argued Tsuda. Hiraizumi’s elite culture was “transplanted from outside,” “suddenly transplanted from Kyoto,” “an unrelated culture transplanted” by the sheer force of Hiraizumi’s wealth, and was transferred from Hiraizumi to those areas under its control, he wrote.89 The suddenness and artificiality implied in “transplanted” is the crux of this argument. Hiraizumi’s elite culture was “a transplanted flower” in unfamiliar and unwelcoming soil, he concluded, accounting for its failure to bloom in Tōhoku after its powerful Fujiwara patrons disappeared.90 The culture of Hiraizumi could never survive in Tōhoku, uprooted and secluded as it was from the fertile cultural center and left in the hands of uncouth provincials, Ainu or not. Tsuda’s paper is an indication of the ingrained prejudices against even Hiraizumi, the most obvious pinnacle of cultural accomplishment in the history of Tōhoku. The situation for Tōhoku as a whole was even more of an uphill climb. Nevertheless, 1950 did witness another historian’s powerful decoupling of biology and culture that advanced a historical—not racial—perspective on the history of the Northeast.

H ybridit y and the Way Forwa rd This came from Mori Kahei, a respected social and economic historian and founder of the Iwate Society  for Historical Studies, who argued that Hiraizumi ought to be understood as a cultural hybrid rather than as either Emishi or Japanese (or, of course, a pale imitation of the latter). Mori cast doubts on the widespread, tacit conflation of race and culture. The Ōshū Fujiwara men’s identity could be defined racially or culturally, he observed, but the issue remained unsettled because racial and cultural approaches could lead to irreconcilable answers. Mori downplayed racial determinism, suggesting both that the term Emishi should be seen in cultural and political terms and that scholars should be more accepting of the possibility of hybridity and miscegenation (cultural and biological) when

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examining the histories of Hiraizumi and the Emishi. Mori did not disavow the Emishi-Ainu theory, but instead cautioned against a facile equation of culture and race. Morphology reveals nothing of cultural affiliation, the more important metric when considering the identity of the Ōshū Fujiwara and Hiraizumi. Eventually, this view would be extended from these issues to the history of Tōhoku generally. Mori had been called upon to provide background and context from the historical record rather than as a participant in the scientific studies. The historian’s job was to provide a basis for interpreting the results of the scientific research. Mori differed sharply from Tsuda on the matter of Hiraizumi’s elite religious and political culture. He pointed out that genealogical records indicated that the Fujiwara were a mix of Emishi and Japanese, not one or the other.91 There was no need to pigeonhole the northern Fujiwara men as unequivocally and exclusively Ainu or Japanese, and no need to assume that Hiraizumi’s culture was either Emishi or Ainu. Instead, Mori suggested considering it a hybrid. And a hybrid was an altogether different matter than a failed copy. Though much was imported from Kyoto (and China), the use of the Konjikidō—a hall dedicated to Amida (Amitābha)—as a mausoleum for the Ōshū Fujiwara rulers was unique because it broke with the orthodoxy that proscribed polluting an Amida hall with death. Perhaps this was a remnant of older regional customs, perhaps an innovation of the Ōshū Fujiwara themselves, Mori wrote, but in either case Hiraizumi should be seen as a hybrid, a synthesis of Kyoto thesis and Emishi antithesis.92 The distinction here is one between political and racial divisions, and the implications are quite different. These insights, perhaps more than any others presented in Chūsonji to Fujiwara yondai, paved the way for a rethinking of Hiraizumi and the Emishi, and with them Tōhoku as a whole, in the postwar decades.

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Concluding Remarks The 1950 exhumation and study of the Ōshū Fujiwara men’s bodies was a turning point in the study of Tōhoku. The issues of race, politics, and cultural identity that had been the focus of 1915’s Chūsonji conference were still at the top of the research agenda in 1950. New evidence, provided by state-of-the-art science and combined with a dramatically changed sociopolitical climate, invited very different conclusions. The 1950 Hiraizumi study added positive scientific evidence to the idea, previously the minority view, that the Emishi were not the Ainu, but a cultural and political group. This challenged notions of racial hierarchy in the National Histories, though not modern racism against the Ainu. At the dawn of Japan’s love affair with science and new experiment with democracy, the revelation that the Hiraizumi Fujiwara men were not Ainu provided the catalyst for a movement to reexamine the value and place of Hiraizumi within Japanese national history. The changing roles of science and history cannot be overemphasized in understanding this transformation. With the fall of the Japanese Empire, historians were forced to confront the limitations of their field. No one needed to be reminded of prominent historians’ disastrous support of the ideological framework of Japanese empire. In place of the statist histories of the war years, a strong anti-historist tendency arose almost instantly in the early postwar. This was a move away from particularism and toward universalism, an intellectual trend that decisively colored postwar historiography in Japan. As Sebastian Conrad has eloquently summarized: the historiography of the postwar decade is . . . celebrated as a shift away from an often nationalistic paradigm firmly in the service of the state, as the overcoming of a historism growing increasingly frozen in positivistic empiricism. In its place, the standard narrative goes, a new historiography had taken the stage—informed by social scientific principles, oriented toward analysis and explanation, and politically critical.93

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“Scientific history” enjoyed great vogue because of the universal, anti-particularist, anti-exceptionalist promise it held out. This was most obvious in the popularity of Marxist historiography, but it encompassed a broader fascination with the “basic laws of world history” (sekaishi no kihon hōsoku), a mantra for the most influential historians of the period.94 The attraction of historians and scholars to science in the early years after World War II was a part of the larger epistemological turn. In defeated Germany and Japan, it was clear that “wartime regimes had ignored science at their peril. .  .  . The ‘irrational’ militarists were ‘unscientific’ in the way they waged war,” as Mark Walker has written, and defeat was in no small measure a result of scientific and technological inferiority.95 This love affair with science would only grow; as Japan began slowly to regain its economic footing in the 1950s, the particular circumstances of defeat and occupation pushed Japan toward a vigorous embrace of the “science boom” sweeping the industrialized nations at the time.96 In many cases the attraction was not science, but rather the veneer and allure of the scientific. Be that as it may, 1950 was the first time that the sciences had been applied on a large scale and in depth to the study of Tōhoku, and the results were eagerly seized upon. It was enormously significant, then, for the future of Tōhoku studies that scientific evidence had accrued against the previously scientific Emishi-Ainu thesis. This had a ripple effect beyond Hiraizumi, becoming the foundation for postwar Tōhoku studies. The 1950 study’s results made it possible to see Hiraizumi as something other than an anomalous outpost of transplanted Kyoto culture, successful despite half-Ainu origins. Furthermore, doubts about Hiraizumi’s cultural dependence on Kyoto paved the way to removing political dependence as well. By the end of the 1950s, the political autonomy of Hiraizumi, as the fulfillment of Tōhoku’s dream of independence, came to be emphasized. The subject of this independence was the Emishi, Tōhoku’s indigenous and legitimate population, victims of Japanese oppression for more than a millennium. Because, as discussed in the following chapter, this occurred in the political and philosophical context of the beginnings of Japan’s reckoning with its recent

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history and its production of a new, postwar value system, when historians looked at the history of Hiraizumi and its Emishi predecessors in subsequent years, it was for many a painful reminder of the sins of Japanese empire. The parallels between Emishi and Japan’s modern Asian colonies were drawn upon by scholars like historian Takahashi Tomio as a powerful rhetorical platform from which to lionize Tōhoku’s indigenous people and history for heroic résistance against Japanese colonialism.

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Chap ter T wo

Japan’s First Colony and the “Culture of Resistance” How wretched have been the last four decades of Tōhoku’s history! Ah, is this the fault of heaven, or of man? —Hangai Seiju, 1906 A central element of war responsibility and war victimhood . . . was the desire to identify with Asian victimhood rather than deny it. —James Orr

Introduction Observing his country’s defeat by Japan in the first Sino-Japanese War, Liang Qichao, perhaps the most important Chinese intellectual active at the end of the nineteenth century, diagnosed the Qing dynasty as the “Sick Man of Asia.” This lament, which paralleled a popular description of the Ottoman Empire as the “Sick Man of Europe,” stuck. To contemporary observers, it perfectly encapsulated the precarious position of an ineffectual and obsolete system— what we might call today a failed state—collapsing under the weight of foreign invasion, natural disasters, famines, domestic unrest and uprisings, and the plague of opium. The phrase was used equally by reform-minded Chinese like Liang and by foreign critics watching five thousand years of civilization dissolve; Liang had introduced the term into Chinese as a translation from an English-language article in the North China Daily News.1 As Zheng Wang, David

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Scott, and numerous others have shown, in more recent years it has become part of the lexicon of China’s “century of humiliation” and the concerted effort of the People’s Republic to manufacture and mobilize humiliation as a motivator for restoring Chinese national dignity and pride of place in the international order.2 The idea of the “Sick Man” and its afterlife as a rallying cry is useful in understanding the ways in which the early postwar Tōhoku scholars perceived Tōhoku and conceptualized—explicitly or not—their project. The metaphor of sickness is a thoughtprovoking one, suggesting a temporary aberration. Illness can be cured, restoring the “natural” order. Sickness is a mandate, in this sense, to get well. More generally, national histories are often based around the theme of victimhood, “sickness,” or other traumas. Régimes of collective national representation are often based on what Vamik D. Volkan has labeled “chosen traumas” and “chosen glories.”3 Volkan’s claim that the glories of the past are less efficacious motivators than are traumas because traumas are inherently unfinished tasks demanding completion echoes Ernest Renan’s observation that, when it comes to national memory, “bereavements matter more than triumphs because they impose duties and command a shared effort” of the collective.4 Both triumphs and traumas are transmitted intergenerationally through education, ritual, and the quotidian apparatuses of what Michael Billig calls banal nationalism.5 Trauma has a dual function in enforcing positive group identity. First, the wrongs of the past against the collective must be righted by the collective. In practice, this is rare, and even in those unusual cases where redemption is found, the satisfaction of this new “chosen glory” also bolsters a sense of positive group identity and cohesion. Second, the survival of the nation despite victimization can “build a group’s self-esteem as the group members begin to see themselves as the progeny of a long line of survivors.”6 In either case, “chosen traumas,” once chosen, are divorced from history and take on an extrafactual life of their own; as Richard White has written, “facts are rarely at the heart of historical disputes,” and though they are by no means absent from national history and historical memory, they are not its substance.7

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The issue is not verifiable empirical factitiousness, but rather emotional plausibility.8 This chapter begins by examining two paired, emotionally plausible chosen traumas that animated early postwar Tōhoku studies. First is the history of prewar and wartime modern Tōhoku. This was the world in which scholars like Takahashi Tomio grew up, and it definitively shaped their worldview. It was another trauma, another “reservoir that can be mined for the construction of identity, for meaning.”9 For Takahashi, the trauma of modern Tōhoku’s “backwardness” was a historical product with deep roots in antiquity and the very shape and substance of Japan itself. Recognition of the rightful place of the Northeast in national history was the first step to rebuilding for the postwar, building a better Japan by rebalancing toward the Northeastern elements. The latter half of the chapter places Takahashi’s reading of the frontier in its historical and historiographical contexts and explores the significance of his mutual constitution model. The “culture of resistance” is discussed in greater detail in the following chapter on the Emishi, who were its historical subject. The second chosen trauma of early postwar Tōhoku studies centered on a feeling of injustice done to Tōhoku in Japan’s national history narratives, which found no value in the Northeast save as a region to be conquered and civilized—a project never really complete because of the inherent inferiority of its culture and people. Thus, the Tōhoku studies movement coalesced in the 1950s around a project to uncover value in the history and culture of the Northeast, both historically and for the future of Japan. The most obvious problem in doing so was to reclaim and redefine the identity of Tōhoku’s Emishi, the much-maligned indigenous peoples misunderstood uniformly as bellicose, savage enemies of Japan and racial ancestors to the primitive Ainu. For this reason, destabilizing and then disproving the facile Emishi-Ainu equation was one of the most important themes occupying historians of Tōhoku in the 1950s and 1960s. What followed was the elevation of the Emishi and of Hiraizumi as positive role models for postwar Japan, as historical ingredients that could be drawn on to shape Japan’s new values

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and new path after 1945 (chosen glories). Both of these aspects of Tōhoku studies were predicated on the definition of Tōhoku as Japan’s victim. In this context, Tōhoku’s “culture of resistance” (teikō no fūdo), which had marked it as a pariah in national history, was revived as a badge of courage and a mark of merit.10 For Takahashi Tomio, Tōhoku’s victimhood was the product of a history that began with colonization in the seventh and eighth centuries and continued, essentially unabated, into the present. Takahashi’s claim was not simply that Tōhoku was a victim. It was that victimization by Japan’s unilateral aggression was the defining feature of the Northeast’s identity from the establishment of a mature Japanese administrative state in the middle of the seventh century through the creation of the Meiji state in the nineteenth. To Japan, Takahashi wrote, the Northeast was historically “a zone of resistance against the unification of the ancient state” and was therefore “treated as a colony.”11 The depth and persistence of this antagonistic colonizer-colonized relationship distinguished and defined Tōhoku as a region. Takahashi recast this as a position of virtuous victimhood. If Tōhoku was Japan’s oldest victim of aggression and colonization, the parallel with modern Japan’s colonies hardly needed to be spelled out. This was an attractive position that helped to gloss over the contributions of politicians, laborers, colonists, and soldiers from the Northeast to Japan’s modern empire. For Japan, embracing collective national victimhood—both of a military leadership run amok and of the horrors of war and nuclear holocaust—helped insulate against the realities of both individual and collective war responsibility. This was not solely a matter of denying Japanese aggression and victimization of other Asians, but in many cases was predicated on “the desire to identify with Asian victimhood rather than deny it.”12 A similar dynamic was at work in Austria, where in 1946 the Austrian government officially identified the country as “the first victim of Hitlerite aggression,” a position initially spelled out in the Allied powers’ 1943 Moscow Declaration.13 For Tōhoku, to be “the first victim of Japanese aggression” was to be distanced from responsibility for the war and for the violence and atrocities perpetrated during

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the fighting. Portraying the Northeast as Japan’s first victim allowed writers like Takahashi to minimize Tōhoku’s role in Japan’s modern empire and instead see nobility in ancient resistance to Japanese violence and oppression. Takahashi contended that the winners had written the history, in which the losers were necessarily always backward. However, he added, if the history of the archipelago was one of East-West conflict, this conflict was one-sided: Japan was always the aggressor and Tōhoku always the victim.14 As discussed in the final section of this chapter, in later years, Takahashi went a step further. Many postwar Japanese intellectuals explored various universalist narratives and methodologies in their search for a replacement for the failed prewar and wartime emperor-centric particularist history. Many historians in particular turned to Marxism, which offered a universalist, “scientific” approach to history in dialectical materialism. Others found solace in Arnold Toynbee’s challenge-and-response model of historical progress. Takahashi was one of a very small handful of Japanese historians to engage with Frederick Jackson Turner’s “frontier thesis” of American development as a universal structural model explaining the process of ancient Japanese territorial expansion and state building. Turner had described the frontier as the center and engine of American history; Takahashi transposed this model to ancient Japan. Turner’s frontier thesis, when applied critically, demonstrated that frontier and metropole were mutually constitutive. This provided Takahashi the analytical framework to write a history of Tōhoku as central to Japanese history.15

The Sick Man of Japan What was Tōhoku before it was Tōhoku? After all, the name Tōhoku is basically modern, popularized only in the 1890s. Premodern Japanese elites had called the Northeast Ōshū, Ōu, and above all “Michinoku.” The word has a complex history that begins with the first of the Six National Histories, Nihon shoki, and includes multi-

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ple changes in pronunciation and orthography over the centuries. As a result, “Michinoku” is something of a palimpsest, but one in which the original meaning of a “land beyond” was never completely effaced. For the nobility of the Nara and early Heian courts, Michinoku variously signified the untamed wilderness of the terrifying “eastern savages” (tōi) and the romanticized land of poetic toponymies (utamakura). The Northeast was by turns repulsive and attractive, wild reality and domesticated poetic landscape.16 Its barbaric natives were to be tamed, its resources exploited, its terror overcome. What has been called the “Deep North” was, for Japanese elites, more of a “Darkest North.” The significance of this emotional-geopolitical ontology of difference to Japanese elites was periodically renewed by wars against the Northeast, from the Emishi wars of the eighth century to the Boshin War of the nineteenth. The early postwar Tōhoku studies movement was predicated on the belief that there had been very real and important political effects of seeing Michinoku as the savage frontier and the Emishi as its human equivalent and embodiment. This was not the mainstream view. The majority of academics and intellectuals who have taken a sympathetic stance toward Tōhoku’s socioeconomic “backwardness” have tended to see the phenomenon as essentially modern, the product of political and economic forces during Japan’s blitzkrieg modernization. Most modern historians have argued that despite real discriminatory attitudes and policies directed against Tōhoku prior to the Meiji Restoration, it was economic and political policies and circumstances in the modern period that peripheralized the Northeast, impoverishing the Northeast and giving rise to what Kawanishi Hidemichi has called “Emishi consciousness,” a sense in Tōhoku of “Otherness,” inferiority, and alienation from the mainstreams of Japan.17 Economic historian Okada Tomohiro’s opinion that “Tōhoku was not a ‘backward region’ prior to capitalism,” but was transformed by the modern state and modern capital into a “domestic colony” by the 1910s, represents the mainstream view.18 The question Takahashi Tomio asked was whether Tōhoku’s subordinate position in modern Japan was simply that, or whether it was long-term and essentially constant oppression by Japan that

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had produced the backwardness of Tōhoku and given it the appearance of a “second nature” (daini no shizen).19 Preoccupation with the history of early Japan and its eastward expansion reflected both disciplinary prejudices—Takahashi and his mentors and collaborators were archaeologists and historians of ancient and medieval Japan—and also the conditions in which Takahashi and his generation grew up. To understand the formative alienation of intellectuals born in modern Tōhoku, this section begins with a cursory sketch of Tōhoku’s history within the modern Japanese state from the 1860s to the 1930s. In brief, the Northeast’s major domains allied against the eventually victorious southwestern forces in the civil war that brought down the Tokugawa shogunate. Whether this decision rekindled historical antipathies toward Tōhoku or whether it can be seen in isolation, it was followed by policies by the new Meiji government that economically and politically marginalized the Northeast. The situation was compounded by natural disasters and misconceived or mismanaged relief efforts. The result was a pervasive sense of alienation and victimization in Tōhoku, and a keen sense both within the region and around Japan of the region’s backwardness.

A i z u a n d the Burde n of Hi story Whether or not the logic of subduing the barbaric East had animated the sweep of Japanese history, as Takahashi Tomio argued, it is clear that this trope was a critical factor shaping responses to the “loyalist” Northeastern domains that sided with the shogunate in its defeat. For the Meiji oligarchs, at least, this indelibly associated the modern Northeast with the Emishi-Ainu history of the region by dredging up associations with historical incidents of Tōhoku acting as a troublesome and unruly adversary.20 The story of the Aizu domain illustrates the premodern-modern continuity in state-Northeast relations. In 1862, facing the dual crisis of foreign relations and domestic political legitimacy precipitated by

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the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry nearly a decade earlier, the bakufu appointed Aizu’s young lord, Matsudaira Katamori, as protector of Kyoto. The shogunate hoped to retain control over the capital and the emperor in order to ride out the danger. This was a short-term success, but when the Satsuma and Chōshū (Satchō) domains found common cause against Edo, the old regime swiftly crumbled. With the resignation of the shogun in 1867, Katamori was dismissed from his protectorship and then, in a move uncharacteristic of his career as an “adroit official, committed only to moderation,” unsuccessfully engaged Satchō forces at TobaFushimi, outside of Kyoto.21 Katamori returned to Aizu to prepare for a last stand, precipitating the east-west conflict known to history as the Boshin War. Scholars generally agree with Marius Jansen’s assessment that Aizu and the league of thirty-one Northeastern domains that rallied together under Sendai’s leadership were fighting less for the Tokugawa (as “loyalists”) than against the Satchō alliance. This was not the commonsense interpretation at the time, however, nor has it been widely accepted in the public imagination of this face-off.22 With the future of government still unclear, the “Northern Alliance” (Hokubu Dōmei) erroneously believed that, like foreign aggression, the internal threat of the southwestern coup attempt might be overcome with stiff resistance.23 Though philosophically many of these northern domains were loyal to the bakufu and skeptical of what a new regime might bring, the primary impetus for the formation of this coalition was probably to plead for clemency for the Aizu and Shōnai domains after the fall of Edo. However, the new Satchō suzerainty (lampooned as a “second bakufu” by one contemporary journalist) viewed this plea bargain as an overt challenge to its authority, and prosecuted a victorious war against the “vulgar domains” of the Northeast.24 The fiercest fighting was at Katamori’s castle in Wakamatsu, where an army of 30,000 southwesterners besieged an Aizu garrison numbering only 3,000. The Aizu forces were overwhelmed. The domain was dismantled along with all the Alliance members save those who switched allegiance at the last moment and received clemency.

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“No other domain was treated as harshly” as Aizu, according to the majority view represented by Jansen.25 Takahashi agreed, writing bitterly, “among [Tōhoku’s] many unhappinesses, misfortunes, and troubles, no fate was more tragic than that of the Aizu domain.”26 The former Aizu domain was removed to the discontiguous and badly impoverished new domain of Tonami, in the northern reaches of modern Aomori. Men like former Aizu samurai Shiba Gorō saw this as “a punishment, the kind of venom that the imperial state reserved especially for Aizu.”27 Harold Bolitho concurs, calling Tonami “one of the new government’s cruellest jokes.”28 In Aizu’s northern exile, starvation was common, leading government reports to concur, “Tonami is the most barbaric hinterland in the empire,” and its people “the most pitiful people in the empire.”29 As Hiraku Shimoda has shown, Aizu was culturally, politically, and even physically “distanced .  .  . from the new ideals of imperial unity” and “estranged . . . from Imperial Japan as a region that was, in short, antithetical to modern nationhood.”30 While Tonami suffered deprivation and isolation, the former Aizu lands in modern Fukushima were an ongoing headache for the new government. The Meiji state completely replaced the domainal leadership with outside administrators, but continued many aspects of premodern policy, including measures of humanitarian and direct economic aid, in the interest of stability. Still, resistance and dissent continued, from peasant protests to actual uprisings, and from samurai petty crimes to large-scale—and seditious—crimes like counterfeiting. Shimoda argues that as a result of these developments Aizu was branded with “a unique stigma within Meiji Japan,” but it might be fairer to characterize the stigma’s uniqueness in terms of its magnitude rather than its nature.31 It was both symbolically and practically important, wrote Takahashi, that the most politically influential domains of the Northeast at the time of the Restoration—Aizu and Sendai—met “such a cruel fate,” and the repercussions were both economic and political, becoming “a fatal inhibitor of progress in the Northeast.”32 Though extreme, the treatment of Aizu can be seen on a continuum with conditions in Tōhoku in the Tokugawa

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period and the resulting attitudes of other Japanese toward the region. Even a relatively sympathetic traveler in the late eighteenth century had commented on the “miserable and poverty-stricken” conditions in Aizu’s capital. Another made casual reference to the entire Northeast’s dodgy historical and racial heritage. Tachibana Nankei’s diary records the Kyoto doctor’s observation that ancient Tōhoku had been “in part dominated by the Ezo (i.e., the Ainu). Furthermore, the barbarians would appear to have lived here until comparatively recently, for there are many barbarous names among the place-names of the Nanbu and Tsugaru regions.” Even now, he continued, in some areas of northern Tōhoku especially, “the customs are very like those of the Ezo, and the people of Tsugaru are disliked because they are thought to be of Ezo stock. . . . For this reason manners and culture are still undeveloped.” As far as Nankei was concerned, there was a measure of plausibility to the oft-repeated assertion that northern Tōhoku had only been incorporated into Japan in earnest within the past two centuries, which implied that much work remained.33

“ Tōh ok u” and the Mak i ng of a Mode rn Pe ri phe ry The resistance of the Northern Alliance of Tōhoku domains laid the groundwork for the way this antagonism would play out in the modern period. With both recent events and the longue durée in mind, the architects of the Meiji state saw Tōhoku as a potential source of instability. Ōkubo Toshimichi, however, also saw an opportunity to down two birds with a single stone. His advisor Sugiura Yuzuru had concluded, in advance of the oligarch’s 1876 tour of the Northeast, that the economic and political problems of Tōhoku could be solved by encouraging former samurai to relocate there and be productive in development projects that would benefit the entire nation by putting the Northeast’s natural resources to work. Economic development of the Northeast would not only benefit the

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young nation-state, but also smooth over the rift opened between Tōhoku and Tokyo. Ōkubo, in common with men like Shibusawa Eiichi, who came after, believed that Tōhoku was rich in resources but hindered by ignorant, lazy people, and only needed proper guidance and a new workforce. In the wake of the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion, which reminded the Meiji oligarchs not only of the fragility of their project but also that danger lurked foremost at its disaffected edges, Ōkubo devised more than a dozen infrastructure improvement plans for the Northeast that would both buy goodwill in Tōhoku and simultaneously extract wealth and resources for Tokyo’s use. He believed that the active and willing support of the Northeast and better access to its resources were necessary to defuse political volatility. Ōkubo’s plans included opening or repairing port facilities, improving roads and waterways, laying rail to connect Tokyo and Echigo, and commencing multiple mining operations. These public works projects would provide at least temporary local employment and long-term benefits to local commerce, but would also make the resources of Tōhoku more easily exploitable by outside capital and the new Meiji government. This, as Iwamoto Yoshiteru has observed, was the best of both worlds: the return on investment for Ōkubo and the new oligarchs could be measured in short-term political gains and long-term economic gains.34 Yet when the modern Japanese state set about developing its peripheries and satellites, Tōhoku—like Okinawa—was passed over in favor of Hokkaido and then the colonies.35 Why is this? Ōkubo supported development projects near Lake Inawashiro, Fukushima, but this vision of developmental capitalism to build up Japan as a strong, rich modern nation while creating gainful employment in Tōhoku was ultimately unfulfilled. Though designed to transform the troublesome ex-samurai of domains like Aizu as valuable national resources, the area quickly became “a dumping ground for itinerants and undesirables,” a strong indication that Ōkubo’s ideas would likely not have worked out as he appears to have intended regardless of subsequent events—and, parenthetically, an ironic repetition of the course of premodern colonization.36 Ōkubo’s 1878 assassination assured that his plans did not come to fruition. The

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shift was one of degree, one that both reflected and took advantage of Tōhoku’s growing “Emishi consciousness” and the socioeconomic underdevelopment of Tōhoku to peripheralize the region as a source of labor and resources for the developing urban center. Journalists and economic historians have described Tōhoku’s subsequent history as one of colonization, roughly equating “colony” with “economic periphery.” In the postwar, an early example comes from a column serialized in Sendai’s Kahoku Shinpō from 1952 to 1955 and published as a two-volume book set in the following years. Journalist Okada Masukichi repeatedly referred to the modern Northeast as an economic periphery and internal colony, bemoaning the predatory policies of the Meiji state that had relegated prewar and wartime Tōhoku to serving as a supplier of cheap labor and primary-industry resources.37 In the early 1980s, Okada Tomohiro gave voice to the economic argument, in Wallersteinian world-system terms, that Tōhoku was a domestic periphery of modern Japan. “Tōhoku served as a ‘domestic colony,’ ” he wrote in 1983, “providing rice and other primary industry products and labor for both the capitalist market and the colonization of Hokkaido on the one hand, and importing foreign rice and light industrial goods on the other.”38 The following year, Iwamoto Yoshiteru explained the situation as a result of the distinctly imperialist economic modernization process that Japan had learned from Europe and the United States. Iwamoto argued that fin-de-siècle “Tōhoku seemed less a dark, backward area than an exciting frontier. But as the Tokyo-Yokohama and Osaka-Kobe areas became industrial centers, Tōhoku was transformed into a food supply base. . . . As England and other advanced nations had their colonies to produce food, Japan made Tōhoku its rice producer—in other words, an internal colony.”39 Both Okada and Iwamoto have been echoed more recently by Oguma Eiji, among others.40 In this version of Tōhoku’s Meiji-period history, the modernization of Japan—complete with transformations of landscape, society, and economy—swept northward in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but instead of benefiting Tōhoku, modernization leapt over the Northeast. Government policy and

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industry choices developed Hokkaido with minimal positive effect on the Northeast. Rail and mining provide salient examples. Rail in particular is symbolic of post-Ōkubo Meiji development of Tōhoku, because in the Northeast it may well have served to increase rather than decrease disparities between center and periphery.41 Iwamoto has lent his voice to scholarship indicating that the rush to lay rail in Tōhoku was a rush to extract, not to develop resources. Though rail was welcomed by many in the north as the symbol of civilization itself, others saw it as a pipeline with which to drain the Northeast. The growth of mining and refineries similarly exemplified the exploitation of Tōhoku’s resources by outside capital; by 1912, a dozen or so outside enterprises controlled the overwhelming majority of the mining operations in the Northeast, funneling resources and profits away from Tōhoku. However, the trains out of Tōhoku were hauling not just minerals, but also laborers for the factories and brothels of the major metropolises. Tōhoku had been remade as an economic periphery to the new urban cores.42 Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the Northeast had been remade as “Tōhoku,” a name for the region that only entered popular usage as the Northeast was being incorporated into the modern state.43 As noted above, the area had variously been known as Ōu, Ōshū, and of course Michinoku prior to the modern period. The first use of the term “Tōhoku” in something approaching its current sense probably occurred in the 1830s or so, but the oldest known record dates from 1868 and the first official, government-sanctioned usage from 1871.44 In this example, “Tōhoku” was roughly synonymous with the ancient term “Azuma,” which designated “the East” relative to the “center.” This broadly defined “Tōhoku” shrank in geographic range to the current six-prefecture region and simultaneously grew in popularity with locals and across the young nation. So, while as late as approximately 1895 the term “Ōu” was still the most popular name for the Northeast, within a decade or so it had been almost completely replaced by “Tōhoku.” The process by which the place name Tōhoku replaced other designations for the Northeast proceeded roughly in three stages over the course of the Meiji period, and says much about the posi-

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tion of Tōhoku within the modern nation-state as well as the fragility of that state in its formative years. In the first phase, which began in the late 1870s, local journalists and political activists worked to popularize this new regional designation as a counterbalance against the negative images of the Northeast evoked by both the traditional toponym Ōu and the Meiji regime’s policies to peripheralize Tōhoku. In time, business leaders began to adopt “Tōhoku” as well, with entrepreneurs using the term in the names of new companies, newspapers, and magazines. Finally, after the turn of the century, the establishment of three major rail lines using “Tōhoku” in their names seems to have cemented it as the preferred term among the public. The 1909 renaming of the Tōhoku Line (now JR’s Tōhoku Main Line) from Ueno to Aomori was the critical turning point in nationwide public recognition of the new name for the Northeast. Already, though, the name Tōhoku had begun to take on complex and conflicting meanings both within the Northeast and nationwide. As the geographic reach of “Tōhoku” shrank to match “Ōu,” and, through the penetration of capital, industry, and infrastructure, came to designate the six Northeastern prefectures, it simultaneously acquired indelible nuances of “backwardness.”45 Negative public opinion about Tōhoku was exacerbated by a string of disasters that struck the area beginning in the 1890s. The massive Meiji Sanriku earthquake of June 1896 took more than twenty-six thousand lives and left the Sanriku Coast devastated. As it would again in 2011, the resulting tsunami rose to nearly forty meters in places, sweeping away entire towns and introducing the word “tsunami” into the global lexicon.46 More than ten thousand homes and buildings and almost seven thousand seagoing craft were destroyed, crippling the area’s fishing-dependent economy. Plans for coastal rail were scrapped and did not come to fruition until the postwar economic boom.47 The damage was so serious that coastal Iwate and Miyagi had not fully recovered when a second tsunami struck in 1933.48 Almost forgotten in the magnitude of the calamity is the Rikuu earthquake that followed in August, killing more than two hundred, flattening over five thousand buildings, and ruining that year’s crops.49

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Only a few years later, a series of crop failures and resultant famines decimated the Northeast, reinforcing negative public perceptions of the region. 1902’s harvest was less than half of an average year. The fishing industry, the second most important source of food and income for the region, was also devastated that year. Catches sank below one-third of annual averages. Even charcoal, fired in Tōhoku and exported around Japan, was subject to massive price drops, resulting in a triple punch to the local economy.50 In 1905, harvests on the unrecovered Pacific side of Tōhoku were hit hardest by the worst harvest since the infamous Tenmei Famine of the 1780s. Nearly 90 percent of fields and paddies in Miyagi failed to produce a measurable crop, and the total rice harvest was only about one-tenth of the annual yield. Losses totaled 76 percent in Fukushima and 66 percent in Iwate.51 Aid to the affected regions poured in, but already there was resentment building against the Northeast for its constant reliance on outside help. The “image of poor and backward ‘Tōhoku’ was gradually implanted” in the public through news reporting and reportage, as exemplified by the agriculture ministry’s use of “Tōhoku” in its reports on these famines as early as 1906, and by pundits and policymakers proposing various “Tōhoku promotion” or “Tōhoku development” strategies.52 Simultaneously, dependency was damaging to self-esteem within Tōhoku. These conditions, coinciding as they did with the emergence of “Tōhoku” as the preferred designation for the Northeast, associated the word with images of an economically backward, impoverished region, a drain on national resources and a dark and embarrassing corner of the new empire. Tōhoku was on its way to becoming the “Sick Man of Japan.” The poor harvest of 1912 and resulting famine of the following year led directly to establishment of the first Tōhoku Promotion Association (TPA). The rice crop of 1912 was particularly bad in northern Tōhoku, with Aomori’s yield down nearly 80 percent and Fukushima and Miyagi each 40 percent lower than expected. In July of 1913, Iwate-born Interior Minister and future Prime Minister Hara Takashi conferred with business leaders including Shibusawa

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Eiichi, Masuda Takashi of Mitsui, and Iwasaki Hisaya of Mitsubishi to discuss Masuda’s proposals for the Tōhoku economy. When the TPA was created that summer, its bylaws described the association as “a voluntary organization of businesspersons” assembled “to promote industry and welfare in the six prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi, Yamagata, Akita, Iwate, and Aomori.”53 The TPA was primarily directed by Shibusawa and Masuda, and reflected their analyses of the region’s problems.54 Shibusawa argued that, in addition to a harsh climate and the lack of good transportation infrastructure, the situation of Tōhoku had a political dimension. It was, he argued, “due to the political situation at the time of the Restoration that administrative measures toward the Tohoku region have been entirely non-preferential. As a result, even the region’s original industry of agriculture does not fare well.” However, it was the conservative and feckless, “backward and unenterprising” people of Tōhoku who were to blame for not overcoming these conditions.55 Masuda originally argued that the Northeast should diminish its dependence on rice monoculture, but eventually abandoned this view. In its stead, he promoted off-season cash labor, introduction of high-value agricultural products like apples, extraction of natural and mineral resources, and an emphasis on developing sericulture in the region; Mitsui controlled the overwhelming market share in silk.56 Okada Tomohiro has alleged that the real intent and actual effects of “development” under the TPA are amply summed up by the dual appointment of the government’s resource management division chief as head of the TPA’s government oversight agency. Under the aegis of “national defense” in the broadest sense, he wrote, major zaibatsu like Mitsui appropriated the “human and material resources” of Tōhoku for military development. Historians of Tōhoku broadly agree that the TPA represented mostly the interests of urban capital in remaking the Northeast as an economic periphery. As Okada acidly noted, “The Tōhoku development project was not intended to provide relief to the people of Tōhoku” affected by famine and disaster, but was instead “a method for Tokyo-based zaibatsu and electrical capitalists to enrich themselves.”57 According

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to Iwamoto Yoshiteru, what was billed as Erschließung (kaihatsu, “development”) was in fact Ausbeutung (exploitation) in the classic Wallersteinian world-system mode, which is why “development (kaihatsu) did not lead to development (hatten) or development (hattatsu).”58 The TPA proposed an ultimately failed project for a Tōhoku Development Company, envisioned in 1908 as the domestic version of Japan’s agricultural and forestry development program in Korea. When this plan fizzled out, the TPA functioned as little more than a fundraising and local products promotion organization.59 The real legacy of the first TPA may have been an approach to Tōhoku explicitly modeled on the colonization of an inferior land of inferior people. If nothing else, the feeling that the Northeast was being colonized (again) by Japan was strong in Tōhoku at the time. During the same period, political and economic development capital was focused less on the Northeast than on the newly acquired territories of Taiwan and then Korea, where massive military, industrial, and cultural capital was mobilized to bring new lands and peoples into the modern Japanese system. Cultural, political, economic, and physical infrastructure had to be built from the ground up in many places, replacing entirely the systems that had come before. Tōhoku was mostly overlooked until the 1930s, a political pariah neither strategically important nor promising enough to warrant the expenditures seen in Hokkaido and Japan’s newer colonies.60 In his 1906 manifesto on the “future Tōhoku,” which incidentally may have influenced Masuda Takashi’s ideas for Tōhoku development, Fukushima entrepreneur Hangai Seiju expressed his dismay that the colonies were being developed instead of the Northeast.61 “More than the development of Hokkaido, more than the management of Taiwan, more than the support of Korea, vitalization (kaikō) measures for Tōhoku must be placed first.”62 They were not, and Tōhoku appeared to fall further and further behind the rest of the home islands of Japan. Perhaps not surprisingly, many Northeasterners shared Hangai’s mix of resentment and desperation at being treated as poorly as, or worse than, the “primitive natives” of Japan’s new acquisitions.63

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Tōh ok u as “L ost L and” an d “ Fa m i n e- Stric k e n He ll” As noted above, Kawanishi Hidemichi has shown that a sense of the Emishi/Ezo-ness of Tōhoku permeated the reports of local and central government administrators in the early years of Meiji, and that this same “Emishi consciousness” was internalized in Tōhoku. In other words, the Northeast was afflicted by feelings of backwardness vis-à-vis the rest of Japan, and that socioeconomic backwardness was associated with the Emishi nature of the people and place. For instance, in 1875 Kawamura Keiichirō, a former samurai of Iwate, described Tōhoku’s backwardness as “ignorance of and opposition to the emperor.” The same year, Aomori prefectural official Sugiyama Ryūkō likewise lamented the “ ‘Emishi’-ness” of the far north. Sugiyama’s description of Tōhoku echoed Nihon shoki: the Northeast, he wrote, had never been blessed or civilized by the kingly influences.64 Contemporary records suggest that attitudes toward the Northeast and the colonies were quite similar. Volunteers and aid workers working in Tōhoku after the 1896 Sanriku disaster reported that the filth and stink of Aomori towns reminded them of Korea, and that there was a nearly comparable language barrier between themselves and the locals.65 This sense of an insurmountable linguistic barrier was not new.66 But with the creation of standardized Japanese it became a durable trope.67 In 1921, Aomori-born playwright Akita Ujaku agreed with a friend who remarked, “When I talk to someone from Tōhoku, I don’t feel as if I’m speaking to another Japanese.”68 Historian Taguchi Ukichi called Tōhoku the “Korea of Japan,” and entrepreneur Sōma Kokkō, herself born in the Northeast, called Tōhoku a “lost land” (bōkoku).69 The region languished, and the image—both internal and external—of Tōhoku as the “poorest region” of the home islands at best and somehow un- or non-Japanese at worst became a fixture in the national and local social imaginary.70 These prejudices found voice in some of the most popular literature of the time, too. In Kuidōraku, the gastronomic novel of civilization and progress that sold more

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than one hundred thousand copies upon its release in 1903, one of the main characters is from the Northeast. “O-Dai is presented as an ugly, fat, ignorant, uncouth woman with a heavy country accent and appalling taste in food and everything else,” and the food of her home region is described as over salted, overly chewy, and simply unappetizing.71 This commonsensical prejudice remained hale and hearty in the 1920s. Literary giant Akutagawa Ryūnosuke offhandedly described one of his characters as “a Tōhoku-born barbarian with a face like a gorilla.”72 Iwate native Nitobe Inazō, author of Bushido, the Soul of Japan and for a time Japan’s most respected international statesman, remarked, “The Tohoku region of Japan is so vastly different, in terms of nature and society, from the southern and western regions that it is sometimes hard to believe that they belong to the same country.”73 Perhaps some of these images of Tōhoku and the mutual resentment between the Northeast and other regions might have dissipated had economic conditions improved. They did not. Increasing dissatisfaction with conditions in the villages spewed forth in the late 1910s and 1920s, taking shape as tenancy disputes and a reactionary physiocratic agrarian nationalism (nōhonshugi) made lower-status farmers increasingly vocal and politically active.74 Rice overproduction during the World War I years drove prices down by 1920. The international silk market collapsed almost simultaneously, devastating rural households, for whom sericulture was a critical cash industry.75 When the silk industry sputtered, poverty and hardship in the outlying rural districts of Japan became more or less permanent. According to one authoritative account: The farm villages were in a continuous recession from 1925 onward owing to the worldwide surplus of agricultural commodities and the fall in prices. Farmers were forced to increase their production of silk cocoons in order to maintain their incomes. But this resulted only in a further drop in international prices, and so the farmers were caught in a vicious circle whereby their redoubled efforts to increase production only pushed prices lower.76

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Silk prices never recovered completely and produce prices barely budged.77 Even as economic conditions in the big cities were moving back toward bustling normalcy in the latter half of the 1920s, Tōhoku, like much of rural Japan, was teetering on the edge. Little had changed by the early 1930s when, in what was probably intended as sympathetic reportage, journalist Shimomura Chiaki compared conditions in Tōhoku to those of “primitives” in Taiwan.78 Shimomura recorded his tour of the famine-struck Northeast in 1932. Though World War I had resulted in a temporary boom for the national economy, Tōhoku felt more sharply than most regions the struggles of the 1920s, the post-boom economic contraction, the redirection of national resources toward rebuilding after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the 1927 banking crisis, and the crushing weight of the Great Depression beginning in 1929.79 When only aggregate figures are taken into account, Japan actually fared better than many of the other developed nations. This fails, however, to account for urban-rural disparity; farming household income dropped by half between 1929 and 1931, and though industry recovered in the 1930s, silk exports lost almost half of their value in 1930 alone. Cotton exports suffered similarly. Though as G. C. Allen notes, around Japan, “the peasantry faced ruin,” yet Nagano and Tōhoku—one heavily dependent on sericulture, the other on rice monoculture—took the brunt of the damage.80 And it got worse. Calamitous 1931 and 1934 rice harvests in the Northeast bookended the 1933 Shōwa Sanriku earthquake and tsunami. A good harvest in 1930 averted famine on the one hand, but panic on the commodities exchanges when high yields were announced caused rice prices to collapse, losing one-third of their value. Many farmers could not even cover their own costs, leading to a phenomenon given the irony-dripping label “bumper crop famine” (hōsaku kikin).81 In contrast, when 1931’s rice crop failed, prices spiked on speculation.82 Akita, where rice monoculture was most common, was most adversely affected; nearly 1300 hectares of paddies yielded no measurable rice harvest, and more than 1800 hectares saw losses of more than 70 percent.83 Inflation left farmers unable to buy back

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enough rice to feed themselves. The ensuing famine was especially bad in Hokkaido and northern Tōhoku; Shimomura Chiaki visited the Northeast as more than a half million went hungry.84 1934 offered no respite. 1933’s harvest was excellent, with Hokkaido and Tōhoku in particular recording record yields. Hokkaido tripled the 1931 harvest and quadrupled that of 1932. Tōhoku produced 11.71 million koku, a full million more than in 1930, which had also been a good year. But for farmers, as noted, this was a mixed blessing.85 Yet another “bumper crop famine” in the Northeast was exacerbated in 1933 by yet another earthquake and tsunami on the Sanriku coast. The tsunami left over 3000 dead or missing, and only four of 362 homes standing in the Iwate coastal town of Tarō.86 Together, the Shōwa Sanriku earthquake and tsunami destroyed more than 7300 fishing boats and 470 homes.87 Nevertheless, 1933 was a good year for many farmers in Tōhoku. As a result, it appeared by the winter of 1933–1934 that the Northeast might be able to regain its footing in subsequent years. This was not to be the case. Nineteen thirty-four turned out to be the worst famine year in a century. Unusual spring weather was followed by the dreaded yamase, the cold, wet northeaster that is still feared today in Tōhoku. It may have been the worst yamase year in history, recorded or remembered. The lowest temperatures in half a century forced farmers to tend devastated fields and paddies in quilted winter overcoats. In Iwate, it rained every single day from July 10 to July 26, and then again until August 8 after only a single dry day. Crops were stunted, rice yields decimated. Adding to the desperation, silk prices collapsed.88 In September, Typhoon Muroto rang the death knell for any hope left to Tōhoku that year. In Aomori, rice farmers watched their paddies in a daze, waiting for the stalks to bend under the weight of healthy grain. Even this last shred of irrational optimism was swept away by the heavy winds and lashing rains. Muroto set world records for both low pressure and wind speed, and killed more than two thousand. The greatest damage done in Tōhoku was in Akita and Iwate, where thousands of hectares of fields were flooded and

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many homes lost. The camel’s back was completely broken, leading to nearly 40 percent losses of the Tōhoku rice crop.89 The public image of Tōhoku in the 1930s as the Sick Man of Japan was heavily influenced by media coverage of the 1931 and 1934 famines. Journalists like Shimomura played a significant role in alerting the public to Tōhoku’s plight, but newspapers in particular presented sympathetic and sometimes sensationalist portrayals of conditions in the Northeast that had the unfortunate side effect of cementing the already strong image of Tōhoku as poor, backward, and perhaps beyond help. Famine and its social consequences were covered in both local and national papers and magazines. Prominent journalist Ōya Sōichi wrote that the condition of Tōhoku’s farmers could not be attributed to something as simple or as temporary as crop failure, nor could it be remedied by better harvests or improved agricultural technologies. It was a sad destiny resulting from accumulated centuries of “primitive exploitation” under a feudalist system that still dragged the Northeast down. When Ōya traveled through Tōhoku in 1931, he wrote that the “inhuman conditions” of farmers’ lives in the Northeast were hardly the result of the Great Depression or a few bad rice crops alone. Ōya looked to the exploitative feudal structures of rule in Tōhoku, mostly in the form of landownership and tenancy, as the cause of Tōhoku’s dire conditions.90 It is worth pointing out that there was less national outrage at the repeated famines than at the trafficking in women and girls, especially in Aomori and Yamagata’s Shōnai region, that was one of the famines’ results. The “selling of daughters,” as it was known, became a source of widespread national moral panic as it was “discovered” by reporters covering the 1931 famine, and led to some relief efforts by organizations including the Red Cross.91 A report in the Akita daily Akita Sakigake Shimbun is typical in tone, if particularly elegant. It opened: Mt. Chōkai projects a crisp clean silhouette into the azure skies of autumn. Yet the lifeblood has been almost entirely drained from the four

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hundred living in the towns and villages at its foot. Suffering an unprecedented crop failure, they have harvested or dug up all human sustenance, from the fruits of the trees to the roots of the grasses. They writhe in a famine-stricken hell [kiga jigoku] without a single grain of rice to swallow. In the hamlet of Momotake in the village of Hitane, it is as if even the birds have starved to death.

The article lamented the conditions of the affected areas, concluding with the following lyrical passage on the horrors of teenage girls being sold into the brothels and bars of the cities: Having completed a cursory course of compulsory education, when they reach fifteen or sixteen, [girls] are sold for a pittance advanced on their pay to work as hostesses or apprentices. . . . A life of tears in an unknown land—the residents of these villages deep in the mountains are destined for eons of darkness.92

The defining image of this famine reportage was a 1934 blackand-white photograph of three children from the Tōno area of Iwate chewing daikon outside a farmhouse (fig. 2). This photo, originally from a multipart column in the Tōkyō Nichinichi Shinbun, captured the public imagination and reinforced the image of Tōhoku as an impoverished, backward region, where the pathetic conditions of the rural villages forced children and adults alike to live on a poor, riceless diet of barley, millet, buckwheat, daikon, and other foods associated with poverty. While this assessment was not without basis in fact, the constant repetition of this image in the press manufactured a public perception of crisis at odds with the forgotten realities of rural life. Kawanishi Hidemichi has pointed out that the furor over this photograph was born and sustained “from the perspective of the cities, in which scenes of children eating raw daikon outdoors had almost completely disappeared from everyday life.”93 However, the nuances of reaction to this particular photo neither make it less iconic, nor detract from the fact that the villages

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Fig. 2  Children gnawing on raw daikon during the 1934 Tōhoku famine. Courtesy of Mainichi Shinbunsha Photobank, Tokyo.

of Tōhoku were almost without exception subject to exceptionally harsh realities even as the overall economy was ramping up for war.

Rice as Other, Tōhoku as Colony These were formative years for Takahashi Tomio, born in 1921. The impact of these famines on his academic stance appears to have been decisive, turning him against the political and economic systems that had allowed these conditions to prevail, and especially against rice, both as national symbol and economic reality.94 According to Oguma Eiji, immediate postwar Japan was characterized by intergenerational schisms. At war’s end, thirtysomethings felt victimized by their elders, who had started the war, and twentysomethings returning from the front additionally blamed those thirtysomethings for

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failing to stop a war most of them understood (or should have understood) to be morally wrong and unwinnable to boot. The Shōkokumin (Jungvolk) generation of preteens and young teenagers—named for the most influential youth propaganda magazine of the war years— was perhaps the most angered and bewildered by the sudden flip-flop of their parents and older siblings from (professed) fervent support of the “divine nation” to (professed) enthusiasm for freedom and democracy.95 Takahashi was one of the twentysomethings angered and disillusioned by the failures of their elders. He was also one who had, even before the deprivation of the war years, seen devastation wreaked upon his home region by what he believed to be an unnatural rice monoculture economic system transplanted forcibly into Tōhoku by “standard Japan.”96

“ A Probl e m as Old as H i story I tse lf” Takahashi’s assertion that rice had exerted an almost uniformly deleterious historical effect on the Northeast was neither unique nor novel, having been made by Tōhoku intellectuals since at least the Meiji period. For instance, in endorsing Fukushima entrepreneur Hangai Seiju’s plan for economic deperipheralization of Tōhoku through commercial and industrial development, Nitobe Inazō had stated unequivocally that the Northeast (and Hokkaido) were unsuited for rice production.97 Following Nitobe, Takahashi made what became an oft-repeated argument: the choice not to commit to a rice-based production economy was natural for Tōhoku, a reflection of its climate. The short growing season and propensity for cool summers that continued to plague rice agriculture in Tōhoku even in the twentieth century meant that rice presented a substantial risk for relatively little profit, especially when compared with the combination of hunting-fishing-gathering and slash-and-burn cultivation that was the natural heritage of the region, the Neolithic “Jōmon culture” that was Tōhoku’s “proper mode of production.”98

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The timing of this argument was unusual, however, as Takahashi was writing not only in the era in which what Emiko OhnukiTierney memorably described as the “rice as self ” metaphor and mythology was the dominant narrative of Japanese national identity, but also just as rice was finally becoming a source of economic stability and a certain cachet for the Northeast.99 Though the metamorphosis had in fact begun in wartime, Tōhoku only became Japan’s “rice basket” in the first two postwar decades, when the expansion of national markets, early postwar policies aimed at increasing food production, and the loss of the former colonies combined with technological advancements and cultivar improvement to make the Northeast a major domestic supplier of rice. The government had begun purchasing rice at fixed prices in 1942, stabilizing rice prices for the first time in the modern era by eliminating the speculation that had precipitated the 1918 Rice Riots and subsequent cycles of price fluctuation that had devastated Tōhoku in the 1920s and 1930s. After 1945, these fiat prices were joined by production increase policies, and rice became an attractive crop for Northeastern farmers; Tōhoku was a key contributor to the achievement of rice self-sufficiency by 1966.100 Yet for Takahashi, from start to finish, rice and Japan (Japan as rice, rice as Japan) were to blame for Tōhoku’s backwardness, such as it was. So in 1969, just as rice seemed poised to finally bring prosperity and status to the Northeast, he wrote, “The backwardness of Tōhoku is seen as a product of the postwar or perhaps of Meiji, but its roots are not so new.” In fact, this backwardness was coeval with the coming of rice: “For Tōhoku, it is a problem as old as history itself.”101 Rice was unfit for Tōhoku and Tōhoku unfit for rice, wrote Takahashi. Rice production had been married to an expansionist political regime since its introduction to the Japanese archipelago, he argued. It was the fulcrum around which formed a “rice-producing civilization,” a class-based, economically and politically stratified state order. “Rice-producing civilization determined not only Japan’s patterns of production, lifestyle, and culture, but even the political culture of class, power, and state were all formed using the leverage of rice production.”102 Rice production reached Tōhoku

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roughly two millennia ago, with the Japanese state’s political and military arms knocking on Tōhoku’s door not long after. But paddy rice did not take hold in the ancient Northeast. Though there is evidence that paddies were built and cultivated as far north as the Tsugaru Peninsula soon after rice agriculture reached Kyushu, wet rice was quickly abandoned in the far north.103 The choice not to pursue a rice-based economy was not a measure of cultural or economic backwardness, but rather a reflection of the ecological realities of Tōhoku’s cold climate and perhaps also of a distaste for being tied down to the land and forced to endure hard labor and taxation.

Tōh ok u as Japan’ s Fi rst C ol on y Why, then, did Japan insist on forcing rice onto the Northeast? Takahashi’s answer was that Tōhoku was Japan’s first “colony.” Here, as elsewhere, Takahashi located the origin of “Japan” in the Taika Reforms of the seventh century. In other words, Tōhoku was the first colony of the post-Taika state. The Japanese court saw the Northeast as “an internal colony” that could replace the influence and resources lost in its sphere of influence on the Korean Peninsula after the Battle of Paekchon in 663.104 Takahashi described an arc from “informal empire” (a prestige goods economy that first coopted elites) in the Kanto and then Tōhoku regions through stages of “armed colonization,” and finally military conquest, to establish a more formal empire to assure firm control over gold (and other) resources from the mid-eighth century. In brief, the picture presented by Takahashi—and validated by others in subsequent years—is as follows. Prior to the seventh century, the Japanese state had expanded its political and economic influence into southern Tōhoku using Kanto allies as proxies. Under the influence of these local power brokers bound to the state through the exchange logic of prestige goods economics, the populations of southern Tōhoku were assimilated to the agriculturalist lifestyle far

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earlier than their northern cousins, the so-called “Emishi.”105 Even after the post-Taika establishment of ritsuryō districts and provinces, tactical emphasis was placed on peaceful suasion and assimilation whenever possible. The court appears to have been unwilling and unable to marshal the combination of economic, political, and military force required for a violent takeover of the Northeast. Nevertheless, the northern frontier became increasingly violent after 720, when state political and cultural expansion increasingly threatened the lands and interests of those Emishi unwilling to assimilate. The situation deteriorated at an alarming rate in the second quarter of the century. The 724 upgrade of the state outpost at Taga to the provincial government office and regional “pacification headquarters” ushered in a new, more aggressive stance by the state, one that Takahashi called “armed colonization.”106 Still, “armed colonization” was generally not escalated to “violent colonization.” Both armies and armed settlers (kinohe) remained more tools of intimidation than of warfare until the middle of the century. The 749 discovery of gold in present-day Miyagi, the first significant strike in Japan, added volatile fuel to a long-smoldering fire.107 Gold’s importance prompted a shift from intimidation by a show of force to the actual use of overwhelming force. Within a decade or so, the court had embarked on a nearly four-decade series of military campaigns, beginning with the construction of Monōjō in the Oda area. The location of this fortress, and the haste with which it was built, indicate the urgency of shoring up supply lines for moving troops, laborers, and gold in and out of the north. Construction of Monōjō was a nakedly aggressive move to secure access to gold resources, the symbol of a new era in court policy toward the Northeast. During this period, the “Emishi problem” (also known as the “frontier problem”) was at the center of court politics and policy. Successive administrations organized and directed expeditions against the Emishi, the best known being those of Sakanoue no Tamuramaro.108 Even after the declaration of “mission accomplished” in the Kitakami River valley at the dawn of the ninth century, the “Emishi problem” was a vexing one for Kyoto, as during subsequent centuries

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control gradually slipped back into the hands of prominent Emishi families (such as the Abe and Kiyohara clans of the Former NineYear and Latter Three-Year Wars) through the “Emishi over Emishi” policy of proxy administration employed by the exhausted state.109 The return of a measure of control to local allies did not mean the end of colonization. Rather, it was a new normal signaling that the court had achieved sufficient success in establishing control over crucial land and resources that it could return to less directly interventionist administration.

Parallelisms and the “Culture of Resistance” Takahashi’s reading of the colonization of Tōhoku was founded in four sets of parallelism. First, Takahashi worked to expose ideological and political similarities between Tōhoku and the colonies of the European empires, attempting to discern universal patterns in world history and apply them to a narrative of Japan.110 Second, in the 1950s he saw the ancient pattern described above repeating itself. The loss of external colonies made the Northeast an attractive target for development, a concept defined largely by extractive capitalism—making the periphery feed the center. Third, he examined and critiqued the structural similarities between the colonization of ancient Tōhoku and that of modern Manchuria. Takahashi was highly critical of both ancient and modern Japanese colonialism, seeing them as part of a single continuum. Though he almost exclusively confined his writings to his specialized field of ancient history, in the case of colonialism Takahashi did not shrink from citing later historical incidents to demonstrate his belief that the pattern of Japanese colonialist aggression in Tōhoku was a constant in the longue durée. Finally, beginning in the 1960s, Takahashi adapted Frederick Jackson Turner’s frontier thesis to the early history of Tōhoku to argue that the project of Japanese state expansion in the Northeast was the defining feature of the early state, the formative influence on Japan itself. Each of these analogies is discussed in turn below.

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Th e E u rope an Paralle l From at least 1955, Takahashi claimed that in the minds of early Japanese elites, the Northeast constituted both an “internal colony” and “another Japan.”111 Elsewhere, he expressed a similar idea of liminality as “internal foreign land” (uchi naru gaikoku).112 Takahashi argued the colonization of Tōhoku most explicitly in 1973’s Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu, a book that clearly marked the shifting political valences of his work after encountering Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei’s development vision. In 1973, Takahashi wrote that the Japanese perception of Tōhoku and the Emishi was nearly identical to the imperialist vision of the savage, uncivilized “Other” that had shaped the modern world. The Emishi were, like the non-white peoples colonized by Europeans, viewed as “backward,” “uncivilized,” and “primitive” because of their abnormal, even monstrous vitality, as well as their differences of appearance and culture. These characteristics were as shocking, Takahashi suggested, to the staid sensibilities of the Japanese court as they were, for instance, to those of Victorian political and cultural elites. As the myths of Noble and Ignoble Savages had intertwined and interacted in the European imagination and molded encounters and power relationships around the globe, so, too, had the perceived savagery of Tōhoku been a key factor in determining the course of Japanese history. For Japan as for the European colonial empires, argued Takahashi, colonization was premised on a hierarchy of advancedness and backwardness. In Japan, a premodern “logic of difference” was transposed onto a linear concept of progress with the advent of Western modernity, but the function of the dialectic between the center and periphery remained functionally unchanged.113 According to Takahashi, within this dialectic between Japanese “Self ” and Tōhoku “Other,” the Northeast was always the ultimate iteration of “backwardness,” standing still while Japan moved forward. This is why the rubrics of “development” (kaihatsu), “promotion” (shinkō), and “control” (keiei or shihai) had constantly been applied to Tōhoku: for “forward” Japan, Tōhoku was an intractable object of conquest and assimilation cum development.

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This attitude invested Tōhoku with the same savage romance that European colonials sometimes felt for their colonies, wrote Takahashi. Precisely because of its “backwardness,” from the earliest days, Tōhoku was to Japan what Asia and Africa were to fin-de-siècle Europe, “a sweet dream, and a rare romance.”114 As recorded first in Nihon shoki, the far north existed in the imagination of the nascent Japanese state’s elites as a vast, rich land populated by natives unaware of Confucian virtue or superior culture. By their conquest, the Japanese were not simply profiteering— though self-interest was clearly more than enough justification for acquisition of land, resources, and people—but also duty bound to bring the “kingly civilizing influences” to these unenlightened savages. The existence of uncouth and uncivilized people in the Northeast who, in various ways, troubled the metropole’s elites rounded out the analogy with Western colonialism. Takahashi stressed the parallels between the place of Tōhoku in Japanese national history and the role of the Americas, Africa, and Asia as sources of untapped and seemingly limitless resources for the European and American metropoles, and between the combination of mission civilisatrice (what Takahashi once referred to as “lux ex occidentalia”) and unalloyed exploitation by the ancient Japanese polity and its later European counterparts.115

Th e A n ci e nt Paralle l According to Takahashi, the Kamakura shogunate had seen the Northeast as “a vast wilderness, free land, a colony, the frontier,” inheriting the colonial perspective of the Heian court.116 And of course, Meiji Japan had similarly treated the region as a savage frontier to be economically peripheralized. More provocatively, as he became disillusioned with Japan’s postwar path of economic rejuvenation, Takahashi came to agree with Okada Masukichi, who felt that the sudden emergence of a national development agenda in the postwar was the consequence of “having lost Taiwan, Korea,

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and Manchuria.”117 In the early 1970s, Takahashi connected the trio of laws passed in 1957 and 1958 to promote the economic development of northern Japan (Tōhoku and Hokkaido) with the ancient colonization of the Northeast: “In the twentieth century as in the seventh, when Japan lost its foreign colonies, the eyes of governing elites turned northward and eastward. Having lost its foreign colonies, it became necessary for Japan to start over as a modern nation through the development of this undeveloped domestic region.”118 This was an implicit but pointed comparison between the 1950s and the original move to colonize Tōhoku after 663.

Th e M anchurian Paralle l Analogy with modern Manchuria was Takahashi’s sharpest criticism of the early Japanese state’s colonial policies in Tōhoku. In the early twentieth century, the comparison between the Northeasts of China and Japan was already being made, but positively. Tōhoku was a historical success that could be replicated or drawn on as a model for modern expansion on the continent. Manchuria and Inner Mongolia (Manmō) would provide land and resources—and an outlet for excess or undesirable population—as Tōhoku had for the ancient state. This view is well encapsulated in the prefatory remarks to Takeuchi Unpei’s 1918 history of “Tōhoku development,” for example. The author noted similarities between Emishi assimilation and conquest and Japan’s modern colonial endeavors, concluding, “As I see it, the Tōhoku of today is already like the Kinki region of old, and the Tōhoku of old is like the Manmō of today.”119 After 1945, Takahashi Tomio and other historians of the Northeast cast the same parallels in a decidedly more negative light. Historians in early postwar Japan, Takahashi among them, drew attention to the parallels between the eighth-century Nara court’s use of armed settlers (sakuko or kinohe) and the twentieth-century Japanese colonization of Manchuria. Kinohe, settlers from mostly neighboring regions like Kanto and Chūbu, were relocated by the

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Nara state into the Northeast and tasked with developing infrastructure and farmland. New administrative districts were established in Tōhoku around fortified stockades (ki or jōsaku). Though  kinohe, either brought in or supported, or both, by the state’s frontier administration, were first and foremost agrarian developers, there was relatively little need for state military backup because these settlers could defend themselves as a largely self-sufficient armed militia. One important duty was to guard the fortresses and by extension the land claimed by the state. Settlers around the stockades were placed mostly on paddy allotments laid out in regular quadrilateral patterns (jōri) as far north as the Sendai, Murayama, and Shōnai plains, and even near the modern city of Akita.120 Because of the amount and difficulty of planning and labor required, the presence of jōri paddies is considered the best evidence for political dominion—rather than cultural affinity—over territories and peoples. Expanding on earlier analysis by Matsumoto Shinpachirō and Takahashi Tomio, in the 1970s historical geographer Yamada Yasuhiko pointed out structural similarities between Roman centuriae and the Japanese colonial system of jōri and jōsaku, arguing that both represented the transformation of not just political and socioeconomic conditions, but of the landscape itself.121 When Japan’s expansion into Tōhoku became more aggressive after 749, the combination of fortresses and settlers embodied the basic strategy of unrelenting cultural (agricultural) advancement backed when necessary by a large military that was intended primarily as an intimidating or punitive force rather than as a tool of conquest per se.122 After 757, the basic unit of settler migration shifted from the family to the individual, and kinohe from (southern) Tōhoku itself began to appear on the northern frontiers of territorial expansion. Additionally, criminals and vagrants began to swell the ranks of kinohe, indicating a radical change in the meaning of the kinohe system from settlement and expansion to exile and punishment of politically troublesome elements.123 The military presence in the frontier areas was also strengthened, as the settlers around Tōhoku stockades were more explicitly positioned as a permanent occupying militia. This reflected a political priority

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shift from territorial expansion to the systematization of resource exploitation, a change that ignited smoldering resentment among the Emishi who lived on resource-rich lands like the Kitakami River valley.124 Takahashi was not the only scholar to recognize the resemblance of ancient Tōhoku to modern Manchuria. Inasmuch as armed settlers—to whom a better life had been promised—served to expand Japanese territory in a new colony both in Nara-period Tōhoku and in early 1930s Manchuria (prior to the “Millions to Manchuria” campaign begun in 1936), there are certain obvious similarities between the ancient and modern situations.125 In 1951, historian Itabashi Gen had these correspondences in mind when he characterized kinohe as “common laborers in advanced development bases” who lived “impoverished” and “dangerous” lives.126 In the 1960s and 1970s, Yamada Yasuhiko alluded to Manchuria in his discussion of the colonization of the Northeast—though Yamada placed greater emphasis on the role of Buddhist proselytization than did most other writers.127 Similarities between Manchuria and Tōhoku are also clear in Karl Friday’s discussion of how the Japanese “state penetrated the northeast.” Noting that the stockades of the Northeast were not primarily military installations but rather cultural and administrative facilities not dissimilar in function to provincial offices, Friday argued that “they differed from ordinary provincial offices in that they were designed to create, not just administer, a Yamato [Japanese] presence on the land,” a purpose for which the kinohe were imported and settled around the stockades. “The stockade system thus represented an armed, but mostly nonbelligerent, diffusion of imperial subjects and authority into the northeast,” pushing the Emishi off their lands while providing both cultural and economic incentives for assimilation and an implied or real military deterrent to Emishi who might threaten Japanese interests, or wish to minimize contact.128 This system was replaced by a more aggressive military posture after the discovery of gold, and “pacification troops” (chinpei) were placed in the Northeast as the state pushed its military and administrative frontline northward. The colonization of Manchuria was likewise a foreign solution

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to domestic political and economic problems. Both relied on agrarian settlers to accomplish a combination of political, economic, and military goals. Planned emigration to Manchuria emerged as a possible solution to the impoverishment of rural Japan after the assassination of Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi in 1932. As Louise Young has shown, “Before 1931 the emigration movement maintained only tenuous ideological and institutional ties to Japanese agrarianism: its mission was to build the empire, not to save Japanese agriculture.”129 It was also a solution to a perceived problem of overpopulation, which developed as early as the 1880s. Militarists seized upon the idea of Manchuria as a population outlet and economic opportunity for poor (especially Tōhoku) farmers before 1932, but this rhetoric had little appeal because economic expansion was primarily limited to the cities and towns.130 Because rural poverty, the alleged result of excess population on insufficient land, was seen as a root cause of the political unrest that had led to this assassination, impoverished rural youth were a key target for promoters of migration to the seemingly endless (and seemingly empty or underutilized) lands of Manchuria; a potential source of instability (poor farmers) would be transformed into a source of food.131 Emigration began in 1932 with a five-year trial plan that resettled almost 322,000 Japanese in Manchuria.132 The first settlers bore the responsibility for forming frontline “self-defense” compounds. They were armed and backed by the military, and quickly developed a reputation for brutality that led many Manchurians to abandon their homes and villages, fleeing the Japanese advance. For this reason, settlers were often able to take over uninhabited lands and homes, or to buy out remaining locals at nominal prices. Emigration to Korea had been focused more on industrialization than was the settling of Manchuria, in which settlers had a threefold purpose: to economically develop the region as an imperial periphery, to serve as a military and political bulwark against both Chinese “bandits” and possible Soviet intervention, and to be agents of cultural transformation of the backward Manchurians.133 The initial five-year plan was succeeded by a series of planned mass migrations that contin-

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ued throughout the war, though at far lower numbers than the military and civilian authorities envisioned. These policies were paired with the domestic Farm, Mountain, and Fishing Village Economic Revitalization Campaign (ERC), the largest prewar state intervention in the rural economy, which took effect in 1932.134 The success of this pilot program was translated into an ambitious plan for mass migration. The Community Emigration Program implemented in 1936 to facilitate this mass resettlement was its own kind of total mobilization of the village economic and political systems to promote emigration. It was designed to place one million settler households composed of five million individuals in a new utopia sold to the public at home with images of “free land” and a “land of opportunity” that paralleled mythologies of the American West—a topic on which more will be said in the final section of this chapter. After the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of July 1937, war between China and Japan entered a new phase, and with it colonization. Total mobilization and conscription absorbed the unemployed and marginalized young rural men who were the primary targets of emigration promoters. The architects of the “Millions to Manchuria” campaign were undeterred, integrating local village leadership more thoroughly into their recruitment apparatus. Eventually, however, with the rural economy improving and a domestic labor shortage, the army and government established Youth Brigades to tap the population of sixteen- to nineteen-yearold boys unaffected by the draft and not yet gainfully employed. The results initially exceeded expectations, and hordes of young men joined the ranks, training in Ibaraki at Katō Kanji’s training center— which included a large dose of indoctrination about Japan’s special mission in Asia—before heading to Manchuria for three years of on-site training. More than 86,500 Youth Brigade members went to Manchuria between 1938 and 1945. But in practice, the numbers never approached planners’ goals, and new migrants were settled in outlying areas or along important transportation routes as a paramilitary against Chinese resistance.135 In the early postwar years, allusions to the similarities between Manchuria and ancient Tōhoku had emotional and political utility.

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First, in a manner of thinking, the Northeast as colony was “internal” but also “foreign,” not fully part of Japan proper for much of history, and only poorly integrated even in the modern state. If Tōhoku was indeed Japan’s colony and victim, this provided the region a degree of isolation and cushioning from guilt for the aggression and atrocities of Japan’s modern empire. This dovetailed nicely with the obvious physical and systemic separation of the Northeast from the past and present centers of political and economic power at a time when, briefly, distance was a measure of virtue. If proximity to the emperor had been the measure of moral and political authority during the war, distance was suddenly a valuable commodity in its wake.136 Second, and related, victimhood more generally was a virtuous and heroic position. As James Orr wrote of the “victim consciousness” (higaisha ishiki) that came quickly to define Japan’s presentation to itself and the world in the postwar years, reaching a peak between 1955 and 1965, “In the typical victim narrative . . . transference of aggressive subjectivity usually involved placing the now innocent Japanese people on the high ground of victimhood; the role of victimizer was assigned to the military, to the militarist state, or to the vaguely defined entity called simply ‘the system.’ ”137

Th e C u ltu re of Re si stance an d the Va lu e of Tōhok u Tōhoku’s identity as victim was in some ways the rhetorical soapbox from which claims about the value of regional history and culture could be made. For early postwar Tōhoku studies, that value was at its essence twofold. In later years the independent value of an economically and spiritually rich, culturally hybrid, and politically independent Hiraizumi would take center stage. But it could only do so as part of a narrative arc that began with the Emishi. This was the arc of what Takahashi called Tōhoku’s “culture of resistance” (teikō no fūdo).138 From the eighth century to the nineteenth, from the Emishi to Hiraizumi, from Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s punitive

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“pacification” of the Northeast in 1590 to the Boshin War of 1868– 69, Tōhoku had constantly resisted Japan. Even its climate rejected “standard Japan,” that is, rice. But fundamentally, the reason that Tōhoku became and remained Michinoku, the savage land beyond, in the minds of Japanese elites down the centuries was its association with the Emishi, wrote Takahashi. Michinoku, “as the stronghold of the fiercely resistant population called ‘Emishi,’ resisted control by the center both militarily and politically.”139 “Tōhoku = Michinoku” became a flexible cognitive schema to which subsequent visions of the Northeast would always have reference, and which could be molded and adapted to new circumstances—in other words, a myth.140 The culture of resistance defined the Northeast, both as a historical entity and as an object of ideology and control for Japan.141 And Tōhoku was never the aggressor and always the victim, the basically peaceful region that merely wished for unmolested peace on its own terms. The second aspect of Tōhoku’s value was its formative influence on Japan. In his assertion that Tōhoku had shaped Japan, Takahashi adapted Frederick Jackson Turner’s American frontier thesis. This was an unusual engagement with world history in postwar Japan, but representative in its own way of contemporary historians’ interest in univeralist historical narratives as an antidote to the particularism of prewar and wartime historiography. Takahashi’s argument that Tōhoku and Japan were mutually constitutive is the subject of the final section of this chapter.

Eastern Easts, Western Wests: The American Parallel Takahashi Tomio openly castigated fellow historians’ systemic failure to apprehend the role of East-West conflict in determining the course of archipelagic/Japanese history. For Takahashi, Frederick Jackson Turner’s American frontier thesis offered an opportunity to

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understand archipelagic history in a systematic, theoretical framework. Apparently, taking initial inspiration from fellow Tōhoku historian Yamada Yasuhiko, Takahashi adapted Turner’s description of the American frontier to argue that contrary to the one-way flow of politics, economics, and culture characterizing national histories, center and periphery, core and frontier, metropole and colony are mutually constitutive.142 The frontier was the universalist historiographical model chosen by Takahashi to describe the multidirectional flows of archipelagic history. In his search for the “universal laws of history,” Takahashi initially adopted Toynbee’s challenge-and-response model, but by the late 1970s, he had abandoned this as “overly formulaic and general” for the Japanese situation. This is an odd objection to universal history. It hints at Takahashi’s pessimistic turn at the beginning of the decade, precipitated in part by his disillusionment with the developmentalist politics of the postwar—as personified by Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei—and the evaporation of hope for a new and different approach to Tōhoku. In any case, in the 1960s and 1970s, Takahashi turned increasingly to Turner’s frontier theory.143 In universalizing the American experience, Takahashi agreed with Turner himself, who, quoting Italian economist Achille Loria, declared, “the land which has no history reveals luminously the course of universal history.”144

Tu rn er ’ s F rontie r Turner’s name is nearly synonymous with the frontier theory, but in fact the significance of the frontier was postulated early and often. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were among those who argued for its formative influence on American national character and institutions, by which they meant “the values of independence, individualism, self-sufficiency, resistance to imposed authority, and so on.”145 But it was Turner who popularized the significance of the frontier in American national character. Turner presented

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his epoch-making paper on “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” to a special 1893 meeting of the American Historical Association. The Census Bureau defined the frontier as an area with a population density of two to six inhabitants per square mile, and everything beyond that as wilderness. The 1890 census revealed that, by this definition at least, American settlement had erased the last traces of frontier. Reacting to this momentous declaration, Turner remarked, “Up to our own day American history has been in a large degree the history of the colonization of the Great West. The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development.” It was not the establishment of the New England colonies, but the encounter with and conquest of the wilderness—the process of the frontier—that had created a uniquely American culture. It was not the still-too-European cities of the East, but the successive devolution and evolution, the personal and national renewal occurring in the not-yet-civilized “free land” of the American wilderness that was responsible more than anything else for producing American society. “The frontier is the line of most rapid and effective Americanization,” wrote Turner. At first, “The wilderness masters the colonist,” but in time the tables are turned.146 Sudden exposure to land and opportunity unbound by history and European civilization stripped away history, allowing the development of a culture of independence and individualism to meet the challenges of the brave New World. Though the geography of the frontier shifted over time as settlement advanced, it was the process of the frontier that made America and “Americans.” In 1896, Turner eloquently reprised his argument, the genesis of his now (in)famous “frontier thesis” in an article for the Atlantic Monthly: The West, at bottom, is a form of society rather than an area. It is the term applied to the region whose social conditions result from the application of older institutions and ideas to the transforming influences of free land. By this application, a new environment is suddenly entered,

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freedom of opportunity is opened, the cake of custom is broken, and new activities, new lines of growth, new institutions and new ideals, are brought into existence. The wilderness disappears, the “West” proper passes on to a new frontier, and, in the former area, a new society has emerged from this contact with the backwoods. Gradually this society loses its primitive conditions, and assimilates itself to the type of the older social conditions of the East; but it bears within it enduring and distinguishing survivals of its frontier experience.147

A stream of articles in both academic and popular forums fueled rapid acceptance of his vision of a uniquely American history, heritage, and character—and not incidentally earned a previously unknown Midwesterner a professorship at Harvard. The buzz created by Turner’s hypothesis is a testament to the power of his idea. To establish such a firm grip on the American imagination, Turner’s frontier thesis must have had emotional plausibility for a significant number of Americans. To be considered a truly great thinker in one’s own time, as Turner was, often requires not originality or uniqueness, but rather clarity and eloquence in distilling currents of popular, or highly credible, thought.148 If Turner’s idea had not resonated with public consciousness, it would never have been elevated to such a fundamental national myth, his elevation to Harvard notwithstanding. And if it did not retain a level of plausibility and explanatory power decades after its academic rigor has been thoroughly discredited, Turner’s frontier thesis would not remain so important to the American social imaginary. Beginning in the 1930s, and especially since the rise of the new social histories in the 1960s, Turner’s frontier thesis has been lambasted for “ethnocentrism and triumphalism” in a narrative that elides all but Anglo-white male settlers’ conquest of “free land” and its “abundant resources.”149 Richard Hofstadter’s 1968 The Progressive Historians contains a particularly exhaustive accounting of Turner’s failings, and Hofstadter’s critique has been taken up by the so-called “New Western historians.” Though as the New Western history has continued to grow and mature, and Turner is perhaps no longer the

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overwhelming phantasmal presence at the table that he once was, these scholars have often defined their stance as a Turnerian antithesis. The ritual disavowal of Turner in many New Western histories is, however, further testament to the power and longevity of his idea. As might be expected, then, this scholarly turn has done little to weaken Turner’s hold on the popular imagination. The robustness of Turner’s frontier thesis is due not merely to its emotional appeal, but also to its malleability, which has made his ideas resilient and resistant to factual disproval. As eminent New Western historian Patricia Nelson Limerick once lamented, while Turner’s work has been exposed as a factual shambles existing on an ephemeral foundation of meta-level presuppositions, his frontier thesis is a conceptual juggernaut. “Turner’s conditions, forces, ideals, institutions, traits, types, elements, and processes remain undissolved. . . . You are free to show, at length and in detail, that these concepts exist without the support of much evidence,” but Turner’s abstractions, and his legacy, remain undisturbed. Limerick likened struggling with the Turnerian titanic to “fighting the Pillsbury Dough Boy, [which] bent momentarily to absorb challenges and then instantly resumed its previous shape.”150 This is unsurprising, because narratives, not data, direct and “constrain the possibilities of public discourse.”151 In a discussion of the American frontier in popular culture, Richard Slotkin expressed a similar idea in—perhaps accidentally—more Orwellian terms when he wrote, “Repetition is the essence of [the] process” of creating “ ‘visions which compel belief.’ ”152 Because he considered the frontier not a fixed locale “but rather a moving zone of occupation,” Turner resisted a binding definition for his key term.153 As a result of its plasticity, Turner’s American frontier thesis has been applied profusely in world history. Despite dubious factual basis, Turner’s frontier thesis has provided a useful yardstick with which to measure the developmental history of expanding states. Several authors have successfully applied the frontier framework to various stages of Russian history, from the medieval Kievan state to the expansion of the Muscovite empire

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across Siberia to the Pacific Coast, wherein Siberia is equated with the American frontier. Joseph Wieczynski was the most unabashedly Turnerian, but he was hardly alone.154 The histories of modern colonial states such as Canada, Australia, and Israel have frequently been told around the frontier idea.155 Israeli history has also been imagined in terms of Turner’s frontier narrative, though here the differences are highlighted as often as the similarities. In S. Ilan Troen’s schematic overview, for instance, both the United States and Israel were colonized by European émigrés with little regard for the welfare of prior inhabitants, but the Israeli experience of “Zionist colonization was a highly centralized and directed experience that often supported socialist . . . forms of settlement. It encouraged . . . self-sacrifice rather than ‘individual self-betterment,’ which was the guiding ethos and purpose of the American pattern.”156 Turner’s frontier thesis has been fecund beyond the field of history as well. For example, in a 1978 reflection on the 24/7-ization of American society, sociologist Murray Melbin explored the premise that time, as well as space, was being colonized. Melbin hypothesized that as life was increasingly lived around the clock, the American night should exhibit characteristics similar to those described by Turner. Melbin, following Turner, borrowed the census’s quantifiable, demographic frontier definition.157 To this he added several qualitative criteria, including fewer social constraints, decentralized and limited government, and a seemingly contradictory mix of increased violence and increased helpfulness. A combination of statistical research and fieldwork led Melbin to conclude that the frontier, per contra Turner and the Census Bureau, was not gone. Rather, he argued, “During the era that the settlement of our land frontier was being completed, there began—into the night—a large-scale migration of wakeful activity that continues to spread over the world.”158 We are at no loss for frontiers, and much of both the blame and the thanks for the enduring power of this idea are owed to Turner.

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Ta ka hashi’ s Frontie r The frontier was not absent from histories of Japan. If anything, the history of ancient Tōhoku had been written almost exclusively as the Japanese state’s unilateral conquest of the Northeast’s savage indigene, “reduced to the problem of Emishi conquest.”159 Even histories generally sympathetic to the Northeast followed the contours of the frontier narrative of progress, civilization, and conquest of a primitive people by a superior race.160 The government’s two-volume 1938 “Tōhoku primer” is a prime example of the official version of history propagated from Meiji until the end of World War II. This school textbook presented the history of Tōhoku as a single arc of the “advance” of the Yamato Japanese and their “pioneering” of the Northeast. This was a narrative of bringing progress and civilization to the benighted eastern barbarians (tōi), beginning with Yamato Takeru and, despite resistance and “occasional rebellions” by the Emishi in the Nara and Heian periods, concluding with the longawaited penetration of imperial grace (kōon) into the Northeast in the Meiji period.161 In a contradiction emblematic of colonial visions of the “savage natives” and their lands, Tōhoku was always the uncivilized, apolitical, eastern cultural “desert” waiting to be fertilized by the “civilizing influences” of Japan, and simultaneously a land fertile and ripe for the taking.162 In sharp contrast to the unidirectional flow of these standard histories, Takahashi found in Turner’s frontier model a tool to bring into relief the formative and destructive tensions between different cultural, political, and economic systems, one that affected both sides of the equation in profound ways. Takahashi’s logic overlaps partially with Tessa Morris-Suzuki’s observation that “the shape of things becomes clearer when one looks at the edge than when one looks at the centre.”163 But it was more than just the shape of Japan, it was the contents of Japan that were at stake. The existence of a frontier rich with resources and land was the prime mover in Japanese state and national expansion and consolidation. The frontier had exerted as much influence on Japan as had Japan on the frontier. As Takahashi put it in his 1979 monograph on the significance of

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the frontier in Japanese history, “the frontier creates both state and nation.”164 Takahashi had recognized the salience of the frontier concept in his early work. In 1955, his attempt at a “scientific” history of Tōhoku began by combining Arnold Toynbee’s challenge-and-response model with the concept of the “frontier polity” (henkyō kokka) drawn from Matsumoto Shinpachirō’s work on the Roman Empire. Takahashi likened the Northeast’s response to the challenge posed by the Japanese state to that of the Germanic tribes at the outskirts of the Roman Empire. Following Matsumoto, Takahashi described the face-off between Romans and Germanics in terms of the “fundamental laws of world history,” that is, challenge and response. However, in keeping with his overall view of history and his Japanese history project, he saw influence as a two-way street. To wit, the Romans and the Germanic peoples influenced each other through trade and exchange as much as through war, and in time the Germanic tribes developed into states with more complex political and economic structures.165 The transformation of disparate “barbarian” tribes into a fierce and well-organized opponent of the state, imitative in societal and governmental structure but an independent antithesis to the state’s thesis, was the same in both Europe and Japan, argued Takahashi, with the external challenge providing the catalyst for development.166 The first hints of Takahashi’s interest in Turner appear as a 1967 book chapter fittingly entitled “Frontier” (furontia). With typical flair, Takahashi wrote: Frontier. The word brings to mind the epic of American nation building. The United States transformed the ideals of liberty and independence into national development with hoe and spade, setting in motion westward, ever westward the process of national formation. This is [America’s] modern national birth myth. . . . This is a modern, foreign story, whereas the one I want to tell is that of Japan’s premodern frontier management. The era and scale of these two narratives is different, but the basic structure of the frontier and its historical significance is essentially unchanged.167

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However, at this point, Takahashi was hesitant to apply the model wholesale. He hedged, claiming that the “development” (kaihatsu or kaitaku)—his substitute for “conquest” (seibatsu)—of the Northeast was not as definitive in the history of ancient Japan. Takahashi’s most illuminating insight in 1967 was that the commonsense view of the Northeast as an eternally poor and uncivilized backwater could not possibly be the only historical truth. There is no way to explain why the state and so many of its proxies and pretenders invested tens of thousands of men and untold wealth over centuries in the attempt to control Tōhoku unless the north had something or some things of exceptional value to offer. Sometimes land was forefronted, sometimes wealth, but the appeal of the Northeast was always more than either one.168 It is unclear what happened in the interim between Takahashi’s initial, tentative forays into a Japanese frontier theory and the confident, book-length argument found in his 1979 Henkyō: Mō hitotsu no Nihonshi (“Frontier: Another Japanese History”). One factor is the philosophical shift he underwent after his encounter with Tanaka Kakuei’s 1972 “plan for remodeling the Japanese archipelago.” Previously, Takahashi had been largely hopeful that the new postwar order might break the cycle of Tōhoku’s oppression. When Prime Minister Tanaka laid out his bold reform and development plan in Nihon rettō kaizō ron, Takahashi uncharacteristically censured it by name. In a pointed response, he denounced Tanaka’s plan as “evil egalitarianism,” and “anti-human development” that would spread the ills of bourgeois urban modernity evenly across every village and hamlet in Japan. Instead of erasing cultural and economic diversity, Takahashi wrote, Japan ought to recognize and utilize heterogeneity as a strength.169 Perhaps Takahashi saw in Tanaka’s plan yet another echo of the ancient pattern of Japanese national development through the subordination of the Northeast within its political, cultural, and economic patterns. This conclusion is suggested by a similarly angry passage from 1976, in which Takahashi wrote that the drive to urbanize and homogenize—to “Tokyo-ify”—the landscape is symptomatic of the “ills of civilization” afflicting modern Japan. Japan must start over, he wrote,

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abandoning modernity, civilization, and even “advancedness” to embrace a different future path, the prototype for which should be provided by Tōhoku.170 Takahashi’s disillusionment with Tanaka was the end of his optimistic phase, and in an important way marked a transitional point for postwar Tōhoku studies as a whole. Disenchantment with the postwar and the “ills of civilization” was a philosophical pillar of second-stage postwar Tōhoku studies, one that bound together Takahashi and thinkers like Umehara Takeshi and Akasaka Norio. Embitterment was not the only reason Takahashi was attracted to Turner. The work of historical geographer Yamada Yasuhiko probably introduced Takahashi to Turner’s frontier thesis. Yamada read widely in English, French, and German texts, bringing a comparative perspective to ancient Japanese history. As Takahashi had been in the 1950s and 1960s, Yamada was cautious about applying Turner’s frontier thesis to the history of ancient Tōhoku, preferring a more nuanced picture of the frontier as a contact (or transitional) zone between cultures, especially in territories newly acquired by a state like Japan.171 Like Takahashi, Yamada saw the “conquest” of Tōhoku as similar to modern Japanese colonial expansionism, contending that state expansion into Tōhoku was primarily the search for an economic solution to domestic political problems. While arguing that all historical frontiers share certain characteristics, Yamada suggested that the Turnerian frontier thesis was inapplicable to Japan. “Turner has said that the momentum for American unification can be found in the frontier,” but Japanese history provides a counterexample because the attempt to take the Northeast instead “exposed the contradictions of the ritsuryō state and hurried its demise.”172 Yamada recognized Takahashi’s work as the first systematic historical research on the frontier, an assessment shared by Karl Friday, who observed, “Takahashi Tomio was one of the first scholars to take up the subject of Japan’s early frontiers and their development.”173 In any case, it appears that the admiration between Yamada and Takahashi was mutual, though their conclusions about the frontier were different.

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In Henkyō, Takahashi argued that—with a reversal of cardinal directions—Turner’s frontier thesis could explain the essence of the ancient Japanese state’s historical march. Not surprisingly, he assigned special importance to the Northeast’s role in this process. As the frontier and the “Great West” defined American national history and character to a greater extent than any other factors, so did the frontier project and the “Great East” define the character of the ancient Japanese state; the taking of Tōhoku was the first major project of the ritsuryō state.174 In this context, “frontier” was a concept relative to the self-declared “center,” meaning the outer limits of the expanding state’s political influence. Drawing from Yamada and Kita Sadakichi, Takahashi wrote that the “frontier” was not fixed, but a designation for moving, relative zones of contact with uncivilized Others. “Frontier” is both a condition and a process: it is the process of being assimilated by the center, and the condition of that process’s incompletion. It is the expression of an ideal unattained, and a political and cultural goal often framed as a mission civilisatrice. For Japan, as for the United States, the history of the frontier is the history of state and national formation. Turner had written that “The true point of view in the history of this nation is not the Atlantic coast, it is the Great West,” and Takahashi concurred wholeheartedly.175 Takahashi did not, however, uncritically adopt the Turnerian model, unaware of its shortcomings or critiques. To the contrary, Takahashi was at pains to point out that Turner’s is a history “inextricably linked with American imperialist theory, which is philosophically rooted in the idea of Manifest Destiny,” and that his vision of the Western frontier and its place in national formation ignored slavery, erased Native Americans, and beatified the colonization of the West as a sacred mission. However, he pointed out, this is precisely why Turner’s model was applicable to Japanese history: Japanese national history had similarly defined its succession of frontiers as the recalcitrant objects of history, and in so doing erased their subjectivity.176 The frontier is never as empty and its land never as “free” as national histories imply. Turner accurately described the frontier’s critical role in defining the course of

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national history, according to Takahashi, but he failed to recognize the subjectivity of the frontier’s indigenous inhabitants. Takahashi did not consistently distinguish between the Turnerian frontier as universal historical dynamic and the frontier thesis as national mythology because he wanted to describe Japanese history using both Turner and his critics. Takahashi, whose mission was to find value in the indigenous culture and people of the frontier (Tōhoku), split with Turner on this critical point. Still, as he had in 1967, Takahashi insisted that the structural similarity of Japanese and American history was indicative of similar underlying forces at work and a similar historical course. In summary, Takahashi understood Turner’s model to argue that the frontier was the center of American history. The westward advance of American settlement was the course and explanation of American development. The frontier both served as a “safety valve,” providing release for tensions built up in the East, and was “the line of most rapid and effective Americanization,” the source of innovation and renewal that sundered “the bond of custom.” The threecentury process of westward expansion differentiated Americans from Europeans, making a “New People” for the “New World.” The frontier gave rise to the qualities, ideologies, and institutions characterizing the New People and their New World, such as democracy, individualism, isolationism, and nationalism. “Westward movement” in North America was the continuation of “westward movement” across the Atlantic.177 “The oldest West was the Atlantic coast,” the western “frontier” for the so-called “pilgrims,” wrote Turner. The ancient Japanese polity, also established by immigrants, or at least by imported culture (Takahashi is not explicit), expanded outward from a base in the Kinai region of southwestern Japan; it is analogous to the Thirteen Colonies. It is the cradle of the state, and of its culture, people, and ideals. New England and Kinai were the tiny incubators (both only one-tenth of the national landmass total) in which the dream of national unification was hatched and matured. Just as the American colonies would expand westward, so the Kinai polity had turned its eyes to the east. The Chūbu and Kanto regions (Azuma) were together Japan’s “Old East,” equiva-

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lent to Turner’s “Old West.” For Turner, the Old West “includes the back country of New England, the Mohawk Valley, the Great Valley of Pennsylvania, the Shenandoah Valley, and the Piedmont—that is, the interior or upland portion of the South, lying between the Alleghanies [sic] and the head of navigation of the Atlantic rivers marked by the ‘fall line.’ ”178 The land beyond the Appalachians was the “new West,” stretching all the way to the Pacific coast. Tōhoku, in this schema, would be the “New East,” and Takahashi suggested (perhaps playfully) that Hokkaido be known as the “Far East.”179 More seriously, Turner’s frontier thesis provided Takahashi the analytical framework to write a history of Tōhoku as central to the history of Japan. Restoration of the Northeast to a major concern of the ancient state resituated Tōhoku as a region with value. Without economic and political value, centuries of sometimes violent and expensive colonization would never have taken place. For Takahashi, Tōhoku and Japan were separate—with Tōhoku as the victim—but simultaneously they were one, mutually constituted. They were, as John Dower wrote of the postwar relationship between Japan and the United States, “locked in an almost sensual embrace” that shaped the destinies and identities of both.180 The question, as with other metropole-colony relationships, perhaps ought to have been “the precise weight of the ‘mutually constitutive’ ” relationship.181 But it was a revolution, not a corrective, that Takahashi sought.

Concluding Remarks Takahashi Tomio’s frontier thesis did not immediately catch on. It is interesting in its own right, important as an unusual example of the universalist tendencies of early postwar historians, and a landmark indicating a shift in the direction of postwar Tōhoku studies. But it was not, in itself, influential. If anything, prior to the triple disaster of 2011, Takahashi was criticized for perpetuating, albeit unwittingly, the social imaginary of Tōhoku as a savage and backward object for conquest and civilization.182 The earthquake, tsunami,

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and nuclear meltdown of March 11 appear to have effected a tragic resurrection of this view, however.183 The narrative of the Northeast as victim, on the other hand, was the bedrock of early postwar Tōhoku studies. Victimhood provided a layer of insulation against responsibility for war and empire. Equally, it was the foundation for ennobling the Emishi and glorifying Hiraizumi, which were the major preoccupations of postwar Tōhoku studies before the 1980s. This account of history had plausibility for many scholars working in those years because the apparent victimization of Tōhoku within and by the modern state was a living memory for themselves, their parents, their siblings, and their communities, as it was for Takahashi Tomio. The story of Tōhoku as Japan’s eternally incorrigible backwater, populated by people who for one reason or another were simply incapable of living up to Japanese standards, had explanatory power because it was based on a trope found in the first account of Tōhoku (Nihon shoki), returned to and reinforced throughout history. Similarly, whether the transformation of the Northeast into an internal periphery (or colony) in the Meiji period was the product of deliberately malicious machinations, ancient antipathies, smart business and policy decisions, poor luck, or some combination of any or all of the above, the story of Tōhoku as victim worked (was plausible) because it had ancient roots and a seemingly unbroken string of parallels. The Northeast was more than a generic victim, however. It was a colony. This idea did not originate with Takahashi Tomio and his clique of Tōhoku historians. The exploitative character of regional development in the Northeast was already recognized in the late nineteenth century. Though the 1881–1890 rush to lay rail in Tōhoku was welcomed as the path, literally and figuratively, to civilization and progress, a few years after the 1891 completion of the Tōhoku Main Line, Nitobe Inazō bitterly described the railroad as the engine of extractive capitalism, a giant “straw,” bleeding rural Japan dry to feed the hungry cities.184 Even in the postwar, the colonial formation was not unique to Tōhoku studies. In the early postwar years, influential historian Ishimoda Shō, for instance, had similarly described Tōhoku as a bleak, “backward periphery,” noth-

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ing more than “a colony . . . of the center.”185 This trope was temporarily displaced in the 1980s and 1990s by the intervention of a more nostalgia-driven, culturally nationalist revision led by thinkers like Umehana Takeshi, which is discussed in chapter 5. Since the tragedy of March 11, 2011, which exposed the fallacious nature of this halcyon view, “Tōhoku as colony” has made a forceful return as a tool of both polemic and analysis. Ultimately, though it was a keystone of postwar Tōhoku studies’ reevaluation of the Northeast, the importance of the colonial parallel may be measured in its effects on public discourse and policy in the post-postwar order that has begun to unfold since 2011.

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Chapter Three

Ennobling the Emishi Eastern and Northern Japan count for nothing; indeed, much of the North-East and North was, down to comparatively recent times, occupied by the barbarous Ainos or, as they are called by the Japanese, Yemishi, Yebisu, or Yezo. —Basil Hall Chamberlain, 1882 The problem of understanding the ancient Celts is that we are looking at a fifth-century Greek stereotype, compounded by a much later nineteenth-century British and Irish one. —Neil MacGregor

Introduction Chamberlain’s acid comment on the value of Tōhoku and the nature of its “Yemishi” (Emishi) people comes from his introduction to the first-ever translation into English of the Kojiki (“Record of Ancient Matters”), a sort of prequel to the National Histories that was compiled from oral traditions in 711–12.1 Chamberlain, an astute student and observer of “Things Japanese” (the title of one of his books on Meiji Japan), is important for two reasons. First, he was a European intellectual steeped in Western race discourse who had also read and absorbed the Tokugawa-period commentaries of the great (and chauvinist) Japanese classicist Motoori Norinaga. Second, his many learned works were important sources of academic

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knowledge about Japan in Europe and the Americas in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and though keenly critical and cutting in many places, here they merely accurately reflect the prejudices of the premodern nobility and their cultural and political heirs.2 His offhand dismissal of the entire eastern half of Japan as the worthless home of the Emishi-Ainu parroted the educated Japanese view of the time. This view was informed by the National Histories’ prejudices, their nasty record of ancient Japanese-Emishi conflict, and a subsequent history that was hardly better. This chapter treats the transformation of the Emishi from “Ignoble Savage” to “Noble Savage,” perhaps the keystone of the early postwar period of Tōhoku studies. In the first quarter century of the postwar, Tōhoku studies was defined by a project to uncover the historical value of the Northeast that Chamberlain denied. As discussed in the previous chapter, the first piece of this puzzle began with a redefinition of Tōhoku as Japan’s oldest victim, suffering at the hands of Japanese colonialist policy since antiquity. The other half of the early postwar Tōhoku studies project was to write the history of an independent and noble Tōhoku, containing in its past and indigenous culture the seeds of a new value system for postwar Japan. The Emishi as subaltern had never spoken.3 Though attempts were made to produce some sort of subjective history, in reality the best that could be done with the limited—and heavily biased— materials available was to read against the grain. The new narrative that emerged from this revision revolved around a revised view of the Emishi, long dismissed as Ainu or proto-Ainu barbarians relevant to Japanese history only as objects of ancient conquest and to the extent that some legacy of their “backwardness” persisted in the Northeast. The most important obstacle to this reimagination of the Emishi was the distinctly modern view that they had been the racial progenitors of the Ainu. What did this mean for Tōhoku? Racial categorization is not altogether different from other psychological systems of exclusionary classification; the structures of caste-based social hierarchies and racism are remarkably similar.4 Modern ideas of race differ, however, in their appeal to ostensibly immutable,

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“natural” characteristics, such as ancestry.5 As Margaret Sleeboom has argued, “Natural markers facilitate symbolic manipulation on the basis of meanings extracted from what is perceived as natural . . . and legitimize and consolidate rigid divisions in social organization and in the distribution of power over society.”6 Boundaries considered natural (whether physical, psychological, or geographical) function as particularly powerful and durable symbolic walls. Especially when combined with commonsense understandings of the enduring primitivity and inferiority of the Ainu and the history of Emishi resistance to superior Japanese culture and rule, the dialectic of race read backward onto the history of early Japan legitimized the conquest of the Emishi and froze the Emishi in an unalterable vertical hierarchy beneath the Japanese. As there could be no value in the culture and history of the Ainu—if, as “people without history,” they could even be said to have either—there could be no value in the culture and history of the Emishi.7 In the worldview of the Nara and Kyoto courts, the Emishi had functioned as “Ignoble Savages.” In the postwar, they were transformed into “Noble Savages.” That is, within early Japan’s Chineseinspired narratives of civilized center and barbarian periphery, the Emishi (and other peripheral peoples in the archipelago) negatively indexed the greatness of the Japanese state and its culture. Their deviation from the elite cultural and political patterns of the Japanese state core was evidence of inferiority. After 1945, the Emishi were resurrected as guardians of a separate cultural tradition. Postwar revisionism of the Emishi began with decoupling Tōhoku’s ancient peoples from the pervasive racialized discourse that equated them with the Ainu. After 1945, historians of Tōhoku demonstrated that both the scientific and documentary evidence in fact indicated that the term was a political label and not an ethnonym. For ancient Japanese elites, “Emishi” was a blanket term for the culturally different and politically noncompliant people of the Northeast, “a set phrase for uncontrollable northerners.”8 The Emishi were diverse peoples, historically contingent and subjective, and the Tōhoku historians argued that Emishi culture and values had value for rethinking and rebuilding Japan.9 The ancient court nobil-

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ity saw the Emishi as savages who refused to accept Japanese rule or get out of the way, early modern intellectuals added to this a sense of something akin to ethnic difference, and modern elites wrapped both views into imported Social Darwinist rubrics of immutable races in natural hierarchies. The Emishi personified the fact that, as Chamberlain so eloquently noted, the Northeast “count[ed] for nothing.” But for postwar Tōhoku studies the Emishi embodied the region’s resistance to Japanese economic, cultural, and political domination. Divorced from a simplistic one-to-one equation with the Ainu and given their own history of virtuous résistance against Japanese aggression, the Emishi could open the way to a subjective history of ancient Tōhoku. After all, as Yamauchi Akemi recently pointed out—with no lack of bitterness or eloquence—it is precisely the lack of any subjective history that defined Tōhoku as inferior, barbarian, and worthless in the eyes of Tokyo and Kyoto. “A land grafted onto ‘official history’ but prohibited by a temporal caesura from tracing its own,” she wrote, “for now, let us call that ‘Tōhoku.’ ”10 Discovery of the Emishi as partisan opposition against Japanese colonialism marked the beginning of a transformation of the Emishi from “Ignoble” to “Noble.” An emblematic change was the replacement of the National Histories’ “rebellion” (hanran) with the more positive “resistance” (teikō). “Rebellion” assumed the Emishi to be the rightful subjects of the state, while “resistance” evoked the more virtuous image of guerilla résistance against the Nazis and their allies in Germany, and against Japan in Asia. Historian Kadowaki Teiji provided one of the earliest examples of this redefinition in 1953, likening Emishi resistance to that of the peasant subjects of the ritsuryō state. Both were victims of Japanese elites’ “heavy-handed oppression,” natural allies in the struggle for autonomy and dignity.11 The first decade of postwar Tōhoku studies largely pivoted on a simple proposition. If Tōhoku, or “Michinoku,” as it was known in antiquity, “was a spatial expression designating the land beyond political control, then Emishi was its human equivalent.”12 Proof that “Emishi” in particular was a moving rather than a stable target, a common noun designating populations in a fixed relative position to the state but not self-identical over time, would constitute the

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strongest counterargument to the racial view of the Emishi. These conclusions were not entirely novel, as Takahashi himself admitted. “I am among those,” he wrote, “who believe that an unambiguous racial thesis is untenable because Emishi is a political and cultural concept, a view of uncivilized tribes. In actuality, the same characters meant different things depending on time and place [because] Emishi is a top-down concept of the ruling elites of the ancient state, based on the ka’i ideology,” borrowed from China.13 Takahashi was a great thinker not for the originality of his ideas, but rather for clearly expressing positions with social plausibility. Expressed with élan, Takahashi’s position statement firmly established the inchoate postwar “Emishi–non-Ainu” model as the standard for further research.14 For a number of reasons, by the late 1950s, the Emishi–nonAinu thesis was already widely accepted. First came the prewar anthropometric data gathered by Hasebe Kotondo. Second came Kita Sadakichi’s demonstration that the word “Emishi” was ontologically stable but historically variable, a kind of cognitive schema that held the same symbolic meaning in the minds of the ancient nobility even as it was applied to successive different populations. Third came the 1950 scientific research at Chūsonji, which demonstrated to the satisfaction of not just the scientists but also the historians present that the Hiraizumi Fujiwara patriarchs were not physically Ainu despite their maternal Emishi lineage. This alone was probably enough to tip the scales against the Emishi-Ainu thesis, but the political climate of the immediate postwar was surely a contributing factor to the speed and thoroughness with which the best scholars of the subject adopted the Emishi–non-Ainu thesis. It was both plausible and convenient in the early 1950s to see the Emishi as freedom fighters against the aggressive and repressive Japanese regime. So it was that the deracialization of Emishi discourse—the transference of significance from race to culture— and a corresponding tendency to use the history and culture of the Emishi as a Noble Savage to critique Japanese history and society defined Emishi studies in the coming decades.

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Tōhoku Studies as Postwar Thought Fundamentally, postwar Tōhoku studies began as a mission to make Tōhoku count for something, both subjectively and also instrumentally, for reimagining and rebuilding Japan. Since 1945, Tōhoku studies has been occupied with the realization of “a Japan that we could be proud of and have hope for,” as Takahashi Tomio put it.15 Takahashi was the spokesperson for this movement, but of course he was not alone in this desire for national renovation and a restoration of national pride. On the contrary, though the majority of Japanese were preoccupied for a time at least with the more pragmatic business of survival, reinventing Japan was a preoccupation for intellectuals across the political spectrum. To the extent that he sought in history a remedy for the recent past and a guide for the future, Takahashi was typical of his transwar generation of historians. He differed from both mainstream conservatives and progressives, however, on several key points, the most important of which was that he located the keys to postwar national renaissance in the history of Tōhoku. In the early years of the postwar, the triumphant revolution and modernization of Meiji reappeared as one important model for Japan’s future path. Meiji was particularly popular with thinkers like philosopher Maruyama Masao, considered by many the representative thinker of his generation. Maruyama urged a return to the “healthy civic nationalism” (kenzen na kokuminshugi) advocated by the representative thinker of Meiji, Fukuzawa Yukichi. Maruyama saw the antiliberalism and totalitarianism of wartime as the result of a national identity built on “unhealthy” ethnic nationalism.16 He was instrumental in reconstructing an image of Meiji as a period of great revolution, which was clearly needed in postwar Japan.17 In this sense, Maruyama and other important early postwar intellectuals like Ōtsuka Hisao were philosophically connected to prewar classical liberalism, which as a whole advocated civic nationalism of independent individuals; Maruyama wrote admiringly of Fukuzawa, “in that he was an individualist, he was a statist (kokkashugisha).”18

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Progressives, especially Japan’s Communists and Marxists, took a very different view. The Japanese ethnic nation was not the root of unhealthy, antiliberal nationalism but its victim, as they saw it. In the immediate postwar, Marxist historians had turned to a Stalinist “national awakening” (jikaku) to realize socialist revolution. Though the ethnic nation had proven an abject failure as a counter-statist rallying call during the interwar and war years, and had in fact become a statist tool instead, it was quickly resurrected in the postwar in opposition to the political legitimacy of the state. Inheriting from prewar native ethnology a definition of cultural authenticity drawing on essentialized ethnic national identity, Marxist intellectuals invented a new vector for Japanese history as the liberation of the ethnic nation (minzoku) from the state. History thus became a struggle for the liberation of the Japanese ethnic nation from “all remnants of the prewar past, including feudalism, capitalism, the incomplete revolution of the Meiji era, and the ultra-nationalism that rose to consume the polity from the mid-1930s.” This conception of the minzoku as the synecdoche for national character and the ultimate source of legitimacy produced a nation “ontologically distinct from the state.” The minzoku-faction historians came to agree that “the political authority of the state could be legitimately challenged through the principle that it was ordinary people, expressed in terms of the Japanese ethnic nation, that had the sole right to make postwar history.”19 Unlike the Marxists who saw struggle between nation and state as the primary axis of Japanese history, Takahashi envisioned a more spatial and cultural conflict. For him, the primary arc of history in the Japanese archipelago was the east-west, north-south (or sometimes southwest-northeast) clash between the Japanese state and the East and then the Northeast. While admitting that the dynamic of “center” (chūō) versus region (chihō) was not limited to Tōhoku, Takahashi nonetheless found its most important, sustained, and problematic expression in the history of the Northeast. In the 1980s, Takahashi retrospectively articulated his vision for the place of regional history within the study of Japanese history in articles on “center and region in Japanese intellectual history” and a position

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paper on the “logic and structure of regional Japanese historiography.” He claimed to have begun studying the history of Tōhoku in order to legitimize that local history, but that in the so-called “age of regions” (chihō no jidai) and of “Japanese history from the regions” (chihō kara no Nihonshi) the meaning and significance of this research had changed. It had become “regional history as Japanese history” (Nihonshi to shite no chihōshi), a concept which he explained in the following manner. It could not be “the history of a region as opposed to the history of the center,” but must be instead “the history of a region as the history of the center.” Up to this point, Takahashi had advocated “archipelagic history” (rettōshi or rettō shigaku),20 but in this new context he called for a “Japanese archipelagic Japanese history” (Nihon rettō Nihonshi) in which the subjective histories of all regions of the archipelago are assembled, e pluribus unum, into a comprehensive history of Japan. Each region is, in this formulation, equal, and there is no single, constant “center”; the putative “center” is in fact “a region known as the center.”21 Takahashi looked beyond the ancient Japanese state to its margins, peripheries, and frontiers—what would later become Japan’s regions—attempting to relativize the self-proclaimed, self-evident center and shift the gravity of historiography from “Japan” to “the Japanese archipelago.”22 One later outgrowth of the Marxists’ early postwar nation-state dichotomy was the “people’s history” (minshūshi) movement. Irokawa Daikichi and Kano Masanao are considered the founding leaders of the minshūshi school that arose when the social influence of Marxist class struggle discourse decreased in the 1960s. Intellectual historians of the Tokugawa–Meiji transition years, including Irokawa, Kano, Yasumaru Yoshio, and Hirota Tamaki, disaffected with Marxist historiography and yet unhappy with the centralized, elite, bureaucratic state that had taken shape after 1945, famously scoured the land for evidence of grassroots, bottom-up, local histories in the 1960s and 1970s.23 The minshūshi historians questioned both Marxism and modernization theory as foreign imports not suited to the particulars of the Japanese situation, instead attempting to craft social histories in which the non-elite people were the subjects. In this sense, they shared with early postwar Marxists, from whom they

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traced their intellectual lineage, affinities with the work of Yanagita Kunio in the prewar period.24 Takahashi was openly sympathetic to both the minshūshi scholars and minzoku-faction Marxists, though he allied himself with neither. Despite this, and though his search for a non-elite, antistate local history predated Irokawa and Kano’s minshūshi by nearly a decade, Takahashi was probably closer to the minshūshi school than to the Marxists. Neil Waters wrote of Irokawa and his fellows that they sought local and “indigenous . . . characteristics and modes of thought that filled two criteria: (1) they did not contribute to prewar Japanese imperialism; and (2) they opposed in some way the negative aspects of Japanese modernization.”25 The same was true of Takahashi, and the history and culture of the Northeast fulfilled both conditions and more.

Savages, Noble and Ignoble The “Savage” or “wild man” is a stereotypical Other conjured by the cultural and civilizational centers of history. As Sander Gilman argued in his classic study of the psychology of difference, stereotypes are the product of schemata, unconscious mental structures that organize the world of perception. Schemata are mental shorthands that facilitate the processing of infinitely complex reallife experience through associational patterns and predetermined “webs of significance,” as Clifford Geertz called them. Gilman observed that the systems of representation integral to stereotypes generate “pairs of antithetical signifiers.” However, he argued, the specific signifiers and their meanings are historically contingent, drawing on a body of cultural “tradition” (webs of signs and meanings) in particular historical and personal contexts. Stereotyping is thus a process rooted in the alchemy of alloying preexisting structures of thought and meaning with the rude data of experience. It is a protean process that produces protean images, “palimpsests on which the initial bipolar representations are still

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vaguely legible.” And because the resulting stereotypes are mutable, “paradigm shifts in our mental representations of the world can and do occur. We can move from fearing to glorifying the Other.”26 Alterity itself is neither good nor bad, but a conveniently empty category upon which good and bad images are projected depending on historical and individual circumstance. The “Savage” in European thought began as the sixteenth-century redux of the much older concept of the “wild man” or barbarian. The dominant Hellenic self-definition posited the Persians as the primary barbarian foil, and Romans consciously differentiated themselves from both Greeks and Persians to the east and Germanic wild men to the west. Likewise, the great monotheistic traditions all insisted on defining the world in terms of the “chosen” or righteous and the gentile or heathen.27 After the European encounter with the Americas the myth of the “Savage,” first personified by the native peoples of the “New World” and later by Africans and Pacific Islanders, among others, played the dual role in Western thought of a comparative tool for either affirming or critiquing the superiority of Western civilization. The new Savage combined the Greek and Roman disdain for “barbarians” such as the Persians and Germanic tribes with the Christian binary of salvation and damnation. This admixture critically occurred within the context of the “discovery” of the American continents, worlds beyond the Biblical ken and therefore disruptive of dominant values and worldviews. The Savage was a foil, posited as the antithesis of a putative Western society. The valence of this antipode shifted, however, as exemplified by the dichotomy between “Noble Savage” and “Ignoble Savage.” On the one hand, the “Children of Nature” were free from the bonds of civilization, law, and social or sexual restrictions, living in harmony with nature and their own desires. John Dryden’s famous first English use of the phrase “noble savage” in his 1669 play, The Conquest of Granada, is illustrative: I am as free as nature first made man, Ere the base laws of servitude began, When wild in woods the noble savage ran.

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The Noble Savage quickly developed into a “device that allowed social critics to invert European culture, to point out its flaws, and to suggest ways it might be improved.”28 On the other hand, “primitive” peoples lived outside of time, stagnant, mean, illogical, and uncivilized. According to J. Robert Constantine, the dehumanizing myth of the Ignoble Savage “was invented to justify dispossession of the Indian.” If the indigenous peoples of the Americas were human, they were subject to divine and natural law and could not be deprived of land or freedom. If, on the other hand, they were less than human (subhuman or inhuman), then they had no natural rights. Not surprisingly, apologists for European expansion in the New World increasingly invoked some version or another of the Ignoble Savage myth to justify a legalistic view of the Americas as vacuum domicilium, land not under cultivation and therefore “free” for seizure and use.29 By the eighteenth century, the Ignoble Savage stereotype had become a favorite trope of widely consumed and influential European accounts of travel in Africa, and were employed by slavery apologists as evidence of the inhuman nature of the “Negro,” who could then be treated as chattel.30 The Ignoble Savage was the more influential trope in Europe beginning in the eighteenth century, as it reflected and bolstered Western confidence vis-à-vis the rest of the world.31 As Stuart Hall has pointed out, by this time, the Noble Savage had been established in the Western intellectual canon as a vehicle for critical reflection on the “over refinement, religious hypocrisy and divisions by social rank that existed in the West.” Simultaneously, the Ignoble Savage became fixed as a self-congratulatory homage to European progress and development that justified colonization, the expropriation of land, both assimilation and exclusion, and African slavery.32 On the one hand, notes Ad Borsboom, the Noble Savage has tended to dominate in times of uncertainty, when intellectuals are plagued by a sense of impending, radical change. “His advocates do not so much want to transfer his noble customs and characteristics to their own society as to use them as powerful devices for fundamental criticism of what is going on in their own society.”33 The grow-

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ing popularity of the myth of the savage Other’s ignobility, on the other hand, was a sign of Western confidence. In eighteenth-century Europe, some saw savage ignobility in temporal terms, with the Americas representing mankind’s infancy.34 Others saw the difference in more starkly ontological terms, defining the Savages as “beasts” and the like.35 In both cases, the Ignoble Savage was a key figure in what Hall memorably described as the rise of “the West and the Rest” mentality.36 The binary of civilized Self and barbarian Other and the volatile mix of admiration and contempt for the ig/noble Other are common characteristics of highly developed cultural, political, and economic centers down the centuries. The Greeks and Romans of antiquity were not the only ancients to define their neighbors as barbarians, and the Western Europeans of the Renaissance and Enlightenment ages had no monopoly on seeing their world in terms of civilization and savagery. There was certainly historical contingency and both temporal and local inflection to these ideas of Self and Other, but the fundamental pattern of structuring of the world through Self-Other binaries, in which the Other can be feared, disdained, glorified, and even used as a foil for self-criticism, has very close parallels in East Asia, both ancient and modern. By the beginning of the Han dynasty at least, the elite center of ancient China had a well-developed, systematized, and institutionalized doctrine of civilization surrounded by barbarism.37 The hua yi si xiang (J. ka’i shisō) cosmology placed the “flower” of Chinese civilization in the center of concentric circles of increasing barbarism and oddity.38 As Nicola Di Cosmo has shown, more than two millennia ago, elites of the Chinese cultural and political cores had already developed the “notion of a radiating civilization, shedding its light in progressively dimming quantity on . . . surrounding areas” populated by animal-like subhumans.39 Needless to say, that civilization was their own. The animalization of “barbarians” was common in premodern societies, and had both positive and negative aspects. On the one hand, it was condescending, insulting, and often integral to narratives of political and social domination. Civilization was the domain of humans, while barbarians often

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inhabited a liminal, subhuman cosmological space. On the other, depiction of barbarians as animals could also be a recognition of animals’ totemic power, and the perception that barbarians embodied some of these qualities. In Tang China, dominion over these animalistic barbarians was closely connected to the appropriation of their power. Stereotypically barbarian features on the supernatural guardian figures of Tang funeral statuary, for instance, “reflected a dialogue between three mutually reinforcing categories—supernatural, animal, and barbarian—within the Tang discourse on ethnic difference.”40 Despite the existence in some cases of obvious physiognomic and cultural differences between the (Han) Chinese and their neighbors, outward appearance was not the only or even most important index of difference, and apparently ethnic designations made by the Chinese were often just that: etic, political blanket terms that were insensitive to emic identity. Nicola di Cosmo has shown that, for example, the term “Jung” (rong) was used in the Chinese sources as a generic designation for “ ‘bellicose’ or ‘warlike’ ” peoples ripe for conquest rather than as an ethnonym.41 And as the case of the “Celts” of Europe demonstrates, this kind of classification was widespread among the self-designated civilizational centers of the ancient world. Labels that have since been read as ethnic or racial in the modern world were cultural indices of difference, negative definitions of “what people were not . . . a badge of otherness,” as Neil MacGregor put it.42

The Emishi as Ignoble Savages and the Emishi-Ainu Theory The notion of civilized Self surrounded by barbarous and inferior Other provided a durable vision in which encounters between the Chinese core and its peripheral peoples were interpreted as a dialectic between civilization and savagery. These tropes and their

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metaphysical geography of identity and difference were imported more or less wholesale by the early Japanese state, in part as a way of legitimizing its own existence in the shared language of power of the Sinosphere. In other words, the existence (or invention) of barbarians around Japan was necessary proof that the regime was legitimate and civilized, especially after it began to adopt a Chinese bureaucratic state model in the mid-seventh century. The early Japanese chronicles record several groups of such barbarians, of whom the Emishi were the most important because they were the most pressing political issue for Japan at the time the first chronicles were written. The earliest records provided the most vivid and enduring descriptions of the Emishi, images that remained influential into the latter half of the twentieth century. The Six National Histories, compiled beginning in the late seventh century at the behest of rulers seeking to imitate the Tang dynasty’s constructs of political legitimacy, were a historiographical project paralleling the ongoing Taika administrative reforms begun in 645, which ushered in the so-called ritsuryō state.43 The first of the Histories, the Nihon shoki, was completed in 720. It duplicated much of the material in the Kojiki. A mixture of fear and respect for this daunting adversary colors what are otherwise formulaic descriptions of the Emishi ripped from Chinese models. The picture of the Emishi in the Kojiki and Nihon shoki is of powerful, unassimilable, animalized “eastern savages” living beyond the political bound­aries of the state (and its proxies) in the Northeast, and more importantly, beyond the civilizing influence of Japanese rule. The image of the Emishi established in the National Histories was canonical even into the postwar period. It also served as a template for subsequent images of savagery and backwardness— even when those images attempted to invert East Asia’s traditional Sinocentric civilizational order in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (figs. 3A–3B). The long history of this trope, which begins with Nihon shoki’s famous description of the Emishi, is essential to understanding the dramatic pivot attempted by early postwar Tōhoku historians. In Nihon shoki, Emperor Keikō dispatched his son, the legendary Yamato Takeru, to subdue the Emishi, the most

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powerful among the “Eastern savages.” He warned that the Emishi were dangerous adversaries, not to be taken lightly. They conceal arms at all times, according to Keikō and, “When they receive a favour, they forget it, but if an injury is done them they never fail to revenge it.” The sovereign advised caution because the Emishi “are of a violent disposition,” marauding opportunistically before fleeing into the mountains. “Their clothing consists of furs, and they drink blood,” and live in holes in the winter and nests in the summer, which fits their uncivilized, animal nature: “In ascending mountains they are like flying birds; in going through the grass they are like fleet quadrupeds.” When not raiding lowland villages, they flee into the mountains, and have thus escaped the “kingly civilizing influences” of the Japanese state. This portrait of anarchic barbarians, living without permanent homes, agriculture, or Confucian virtues (“their hamlets have no chiefs, their villages no leaders . . . their men and women live together promiscuously, there is no distinction of father and child”) retained its power into the modern period in part because it could be easily transferred to the Ainu.44 Nihon shoki’s two earlier mentions of the Emishi round out the picture. Both are dated to the reign of Keikō’s predecessor, Jinmu. Together, they describe a ferocious but ultimately conquerable enemy occupying rich lands ripe for the taking. The first appearance of the Emishi is in a song enjoyed by Japanese soldiers upon slaughtering a group of Emishi they had invited to a banquet and furnished with ample drink. This impromptu verse celebrated a surprising victory through subterfuge over a (drunken and defenseless) foe thought undefeatable on the battlefield: Though folk say That one Emishi Is a match for one hundred men, They do not so much as resist45

Some time after the betrayal and bloodshed fêted in this verse, it is recorded that Jinmu commissioned his Takechi no Sukune to survey the land and people of the East and Northeast. Upon his

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Fig. 3A  Noble Japanese, ignoble Emishi, and modern parallels: Origin of the Kiyomizu Temple (Kiyomizudera engi emaki), 1517. Ink and color on paper, detail from the second scroll in a three-handscroll set. Courtesy of Tokyo National Museum. The noble Japanese overwhelm the ignoble Emishi in this sixteenth-century depiction.

Fig. 3B  Noble Japanese, ignoble Emishi, and modern parallels: Yōshū Chikanobu (1838–1912), Minister Ōtori Escorts the Korean King into the Castle (Ōtori kōshi Taiinkun o yōgo nyūjō no zu). Polychrome woodblock triptych, 1894. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection, 2000.203a–c. The noble Japanese overwhelm the ignoble Chinese in this Sino-Japanese War print.

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return, Sukune described an area called Hitakami, advising Jinmu that both the land and its inhabitants were of special interest.46 Sukune’s report presaged the theme of Emishi violence and backwardness echoed by Keikō, but also laid bare the raw political calculus for taking of the East: land and wealth, ripe for the taking. Sukune reported that “both men and women, tie up their hair in the form of a mallet, and tattoo their bodies. They are of fierce temper, and their general name is Emishi. Moreover, their land is wide and fertile. We should attack them and take it.”47 The legacy of these three passages on the Emishi was, on the face of it, simple. Observing that there are no references in the National Histories to any concept of the Emishi as a non-Japanese “race” per se, Takahashi concluded that issues of race and ethnicity are ahistorical back projections regarding a problematic that simply did not exist. Early Japanese accounts of the Emishi are formulaic, modeled on Chinese accounts of the barbarians surrounding their own center of civilization. Like the Chinese ruling and intellectual classes and their peers around the world, ancient Japanese elites were basically race-agnostic.48 While, as suggested in the previous chapter, it is possible to identify race-like concepts in the Tokugawa period, race was not a prominent, salient categorization of humankind in premodern Japan.49 The problem occurred in the translation of premodern indices of difference into the modern language of race across the Tokugawa-Meiji threshold. In other words, the concept of “Emishi” was reread in the late nineteenth century in a more explicitly “racial” framework, and, in what Pierre Bourdieu called “genesis amnesia,” not only was the moment of transformation forgotten, but that which preceded it was lost as the modern (racial) meaning of Emishi passed, as Takashi Fujitani remarked of the imperial institution’s similar metamorphosis, “into the subconscious area of the seemingly natural and self-evident.”50 The crux of the issue, wrote Takahashi, was that though it is possible to interpret accounts of the Emishi in the ancient chronicles, from the National Histories to gazetteers like Hitachi fudoki, as expressions of racial difference, their authors understood the matter in terms of cultural (and political) difference. In other words,

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Japanese elites saw the world much as their Chinese counterparts did, in terms of roughly concentric circles of increasing strangeness and decreasing cultural virtue emanating out from self-evident centers of what we might now call civilization.51 In fact, he wrote, viewed from the Nara and Heian courts, the Emishi were one particular, if particularly formidable, group of “Eastern savages” (tōi) who refused the “civilizing influences” of the Japanese state. In this, they were hardly different from other groups in the state’s colorfully named panoply of vexing “savages,” including the Hayato, Kumaso, and Tsuchigumo. By the time the National Histories were composed, these peoples were no more than the “distant memory” of centuries past.52 Records of the Emishi, however, provided far clearer and more specific references to geography, culture, and political relations because they were rooted in the political realities of the historical present in which they were composed: the Japanese state, having lost a foothold on the continent, was expanding eastward into Emishi lands. Accounts of the Emishi were related to the court’s “major long-term project” of Eastern conquest, afoot at the time of the chronicles’ compilation.53 Nihon shoki in particular reflects the political concerns of a Japanese state looking eastward after failed attempts to expand its direct political influence westward in the Korean Peninsula, and this section in particular established precedent for rule over the East.54 The trouble with understanding the Emishi arose in earnest when imported European ideas of race were applied to this history, and the Emishi were more systematically and “scientifically” associated with the Ainu. In the premodern dichotomy of civilized center and barbarian periphery, the various peoples surrounding the Japanese state were a kind of “Ignoble Savage,” a negative measure of the greatness of the state and its culture rather than a specifically racial group. Within the dynamics of developing Japanese “racisms of the interior,” however, the Ainu were made into an inferior internal minority, mirroring prejudices toward African-Americans in the United States and the Roma in Europe.55 Richard Siddle insightfully notes that, in Japanese thought, the transformation of the Ainu into an Ignoble Savage defined in

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terms of race followed closely the currents of European thought during Japan’s early years of modernization in the second half of the nineteenth century.56 According to Siddle, racialization of the Ainu was coeval with Meiji Japan’s project of modernization and Westernization. In Japan, scientific racism and the Savage mytheme were part of the Meiji baggage of modernity. Japan’s nineteenth-century encounter with the West coincided with tectonic shifts in European and American attitudes about class and race and the continued expansion of both formal and informal empire around the world. For Japanese elites, imported race theory justified colonization and, by turns, both assimilation and exclusion of “primitives” like the Ainu, and later other Asians. Under this rubric, the Ainu were largely treated as Japan’s Ignoble Savages, a moribund race who served as proof of Japanese racial and cultural superiority. As ancient accounts of the Emishi had mimicked Chinese visions of mainland barbarians, Meiji thinkers absorbed and adapted a racial view of the world and themselves and the Ainu within it. As Siddle points out, in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, European visitors to Japan had often described the Ainu as “noble,” and certainly superior to the Japanese. “Later Western visitors, however, generally took a more negative view. For these men and women, the Ainu fitted into the hierarchical classification of humanity on its lowest rungs as a race of primitive savages.” In the 1890s, as intellectuals and elites worked to establish a sense of Japanese nation on the one hand and to strengthen Japan’s place in the international community on the other, the Ainu were defined as an innately inferior race teetering on the verge of extinction, “an image that encompassed both folk images of the Other and the deterministic notions of popular social Darwinism.”57 The failures of the Ainu and their imminent defeat in the struggle for survival were reimagined as innate and inevitable, a matter of nature over nurture, and one without the contingency of history but rather with the determinism of race. By 1901, school textbooks included descriptions of the Ainu in the section on the “races” of the Japanese Empire. Thereafter, most Japanese chil-

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dren’s formative encounter with the Ainu was explicitly contextualized within narratives of racial hierarchy within the Empire. In the Social Darwinist intellectual atmosphere of the day, the racialized Ainu were a useful obverse image for the Japanese, standing still or retreating as Japan rushed forward. Moreover, when Japan was an expansionist imperial power, it was plausible and expedient to see the Emishi-Ainu as a failed race, conquered and driven from the rich lands of Honshu to inhospitable Hokkaido by the superior Japanese.58 As noted, because the Emishi and Ainu were widely considered identical, the Emishi were subjected to similar prejudices. The so-called “Emishi-Ainu thesis” had been the dominant view in the Tokugawa period, promoted by influential historians and intellectuals like Motoori Norinaga and Arai Hakuseki.59 It was based primarily on the overlapping orthography and geography of Emishi, Ainu, and Ezo (the name by which Hokkaido was known prior to 1869). The Emishi-Ainu thesis survived the Meiji transition intact, and was supported by the most prominent scholars of the day. In addition to their already nefarious role in history as resistors against Japan’s glorious northward march of progress, their savagery was made innate and incorrigible through Western race discourse. Whether the Emishi were Ainu or proto-Ainu was a matter of some debate, but the direct, linear connection between Emishi and Ainu was almost universally assumed. As the Ainu did in later years, the Emishi had lived in Tōhoku and across the Tsugaru Strait in Hokkaido as well. According to the National Histories, like the Ainu, the Emishi were hunter-gatherers unfamiliar with agriculture and metalworking. There are also suggestive references in ancient sources to Emishi hirsuteness, a characteristic linking them to the Ainu. However, it was the coincidences of far northern, trans-Tsugaru geography and the use of identical kanji in the historical sources for Emishi, Ainu, and Ezo that comprised the most frequently cited and powerful pieces of evidence for the Emishi-Ainu thesis. The essence of the argument is eminent linguist Kindaichi Kyōsuke’s oft-repeated quip that “the Ainu on Honshu

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were the Emishi, and those who remained on Hokkaido were the Ainu.”60 Influential anthropologist Torii Ryūzō lent his support to this idea, writing that the Ainu “were known in antiquity as ‘Emishi,’ and are known to historians and others simply as Ezo.”61 This was the most widely held view of the Emishi through 1945, and remained so for some years afterward. Takeuchi Unpei’s 1918 history of “the development of Tōhoku” is typical. Takeuchi equated the Ainu and Emishi, agreeing with Kindaichi that the real difference was one of location—those on Hokkaido survived as Ainu, those on Honshu were assimilated or killed. The justification for this conclusion came in part from archaeological evidence, but primarily from the coincidence of Ainu customs and lifestyle with the presumed and recorded customs of the Emishi.62 There were exceptions, to be sure.63 Nevertheless, in 1949, archaeologist Itō Nobuo correctly noted, “It has been common sense among historians that ancient Tohoku was an undeveloped and barbaric land inhabited by the Emishi [who are] considered uncultured non-Japanese.”64 Historian Kudō Masaki, known for both his work on Tōhoku history and Japanese race discourse, agreed. Kudō observed that “even into the modern period, it was the commonsense view of the majority of the culturati (bunkajin) that the Emishi were the Ainu.”65 Emblematic of the mainstream of belief in this matter was Matsumoto Yoshio, who, with his pupil Shimizu Junzō, carried the Emishi-Ainu theory into the postwar period.66 Matsumoto dismissed the growing body of anthropological evidence calling into doubt the Emishi-Ainu thesis, and as late as 1948 confidently proclaimed it impossible to doubt that the Ainu and Emishi were identical.67 For Matsumoto, the evidence of the National Histories and their interpretive tradition alone were sufficient to maintain the equation. Of course, their confirmation by Kindaichi Kyōsuke’s linguistic analysis was gratifying. Citing Kindaichi, who stressed, among other things, the presence of Ainu toponyms in the Northeast, Matsumoto rather smugly concluded, “the Emishi– non-Ainu theory has in this way been proven of no consequence.”68 Matsumoto was wrong. So was Shimizu. Like his mentor, Shimizu held that the traditional equation of Emishi with Ainu

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could not be dismissed without irrefutable counterevidence. He added an argument for parsimony: the simplest, ergo best, trajectory traceable in the documentary sources began with the Emishi, went through the Ezo, and ended with the Ainu.69 He clung to this position despite recognizing that the growing preponderance of anthropological and archaeological evidence—and with it the tide of scholarly opinion—had shifted against him. In a desperate stand in defense of an increasingly untenable position, Shimizu began a 1963 article by noting the strengths of the Emishi–non-Ainu theory but nevertheless rejecting the argument for its failure to conform to textual sources from the historical canon: Based on physical anthropological research indicating that the bones of the Jōmon-culture people of Tōhoku were quite different from those of the Ainu, and that Ainu bones are only found in Tōhoku from the medieval period onward, the idea that the ancient “Emishi” were Japanese and the “Ezo” were Ainu who migrated southward to Honshu from Hokkaido in the middle ages currently enjoys popularity in some circles. But could such a story be true? At least on the basis of documentary research, it must be deemed highly unlikely.70

Intellectuals in post-empire Japan struggled to redefine Japan and/in its relationship to Asia and the world.71 Some embraced the new order. Others were threatened. Shimizu failed to recognize the significance of new developments in Emishi studies, but more than that he was unwilling or unable to change his position and methodology even as he recognized that document-centered research would be forced to adapt and accept critiques from the social and natural sciences in the postwar zeitgeist of “science,” modernization, and democracy.

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The Emishi as Noble Savages: The “Emishi–Non-Ainu” Thesis The 1950 Chūsonji studies provided the leverage required to free Tōhoku from the determinism of racial hierarchy. This was a key moment in a longer process of discovering the historical and cultural value of the Tōhoku region as a model for a new Japan. As Takahashi Tomio would note with contempt in the 1960s, prewar historians had generally failed to keep up with the cutting-edge anthropological work that brought the Emishi-Ainu thesis into question. As a result, though leaders in the scientific community like Hasebe Kotondo were seriously questioning the Emishi-Ainu equation as early as the 1910s, even in the postwar period, historians like Matsumoto and Shimizu were still referencing Meiji-period anthropology and archaeology if at all.72 Rather than Hasebe, the reference point for early twentieth-century histories of the Emishi was the imported Western tradition exemplified by the Siebolds (father Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold and son Heinrich Philipp von Siebold), who had provided the imprimatur of Western science to the educated common sense of Tokugawa and passed that on to their Japanese students.73 The 1950 exhumation and study of the Ōshū Fujiwara patriarchs’ remains at Chūsonji shifted scholarly momentum toward a deracialized view of the Emishi, and changed the way that (most) historians viewed evidence they had previously ignored, downplayed, or attempted to discredit or explain away. While scholars like Shimizu continued to give primacy to traditional interpretations of the documentary sources, the majority of historians began to catch up with their anthropologist colleagues, who had been suggesting for years that the Emishi-Ainu thesis was on shaky ground. Along with the 1950 Chūsonji studies, the prewar work of Hasebe Kotondo and Kita Sadakichi would provide the foundation for the popularization of the Emishi–non-Ainu thesis, especially by Takahashi Tomio.74 For Takahashi and his contemporaries, the revelation that “Emishi” was a political and cultural label rather

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than a racial one was the first step to injecting contingency into Tōhoku’s history. At Chūsonji, the “scalpel of science” had proven, Takahashi later wrote, that the Emishi were “basically of the same race [shuzoku] as ordinary Japanese [naimin].”75 Race had served as a substitute for history, a catch-all explanation and facile justification for the existence and continuation of injustices and disparities. Takahashi believed that the history and culture of the Northeast offered an alternative model for Japan’s recovery and path forward. But if Tōhoku’s history and culture had been produced by a non-Japanese (Ainu) ethnic or racial heritage, they could and would continue to be dismissed. Takahashi became a leading voice in Tōhoku studies only after 1958, and in the study of the Emishi only after 1963. These are the publication dates of his first two monographs, The Four Generations of the Ōshū Fujiwara (Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai) and its prequel, Ezo. But he was not the first scholar in the postwar to note the importance of the 1950 Chūsonji studies, nor yet the first to reexamine the ancient history of the Northeast and the Emishi. His was not even the first postwar book called Ezo. That honor goes to 1956’s Ezo, an edited volume featuring chapters by leading scholars including prominent historians Tanabe Hiroshi, Sakamoto Tarō, Inoue Mitsusada, and Suzuki Hisashi. This book announced the arrival of the Emishi–non-Ainu thesis as the mainstream view for the postwar; Takahashi’s announced that it was here to stay.76 Tanabe produced the most influential piece in the first Ezo. In it, he explicitly critiqued Shimizu’s historicist overreliance on documentary sources as an example of the persistence of the EmishiAinu thesis in some corners. In contrast, as others would in the coming years, Tanabe urged attention to the accumulating scientific evidence against the Emishi-Ainu theory. He cited the 1950 results of the Chūsonji studies to illustrate the power of scientific tools applied to historical aporiae, and suggested that questions of race were best left to “science.” In any case, he agreed with Mori Kahei’s conclusion of 1950 that the most likely interpretation of the anthropological and documentary data was rather simple: the definition of “Emishi” was primarily political. The Emishi were probably a mixed

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bag of people we might call “Japanese,” “Ainu,” etc., but the word itself was a label for “peripheral people outside the court’s control,” and not a racial distinction. After all, Tanabe noted, “At least in antiquity, there was no concept equivalent to today’s use of race.” Given that, there is no reason to assume that the word “Emishi” was applied to a group or groups with any internal racial cohesion. “I am skeptical,” he concluded, “of the urge to pigeonhole all of those recorded as Emishi . . . as either Ainu or Japanese. Nevertheless, I am personally inclined to believe that in historical times, at least outside Hokkaido and northern Tōhoku, the so-called Emishi are less likely Ainu than merely peripheral people racially not very different from the Japanese.”77 Historicizing the Emishi was synonymous with historicizing the Northeast. Therefore, it had additional implications as a critique of both ancient and modern Japan. The matter is discussed in greater detail in the previous chapter, but merits a brief recap here. First, deracializing the Emishi illustrated the belief that the economic and social disadvantages of the Northeast could and should be seen as the result of choices made due to political and economic motives beginning not in Meiji but as early as recorded history. The majority view of scholars throughout the postwar period, including Iwamoto Yoshiteru and Kawanishi Hidemichi, was expressed in the 1950s most eloquently by Hoshino Teruo, who observed, “Historically, it is true that Tōhoku was not always an ‘advanced’ region, but neither was it such a terribly uncivilized and backward region. Rather, the backward character of the Tōhoku region became clear from Meiji.”78 In contrast, the early postwar Tōhoku studies historians like Takahashi Tomio saw predatory colonialism not only in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but rather as a defining characteristic of Japan from its earliest days. Second, and more directly related to the question of Emishi identity, removing race from the narrative of Emishi history disrupted both the statist narratives of glorious conquest over a primitive alien race that defined the National Histories’ view of the Northeast and also their resurrection in modern empire to demonstrate the superiority of the Yamato nation (minzoku) and

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its destiny and ability to rule less civilized peoples. If Emishi identity was not a matter of race, but of culture and politics, then the assimilation, slaughter, colonization, and continued oppression of their descendants by the Nara state and its successors proved not Japanese supremacy but only Japanese aggression and brutality. This implicit analogy suggested an affinity with the Japanese state’s recent colonial victims that deflected war guilt from the Northeast. If Tōhoku had been violently subjugated and exploited for its natural resources, the region and its people had claim to victim’s history. After all, Tōhoku was Japan’s victim, too. In short, the Emishi could be released from a racial hierarchy that assumed their inherent inferiority and preordained conquest and subjugation by the Japanese, opening the way for a subjective history. The idea of noble Emishi resistance to oppressive government was quickly picked up by scholars like Ujiie Kazunori. In another refutation of Shimizu Junzō’s Emishi-Ainu thesis, Ujiie invoked several of the key themes that would define the early postwar rereading of Emishi history and identity. Shimizu was not just unwilling to accept scientific evidence, but also dismissed or ignored even distinctions within the National Histories between several types of Emishi with different lifestyles and economic systems.79 Nihon shoki clearly distinguished between “the raw and the cooked”—assimilated and unassimilable or civilized and uncivilized Emishi—and on several occasions mentioned sedentary Emishi farmers (den’i). If anything, argued Ujiie, the Emishi were able to resist the court for so long not because of their equestrian prowess and skill with the bow—as attested in Japanese sources—but rather due to their agricultural social foundation.80 In an argument anticipating Pierre Clastres’s influential work, Ujiie claimed that when Emishi groups shunned sedentary lowland village life, it was not because they were ignorant of agriculture, but rather because they despised the colonial oppression of the Japanese state and its agents.81 “In summary, it was resistance to oppressive government.”82

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Takahashi Tomio and the Emishi as Postwar Thought Takahashi Tomio exemplified the ennobling of the Emishi. He was the most important historian of the Emishi—and Tōhoku—in the first quarter century of the postwar.83 As Kikuchi Tetsuo reflected on the decade and a half from about 1955 to 1970, “the central figure . . . was Takahashi Tomio, who brilliantly systematized the Emishi– non-Ainu theory.”84 On the surface, Takahashi’s ideas on the Emishi were relatively straightforward. While on the one hand there is “no evidence that these Emishi or Ebisu were Ainu, neither are there any grounds to assume them all to have been Japanese.”85 The classification was not ethnic but based on the Chinese cultural-ontological model of civilization surrounded by barbarians. The Emishi were the latter. Initially the term was used as a designation of grudging respect for formidable, untamable eastern resistance. In its original usage, “Emishi” was synonymous with matsurowanu (“unruly, disobedient”) and araburu (“rough, violent”), and merely referred to people too powerful and obstinate to be assimilated or conquered. A measure of admiration remained in the term until the military conflict between Japan and northern Tōhoku’s Emishi escalated in the 720s and then again after gold was discovered in the Northeast in 749.86 Even when, with protracted and deepening conflict, the word “Emishi” lost these positive meanings, the basic meaning remained political. The word was roughly synonymous with a constellation of ontological labels for regions and people east, and later north, of Japanese political control. It denoted “fierce resisters who neither obeyed the orders of the political center nor bowed to its indoctrination (kyōka),” and shared a basic meaning with both spatial words like Azuma (“the East”) and descriptions like hina (meaning vulgar, coarse, rustic, base). In Nihon shoki, where “Emishi” was used originally to describe one group among many “eastern savages” (tōi), the term simply “referred to regional people (hōmin) in some sense beyond the [purview of] the central government and in a hostile relationship with it.”87

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The complication, if any, came from the fact that the same characters were read and applied differently—and inconsistently—over time, from the Emishi of Tōhoku to the Ezo of Hokkaido. Like Hasebe Kotondo, Tanabe Hiroshi, and Tanaami Hiroshi, Takahashi admitted that when the same characters came to be read “Ezo” or “Ebisu” in the twelfth century, this probably reflected some sort of discontinuity, and may have even had a more specifically ethnicracial meaning—to the extent that such a concept was relevant.88 “Ezo,” for instance, does not appear in the documentary record until at least the mid-Heian, when it was used to describe the far northern reaches of Tōhoku (modern Aomori), Hokkaido, and the northern isles beyond. The word was applied to “new Emishi” discovered in the farthest north after the conquest and assimilation of the “Emishi proper” had been completed. As “the East” was a movable concept, so too was “Emishi,” but the emergence of the term “Ezo” perhaps indicated the discovery of more than just a new group of (conceptual) Emishi for the Japanese to face. Identical orthography for both “Emishi” and “Ezo” is evidence that the two inhabited the same ontological space for Japanese elites. Phonological difference, on the other hand, likely marked a change in substance; the Ezo were probably different from the Emishi. There would have been no need for a new reading of the characters if nothing at all had changed, argued Takahashi.89 The most obvious differences were temporal and spatial. The Emishi faded from written history during the Kamakura period, while the Ezo did not even appear until the second half of the Heian. From the perspective of late Heian Japanese elites, the Emishi were geographically confined more or less to the Kanto and Tōhoku areas south of the fortieth parallel, while the Ezo inhabited the farthest northern reaches of Honshu and southern Hokkaido.90 While in hindsight it is easy to see an ethnic-racial dimension to the label “Ezo”—and under the influence of Western racial thinking, many did—there was none in the case of the Emishi.91 Takahashi strenuously and vociferously objected to historians’ complicity in dismissing the Northeast’s early history as one of an inferior race awaiting conquest and civilization by the

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Yamato Japanese. Premodern elites had understood the legitimacy of Emishi subjugation in the Chinese terms of civilization and barbarism; modern versions of this hierarchy included a racial element as further justification, but this was an anachronism. The study of history in modern Japan had begun as, and remained, a heavily statist, and often state-sponsored, project. Historians in the Meiji government’s Office of Historiography and in the imperial universities alike were heavily influenced by historicism, transmitted to Japan by Leopold von Ranke’s disciple Ludwig Riess.92 The persistence of this perspective indicated to Takahashi that scholars had abandoned an analytical approach and furthermore remained ignorant of developments in science, reducing the endeavor of historical narrative to nothing more than the process of copying timelines from official sources.93 Takahashi used the term jidaishugi to denigrate this work as “toadying.” The Japanese jidaishugi is identical to the Korean sadaejuui, a pejorative that “became synonymous with dependence, subservience, lackeyism, or toadyism in the eyes of [Korean] nationalists” toward the end of the nineteenth century, according to Michael Robinson.94 In response to the continued dismissal of the Emishi by mainstream historians, Takahashi attempted, despite the inherent difficulties, to write a subjective history of the Emishi. He called this a history of “the Emishi themselves.” In his most systematic attempt at an Emishi history, Takahashi described three central tenets. First, as there are no extant Emishi-authored documents and no evidence that there ever were any as such, any attempt at a history of the Emishi must rely on a critical reading between the lines and against the grain of Japanese sources, which, as he said elsewhere, were filled with descriptions written “unilaterally and with malice by their conquerors.”95 In 1953, Kadowaki Teiji had laid out the basic principle that “ ‘Emishi’ history cannot be understood from the perspective of the ancient state’s taming and subjugation of the Emishi through conquest, colonization, and administration.”96 Peter Perdue, in his study of the Qing dynasty’s westward expansion, addressed the difficulties of reading between the lines penned by literate aggressors about their nonliterate adversaries.

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Acknowledging first that official histories tend to transform “unpredictable, mixed, pragmatic interactions of armies, states, and people into foreordained binary conflicts,” Perdue mused on the challenges of extracting from such ideologically charged and slanted sources the traces of “a genuinely polycultural perspective.”97 Takahashi tried to read against the grain of the Japanese sources. The challenge was to extract a subjective history from a documentary record prepared specifically to deny it. Second, wrote Takahashi, a history of “the Emishi themselves” must be a comprehensive social history, sensitive to the lifestyle, economy, and political structure of the Emishi. This was a nod to Ujiie’s hypothesis that it was the strong agrarian base of the Kitakami River valley Emishi that had allowed them to hold out for nearly four decades against the Nara court’s armies. Emishi historiography, he added, required sensitivity to synchronic and diachronic difference, to diversity within Emishi society at any given time, and also to changes over time. Finally, the history of the Emishi did not end with the declaration of “mission accomplished” that concluded Sakanoue no Tamuramaro’s northern campaigns in 802. That was a purely statist perspective. If anything, the history of the Emishi restarted in 802, when Japanese troops were drawn down and the military occupation of northern Tōhoku gradually gave way to a proxy rule arrangement like the kuni no miyatsuko system that had existed in the Kanto and southern Tōhoku regions prior to the Taika Reforms. This “barbarians over barbarians” scheme gave the Northeast back to the Emishi so long as they paid taxes, engaged in trade, and allowed the exploitation of resources like gold from the Sendai plains. A subjective history of the Emishi, therefore, had to take into account the formation (or re-formation) of Emishi political society under “assimilated Emishi” (fushū) families like the Abe, Kiyohara, and eventually the Hiraizumi Fujiwara. If there had not been one before the mid-seventh century, argued Takahashi, certainly by the tenth-century appearance of the Abe in historical sources there was a fushū kokka, or roughly, an “Emishi nation.”98

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Bruce Batten has argued that “nation” is the wrong English term to render kokka in this context. He additionally derided Takahashi’s idea of a fushū kokka as “state” because “the idea of an independent ‘state’ in the northeast is a tremendous exaggeration. Society in the northeast meets none of the criteria of statehood as normally defined.”99 Batten is correct that Anglophone scholars distinguish political state and ethnic nation, and that kokka is generally used to refer to the former. But as “nation” is a slippery word and concept in English, so it is in Japanese, variously lining up with the English uses of “nation,” “state,” and “nationstate.” Batten is too hung up on the translation issues to see the larger implications of Takahashi’s narrative. Perhaps the closest analogy in usage is the “First Nations” of North America, whose claim to nation status Batten would surely be more hesitant to dismiss. Batten’s objections to “nation” as a descriptor of an emic sense of shared Emishi identity notwithstanding, it is fairly clear from Takahashi’s other uses of the word kokka that he meant a proto-state political organization (what he called a “political society”) inhabited by people who shared, broadly, a sense of unity.100 Politically, Takahashi meant a “polity” (an organized society with a political system), not a bureaucratic state, but he also meant a political society underpinned by a sense of shared identity. Despite his sometimes cavalier and provocative use of critical terminology, Takahashi’s argument does not sharply differ from the consensus view of Emishi identity that has dominated since he first made his claims. Most scholars today subscribe to some variation on the following basic narrative. Originally, Emishi political identity existed at the village or settlement level. Though in social structure, mode of production, and so forth, there were cultural commonalities across the Northeast, these were interpreted neither as reasons for political alliance nor as indicators of common origin. From the mid-seventh century onward, by treating the Emishi more or less as a unified group, court policies such as demands for tribute, inclusion of Emishi in the Japanese family register system, and taxation led to at least a nascent sense of relative identity vis-àvis Japan and its subjects. The territories of southern Tōhoku were

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mostly brought under control prior to Nara and the area’s indigenous peoples assimilated or chased north. Takahashi was an early advocate of the idea that in response to being treated by Japan “as if ” they were a single, cohesive, and coherent group, the diverse groups called Emishi by the Japanese— especially those in the Kitakami River valley and parts north— were encouraged to act “as if ” they were one, to band together for survival. In this, Takahashi originally followed Toynbee’s challenge-response model. He hypothesized that the process of emic Emishi identity formation and accompanying social transformation to a highly organized, stratified, and well-networked regional society in the eighth century was the result of a choice to resist attempts by the Japanese state to penetrate northern Tōhoku.101 Initially, the Emishi were “without order or unity,” and this was the ultimate cause of their failure to win a permanent victory against the state in the eighth century. However, the court failed to “seal the deal” in the north. By the time the Abe came to control the Six Back Districts of the Kitakami River valley, the fushū had formed a “state” or “polity” of their own, a process that Takahashi compared to the resurgence of once-defeated Germanic tribes at the frontier of the Roman Empire. To resist Roman takeover, the Germanic tribes banded together into a more politically unified and complex “frontier polity” (henkyō kokka) at the periphery of and in response to the challenge of the established center. Likewise, the Emishi, originally disparate, contentious, and semi-sedentary tribes with little complexity of political or economic organization, developed a shared sense of identity and purpose as a result of interactions with the Japanese state and its agents. Because fushū sociopolitical organization was the result of war and havoc, it was basically patriarchal and authoritarian in nature. This was not “divide and conquer,” but “divide to unify and rule.”102

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Concluding Remarks Takahashi Tomio’s “Emishi-regional people” (hōmin) thesis argued that the people referred to as Emishi by the Japanese were internally diverse and defined not by a shared biological heritage but by a shared political identity. It appears that he lifted this phrase from Hasebe Kotondo’s 1950 paper on the Ōshū Fujiwara remains. Hasebe, who admitted that he had “secretly desired” to procure evidence against the Emishi-Ainu thesis, found it.103 He concluded that the Emishi had been “regional peoples among the Japanese” (Nihonjinchū no hōmin).104 For this reason, Hasebe’s view has sometimes been called the “Emishi-Japanese thesis.”105 Though he shared Hasebe’s language, Takahashi did not consider the Emishi to be Japanese. The idea of an Emishi-Japanese equation was overzealous, failing to realize that the racialization of the Emishi was a modern reinterpretation of historical categories. Hasebe reproduced the racial structure of the Emishi-Ainu thesis against which he argued; Takahashi demanded that the discourse be secularized, that race be removed from the picture. Aside from the controversial matter of Emishi “nationhood,” a significant number of Japanese scholars have supported Takahashi’s basic assertion that prior to sociopolitical consolidation in response to outside pressure from the Japanese, Emishi political unity existed at the “village” or settlement (mura) level. Some scholars have identified the cohesion of Emishi identity as early as the fourth century, but the most plausible and popular opinion places this process in the third quarter of the eighth. Prior to that point, though there were many sociocultural and economic commonalities between these settlements scattered across the Northeast, these were interpreted neither as reasons for political alliance nor as indicators of common origins. Recent descriptions of the Emishi identity formation process have emphasized the same point, that Japanese policies treating the Emishi more or less as a unified group led to at least a nascent sense of relative identity vis-à-vis the state and its people to the south. According to these accounts, while the territories of

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southern Tōhoku were mostly brought under control prior to Nara and the area’s indigenous peoples assimilated or chased north, some kind of Emishi identity was reinforced in northern Tōhoku by the shared threat of Japanese aggression.106 The influence of Takahashi’s ideas can be seen most clearly in the work of Kudō Masaki and Takahashi Takashi. The latter was a particularly strong proponent of the view, pioneered by Takahashi Tomio and Ujiie Kazunori, inter alia, of the Emishi as virtuous freedom fighters; he argued that as the state became increasingly hostile and obdurate in its treatment of the Emishi, “the Emishi were left with a binary choice between full submission and a war of resistance. For the Emishi, when the state unreasonably dispatched its armies, there was naught to do but resist.”107 For Takahashi Takashi, “Emishi” was a label for Northeastern “people beyond” or “people outside” (kegai no hito).108 This is a definition, shared by Imaizumi Takao and others, phrased in the terms used by the eighth-century Japanese state itself.109 Nara elites had developed a worldview that divided space into “inside” (directly controlled) and “outside” (known, but uncontrolled), and understood people first within that same framework, rather than a racial one.110 Thus, the “people beyond” were those who were within the ken of Japan, but who remained outside its political and cultural sphere. Kudō agreed that the word “Emishi” was originally, at its heart, a geopolitical categorization for those people living north of Japanese political control, and that “the debate about whether the ancient Emishi were Ainu or Japanese is, at the present time, essentially meaningless.”111 This is clear, Kudō argued, from a survey of the changing uses of the word over time; if Takahashi Takashi (like Kita Sadakichi) emphasized the political spatiality of the court nobles’ vocabulary, Kudō attached particular importance to its temporality. According to Kudō, usage of the term “Emishi” went through five stages. In the first stage, which lasted until the fifth century or so, the word was synonymous with “Easterner” (Azumabito), because the Japanese state’s political and cultural frontiers were in Chūbu and Kanto. At this point, the term was mostly flattering, a compliment to the bravery and strength of those who would not assimilate

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or be conquered. During the second stage, which roughly encompassed the sixth century and the first half of the seventh, “Emishi” referred to those in the Northeast outside the kuni no miyatsuko system. This definition of the Emishi included populations at least up to the Sendai plains, an area known to the court by this time. In this period, “Emishi” increasingly designated those who remained beyond control despite Japanese efforts—grudging respect was alloyed with increasing frustration. After the Taika Reforms were promulgated in 645, the kuni no miyatsuko system of proxy rule by cooperative local strongmen was phased out. This began the third stage, in which large numbers of settlers (kinohe) were established in the northern districts newly under direct administrative rule. These provinces were mostly declarative, and their northern reaches were gradated zones of declining state influence rather than borders in any meaningful sense. In real terms, meaningful control extended not much farther than the modern Fukushima City area.112 In the fourth stage, which began in 802 with the end of the Emishi wars, the word itself was used almost exclusively for people north of the modern Morioka–Akita City line. The start of the fifth stage came sometime around the turn of the eleventh century. The characters for “Emishi” came to be read as “Ezo.” It is not clear what events or factors prompted this change, but Kudō speculated that it was related to the expansion of Kyoto elites’ knowledge about the far north under the relatively stable control of the Ōshū Fujiwara.113 As centuries passed and the elite Japanese episteme expanded, “Emishi” was a convenient shorthand for the cultural and political challenges posed by the Northeast. Rescuing the Emishi from an immutable racial hierarchy was a key precondition to asserting the value of Tōhoku’s culture, both for the region and for a new Japan. Deracializing the Emishi and giving them historical agency and contingency was integral to the tripartite project of early postwar studies: to demonstrate that the Northeast had been Japan’s oldest colony and victim but also a zone of resistance against Japanese aggression; to make the Emishi the subject of a noble fight against unjust and violent incursion; and to demonstrate that Hiraizumi had embodied the Northeast’s

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desire for independence and ability to create a powerful, culturally and economically rich realm of its own. Only if the Emishi were autonomous and in control of their own destiny could they be the heroes of a story in which Tōhoku counted for something. The label “Emishi” began as the expression of an ontological relationship within an imagined geography of difference. It later became associated with absolute racial hierarchy. “Emishi” was a state label for what Takahashi Tomio called—using the English word—“outlaws.” But as he argued simply, “ ‘Emishi’ was a historical concept.”114

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Chapter Four

Hiraizumi, the Phoenix Let the ringing of this bell pierce suffering and give comfort with complete equality and without limit through the thousand worlds. . . . Each time the sound of this bell shakes the earth, may it lead their innocent spirits to the Pure Land. —Dedication pledge attributed to Chūsonji

“A Gift from the World of Hope for Recovery” Three months after the triple disaster of March 11, 2011, the World Heritage Committee convened its thirty-fifth session in Paris. On June 25, it was announced that the cultural heritage of Hiraizumi would be inscribed on the World Heritage List. The Committee commended Japan for its outstanding revisions to an unsuccessful 2008 nomination dossier, and the decade-long official campaign that had begun in April 2001 came to an ecstatic conclusion. The property, officially known as “Hiraizumi—Cultural Landscape Associated with Pure Land Buddhist Cosmology,” was selected for inscription because it met criteria (ii) and (vi) as laid out in the “Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.” In short, Hiraizumi’s cultural heritage was judged “to exhibit an important interchange of human values,” and “to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance.”1

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Reaction in Japan was exultant. Both the vernacular and English-language press in Japan hailed UNESCO’s decision as “a boost to recovery” that brought joy to survivors. It was the birth, as the local daily Iwate Nippō described it, of “the world’s Hiraizumi.” To emphasize the world’s recognition of Hiraizumi’s universal value and meaning, the paper chose to write “Hiraizumi” in Roman letters rather than in Japanese, a strategy seen with Hiroshima and later with Fukushima as well.2 Another local paper, the Morioka Times, ran the exuberant headline that is the title of this section: “A Gift from the World of Hope for Recovery.”3 While public comments were mostly tied directly to recovery from the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident, there was also an ill-disguised tension between local and national appropriations of Hiraizumi. Everyone agreed that Hiraizumi was or should be a symbol of or aid to reconstruction, but there was a subtle but telling difference in the subject of recovery. While newspaper editorials and local representatives mostly referred to Hiraizumi’s role in “disaster recovery” or “Tōhoku’s recovery,” Yoshiaki Takaki, then the head of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), called Hiraizumi’s selection “uplifting news that will contribute to the reconstruction of our country.”4 Hiraizumi remained contested even in its moment of glory. Perhaps this is fitting—certainly it is unsurprising—as the significance of Hiraizumi had been a matter of debate throughout the postwar period. Before it was a symbol of post-disaster recovery or universal value, Hiraizumi was the capstone of postwar Tōhoku studies’ efforts to discover value in the history and culture of the Northeast. As a movement to demonstrate the value of the Northeast, early postwar Tōhoku studies was both deeply embedded in and simultaneously radically divergent from the mainstream of postwar thought. Tōhoku studies shared a context and purpose with the larger postwar project of mentally and emotionally recovering from the wounds—both inflicted and received—of recent history and finding a way to move forward. Regime collapse often requires the rewriting of history, and early postwar Tōhoku studies was an active

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and willing participant in this historiographical project of national renewal.5 But a long history of rancor, bloodshed, and ressentiment between the Northeast and the centers of Japanese culture and power provided a different inflection to postwar Tōhoku studies than to the overall, national picture. In the Northeast, there existed layer upon layer of disillusionment with and antipathy for “Japan,” which suggested to the scholars leading Tōhoku studies in the early decades after 1945 that while hope for the future might be found in the past, it would not be found in the orthodox national history of Japan proper. Rather, it was on the frontier, among Japan’s oldest victims, in the independence of the Emishi and the hybrid culture of Hiraizumi that the way forward would be discovered. In the three-part project of presenting Tōhoku as victim of Japan, the Emishi as heroic freedom fighters against the imperial juggernaut, and Hiraizumi as the autonomous epitome and summation of all that the Northeast was and could be, the fall of Hiraizumi served as the cutoff point after which Tōhoku’s hopes of cultural and political independence were snuffed out apparently forever. At the same time, Hiraizumi was the historical proof positive of Tōhoku’s limitless potential. This theme became increasingly important as Japan’s economy began to recover; both Hiraizumi and postwar Japan were pacifist economic giants risen phoenix-like from the ashes of war, a parallel not lost on those intent on securing public recognition of Tōhoku’s illustrious past. On the other hand, when Hiraizumi was reclaimed as a part of Japan’s most treasured national heritage beginning in the late 1980s, the was not at all what had been expected or hoped for by Tōhoku historians in the 1960s and 1970s. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that archaeology supplanted history as the primary mode of accessing Tōhoku’s past, but the primary problem was that by the 1990s the reclamation and resuscitation of Hiraizumi was firmly in the hands of a government-led national agenda of international soft power: the UNESCO World Heritage. As the exceptional value of Hiraizumi became clear through comfortably positivistic archaeological findings in the 1980s, the Japanese government became increasingly interested

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in placing Hiraizumi within a dual narrative of Japanese national history and “outstanding universal value,” the primary criterion for World Heritage inscription. This dynamic tension between national and international, which is always a characteristic of nation-state politics within the international community, shaped discourses on Hiraizumi from the 1990s until the decision was made in the summer of 2011, just months after the triple disaster of March 11, to include the cultural landscape of Hiraizumi’s heritage “among the priceless and irreplaceable assets, not only of [Japan], but of humanity as a whole.”6 Questions about whether and how this choice was “good” or “bad” for Hiraizumi aside, it certainly represented a major change in the meaning of Hiraizumi within both Japan and the world when compared with the vision articulated by early postwar Tōhoku studies scholars. Hiraizumi had been a tool to reposition the Northeast within Japan’s past and future. Now it was both part of the patrimony of all humankind and a pawn in Japan’s efforts to increase its prestige on the international stage. It was an instrument of internationalist nationalism. This chapter addresses two major issues through an examination of the shifting historical interpretations of Hiraizumi from 1950 to 2011 (map 4). First, it shows the changing symbolic role of Hiraizumi within Tōhoku studies. Doing so sheds light on changing currents in society and academe over that same period, including those that led to dramatic breaks in both Tōhoku studies and Hiraizumi studies in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The similarities are useful when considering the overall trajectory of Tōhoku studies from 1945 to 2011, and the positioning of this chapter is intended as a transitional or turning point in the overall narrative. On the other hand, because Hiraizumi had, so to speak, a life beyond Tōhoku studies with far more actors and agendas at play, its postwar historiography both intersects with and diverges from the mainstream of the Tōhoku studies movement. The differences between Tōhoku and Hiraizumi studies have been influenced by government interest in promoting Hiraizumi as one of Japan’s outstanding contributions to the history and culture of all humankind, and by the influx of

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money and expertise accompanying this venture. For this reason, the second goal of this chapter is to understand how archaeological and government intervention shaped the study of Hiraizumi in the quarter century or so leading to World Heritage inscription, and how this was tied to specific Japanese government goals to challenge “Western” hegemony over the definition of cultural value and promote Japanese national culture and soft power. There are four stages in the postwar study of Hiraizumi, roughly sketched here. First, as discussed in chapter 1, the 1950 studies at Chūsonji launched postwar research. Initially, interpretations of Hiraizumi tended toward statist or Japanist orthodoxy: Hiraizumi was little more than a secondhand transplant or isolated outpost of Kyoto culture. Second, beginning with his 1958 debut monograph, Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai, Takahashi Tomio was instrumental in popularizing the idea of Hiraizumi as a politically independent and culturally and economically rich Northeastern polity. Takahashi’s argument relied heavily on the destigmatization of the Ōshū Fujiwara lords and their associated culture that occurred in 1950. He often referred more generally to the Northeast as one-third or half of Japan, and sometimes as “another Japan,” but it was with the argument for Hiraizumi’s glorious autonomy that this position saw its fruition. The 1960s were the era of the “independent polity” thesis championed by Takahashi. The third stage began in the 1970s. The “independent polity” theory met with academic backlash, though its place in the public imagination actually grew in later years thanks to historical fiction and popular nonfiction. Finally, academic critiques of an independent Hiraizumi became muted and somewhat lost in the shuffle in the late 1980s, when archaeological finds began to revolutionize knowledge and narratives of the city of Hiraizumi. This paved the way for the Japanese government’s campaign promoting the inscription of Hiraizumi’s cultural heritage in the UNESCO World Heritage, which concluded successfully in 2011.

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Koromo River

Hakusan Shrine Noh Stage Former Konjikidō Shelter Hall Sutra Repository

Belfry Sankōzō Museum

Chūsonji Temple

Tohoku Main Line

Main Hall

Konjikidō (Golden Hall) Five-Element Stele


Ōike Pond Remains


Kitakami River Takadachi Gikeidō Hall Museum

Mt. Kinkei


Muryōkōin Site

Jōgyōdō Hall

Maizuru ga Ike Pond Yarimizu Mōtsūji Temple Garden Stream Kanjizaiōin Site Ōizumi ga Ike Pond Kaizandō Hall Main Hall Front Gate

Mōtsūji Temple


Treasure Hall

Library Hiraizumi Town Hall

Map 4  Contemporary Hiraizumi. Based on a pamphlet published by the Kawashima Printing Co., Ltd. Courtesy of CELC, Inc., Morioka, Iwate, Japan.

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The Phoenix: Independent Hiraizumi The scientific positivism of the 1950 Chūsonji studies inspired a new era of Hiraizumi (and Tōhoku) studies. The key issues for the 1950 team were to determine whether the Ōshū Fujiwara men’s bodies had been artificially preserved (and if so by what means), and to examine their morphology to answer the question of whether the “Emishi were racially Ainu or Japanese.”7 The consensus ran strongly against this view, which had dominated to that point. The release of Hiraizumi’s Ōshū Fujiwara lords and the culture of their northern domain from the bonds of racial inferiority was surely the most significant result to come out of the 1950 studies. While this conclusion opened up new possibilities for seeing Hiraizumi and its culture unbounded by a simplistic racial dichotomy, that was an invitation to new questions rather than a list of answers. Nor did it answer questions that had plagued the scholars of the 1950 studies, such as whether Hiraizumi was an imitator or an innovator. Though it was deeply inflected by a commonsensical equation of culture and race, ultimately this was a conflict about political identity as well.8 If Hiraizumi was an innovator, what then? How did the Ōshū Fujiwara and the culture of Hiraizumi fit into the story of Japanese national history, if at all? The initial answers began to appear toward the end of the decade, in the second stage of postwar Tōhoku studies. The second stage began in earnest with the 1958 publication of Takahashi’s Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai, which remains a classic today. In it, Takahashi argued that Hiraizumi was essentially an independent polity ruling all of Tōhoku. Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai was the turning point at which political independence became the issue for Hiraizumi studies. Takahashi had already begun his project of historicizing and de-exceptionalizing Hiraizumi several years earlier. In 1955, he argued that twelfth-century Tōhoku ought to be understood in terms of the “basic laws of world history,” a talismanic phrase of the early postwar historiographical turn away from particularism and toward universalism. Takahashi described both

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Hiraizumi and the Abe regime that had preceded it as autonomous. The Six Back Districts under the Abe had been a “politically semiindependent external area,” and Hiraizumi was an “independent regime” (dokuritsu seiken) that expanded on that authority through official positions in the Japanese provincial hierarchy, he wrote.9 This argument is repeated nearly verbatim in Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai, and it was through this work, published by the influential academic publishing house Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, that the independent Hiraizumi thesis began to take hold.10 Takahashi mixed radical and cautious claims of independence in 1958, mildly proposing that Hiraizumi was the mature form of frontier political society that had overcome a regional history of conquest and managed “to achieve a modicum of local independence” on the one hand, and referring to the Abe as rulers over a “bona fide political state (seiji kokka)” independent of the provincial administration and Hiraizumi as a full-blown “frontier kingdom” (henkyō ōkoku) on the other.11 It was the latter characterizations that stuck, both with academics and the public, inaugurating the so-called Tōhoku “independent polity theory” (dokuritsu kokka setsu) or “independent regime theory” (dokuritsu seiken setsu) that has shaped views of Hiraizumi perhaps more than any other since 1945. Takahashi never confused autonomy with isolation. Indepen­ dence was built on interdependence: Hiraizumi was politically independent and culturally and economically interdependent with Japan, a kind of hybrid locked in a tight political and economic relationship with the Japanese state. The four key arguments in Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai each point to Takahashi’s growing interest in the hybridity or liminality of Hiraizumi as a justification of its political legitimacy in the twelfth century and of legitimacy as a model for postwar Japan in the twentieth. First, as an independent or semi-independent frontier, Hiraizumi was politically, economically, and culturally imbricated with, yet distinct from, Japan. Second, Hiraizumi’s authority and legitimacy in the Northeast was the “synthesis” of the two fushū family power bases of the ninth and tenth centuries, the Abe of the “semi-independent” Six Back Districts and the more politically integrated Kiyohara of Dewa. The

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difference between Emishi and fushū was also one of hybridization; the latter were culturally assimilated Emishi living within or on the edges of the Japanese state’s territory and usually subject to demands for tribute or taxes. To claim a fushū heritage was already to hybridize Hiraizumi. Third, not only was the Hiraizumi Fujiwara maternal fushū lineage itself culturally hybrid, but it was directly mixed with courtier blood and culture in the generation before the founding of Hiraizumi; Kiyohira’s mother was a fushū woman of the Abe family, and his father, Fujiwara no Tsunekiyo, a high-ranking court noble who had settled in the modern Miyagi area as an extranumerary local official before marrying into the Abe clan. Finally, Hiraizumi was the equal of and bridge between the regimes of Kyoto and Kamakura. It was what Takahashi would later describe as the temporal and structural transition between the ancient and medieval periods of Japanese history, the metamorphosis from a society of the nobility to one of the warriors.12 This was also a proposal for a radical flattening of the normative hierarchy of historical value that condemned Hiraizumi to a lower stratum because of its location and dodgy racial-cultural heritage. By insisting on a sort of equivalence between Kyoto, Hiraizumi, and Kamakura, Takahashi connected these three political and cultural regimes on a horizontal plane of rough equality. He described a tripartite power balance in the late twelfth century, and implied a similar balance in the cultural and historical value of the three cities. Hiraizumi should, he suggested, be considered along with Kyoto and Kamakura as the three great metropolises of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.13 Specifically, Kiyohira was the direct descendant of the Abe and an adopted heir to the Kiyohara, both families who had failed to establish lasting political autonomy. The Abe, as an Emishi clan of the Six Back Districts only, were too limited in their claim of legitimacy. The Kiyohara, a powerful fushū family from modern Akita, were enlisted to put down the Abe when conflict flared up between the Abe and the court-appointed governor of the area, Minamoto no Yoriyoshi. The Kiyohara were richly rewarded, but ended up spread too thinly over northern Tōhoku, leading to internal clan

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breakdown when faced with competing claims of legitimacy. The Hiraizumi Fujiwara line from Kiyohira to Hidehira understood itself as heir to the fushū chieftainship, a view shared by the majority of powerbrokers in the Northeast. The original landholdings of the Ōshū Fujiwara, taken from the Kiyohara upon their defeat, were limited to the Abe clan’s ancestral turf in the Six Back Districts. When Kiyohira took his deceased father’s Fujiwara name and began building his city on the Kitakami River, he presented himself as the court’s best and only possible ally in the north; he needed no such subterfuge to convince those loyal to the Abe and Kiyohara.14 Politically and economically, beginning with Kiyohira, the Ōshū Fujiwara maintained the autonomy of Hiraizumi by currying favor with the highest ranks of Kyoto’s courtiers. As stewards of vast private landholdings in the Northeast, tax collectors, trade managers, and donors of prize horses and other prestige goods, the Hiraizumi Fujiwara patriarchs from Kiyohira to Hidehira ingratiated themselves to the Fujiwara and Taira of the capital, becoming indispensable allies. Hiraizumi monopolized gold production in Tōhoku, the islands’ only significant source of that most precious metal. Fur pelts and eagle feathers obtained in northern trade and silk produced in Tōhoku supplemented Hiraizumi’s endless stream of gifts and trade goods, bringing enormous personal profit to allies in Kyoto. Moreover, Kiyohira was appointed to the nominally constabulary post of ōryōshi, which served as the de facto insurance that tax revenues flowed into court coffers instead of out to fund wars of conquest and suppression in the Northeast. In return, Hiraizumi was left to manage its own affairs. Takahashi failed to note the significance of Kiyohira’s political alliances through marriage, though doing so would have supported his point quite strongly. Kiyohira married at least three women, one each from the Abe and Kiyohara Emishi lineages required to cement legitimacy and alliances in the Northeast and one from the Taira family.15 Regardless, this narrative is repeated with little variation in most of Takahashi’s subsequent works on the subject. Its basic outline changed little, though in the 1970s the meaning of the ōryōshi post was reexamined. Since the 1960s, the degree of cultural on Sat, 08 May 2021 221 Jan 1976 12:34:56 Hopson Final Pages.indd 161

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and political independence attributed to Hiraizumi has oscillated between subordinate autonomy and interdependent independence. In Takahashi’s work, at least until 1970, the needle swung toward independence, as can be seen in a confident 1967 argument that despite its interactions with the state and its appropriation of state authority, Hiraizumi maintained “political independence [and] obtained full systemic independence as a city.” This distinguished Hiraizumi from the other great provincial strongholds of the era, Dazaifu and Tagajō, which were never more than court outposts. Hiraizumi drew its legitimacy in the north from the fushū leadership lineage of the Fujiwara clan’s maternal Abe ancestry, from the “kingship of the north,” as Takahashi called it. Hiraizumi was “in fact, a polity and a state in itself.”16 Before 1958, Takahashi’s judgment of Hiraizumi had been decidedly less positive. In 1955, he declared the Fujiwara polity a mammonist plutarchy (or at least a plutocracy) that covered up the relative weakness of its authority and legitimacy with massive gold wealth. This viewpoint is probably Marxian historiography mixed with near-verbatim repetition of a passage from Azuma kagami reading in part: “The parsimonious persist and the profligate perish” (kenson shashitsu).17 Victors really do write the histories: Azuma kagami was the official history of Hiraizumi’s conqueror, Minamoto no Yoritomo, and the Kamakura shogunate he founded. Regardless, though Takahashi was sympathetic to the Marxist historians, he was not a Marxist himself. Takahashi shared a Marxist sense of history as science and appreciated the critical stance brought to the writing of national history by the minzoku-faction Marxists.18 But here he parted ways; a Marxian historical interpretive framework of class would have made it impossible to praise the Ōshū Fujiwara—a dictatorial feudal ruling class whose power, authority, and legacy of material culture all depended on monopolization of resources. While recognizing that Hiraizumi was defined by “semi-feudal” political structures and extraordinary concentration of wealth and executive power, Takahashi praised the Hiraizumi Fujiwara as “heroes” both of Tōhoku—for having created a government of, by, and for the Northeast—and of Japanese national history—for

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having finally politically, economically, and culturally united the Northeast and laid the groundwork for its territorial integration into the Japanese state under Yoritomo.19 The 1960s were a difficult time for progressives in Japan, and Takahashi was, if idiomatically so, a progressive. The decade opened with the crumbling of the Old Left and witnessed the massive depoliticization of public life.20 As the conservative establishment tightened its grip on economics, politics, and the accompanying new social order, Japan remained subordinate to and dependent on the United States, caught up in America’s Cold War global strategizing. In the wake of the failed 1960 protests against renewal of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan (Anpo) and other indications—such as the dramatic breaking of the Miike Mine strike and assassination of Japan Socialist Party chairman Asanuma Inejirō by a right-wing extremist—it was increasingly clear that left-progressive aspirations for a new sociopolitical order would be deferred or defeated.21 When the Old Left failed to effectively combat the renaissance of the conservative “Iron Triangle” of Liberal Democratic Party government (after 1955), bureaucracy, and big business, a sense of intellectual and emotional crisis struck progressive intellectuals and became increasingly pervasive. Given this trend, it is possible to see Takahashi’s increasingly forceful assertions of Hiraizumi’s independence in the 1960s as influenced by frustration with the postwar order. Until at least 1972, Takahashi’s work suggested that he had not abandoned his optimism regarding the possibilities of the postwar for a positive rebirth of both Japan and Tōhoku. There is little in Takahashi’s work before the 1970s to indicate that he was strongly affected by the progressive failures and disillusionment of the 1960s, but it seems likely that his apparently sudden turnabout in 1973 was the expression of a gradual and cumulative change prompted by the intellectual and socioeconomic climate of the 1960s. Several factors are of particular importance in understanding Takahashi’s political stance in the 1960s. One, to which he only attributed significance in hindsight, was the so-called Three Development

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Laws (the Tōhoku District Development Act, Hokkaido-Tōhoku Development Corporation Act, and Tōhoku District Development Company Act) of 1957. Takahashi had hoped that the government’s policies of economic peripheralization would be reversed and the economy of the Northeast diversified and developed to be richer and more self-sustaining, but in hindsight he saw these laws as indication of the state’s decision to double down on prewar economics.22 Another factor was the tendency of historians beginning in the 1950s, following Ishimoda Shō and Nagahara Keiji, to describe medieval Japan as a kind of seigniorial system (ryōshusei) of loosely affiliated, relatively independent domains.23 From this perspective, Takahashi’s Hiraizumi, which he always portrayed as the transition to the medieval period and political structure, might be seen as an extreme formulation of the seigniorial thesis (ryōshusei setsu). However, Takahashi’s insistence on Hiraizumi’s unalloyed independence in 1971 makes this position difficult to back. Finally, the partial excavations of the neighboring Mōtsūji and Kanjizaiōin temple sites in Hiraizumi from 1954 to 1958 likely contributed to Takahashi’s continuing reevaluation of Hiraizumi as a full-blown state and certainly gave this view greater credence. Supervised by the foremost archaeologist of Hiraizumi, Iwate native and University of Tokyo professor Fujishima Gaijirō, the exploration of these sites was the most important archaeological study carried out before 1988. In addition to confirming documentary details about the temples, Fujishima ascertained limited information about the layout of the southern limits of the city, from which he extrapolated a Kyoto-like grid as the basic pattern of Hiraizumi’s urban layout from at least the time of Hidehira (the middle third of the twelfth century).24 This has been corroborated to some extent by subsequent research, though the basic grid was greatly influenced by topography, and the placement of individual buildings seems to have been unplanned.25 Fujishima’s team included Itabashi Gen, next to Takahashi Tomio probably the most important historian of Hiraizumi in the 1950s and 1960s. Itabashi’s 1961 Ōshū Hiraizumi, reprinted in 1966 in an expanded version, follows generally the agenda set by Takahashi

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but with two remarkable exceptions. First, Itabashi is more clearly and explicitly invested in the notion that Hiraizumi is unexceptional within the history of Tōhoku. For Itabashi, even more than Takahashi perhaps, studying Hiraizumi shed light on the longer history of the Northeast and on the culture of Tōhoku. Second, based on his involvement in the Mōtsūji and Kanjizaiōin digs, Itabashi turned his attention to Hiraizumi as a lived city decades before archaeology came to the fore of Hiraizumi studies. He compared available maps, documents, extant structures, and recent archaeological data to suggest that the city was planned in three districts. Itabashi proposed the existence of a “temple district” encompassing Chūsonji, Mōtsūji, and associated temples and facilities including Kanjizaiōin. The “administrative district” contained primarily the homes of the Fujiwara lords and their close retainers. Finally, the remainder of the city was likely a “commoners’ district.” The imprecision of these conclusions can be explained by the scarcity of available evidence—a deterrent for many prior to 1988—but if nothing else Fujishima’s and Itabashi’s attribution of capital-esque urban planning to Hiraizumi must not be overlooked, as this hypothesis has been likewise confirmed by more recent archaeological work.26 The upshot of all this was that in the 1960s, Hiraizumi had begun to seem an appropriate city to have served as the bona fide political capital of a bona fide independent polity. Takahashi’s most striking assertion of Hiraizumi’s independence and its significance for postwar Japan came after the end of the decade. As suggested by the title, 1971’s Fujiwara no Kiyohira: Hiraizumi no seiki—which was confusingly reprinted in 1984 with the title and subtitle reversed to Hiraizumi no seiki: Fujiwara no Kiyohira—is both a biography of Hiraizumi’s founder, Kiyohira, and also a history of the century-long dynasty he established. Most of all, it was a declaration of independence for Hiraizumi. In the book’s introduction, Takahashi wrote: Fujiwara no Kiyohira developed [Emishi] independence into a politically organized provincial polity. This was a revolutionary moment for

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the history of Tōhoku and the Emishi. And not just for the Northeast—it was a major turning point in the history of Japan. . . . This was the first time in Japanese history that a regional power had created an independent polity.27

Hiraizumi was the zenith of Tōhoku’s drive to regain the independence it had lost to Japan after Tamuramaro’s northern campaigns, a government of, by, and for the Northeast. This thin volume is also a relatively straightforward, if never explicit, comparison of Hiraizumi to postwar Japan. Both were pacifist economic powerhouses risen like phoenixes from the ashes of war. To point out this parallelism was both an endorsement of the rebuilding of Japan after 1945 and a cry for recognition of the immense historical value of Hiraizumi and, by association, Tōhoku. Takahashi constructed this argument of closely interlocking points. He proposed that Hiraizumi was a hybrid of north and south, of Yamato and Emishi. Drawing on a combination of primary sources and the results of the 1950 studies at Chūsonji, Takahashi portrayed Kiyohira not only as a hybrid of Japanese and northern blood and culture, but also as a metonym for the century-long Hiraizumi dynasty. In this work, Kiyohira was exploded temporally to fill out “Hiraizumi’s century” to make Hiraizumi the manifestation of his will and life experience. In turn, Hiraizumi the city was exploded spatially to encompass Hiraizumi the polity, which encompassed the entire Northeast. If Kiyohira was hybrid and liminal, so too was Hiraizumi the city and regime. Hiraizumi’s century was the liminal time between Japan’s antiquity and medieval period (between court and shogunate), and Hiraizumi’s domain was the liminal cultural and political space between an expanding Southwest and retreating Northeast. As north-south hybrids, Kiyohira and Hiraizumi straddled and trespassed the boundaries between Japan and its Emishi Other(s). Tōhoku was “another Japan,” and Hiraizumi a “fusion of the two Japans, east and west.”28 Takahashi’s “postwar thought” sought a new locus of political legitimacy against the Japanese nation-state within the confines of the archipelago and its history.

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From this perspective, Hiraizumi was in a rather literal sense the “best of both worlds,” combining the beautiful high classical traditions of the Heian court and a noble lineage on the one hand with political and cultural autonomy and a local Emishi lineage on the other. Along with the declining Taira in Kyoto and the rising Minamoto in the Kanto region, Hiraizumi was the third pole of late twelfth-century politics, and a major economic and political player throughout the century. As demonstrated by the unparalleled artistic and religious accomplishment of Hiraizumi’s temples, the polity represented the best of the high culture of the Heian, and as demonstrated by Yoritomo’s appropriation of the political and cultural structures of Hiraizumi for his own capital at Kamakura, it was simultaneously the precursor to the medieval world order of warrior government. Hiraizumi had all that was valuable from the flower of Heian court culture, and was a pacifist economic power that pursued non-interventionist policy. In Takahashi’s judgment, Hiraizumi was the first “mature,” state-like polity in Japanese history based outside the Kinai area of western Japan, and represented the culture and interests of the Northeastern peoples whose history had for centuries been lived as the objects of conquest or assimilation. The attempt to resurrect and reclaim this legacy and identity after centuries of being bullied or ignored by state power contains within it implicit parallels with postcolonial movements that unfolded around the world in the wake of World War II. In this sense, Hiraizumi had all that was to be salvaged from Japanese history, without the poison of militarism and imperialism. Takahashi’s attraction to this vision of Hiraizumi exemplifies his unwillingness either to give up on Japan or to return to the Japan that had been. His goal was to present an alternative for the future based on an example from the past, to find that “Japan that we could be proud of and have hope for.”29 The great northern polity demonstrated that under the right conditions a different path would have been possible for Japan, a path of peace and prosperity guaranteed by trade and a rich Buddhist culture. It was a kind of uchronic “what if?” that illuminated the possibilities of an alternative Japanese

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history. Despite his antipathy for the ancient state as expansionist military power and oppressor of Tōhoku, Takahashi never rejected Japan per se. Like many who sought political legitimacy away from and against the state, Takahashi would not accept a postwar value system rooted in the modern Japanese state. Nevertheless, he was not overtly critical of Japanese capitalism or the path of postwar recovery. Takahashi described Hiraizumi as a hybrid, the synthesis of Yamato Japanese and Emishi. It was beyond the geopolitical boundaries of the state and ethno-culturally liminal or hybrid in its time, yet within the boundaries of “Japan” (the archipelago and modern nation-state), the subject proper of national history. Through the twinned processes of sundering and suturing, Hiraizumi emerged as Takahashi’s model for Japanese postwar rebuilding and renewed national strength and pride.30 It has been said that the real problem for competing narratives of public memory is one of metonymy.31 For Takahashi, Hiraizumi was a metonym for a new Japan, standing for the new Japanese whole because it straddled and encompassed the continuity of Japan and the discontinuity of exteriority. Hybridity and liminality legitimized Takahashi’s vision. The Hiraizumi of Hiraizumi no seiki is: (1) geopolitically inside the modern state, (2) geopolitically outside the ancient state, and (3) culturally and ethnically hybrid. For Takahashi at least, it was thesis, antithesis, and synthesis in one. Takahashi’s Hiraizumi did not just parallel postwar Japan, it was a metonym for postwar Japan itself. Takahashi’s vision of ancient Tōhoku matured within the context of continuing Japanese recovery. More than the social strife of the 1960s, Japan’s renewed vigor and confidence color Takahashi’s work. Japan erased its trade deficit by 1964, and became the world’s second largest economy (as measured by GDP) only four years later. More than Anpo, strikes (and strike breaking), and political assassinations, it was this economic boom, the Olympics, and the shinkansen and new highways that inspired Takahashi’s work on Hiraizumi in the 1960s. During this decade, Takahashi cultivated a vision of Hiraizumi as a golden phoenix arising from the ashes of decades of war and rising to dizzying

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heights of peaceful economic power. Hiraizumi was an analogue for Japan rebuilding from the rubble of 1945, and Takahashi made it his model mutatis mutandis for a newly resurgent Japan. Hiraizumi had established its position vis-à-vis the state through tight political and economic connections with the powerful Fujiwara and Taira families of Kyoto, leveraging exceptional economic wealth and political savvy into a rich pacifist culture premised on a high degree of political independence and economic interdependence. In Takahashi’s vision, Hiraizumi—and therefore Tōhoku—functioned as the incontrovertible historical proof of concept for Japan’s postwar system of pacifist economic rejuvenation through a subordinate if nominally independent relationship to its superpower neighbor. War-weary Kiyohira mirrored and embodied postwar Japan’s own experience. His political acuity in steering Hiraizumi’s peaceful rise was forged, Takahashi wrote, in the constant warring and devastation of his youth. Prior to the founding of Hiraizumi, Kiyohira was suffering the same exhaustion (kyodatsu) that dominated early postwar Japan.32 As Japan was forced to reject its legacy of militant imperialism and embrace a vision of rebuilding the nation through peaceful economic means, Kiyohira is confirmation that out of the horrors of war can (and has) come an economically successful and politically shrewd pacifist culture. This was, in a manner of thinking, the situation dawning in Japan as Takahashi wrote. The similarities with postwar Japanese recovery are overt if implicit: intimate political and economic ties to the United States and its Cold War agenda revived the postwar Japanese economy, transforming the war machine into a heavy industry peacetime juggernaut. The legally enforced pacifism of the postwar mirrored Kiyohira’s establishment of a pacifist Buddhist regime in the twelfth century. Kiyohira’s Hiraizumi, seen thus, was a remarkable parallel for the public vision of Japan as a peaceful economic power within the American Cold War bloc. Hiraizumi was interdependent with the ancient state but autonomous. It straddled the divide between Japanese and Emishi, hybrid in its cultural, political, and ethnic heritage. Twelfth-century Hiraizumi and its Tōhoku domain functioned as a model around

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which a new history of the past could be written and a new present and future lived. This vision was the culmination of Takahashi’s optimistic period, and perhaps ironically, its end. There were two reasons for this. First, more conservative estimates of Hiraizumi’s autonomy began to gain traction among historians, as exemplified by Endō Iwao and, to a lesser extent, the eminent Ōishi Naomasa. Rather than an independent polity, these scholars saw Hiraizumi as an organ of the state, emphasizing the offices and duties of the Ōshū Fujiwara within the provincial administration rather than the degree of freedom from interference which these purchased. The second factor was Takahashi’s own deepening discouragement with the shape of Japan’s recovery. His encounter with future Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei’s ideas for “remodeling the Japanese archipelago” in particular seems to have dealt a fatal blow to Takahashi’s optimism.

The Outpost: Re-in-Stating Hiraizumi As we have seen, under Takahashi’s strong influence, the historiography of Hiraizumi in the 1960s was defined by a massive expansion of Hiraizumi’s power and significance to become a de facto northern kingdom and even a model for postwar Japan. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this was followed by a similarly dramatic contraction in the work of historians like Ōishi Naomasa; as the final decades of the Heian came increasingly to be defined more as part of the medieval (chūsei) rather than the ancient (kodai), Hiraizumi was reduced more or less to parity with other local allies of the Japanese state, its influence circumscribed to northern Tōhoku. Though Takahashi remained a central figure in the study of Hiraizumi and Tōhoku into the mid-1980s, in retrospect, he was often on the defensive in the late 1970s and early 1980s, a sure sign that his gravity was waning. This period of Takahashi’s slow decline and the corresponding rise of a more measured and conservative assessment of Hiraizumi’s place in history is the second stage of postwar Hiraizumi studies.

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In the late 1970s, an inchoate understanding of Hiraizumi as an officially sanctioned deputy of the state, and therefore at best having enjoyed subordinate autonomy—not independence—came to dominate historians’ discourse. Ōishi Naomasa, a medievalist at Tōhoku Gakuin University, was the key figure in toning down the rhetoric of Tōhoku’s independence from the political system of the court. Ōishi’s 1978 introduction to Chūsei Ōu no sekai, a volume coedited with Kobayashi Seiji, is a landmark in the challenges brought against Takahashi’s exuberance. Ōishi’s indictment of Takahashi’s historical interpretation draws on a 1976 article by Endō Iwao. Endō’s more radical challenge made little splash when it was published in an obscure local journal, but in Ōishi’s hands it became a milestone in the postwar study of Hiraizumi. Endō’s concern was primarily with the Japanese state’s mechanisms of control in outlying areas of the East and Northeast, but his work greatly affected the subsequent direction of Hiraizumi studies. He argued that, like the Andō family of Tsugaru in subsequent centuries, the Ōshū Fujiwara had been made proxy administrators of the Northeast and the “eastern savages.” Endō’s almost incidental reexamination of the dedication pledge for Kiyohira’s Chūsonji temple complex led him to conclude that stewardship of the Northeast had been transferred to the Hiraizumi Fujiwara intentionally by the Kyoto court; in the document Kiyohira refers to himself as the “chief of the fushū” (fushū no jōtō), which Endō viewed as an extranumerary or similarly semiofficial caretaker position within the state hierarchy. This meant that the authority of the Fujiwara to preside over the Northeast was delegated by Kyoto and not independently earned or created.33 Ōishi conceived his work as a middle-of-the-road synthesis, an attempted rapprochement (aufheben) between Endō and Takahashi.34 The erudition of these works drew other scholars back from Takahashi’s enthusiastic assertions of independence. According to Ōishi, by the 1970s, Takahashi Tomio’s body of work on the Emishi and Hiraizumi Fujiwara had become the accepted, even commonsensical interpretation. But building on Endō’s work, Ōishi argued that Takahashi had failed to adequately account for

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the realpolitik of the age. Ōishi praised Takahashi’s attempt to write a history of the oppressed, of the controlled, of those without history, and urged future scholarship to maintain this perspective. He acknowledged Takahashi’s reading of Tōhoku history as dominant in the field, suggesting that it was the necessary (over) corrective to prewar readings of Tōhoku history entirely in terms of “Emishi conquest.” However, he wrote, “both the Abe and Fujiwara were members of the ruling class. Losing sight of this point and focusing solely on conflict with the center [Japan] and beautifying or glorifying their rule over Tōhoku is not a history of the oppressed.”35 Ōishi recognized that the Ōshū Fujiwara had been popularly characterized as rulers over a “Hiraizumi polity,” but countered that Kiyohira’s courtier lineage brought him official station in the provincial hierarchy through the constabulary post of ōryōshi, and state office and status accrued rather than attenuated with his son and grandson.36 It is true that Kiyohira’s grandson Hidehira received unprecedented rank for an Emishi or fushū, continued Ōishi, but first of all this was little more than a desperate attempt by the Taira in their dying hours to stave off defeat at the hands of Yoritomo. Second, it was entirely a matter of position within the Japanese state’s provincial administrative apparatus, which, if anything, is an argument against the independence of the Northeast under the Ōshū Fujiwara. The Ōshū Fujiwara were simply “provincial warriors with title.” Without the title and rank to which Hidehira was promoted, they were “no different from bureaucrats or warriors serving in the provincial offices or Dazaifu” in Kyushu.37 Hiraizumi was never independent of the state. It was a satellite, a dependent. Takahashi’s response to this scathing critique is telling. In a review of Chūsei Ōu no sekai, he humbly accepted the critique of his conclusions about the extent of Hiraizumi’s self-rule, but countered that he had never denied the connections of the fushū and Ōshū Fujiwara to the state in both official and unofficial capacities. Indeed, as Ōishi and his coauthors commented in a later review article, Takahashi had always considered Hiraizumi’s official appointments within the provincial government and unofficial

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connections with the sekkanke to be a major factor in legitimizing the regime’s control over the Northeast.38 The extent to which the Abe and Kiyohara “fushū chieftain” (fushūchō) position—which Kiyohara invoked in his dedication of Chūsonji and leveraged as part of his legitimizing narrative in the north—was autonomous within state structures can be argued, admitted Takahashi. But to do so would fail to see the bigger picture. Takahashi was adamant that the critique by Ōishi inter alia missed the point: the conflict was not one of class, but of cultures. The issue to be emphasized in the case of Hiraizumi was not the essentially internal question of class structure in Emishi society and its successor, but that of the clash between the Emishi (Tōhoku) and those who defined them as such (Japan).39 In addition to being a fine example of Takahashi’s aversion to Marxian class theory, this was an unusually straightforward statement of Takahashi’s priorities. Most significantly, it is symptomatic of the bifurcation that characterized the interpretation of Hiraizumi (and Tōhoku) during this period. In a retrospective analysis of the 1970s discourse on Hiraizumi’s emergence and structures of authority and legitimacy, iconoclastic historian Amino Yoshihiko identified two camps. The first was Takahashi’s, which emphasized the “spontaneous” authority of the Abe as the roots of Hiraizumi’s authority. According to this school, the Abe expanded their influence as a homegrown reaction to discrimination and violence, which matured into an autonomous local authority and the precursor to an independent regional polity. The second camp, ascendant in the later 1970s, included Ōishi, Endō, and Irumada Nobuo, who argued that the Abe were local delegates and representatives of the court in Tōhoku.40 Ultimately, the difference of opinion between these academic factions arose largely from the varying degrees of emphasis each placed on Kiyohira’s personal and political continuity with the three branches of his heritage: Abe, Kiyohara, and Fujiwara.41 The Abe faction accented the endogenous origins of Kiyohira’s authority, while both the Kiyohara and Fujiwara factions stressed the exogenous nature of Hiraizumi’s legitimacy. The Abe faction, represented by Takahashi, saw Hiraizumi as similarly an autonomous

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fushū polity economically intertwined with the state but politically maintaining a distance of an arm’s length or more. Endō was the Kiyohara faction representative, arguing that Hiraizumi was more like the Akita fushū clan into which Kiyohira was adopted as a child. After assisting the Minamoto effort to crush the Abe, the Kiyohara were the first Emishi to be rewarded the title of chinjufu shōgun (general of the northern pacification command) and the accompanying rank of Junior Fifth Rank Lower; the entire family was more directly involved in state structures of northern administration than any Emishi prior. If Kiyohira was granted rank and title on the basis of this heritage, continuing Kiyohara proxy administration for the court, he can hardly be said to have founded an independent polity. The Fujiwara faction, who attributed Kiyohira’s eminence in the north to his noble paternal lineage, included scholars like Tsuda Sōkichi, who had interpreted Hiraizumi as a copy or transplant of Kyoto culture. Interestingly, Amino bucked the trend represented by Ōishi and Endō, expressing greater sympathy for a slightly modified version of Takahashi’s hypothesis. Like Takahashi, he saw the origins of local Abe political legitimacy as essentially “natural,” that is, growing out of socioeconomic influence and prestige, and independence as an outgrowth of that influence. However, Amino argued that the situation of the Abe was less the result of direct court-Tōhoku conflict than of the court’s proxy aggression through allies in Kanto and the assimilated Emishi of southern Tōhoku. To maintain their independence, the northern Emishi were faced with two choices: to ally with the East against the court, or to ally with the court as insurance against the Easterners. Both the Abe and Kiyohara chose the latter path, according to Amino, leveraging their “natural” local authority into a place within the court’s provincial power structure. Amino agreed with Takahashi that the Abe domain in the Six Back Districts had been “the first state (kokka) created by the people of Tōhoku,” and that after the chaos and instability of the late eleventh century, this polity was taken up by Kiyohira and transformed into a century-long dynasty.42 When the Minamoto and Kiyohara clans both failed to establish hegemony in the Northeast,

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h i rai zumi , t h e phoe n ix 175 the age of the four Ōshū Fujiwara began. Kiyohira moved his home base to Hiraizumi, built Chūsonji, and became closely allied with courtiers— especially the Fujiwara regents—while firming up control of Tōhoku. A century of “Pax Hiraizumi” ensued, [the result of] what Takahashi Tomio has called “stowing arms and ruling magnanimously.” As it continued to send horses and gold as tribute to the capital, this Tōhoku polity grew ever stronger.43

Amino’s view is important for several reasons. First, as one of the most respected historians of the late twentieth century, and a scholar with tremendous professional interest in peripheries such as Tōhoku throughout his career, Amino’s interpretation was influential both within academia and beyond. Despite erudite, sometimes obscure content, Amino’s work has enjoyed popularity far greater than that of any of the other authors discussed, exerting a strong gravitational pull on the perceptions of history scholars and intellectuals as well as the general reading public.44 Most importantly, validation by Amino is likely what brought Takahashi’s work to the attention of Umehara Takeshi, the key figure in the reinterpretation of Takahashi’s work that began in the 1980s. Second, it is a testament to the power of Takahashi’s vision that the punctilious Amino supported it in the face of critiques by respected scholars like Ōishi. Takahashi’s tale was told with passion, and played on a certain romantic notion of the underdog beaten down and written out of history—not coincidentally by the same hated state that had destroyed Japan in the name of the emperor. Despite rising public sentiment of national homogeneity in the 1960s and 1970s that surely conspired against sympathetic readings, Takahashi’s independent Hiraizumi garnered public and (some) academic support in part for its villainization of the Japanese state from antiquity to the 1940s and its relatively positive and affirming message about the accomplishments of the postwar system into the 1960s. Even in the conflict-ridden 1960s, fewer and fewer readers were seeking the type of Marxian historical analysis that Ōishi and other leading historians offered. Marxist historians found themselves

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opposing the very capitalist system that was capturing the imagination of individuals and the nation as it transformed the entirety of the social, economic, and physical landscape in a manner that generally inspired hope and confidence. Despite the fact that the images of consumerist prosperity which had come to saturate the press and media were (as such things are) more aspirational and prescriptive than they were descriptive, they formed a narrative of progress that supported a fragile public confidence in the direction—if not the status—of postwar society and the economy.45 The challenges brought by the 1970s were significant, as the paired Nixon shocks of 1971 and 1972 and paired oil shocks of 1973 and 1979 marked a difficult adjustment for the economy and for social expectations. Recession, inflation, and increasing awareness of industrial pollution of the air and water were prominent among a string of setbacks that stressed the optimistic public consensus of the 1960s, as were the death throes of youth radicalism—the 1968 student riots, the second Anpo protests, and the Asama Sansō incident being among the most memorable events—leading the decade to be retrospectively referred to as an “age of uncertainty.”46 But it was the two Olympics (Tokyo in 1964 and Sapporo in 1972), the opening of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen (1964) to coincide with the Tokyo Olympiad, the iconic Japan World Exposition (Expo ’70, also known by its Japanese abbreviation “Banpaku”), double-digit GDP growth, and nominal unemployment averaging about 2.5 percent that captured more hearts, minds, and memories during these extraordinary years.47 According to one authoritative longitudinal survey, the Japanese public’s self-identification as middle class soared from 56.3 percent in 1965 to 77 percent in 1975.48 Uncertainty in the early 1970s undermined restored public confidence in the postwar system to some extent, but until 1971 Takahashi’s work was read by the public in the more positive and optimistic atmosphere of the 1960s, and probably inspired by it, too. Finally, Amino’s endorsement—and indeed Ōishi’s critique and Takahashi’s rebuttal—reveal that the arguments about Hiraizumi’s independence were less about historical evidence than they were about ideological splits. Tōhoku, Hiraizumi, and the Emishi were

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all empty signifiers, filled with the dreams and agendas of their users. For Takahashi, all were weapons in a battle to redefine the Northeast, and this redefinition was a weapon in the longer battle to redefine Japan’s past, present, and future. For Ōishi, the axis of conflict was not horizontal (geographical, political, or cultural) between two opposing social systems, but a vertical class conflict between the ruled and the rulers. Takahashi had, as he saw it, strayed from the central issue of history, that of the clash between the rulers and ruled, the political and economic elites versus the “people” (jinmin or minshū).49 The schism regarding Hiraizumi’s independence was not so much a matter of “fact” as it was of myth. As Richard White wrote of American interpretations of the Western frontier, “facts are rarely at the heart of historical disputes,” for historical disputes are more about the stories that give meaning to our lives than they are about the past they claim to represent.50 They are what Kipling called “Just So Stories,” created in a specific historical context for specific reasons and with specific meanings. As it was for the American West, where, White continued, “The tellers of stories and the singers of songs had imagined the historical figures they commemorated before the heroes ever existed,” so it was for Hiraizumi.51 A heroically independent Hiraizumi was necessary for Takahashi, and a feudal dictatorship for Ōishi.

Interlude: Hiraizumi in Flux If Fujiwara no Kiyohira: Hiraizumi no seiki was the ultimate expression of the vision of Hiraizumi as independent, and therefore both equal to Japan and capable of being its model, it was also the beginning of a downward trend in Takahashi’s prominence in the field. The weakening of Takahashi’s position in the 1970s was the result of two factors. First, scholars like Endō Iwao and Ōishi Naomasa stepped forward to question Hiraizumi’s independence. Second, Takahashi ceased to produce substantively new work on Hiraizumi

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after 1971. On the one hand, his gaze was turned more toward historical theory (most notably Frederick Jackson Turner’s “frontier theory”) and the issues of social and political justice raised by his study of Tōhoku’s history. On the other, there was little new to say about Hiraizumi until the archaeological excavations of the late 1980s produced a treasure trove of new evidence. When Takahashi did return to the study of Hiraizumi in 1978 with Hiraizumi: Ōshū Fujiwara yondai, a book he called the final volume of his Hiraizumi trilogy (the first two being Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai and Fujiwara no Kiyohira: Hiraizumi no seiki), the result was largely unoriginal. True, allusions to the parallelism of the modern Japanese Empire and its ancient colonization of Tōhoku were stronger than before, perhaps indicating frustration with the failures of postwar prosperity to reach and transform the Northeast as quickly or completely as it had other regions.52 But his key arguments remained constant: Michinoku was, until the time of Hiraizumi, the ancient state’s “internal foreign land” (uchinaru gaikoku). It was the “independent land of the Emishi” before Tamuramaro and the “autonomous land of the fushū” after. Hiraizumi’s “golden culture” sprang up in Michinoku, which had until then been considered a cultural wasteland but an inviting military and economic target. Japanese sources disparaged Tōhoku despite the fact that the Northeast was the state’s most important political issue for centuries. Tōhoku was the final chapter in the formation of the Japanese state and the bridge between Kyoto and Kamakura, between the era of the capital and that of the provinces, the time of the nobility and that of the warrior. Hiraizumi was the first lasting provincial capital beyond state control, and the first organized representative of the political needs and interests of the East and Northeast. It was a polity in itself, “another Japan.”53 Despite Takahashi’s shifting interests and lack of new ideas about Hiraizumi, in part because of the endorsement of scholars like Amino, he remained a major figure in the study of Tōhoku and Hiraizumi through much of the 1980s. An interesting indicator of his lasting influence can be seen in the description of Hiraizumi

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in the toponym dictionary released by Kadokawa Shoten in 1990. Takahashi was part of the editorial committee, and his fingerprints are all over the description of the significance of Hiraizumi as a political and cultural actor. Hiraizumi was founded as “a capital city (miyako) in the Deep East (tōō).” Hiraizumi was a grand experiment, a “clan polity” (gōzoku kokka) important for three reasons. First, Hiraizumi brought a century of political order to the ungovernable, unculturable Michinoku (Tōhoku) and the Emishi. Second, “it was the first independent capital organized outside of the Kinai region.” Finally, Hiraizumi was “symbolic of the dawning ‘local age’ (chihō no jidai) in Japanese history. . . . The themes of ‘from capital to countryside,’ ‘from the western capital to the eastern capital’ played out first in the transition from Kyoto to Hiraizumi.”54 It is a brief and powerful statement of the independent Hiraizumi thesis. Given that Takahashi was being discovered by not just Amino, but leading scholars and public intellectuals like Umehara Takeshi and Hanihara Kazurō, it perhaps indicates a resurgence of Takahashi’s optimism. After all, despite his anger at the continued peripheralization of the Northeast in government policy and the social imagination, overall Takahashi remained relatively hopeful regarding postwar democracy and its power to level the playing field and bring prosperity to Tōhoku. Takahashi was neither ideologically anti-capitalist nor anti-capitalism. Rather, he was concerned that on the one hand, the Northeast was bereft of monetary capital, and on the other, that the logic of capital had been consistently misapplied to the development of Tōhoku. Capitalism had brought Japan obvious benefits in the postwar period, but as a matter of government policy they had been mostly limited to the so-called “Pacific Belt,” the Tōkaidō corridor from Tokyo to Osaka.55 As Takahashi wrote in 1973, Tōhoku has not monetary capital, but it does have adequate political capital, in other words, key capital or “capital capital.” In a democratic system, billionaire capitalists and penniless paupers are equal. Tōhoku’s twelve million have only one venue in which their voices can be equal

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[to those of other Japanese], and that is the realm of politics. The venue of politics is the greatest factory of capital production, [Tōhoku’s] key industry.56

The decade from 1978 to 1988 was the last stand of documentary historians like Takahashi at the forefront of Tōhoku studies, capped in a way by the compilation of the official Hiraizumi town history.57 Takahashi’s final major edited volume on Tōhoku dates from 1986. In his introduction, Takahashi placed great emphasis on two themes. The first, which was also a theme of his 1979 study of the frontier, was the need for an inclusive “archipelagic history” that went beyond conventional national histories. The second was the intentionality of the Northeast’s rejection of the Japanese state. Though many areas of the archipelago were relatively independent of the state in ancient history, for many this was the passive result of the accidents of geography and topography rather than the actively maintained autonomy of resistance. Tōhoku was clearly different, he asserted. “Though ancient Tōhoku was subjected to forceful subjugation and control campaigns, the desire to resist and expel court control and assert a distinctive character remained strong. Even when the Northeast was eventually integrated into the state, its independent leanings made it Japan’s ‘internal other’ throughout history.”58 Hiraizumi was the ultimate expression of this longer process of partisan regional resistance, of Tōhoku’s “culture of resistance.” Takahashi hosted two symposia in the years leading up to this proclamation, one on Tōhoku generally and one on Hiraizumi. Both marked a turning point in the reading and (re)interpretation of Takahashi’s work by scholars from beyond his own fields of history, Tōhoku studies, and Hiraizumi studies. Presenters at the 1984 conference on Hiraizumi, Shinpojiumu Hiraizumi: Ōshū Fujiwara yondai no eiga, were Donald Keene, architectural historian Itō Teiji, historian Mushanokōji Minoru, physical anthropologist Hanihara Kazurō, and philosopher Umehara Takeshi. The presentations of Umehara and Hanihara and their dialogues with Takahashi were

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landmarks in the rereading of Tōhoku’s past outside the relatively insular field of history—and especially Tōhoku history; their impact is discussed in the following chapter. Takahashi’s presentation was a fine summary of his primary vision regarding the significance of Hiraizumi as the first unifier and genuine pacifier of Tōhoku, the transitional phase between Kyoto and Kamakura, and the first fully organized political representative of the Northeast. It was a capstone project, an articulate presentation of his key arguments aimed mostly at the other participants—all of whom were eminent figures in fields other than Tōhoku and Hiraizumi studies. The published conference papers and subsequent development of these ideas by men like Umehara and Hanihara indicate that, in this sense, Takahashi’s symposium was a rousing success. Nevertheless, Takahashi’s prestige was eclipsed within Tōhoku and Hiraizumi studies in the 1990s by the emergence of younger scholars and the turn of Hiraizumi studies toward archaeology. In hindsight, then, it is striking that Takahashi commented on the inadequacy of the documentary record on Tōhoku.59 Takahashi himself had been active in compiling the available documents on the Emishi and Ōshū Fujiwara, arguing that a great deal could be reconstructed by reading these sources carefully and against the grain. But he had also unintentionally pointed to the more general inadequacy of extant documentary sources for reconstructing any kind of comprehensive picture of Tōhoku history, an ironic pronouncement only a few years prior to the eclipse of history by archaeology. That shift came in 1988.

Yanagi no Gosho: The Archaeological Turn Comprehensive emergency salvage excavations of the Yanagi no Gosho site near the western shore of the Kitakami River in Hiraizumi began in 1988.60 The Yanagi no Gosho site was originally included in the Ministry of Construction’s Route 4 Hiraizumi bypass and Kitakami River flood control levee plans, but obligatory

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pre-construction surveys turned up a wealth of artifacts and ruins suggesting a site of unprecedented richness in Hiraizumi. Under public pressure, the ministry revised its plan so as to skirt around Yanagi no Gosho, and excavations began in earnest.61 In just five years, the ongoing digs ushered in a new era of Hiraizumi studies. This new phase was defined initially primarily by the wealth of new archaeological data afforded by Yanagi no Gosho and the sites excavated around Hiraizumi in the wake of these findings, and later on by the effort to leverage these excavations into a World Heritage bid. The shift from primarily documentary research on Hiraizumi to a heavily archaeological framework by the 1990s forced established scholars to rethink cherished notions of Hiraizumi’s history and identity. After a flurry of digs in the early postwar, archaeological exploration had slowed, hindered by the overlap of private property with the most important sites of twelfth-century Hiraizumi and resistance from Chūsonji, for example, to digs in certain temple areas. Given these difficulties, identification of Yanagi no Gosho as the administrative center of Hiraizumi and the residence of at least two of the Fujiwara patriarchs represented a quantum leap forward in the empirical evidence concerning Hiraizumi’s ruling class and the city layout.62 Building on the success at Yanagi no Gosho, impetus and funding amassed to other sites around Hiraizumi as well. These results have discredited traditional maps of the city and produced a more detailed picture of Hiraizumi at its peak than was ever available before. In 1992, preservation and excavation plans for the site remained undecided, but scholars and the public were beginning to pressure the Construction Ministry to alter its bypass and levee plans to ensure the site’s safety. With this in mind, the primary goal of scholars at the time was to demonstrate Yanagi no Gosho’s exceptional importance not just to the study of Hiraizumi but of Heian and medieval history as a whole. The significance of Yanagi no Gosho to the study of Hiraizumi is the subject of a 1992 paper by Ōishi Naomasa, then chair of Hiraizumi’s cultural research association.63 Ōishi highlighted items unearthed from the site during

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preliminary excavations, including ceramics and other durable prestige goods, and a lettered wooden tray. The tray, which listed the names of major vassals and allies assembled for a feast at Yanagi no Gosho, was tremendously important as the first new written evidence from Hiraizumi in centuries, and for what it revealed of the extent and composition of Hiraizumi’s network of internal relations in Tōhoku. The ceramics and other durable goods, many of which had been produced outside the Northeast, indicated the depth of Hiraizumi’s economic relationship with Kyoto and the Asian continent. Findings like these at Yanagi no Gosho promised to substantiate what had been little more than conjecture about the structures of rule employed by Hiraizumi within Tōhoku, and also to shed additional light on relationships with the centers of power in the Japanese archipelago and East Asia.64 The breadth and depth of these connections would set the scholarly agenda vis-à-vis Hiraizumi in the coming years. These connections were substantiated archaeologically, rather than through the scant written record. In the long term, the most obvious impact of the Yanagi no Gosho excavations was to transform the study of Hiraizumi from a field almost exclusively reliant on limited, etic documentary evidence into a field driven by the material evidence of archaeology. This marked a major transition, one on which Yabe Yoshiaki commented in the same year. Less than a decade after Takahashi Tomio had remarked on the inadequacy of the documentary record, Yabe held forth the promise of archaeology; though the political and cultural leanings of Hiraizumi’s ruling caste could be inferred from the city’s great temples and artistic output, only archaeology had the potential to take the study of the twelfth century beyond elite culture, he argued.65 This optimistic assessment of archaeology’s capacity to apprehend non-elite culture (particularly beyond the limited realm of physical culture) reflects a widespread positivist fascination in postwar Japan with archaeology as the best tool to discover the ancient history of the Japanese and their islands. It might at first seem somewhat contradictory that archaeology enjoys such widespread support as a contributor to popular

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history, especially as Japanese archaeology is institutionally a very hierarchical, centralized system. At the apex is the Agency for Cultural Affairs, which actively directs and assists the activities of the archaeological divisions of each prefectural government. The Agency subsidizes up to half of the costs for emergency salvage excavations required under Japanese law when sites are threatened by new development. Richard Pearson has noted that the salient characteristics of contemporary Japanese archaeology are strong government institutional and financial commitment to centralized rescue archaeology, rapid processing and dissemination of results both among experts and to the public through the mass media, a pervasive “emphasis on public archaeology,” and more attention to individual finds and to categorization and typological refinement than to theoretical frameworks. Armies of archaeologists, the overwhelming majority working in the public sector, are engaged in thousands of excavations every year. A snapshot of archaeology around the time of the Yanagi no Gosho excavations in the late 1980s reveals nearly 5700 archaeologists (3600 of whom are public-sector employees) involved in roughly 21,000 to 26,000 (a roughly tenfold increase from 1975) excavations around the islands with a budget hovering around $400 million US per annum. Rescue excavations account for about 80 percent of all excavations, having risen to preeminence in the 1970s accompanying expansion and development. In contrast to public-sector archaeologists, overwhelmed with excavations and data, academic archaeologists are often plagued by funding woes and lack of access to the best dig sites, which are dominated by public employees. While some academics have continued to approach archaeology from a theoretical perspective, overburdened public workers in particular have shied away from (or been too busy to contemplate) archaeological theory.66 Still, the high level of public interest in archaeology in Japan— and therefore its contributions to public culture—is universally acknowledged to be exceptional and perhaps unique in the world. The results of digs are quickly and widely published in media including trade journals, newspapers, and glossy consumer magazines. It

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is especially significant that archaeology is understood as education and as history, and that both central and prefectural administrations are heavily and actively involved with the production and diffusion of results.67 The dominant interpretive model for Japanese archaeology owes much to the historical materialism of Gordon Childe, laying heavy emphasis on analysis of cultural history that emphasizes continuity and eschews discussion of ethnicity. Though academics in Japan as elsewhere are by and large aware that archaeology, with its reliance on material evidence, “is ill-equipped to answer . . . questions of ethnic identity,” ethnicity is a concern for the mass media and its audiences.68 The evidence presented by archaeology is, like other scientific disciplines such as physical anthropology, reassuringly solid and immutable, and since the interpretive framework of archaeology and popular historical imagination is continualist, the tendency is to understand that archaeology reveals, as Koji Mizoguchi put it, “traces of the life of ‘our ancestors’, the epitome of the stability, fixity and predictability we believe [they] had in abundance and we have lost.”69 In other words, consumers of archaeological data are wont to romanticize excavation results—against the fluidity and aporiae of modernity—and view them in terms of a national history.70 The move from history to archaeology occasioned a change of focus from Hiraizumi as ideal to Hiraizumi as city, as a lived space that certainly embodied the ideals of its rulers but also supported a population widely estimated at over one hundred thousand at its peak.71 Attention to Hiraizumi as an urban environment was subsequently a contributing factor to increased awareness of the cosmopolitanism of the Hiraizumi Fujiwara and their polity as a whole. As new evidence of trade and exchange far beyond the confines of any Hiraizumi-Kyoto binary was literally unearthed, old evidence suddenly came back to light and artifacts sitting under the noses of scholars for decades suddenly took on an entirely new aspect. Saitō Toshio’s 1992 Hiraizumi: Yomigaeru chūsei toshi is exemplary of the effort in the early 1990s to understand twelfth-century urban Hiraizumi. Published a year before the decision to preserve

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Yanagi no Gosho, this book was aimed at the non-specialist reading public in order to establish support for site preservation.72 The prose is clear and straightforward, as is the message: the discovery of Yanagi no Gosho has already indelibly altered our understanding of Hiraizumi, but further excavation is imperative. Like Yabe, Saitō believed that archaeology had more to contribute to the future of Hiraizumi studies than did history. The revelation that scholars knew little of the layout and character of the city shifted their attention toward uncovering the city as a lived urban environment.73 Saitō’s depiction of Hiraizumi for the generalist audience is representative of the transition underway in the early 1990s. In addition to the themes of hybridity, liminality, and the accompanying tensions concerning what, if any, elements of Hiraizumi’s identity were dominant, Saitō’s arguments demonstrate well the growing interest in two other avenues of inquiry. First was the dynamics of Hiraizumi as both lived city and religious-political capital. How was the city laid out, and how did this urban space facilitate the development and maintenance of economic and military power? How did it express and enforce the political and religious legitimacy of the Ōshū Fujiwara? These were mostly new questions in the early 1990s, and still had more promises than answers, but Saitō concluded that the available evidence suggested Hiraizumi had been a hybrid “frontier city,” neither politically nor economically independent of the state.74 Second was Hiraizumi’s relationship to powers and cultures beyond the archipelago in the larger East Asian cultural and political sphere. By stressing Hiraizumi’s intimate Asian connections, Saitō’s work augured the direction of subsequent scholarship. Though it had been surmised early on from the documentary record that, for example, the Abe had directly brokered trade with populations across the Tsugaru Strait, the question of Hiraizumi’s direct trade with the Song dynasty had received little attention until the discovery of large quantities of Chinese pottery at Yanagi no Gosho. This opened the door to a new imagining of Hiraizumi as an international or transnational hybrid.75 This vision was supported by further research in and around the city itself in the 1990s, and

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also by the excavations at Tosaminato, a post-Hiraizumi port city and stronghold of the Andō family on the Japan Sea coast of Tsugaru, beginning in 1991.76 The new themes were key components of Hiraizumi’s World Heritage nomination less than a decade later.

The World Heritage: The International or Transnational Turn The culmination of growing interest in Hiraizumi’s transnationality in the 1990s can be observed in Maekawa Kayo’s 2001 work on the city’s urban composition. Maekawa, who placed great import on the ruins at the Yanagi no Gosho site, developed a complex, multilayered vision of Hiraizumi as a religious-political capital planned as a “vast garden space.” Hiraizumi’s urban layout was based on a pastiche of geomancy, Daoist philosophy on immortality, continental thinking on the protection of the city, and Pure Land Buddhist ontology, she argued. Maekawa advanced three important hypotheses in this article. First, the heart of Hiraizumi’s metropolis was its political center, Yanagi no Gosho. Second, the layout of Hiraizumi had been carefully calculated to coincide with the movement of the celestial bodies. This included not just buildings and roads, but also artificial bodies of water and even a miniature mountain, Kinkeizan, raised within the city limits. Third, the schema of configuration for Hiraizumi’s layout was borrowed neither from Kyoto nor from the Emishi roots of the Ōshū Fujiwara. Rather, Maekawa argued that it was influenced by Genyue, the mainland garden palace of the Song emperor Huizong at Kaifeng.77 Maekawa’s willingness to look beyond the confines of the Japanese archipelago for influences on and by Hiraizumi was directly related to the archaeological findings of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and probably also reflects the increased public stature given to the concept of internationalization (kokusaika) that had been growing at least since the 1980s.78 No longer were connections

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between northern Japan and the Asian continent an anomaly or a footnote to history. In Maekawa’s vision, the city of Hiraizumi was a nexus of power in dialogue with the Song at least as much as with Kyoto. This article is an outstanding example of efforts at the turn of the century to situate Hiraizumi within Asia and the world as much as within Japanese history. Maekawa thus serves as a fine example of both the new archaeologically underpinned approach to Hiraizumi and a nascent transnational turn in historical Hiraizumi studies. Her paper was presented at the first Hiraizumi Cultural Forum on March 20, 2001; Hiraizumi was added to Japan’s World Heritage Tentative List the following month, the first step toward inscription.79 This is not coincidence. It is one way in which the emerging vision of Hiraizumi as an international or transnational site was promoted by the Japanese government, and it helped set and frame the research agenda in the 1990s and 2000s.80 When the World Heritage Convention came into effect in 1972, Japan was not a signatory. Since the 1897 implementation of Japan’s Law for the Preservation of Ancient Shrines and Temples, architectural preservation in Japan had been predicated on a process of dismantling, analyzing, and reconstructing structures to their earliest known form. There was concern in Tokyo that these practices were incommensurable with the regime of authenticity and integrity laid out by the 1964 “Venice Charter” and its successor, the first “Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention,” adopted in June 1977. The “Operational Guidelines” established a “test of authenticity in design, materials, workmanship and setting” that remained in place for nearly two decades until adoption of the 1994 “Nara Document on Authenticity.”81 Between 1977 and 1994, UNESCO cosponsored a number of international conferences in Japan on the conservation of wooden structures. In these and other forums, Japanese experts expressed continued concerns regarding what they saw as Eurocentrism in the “Operational Guidelines” and the 1993 Management Guidelines for World Cultural Heritage Sites. Because Japanese conservation efforts had been primarily concerned with restoration of original forms rather than preservation of original materials, the primary Japanese

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objection was to UNESCO’s emphasis on respect for “the original materials, workmanship, design and setting of the property.”82 Despite assurances from prominent figures within UNESCO, questions pertaining to the definition of authenticity remained even after Japan became a signatory to the World Heritage Convention in 1992. The Nara Conference on Authenticity, cosponsored by UNESCO and Japanese local and national government agencies, revised the Venice authenticity framework. The “Nara Document” adopted at the conclusion of this meeting fine-tuned the 1964 definition of authenticity to “include form and design, materials and substance, use and function, traditions and techniques, location and setting, and spirit and feeling, and other internal and external factors.”83 As Jordan Sand has noted, “Although its effects were not immediate, the Nara conference is generally credited with opening up world heritage to a multicultural approach.”84 Though this assuaged some Japanese anxieties about the biases of the World Heritage inscription process, frustrations remained about its contents. The Japanese government was vexed by the World Heritage’s continuing failure to adequately reflect the contributions of Asian cultures (Japan’s in particular) to the shared heritage of humankind. Contributions to UNESCO were clearly not enough; Japan was UNESCO’s number two donor, but as late as 2008, 46 percent of all registered World Heritage properties were located in Europe, and the Agency for Cultural Affairs’ committee on cultural heritage grumbled that China was the only well-represented Asian state.85 This imbalance was seen as a wound to Japanese national pride, and an example of the continued failure of the West to properly understand Japanese culture. As Koji Iwabuchi and others have argued, internationalization (kokusaika) as promoted by government and business interests in Japan since the 1970s was driven by a productive dialectic tension between nationalism and the need to pursue national interests in the international community and global economy. “The ultimate purpose of kokusaika has been,” according to Iwabuchi, “to promote national interests; the other side of internationalism is nationalism.” Because Japan is considered “too

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unique to be understood by foreigners, one of kokusaika’s purposes is . . . to explain the cultural differences between Japan and its Other (the West) in order to reduce international cultural friction.”86 The dynamic between nationalism and internationalism is transparent in Japan’s use of the World Heritage as a soapbox from which to affirm the binary distinction between Asian and Western cultures, decry Western cultural imperialism, and advance Japanese political and—to a lesser extent—economic interests on the international and global stages. After 2000, the World Heritage’s perceived Western bias was considered with special urgency by Japanese government advisory organizations as UNESCO revealed its plans to slow the pace of new property inscription by pressuring states to nominate fewer properties and by tightening the vetting process. With this in mind, in the classic kokusaika modus detailed by Iwabuchi, it was argued that Japan must “have its unique properties inscribed to the World Heritage list, and make an effort to explain their value” to foreign countries and people.87 The year 2001 was also the year of the Internet Fair 2001 Japan, which in its own way sought to explain Japan to the world. Inpaku, as the fair was known, ran from December 31, 2000, to December 31, 2001. Inpaku was to be a government-sponsored showcase for the state of Japanese information technology at the dawn of the new millennium; then–Minister of State for Economic Planning Sakaiya Taichi proclaimed (prematurely) in June 2000 that the Fair would bring about a “knowledge value revolution,” but Inpaku was widely ridiculed as a “failure” in the business press and on the internet itself.88 The Iwate Prefecture “pavilion” for Inpaku, presented in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean, was divided into three main sections: “Golden Cultures of the World,” “Golden Culture of Japan,” and “ ‘Fujiwara’ Golden Culture (Hiraizumi, Iwate).” The Inpaku site is now defunct, but by November 15, 2001, the Iwate pavilion had been accessed more than seventy thousand times. The first section was subdivided into treatments of “golden culture” in Egypt, Iraq, Peru, Greece, Ukraine, and the South American legends of El Dorado and Castilian gold. The section on Japan included subsections on the Great Buddha of Nara, the Phoenix Hall (Hōōdō) of Uji, the Taira

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Sutra, Kinkakuji (also included in the world section), Hideyoshi’s golden teahouse, and the golden shachi adorning Nagoya Castle’s roof. Though an entire subsection was dedicated to the Yanagi no Gosho site, by this time confirmed to have been the residence at least of Hidehira, the pavilion’s presentation of Hiraizumi remained limited to the history of the northern polity vis-à-vis Japanese history, with sections like “The Court and the Hiraizumi Fujiwaras” and “The Historical and Geopolitical Significance of the Hiraizumi Government” forming the core historical analysis. However, the picture of Hiraizumi as part of world history was created with the World Heritage in mind.89 It was not only government-sponsored efforts that promoted Hiraizumi as a World Heritage property. Higashi Ajia no Hiraizumi, based on a 2007 symposium on the transnationality of Hiraizumi, captured the new paradigm framed by the World Heritage both in content and in its inclusion of non-Japanese scholars for the first time in a major work on Hiraizumi. In addition to covering longstanding central themes of Hiraizumi studies, this book included three chapters directly exploring connections between Hiraizumi and the Chinese port of Ningbo. This focus on transnational flows of people, ideas, and objects is emblematic of the scholarship supporting the World Heritage effort. Historian Hotate Michihisa’s chapter on the human connections between Hiraizumi, the Taira regime, and the Song dynasty focused on a web of interwoven personal relations surrounding the monk Chōgen, whom the author considered to be a key agent mediating between and establishing friendly and productive relationships with Hiraizumi and the Chinese dynasty. Irumada Nobuo proposed a pan-regional East Asian formulation of national development based on commerce, trade, and Buddhism, emphasizing philosophical and religious connections between Hiraizumi and the remainder of East Asia. Similar themes animated chapters by Oka Yōichirō and Nakamura Kazumoto on Hiraizumi’s religious and philosophical underpinnings. In particular, Irumada and Nakamura accented the Ōshū Fujiwara lords’ attempt to create a simulacrum of the Buddha’s paradise on earth based on tenets and doctrines of Pure Land Buddhism, which was the major theme

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of Hiraizumi’s first World Heritage nomination. On the other hand, Kanno Seikan and Yaegashi Tadao focused on aspects of the material trade between Hiraizumi and the continent, Yaegashi on imported ceramics discovered in Hiraizumi and its domain, and Kanno on Kiyohira’s printed copy of the Buddhist canon (Tripitaka) imported from a Chinese monastery.90 Strikingly, three authors referenced the same entry of the Azuma kagami, which had been discounted as fanciful in earlier research. Yaegashi, Oka, and Kanno all cited the entry from the twentysecond day of the eighth month of Bunji 5 (1189), in which Yoritomo’s conquering army discovered and opened a storehouse in Hiraizumi that had miraculously escaped the fires set as Kiyohira’s last heir, Yasuhira, fled. Inside, Yoritomo’s troops found an astounding list of treasures including rosewood, glass, elephant ivory, water buffalo and rhinoceros horn, and statuettes in gold, silver, and lapis lazuli. Many of these items were imports from elsewhere in Asia, and the ivory may have come from Africa rather than India.91 The storm of attention to this passage is noteworthy because though scholars had long been aware of both the imported Tripitaka and the material evidence of broad trade networks preserved in the decoration of the Konjikidō, these connections were rarely seen as part of a larger picture of actual trade and interaction beyond the shores of Japan until at least the 1990s.92 In his introduction to the compilation, Kanno Fumio addressed precisely this myopia when he noted that it had long been suspected that Hiraizumi was not confined to or by the archipelago, but that archaeological findings had demonstrated with positive evidence that obvious and well known examples of foreign trade like ivory and the iridescent turban (turbo) shell inlay from the southern seas used in decorating the Konjikidō are only the tip of a much larger iceberg of transnational flows accounting for the richness of Hiraizumi’s material culture. Hiraizumi’s connections with the Song dynasty went beyond exchanges of goods and encompassed more comprehensive and multifaceted interactions between people, thought and religious systems, and overlapping cultural spheres. This tight interrelationship between Hiraizumi and the Song was possible

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not only through Kyoto’s Taira-controlled trade with the continent, but also by direct movement across the maritime Silk Road from what is now Ningbo to an eastern terminus in Hiraizumi. This is a concise summary of the transnational view of Hiraizumi: no longer was Hiraizumi bounded even by Japan, it was a node in global or at least transnational and transregional flows.93 Kanno’s introduction was also a concise summary of the socioeconomic justification for Hiraizumi’s nomination to the World Heritage. Since the 2001 nomination of Hiraizumi’s cultural heritage to the UNESCO World Heritage, pressure had mounted to define twelfth-century Hiraizumi in terms of “outstanding universal value” (OUV), the primary philosophical criterion for inscription.94 Demonstration of Hiraizumi’s place within an East Asian world system was the first step toward placing the northern polity within the kind of universal framework necessary for inscription by UNESCO, of taking Hiraizumi beyond a purely local context. Outlining tangible connections with the world outside was a major concern in Higashi Ajia no Hiraizumi, but this agenda was subordinated to the overall goal of constructing a Hiraizumi unfettered by Japanese history and with a transcendent value for all humankind. A central tenet of the first Hiraizumi nomination was that the city represented the earthly realization of Pure Land Buddhist cosmology. This was not a new assertion, having been argued by Maekawa, Takahashi Tomio, and others in the 1990s.95 The chapters in Higashi Ajia no Hiraizumi by Irumada, Nakamura, and Oka present focused arguments about the significance of Hiraizumi’s construction as a physical representation of the Buddhist paradise, but only Irumada was truly able to connect this phenomenon to a larger world or Asian context. Irumada suggested that Kiyohira most likely found the inspiration for his rule in Wang Shenzhi, founder of the Min Kingdom. Wang based his rule on Buddhism and external trade, a model similar to that followed by Kiyohira and his descendants. Wang and Kiyohira showered their respective central governments with rare gifts and built large Buddhist temples and monasteries to secure and pacify their domains. Both men collected exotic foreign goods as symbols of authority

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and power, and both sponsored extensive sutra transcriptions. By Kiyohira’s time, large numbers of traders from the continent were living at least in Hakata’s Chinatown—a recently discovered stone monument indicated that many Japanese had also settled in Ningbo—and many Japanese spent time in China studying government, philosophy, and religion. Thus, Kiyohira would have known of Wang and been able to use his policies as a model for Hiraizumi.96 Direct connections between Ningbo and Hiraizumi were important to establish Hiraizumi’s place within the greater East Asian economic, political, and cultural sphere; the inclusion of three articles by Chinese scholars is a hallmark of this book. Yang Jianhua, Jinshu Cho, and Lin Shimin are all Ningbo-based scholars. Their chapters are plagued by Sinocentrism and offer little insight on Hiraizumi or its Asian connections, though their location of Hiraizumi as the eastern terminus of the “maritime Silk Road” extending from Ningbo across the Japan Sea is noteworthy.97 Their inclusion reflects the increasing importance placed on locating Hiraizumi in East Asia and the world system of the Silk Road. This conference and book, which focused on redefining Hirai­ zumi within East Asia and the world rather than Tōhoku and Japan, completed a paradigm shift from earlier views of an autonomous Hiraizumi. When he had argued for Hiraizumi’s independence, Takahashi Tomio was performing a fine balancing act. He located Hiraizumi within the narrative of national history as the great overlooked polity/century between Kyoto and Kamakura, as the first successful independent provincial political regime. Hiraizumi was, by virtue of Kiyohira’s unification of the Northeast, simultaneously the concluding chapter of ancient state formation—the fulfillment of a centuries-old dream—and an innovative and autonomous hybrid unfettered by the historical legacy of the Japanese state. The new transnational Hiraizumi did not reverse or invert this paradigm, but it did presume Hiraizumi’s prominent place in Japanese national history. Reclamation by the state was the precondition for World Heritage nomination. This assumption was the necessary groundwork for establishing universal value via Silk Road connections.

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Concern with the universal value of Hiraizumi had come to the foreground with Hiraizumi’s nomination to the World Heritage. It was fueled by anxieties about whether Hiraizumi could become the first primarily archaeological site to see inscription, and whether the transcendent importance of Hiraizumi’s religious-cultural vision of a Pure Land simulacrum on earth could be understood by nonJapanese to have outstanding universal value.98 This fear was given credence when Hiraizumi’s inscription was delayed in May 2008 pending a better explanation of the universal value of Hiraizumi’s cultural heritage: Hiraizumi was the first Japan-nominated property to be deferred.99 Following deferral, Irumada Nobuo and Yaegashi Tadao, both heavily involved in composing the nomination dossier, reflected that the two greatest difficulties faced by the promotion committee were, first, providing an English-language explanation of urban Hiraizumi as a realization of the religious precepts of Pure Land Buddhism, and, second, creating a single, orderly nomination narrative from the multiplicity of visions and opinions presented.100

Orthodoxy, Heterodoxy, and the “Dedication Pledge” The year 2011 was momentous for Tōhoku in many ways, most of them horrifying. After considerable reconfiguration of the nomination dossier and composition of the nominated property, Hiraizumi was inscribed in the World Heritage in July 2011. In the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Hiraizumi’s inclusion in the World Heritage was welcomed as a bright spot amidst the tragedy of the disaster and the urgency of picking up the pieces, and heralded as a beacon of hope for Tōhoku’s recovery.101 The rhetoric of Hiraizumi’s inscription was informed by the context of 3/11, making Hiraizumi a symbol of hope or of reconstruction. For these reasons, June 2011 marked the end to an era of Hiraizumi studies. Of course, the study of Hiraizumi will not only continue, but will

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likely flourish. With great domestic and international attention and ample funding, the outlook for research at least is bright. But there are concerns. For example, one ironic casualty of the World Heritage cam­ paign was debate on the dedication pledge attributed to Chūsonji, known as the “Ganmon.” As Irumada and Yaegashi hinted in describing the trouble encountered by the promotion committee, the path to the World Heritage involved the elimination of elements distracting from the central narrative of Hiraizumi as a representation of the Pure Land. The World Heritage campaign set the agenda and framed the issues for Hiraizumi studies, leaving no room for heterodox interpretations of the history and significance of the city, polity, and individual sites. The proliferation of evidence and actors in the 1990s in the field of Hiraizumi studies could have been an opportunity for greater plurivocality, but this was trumped by the pursuit of a unified narrative of OUV directed toward UNESCO and its advisory organizations like ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites. The “Ganmon” debate was an important controversy during the 1980s and 1990s. It centered on the identity of the complex dedicated by Kiyohira as a temple of imperial vow, and therefore on the identity of Hiraizumi and its relationship to Kyoto. It was also important because the “Ganmon” is a document that scholars have understood as something like a constitution for Hiraizumi, a constitution that espoused the same fundamental values of pacifism that underwrote so much of the allegorical narrative of Hiraizumi and postwar Japan’s similarities. The excerpt from the “Ganmon” that serves as this chapter’s epigraph comes from the description of a two-story belfry on the temple grounds. It reads in full: Let the ringing of this bell pierce suffering and give comfort with complete equality and without limit through the thousand worlds. Since antiquity, countless imperial troops and Emishi have perished [in wars in Tōhoku] and the slaughter of all living things has been incalculable. Their spirits have all gone to the other world, and their decayed bones have become

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h i rai zumi , t h e phoe n ix 197 the dust of this earth. Each time the sound of this bell shakes the earth, may it lead their innocent spirits to the Pure Land.102

As this passage indicates, the dedication pledge was both political and personal. Universal memorialization and a commitment to pacifism reflected Kiyohira’s desire both to leave behind his own violent youth and to affect a rapprochement with the court and build a mutually beneficial peace. For Takahashi, it was a crucial piece of evidence that Hiraizumi had been intended as a “sacred capital” based, “for the first time in history, on the ideals of ‘peace’ and ‘culture,’ ” the same values enshrined in Japan’s postwar constitution.103 In a nutshell, the “Ganmon” debate was the product of doubts about its traditional attribution to Chūsonji. Debate focused on the incompatibility of the “Ganmon” and the next oldest primary source depicting the city of Hiraizumi, a series of entries in Azuma kagami inventorying the city at the time of its fall. Known as the “Bunji no chūmon,” this section of Azuma kagami is allegedly based on a report presented directly to Yoritomo by two high-ranking Chūsonji monks. It is generally assumed to be accurate inasmuch as Yoritomo also toured the city himself and would have noticed any discrepancies.104 The incommensurability of these accounts, though noted in previous decades, developed into a major controversy with a 1982 paper by Araki Shinsuke, which suggested that the pledge had originally been for Mōtsūji.105 Araki’s problematization has been supported by thoughtful scholars from archaeologist Fujishima Gaijirō to historian Sudō Hirotoshi, but was completely swept under the rug in the run-up to the World Heritage campaign.106 Araki’s seminal article identified the elephant in the room: the “Ganmon” and Azuma kagami entries cannot possibly describe the same temple, which is significant given that the dedication pledge itself does not claim to be for Chūsonji. The attribution was made later; only the six-line introduction to one of its two extant versions, both of which are later copies, includes the temple’s name. This same introduction contains at least one obvious

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historical inaccuracy, so its credibility as the sole source claiming Chūsonji as a temple of imperial vow is not ideal.107 Indeed, anyone familiar with the Chūsonji monastery, either through its Azuma kagami entry or from a visit to the temple as it stands today, could hardly fail to notice that the complex described in this pledge can be found nowhere on Kanzan, the hillock on which Chūsonji stands. Nor can any trace of structures approximating this description be located. The “Ganmon” depicts a flatland monastery of quite large scale, entirely unsuited for the cramped, mountainous terrain on which Chūsonji sits. Counterarguments have been presented, but none has ever satisfactorily addressed all of Araki’s objections.108 Araki’s attribution of the dedication pledge to Mōtsūji threatens Chūsonji’s legitimacy as a temple of imperial vow. If Araki was correct, Chūsonji was “a temple of Ōu, of the Fujiwara,” of internal affairs and concerns.109 In contrast, Mōtsūji was the temple of Japan, of the court, of external affairs. Circumstantial evidence corroborates this hypothesis. Chūsonji is at the northern edge of Hiraizumi. The monastery was built on a hilltop that was the site of an Abe shrine, and overlooked the Koromo River to the north. The Koromo had been the de facto border between lands claimed by Japan and the Abe clan’s semi-autonomous Six Back Districts; building Hiraizumi south of the Koromo was probably an expression of Kiyohira’s intent to actively and willingly participate in the culture and politics of the Japanese state. Chūsonji’s location overlooking the old Abe town center north of the Koromo (which remained an important commercial and industrial district for Hiraizumi) suggests that the temple, like the city, was a bridge between two worlds. The placement of the Fujiwara lords’ mausoleum, the Konjikidō, at Chūsonji strengthens its character as a religious and political space dedicated to internal strategies of legitimation. In contrast, Mōtsūji was Hiraizumi’s outward face, directed south to the court. Visitors to Ōshū Fujiwara Hiraizumi made their approach along the great outback road that wound its way into the city from the south. Mōtsūji was strategically positioned at this southern entrance to Kiyohira’s capital, among the great warehouses, forming a distribution and commercial center whose

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appearance and location were clearly meant to impress the weary wayfarer.110 This south-facing monastery in Hiraizumi’s southernmost district was modeled on the style popular in and around the capital at the time.111 Mōtsūji addressed Hiraizumi’s relationship to the state, a dynamic and conflicted association built on cultural and political tensions but held together in large part by mutual interest in the stability of Ōu. This marriage of convenience ensured the profitability of tax revenues for the court coffers and shōen for the sekkanke Fujiwara, in turn promising some degree of autonomy for the Hiraizumi polity. This hypothesis of political and economic duality embodied in the two great monastic complexes is consonant with our best understandings of the Ōshū Fujiwara. Art historian Mimi Yiengpruksawan concluded that Hiraizumi’s “rulers were at once Emishi chieftains and proper aristocrats with a Kyoto pedigree. Their cultural productions rendered in dialect a common language of symbol and mandate.”112 The Ōshū Fujiwara brought to bear the power of both church and state as they aggressively, if idiosyncratically, participated in the most current mainstream elite Japanese modes of cultural production. On the other hand, their forays into the heart of Japanese culture were plagued by anxieties. Among them was determining the proper measures of deference and obedience to ensure Hiraizumi’s continued autonomy, peace, and stability. The difficulty of pigeonholing Hiraizumi into any of the categories by which we generally order our histories of the Heian period is an indicator of the kind of bricolage that one would expect from such a complex position within the economic, political, and social milieus of the twelfth century.

Concluding Remarks Atle Omland has argued that “often the World Heritage List represents a cultural prestige contest played out on a global stage, and several European countries seem to compete with each other

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in order to dominate the List.”113 Given this, and the fact that from at least the 1980s the Japanese government and business establishment had been deeply concerned about the level of recognition and respect Japanese culture received in the world, Japan’s attempt to engage in this prestige mongering is hardly surprising.114 For the study of Hiraizumi, government anxieties and intervention—first pro forma by the Construction Ministry and then by the Agency for Culture Affairs and its parent ministry MEXT (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)— were critical factors in divorcing the field from the broader trends of Tōhoku studies from the 1980s until 2011. This was not an absolute break. Increased mainstream historiographical concern with peripheral regions, as exemplified by the work of Amino Yoshihiko, Murai Shōsuke, and Ishii Susumu, was one influence on the directions taken by Hiraizumi studies in the 1990s. Archaeological work in Hiraizumi and related sites provided rich new data for analysis, and shifted scholars’ gaze from documentary to material culture. Nevertheless, Japan’s decision to nominate Hiraizumi to the World Heritage set the research agenda for Hiraizumi at least as much as any other factor. This was revolution from above, as publicly funded and directed research sought to establish Hiraizumi’s proper place in global history, and the success of this project muted the interpretive heterodoxy that had made Hiraizumi Takahashi Tomio’s phoenix and metonym for Japan in previous decades.115 For Tōhoku as a whole, the trajectory of scholarly interest was quite different. As explored in the final chapter, it was shaped not by international power games and government funding, but rather by neoconservative culturalism and the continuous search for a panacean vision of national history and identity to meet the changing challenges of contemporary Japan.

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Chapter Five

Tōhoku Studies as Neo-Japanism—“Jōmonism” and “Tōhokugaku” If Japan’s civilization has any value, it rests in the fact that it retains the strong imprint of the forest civilization of its origins, the civilization of hunting and gathering. —Umehara Takeshi, 1990

In 1986, deeply conservative and proudly nationalist Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro sat down for a chat with friend and influential philosopher-turned-public-intellectual Umehara Takeshi. Nakasone’s term as Japan’s premier has often been cited as a turning point for the revival of open, mainstream conservatism and Japanism in the postwar.1 It was Nakasone who had made the first official visit by a Japanese prime minister to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine the previous year, for instance, and Nakasone who developed the symbolically important “Ron-Yasu” friendship with American president Ronald Reagan despite rancorous trade friction. Nakasone also sponsored Umehara’s signature project, the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) in Kyoto, which has become one of his most lasting legacies. Lavishly funded by Nakasone, Nichibunken began as a mouthpiece for the neoconservative disaffection, personified by Umehara and Nakasone, that the great Western powers still failed to understand Japan and rejected its obvious superiority as a source of new values for the coming century.

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Nakasone’s conversation with Umehara, which ranged over topics from the shared prehistory of hunting-gathering peoples around the world to Nakasone’s “reckoning” with postwar politics, was recorded in the right-leaning monthly Bungei shunjū with the title, “The flow of world civilization and Japan’s role.” Punctuated throughout by Nakasone’s exclamations of approval, Umehara argued that the scientific, industrialized, monotheistic model born in Europe and forcibly exported around the globe “has provided humankind with a very rich civilization, but has simultaneously brought about the destruction of the planet.” On the other hand, because it has learned the techniques of Western civilization without losing its nature-loving indigenous roots, he continued, Japan is best situated to lead the world into the twenty-first century, and to create a new civilizational paradigm to address and overcome the problems of the world created—and destroyed—by Western civilization. “Japan has grown strong over the last century. I believe that the time is coming for Japan to create a new civilization based in its own traditions but taking advantage of science and technology,” he concluded.2 Over the next several decades, Umehara, and many others, would repeatedly assert the necessity of a new civilization founded on the environmentally friendly, peaceful, animistic roots of Japanese culture.3 Takahashi Tomio’s generation of Tōhoku historians believed that the region’s culture and history could serve as the seed and catalyst for Japanese national reinvention in the wake of empire and defeat. From the 1980s on, however, this view of Tōhoku became increasingly entangled with Umehara’s neoconservative, culturalist view of Japan as the panacea for the ills of modern civilization. And whereas the Emishi and Hiraizumi were the keys to Takahashi’s reevaluation of Tōhoku, Umehara reached back into prehistory, to the culture of the Neolithic Jōmon period, in order to explain the origins and nature of Japan’s cultural merits. This neo-Japanism alloyed with Tōhoku studies by the 1990s to produce the new academic endeavor called Tōhokugaku (“Tōhoku-ology”). Umehara is the key figure in understanding this transformation of Tōhoku studies, paving the way for the emergence of Tōhokugaku’s founder and face, Akasaka Norio.

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This final chapter traces the apotheosis of Jōmon (which I call “Jōmonism”) from its midcentury sources to its confluence with Tōhoku studies in the 1980s and 1990s, and explores how this merger transformed the study of the Northeast into the folklore-centered enterprise called Tōhokugaku. Umehara wove nativist threads from art history, archaeology, and anthropology together into an argument that Japanese national culture was a hybrid of Jōmon (hunting-gathering) and Yayoi (wet rice agriculture) elements. Of these, Jōmon was the indigenous base, the true roots of the Japanese ethnic nation and culture, and eastern Japan (including Tōhoku) the area in which Jōmon had flourished most. The Emishi, and later the Ainu, he concluded, were heirs to this Jōmon tradition. Umehara inverted the standard narrative of Japanese national identity, making Tōhoku Japan’s true homeland. He proposed Japanese culture as a panacea for the ills of global modernity, appealing to its Jōmon roots for justification and explanatory power. Umehara’s Jōmonism was inherited in the 1990s by folklorist Akasaka Norio. Akasaka continued the work of Tōhoku studies as Tōhokugaku, modeling his Tōhoku Culture Research Center (Tōbunken) on Umehara’s Nichibunken and the center’s message on Umehara’s ideas of Japanese culture—whose base was the indigenous culture of the Northeast—as the cure-all for the coming twenty-first century.

Okamoto Tarō and the “Discovery” of Jōmon Art and Affluence In his autobiography, artist Okamoto Tarō recalled an encounter with Jōmon pots half-forgotten in a dark corner of the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno as the moment he “discovered Japan” and himself.4 Okamoto is probably best remembered in Japan for his iconic Tower of the Sun, the beloved primitivist monstrosity that loomed over the 1970 Osaka World Exposition, and for the

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one-liner art manifesto, “Art is an explosion!” growled into the camera for a 1981 television commercial for Maxell VHS tapes. His pedigree and erudition made him a formidable force in the postwar art world, a world he vowed to turn on its head after 1945. He had studied art and anthropology in Paris during the 1930s, fleeing ahead of the Nazi invasion. While in France, Okamoto was influenced by the abstract art of Picasso, the primitivism animating the Paris salons and ateliers at the time, and also French intellectual leaders like Georges Bataille and Marcel Mauss.5 Okamoto was a brazen and courageous artist and critic who lashed out against what he saw as the stale formalism of contemporary Japanese art and the stale critics whose insipid and conservative judgments dominated the scene. The Paris-trained iconoclast found in Jōmon pots an expression of the “life force” of the Japanese. He praised the unsettling spatiality and energy of Jōmon earthenware, and more importantly perhaps was explicit in calling this seemingly outré aesthetic authentically Japanese, the product of “our ancestors.” Okamoto’s 1952 essay in the respected Japanese arts journal Mizue was a powerful denouncement of the art establishment, which he accused of passive emotionalism and formalism, and of being divorced from reality. He was fascinated with the grotesquerie of Jōmon pots, which expressed for him the contradictions of a hunting people whose lives were governed so much by chance and depended upon killing and consuming that which they held most sacred. In place of midcentury Japan’s tired conservatism, Okamoto fully endorsed the “wisdom of the primitive vitality” contained in Jōmon pots.6 [U]pon my return to Japan I was deeply disappointed to find that everything labeled culture and tradition was enfeebled and dismal. My disgust was hardly limited to the flat, pathetic emotionalism of early modern Japan. I found a bitter aftertaste even in splendid Nara-Period Buddhist art, which stinks of the arrogance of an overripe Continental decadence transplanted untransformed into a still unsophisticated Japan. I was equally disillusioned by the overly optimistic aesthetics of haniwa, in which I saw both facile, indolent insularism and a kind of formalism

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tōh oku st u di es as n e o - ja pa n ism 205 that has been transmitted to contemporary Japan, too. Is this passive optimism Japan’s unalterable destiny? I was overwhelmed by self-loathing. But when I encountered Jōmon ceramics, strength welled up in my blood.7

As Takahashi Tomio’s “postwar thought” began with a turn toward Tōhoku, Okamoto’s started with the discovery of Jōmon. Okamoto continued to extol the raw, vivid energy of Jōmon until his death, challenging the art world and the public with his primitivist aesthetic and his call to reassess Jōmon. The “Tower of the Sun” at the 1970 World Exposition (“Banpaku”), for which Okamoto was the artistic producer, was a slap in the face of the Expo’s theme of “Progress and Harmony for Mankind.” It was a mammoth visual protest (hanpaku) against the idea of progress itself, and also against the modern world order. Okamoto scoffed, “Mankind isn’t progressing. What the hell is progress anyway? Take a look at those magnificent Jōmon pots. . . . Could anyone alive today make anything like that?” Though the Expo was intended to celebrate Japan’s progress and return to prosperity, Okamoto’s giant, disturbingly deformed, Jōmon-esque anti-hero became so well loved that it was one of the few structures preserved after the Expo closed.8 The iconic tower was emblematic of Okamoto’s discontent with the emptiness of modern Japanese art and postwar Japanese society, and its surprising popularity suggests that perhaps it struck a (dis?)chord with the more than 64 million who wandered the Expo grounds in 1970. Never one to shy away from a declarative, Okamoto argued that Jōmon was fundamental to Japanese culture, and its home was Tōhoku. Nowhere did he make his connection between Tōhoku and the Japanese national spirit clearer than in a photo essay in the November 1962 issue of the influential magazine Chūō kōron. In a caption accompanying his photographs, Okamoto wrote: The mysteriousness of Tōhoku is a powerful nostalgia for us. It connects directly to the joie de vivre that writhes deep in the heart of the Japanese. The intersection of life and death. The groans of the people who have

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endured a severe life. In unadulterated purity, these things support the weight of a long history and overflow.9

The “joie de vivre that writhes deep in the heart of the Japanese” that Okamoto identified as a characteristic of Tōhoku was the same ferocious dynamism and “primitive vitality” he found in Jōmon pots and believed to lie hidden in the deep strata of Japanese identity.10 Nevertheless, though he was a respected and likable public figure, whose television appearances made him a household name, Okamoto’s love of Jōmon did not have an immediate measurable effect on public perceptions of archipelagic prehistory in the early decades of the postwar. Rather, it was the reflection of Okamoto’s ideas in the work of other scholars that was more influential in bringing Jōmon to public attention, especially in the context of the so-called “Jōmon boom” that began in the early 1990s, kicked off by the archaeological excavations at the Sannai Maruyama site in Aomori City. The “boom” centered on archaeology, but Okamoto’s discourse of discontent with modernism and modernity resonated with a significant segment of the public disillusioned by the postwar order and seeking a post-economism zeitgeist. On the archaeology side, the work of Yamanouchi Sugao enjoyed a similar popularity with scholars prior to the Jōmon boom, and likewise took on a new life in the public eye after. Yamanouchi was probably the first important scholar in modern Japan to take the possibility of Jōmon affluence seriously, and to locate that affluence in eastern Japan. Noting especially the ready availability of salmon and trout, as well as the abundance of calorie-rich chestnuts, horse chestnuts, and acorns in the Kanto and Tōhoku regions, Yamanouchi laid the foundation for what is now accepted as the “salmon-trout” thesis (sake-masu ron) of Jōmon affluence. He included this idea in his lectures in the late 1940s, and it was picked up and propagated by other scholars even before Yamanouchi himself first put it in print in 1968. The essence of his “salmon-trout” thesis was that the forests’ abundant hard nuts were the Jōmon period’s staple food, harvested and preserved in the autumn. Salmon and trout, which teemed in

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the rivers of the Northeast during their annual fall runs, would have presented a second, protein-rich, and easily accessible food source. By the 1960s, the “salmon-trout” thesis was widely accepted in scholarly circles, but Yamanouchi’s conclusion about Jōmon culture from this idea remained controversial. In a brief 1969 piece, having outlined his ideas about Jōmon subsistence, he wrote: “Salmon was caught widely [in Tōhoku] and was an important food resource. This region, then densely populated, formed the core area of the Jomon [sic] culture. The author believes that the easy accessibility of nuts plus the benefits of salmon fishing was the reason why this region was the Jomon core area.”11 Though it was not a popular notion at the time, in the 1980s, Yamanouchi’s characterization of Tōhoku as the core region of Jōmon would become a key tenet of Umehara Takeshi’s discovery of Japanese national roots in the Northeast—a precursor to and foundation upon which the Jōmon boom subsequently stood.

“Affluent Foragers” and the Confirmation of Jōmon Art and Affluence Yamanouchi’s ideas about the affluence of Tōhoku in the Jōmon period were explored by a host of other scholars in the following years—especially the 1970s—using the comparative vision of Jōmon which Yamanouchi himself had bequeathed. Particularly important was the 1979 Third Taniguchi Symposium, hosted by the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka. The papers from this conference were compiled and published in 1981 as Affluent Foragers: Pacific Coasts East and West.12 The conference was a culmination of studies in the 1960s and early 1970s concluding that affluent foragers or collectors (foragers with high logistical and low residential mobility) were unlikely to accept agriculture without the impetus provided by crisis.13 Though Yamaouchi had reached substantively similar conclusions in the 1930s about the quality of life in

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hunter-gatherer-collector societies, the “affluent forager” trope, an outgrowth of the “original affluent society” concept, is generally traced in Western academia to Marshall Sahlins’ Stone Age Economics, which in turn came out of the 1966 “Man the Hunter” conference.14 Comparing the hunting-gathering-collecting cultures of Jōmon and Native American peoples of the Pacific coast, the Taniguchi Symposium presenters identified a complex of factors such as sedentism coupled with intensive subsistence strategies and logistical mobility that went beyond population density, the traditional measure of “affluence,” to suggest that the hunter-gatherer and collector societies examined enjoyed a higher standard of living than had been previously appreciated. The Third Taniguchi Symposium additionally confirmed that Jōmon affluence in Japan had exhibited the distinct pattern predicted by Yamanouchi, in which the eastern half of the archipelago—roughly east of the Fossa Magna, the great rift bisecting Honshu—was significantly more materially affluent than the western half prior to the introduction of wet-paddy rice agriculture. The east-west ecological and cultural division of the Japanese islands at the Fossa Magna was not a newly discovered pattern, having been observed as early as the Meiji period, and having been confirmed by a diverse host of sources ranging from Yamanouchi’s archaeological work to the research of linguist Ōno Susumu, palaeoecologist Yasuda Yoshinori, and folklorists Tsuboi Hirofumi and Miyamoto Tsuneichi.15 Its growing acceptance, however, was revolutionary.16 This pattern diametrically opposed the hegemonic “west is best, east is least” (seikō tōtei) paradigm of national history that saw the seed of a superior Japanese culture originating in western Japan and forming a solid core in the heartlands of the Nara-Kyoto region by the fourth century.17 As Amino Yoshihiko observed several years later, if cultural difference must be defined on a tautological evolutionary cline of progress, for the length of the Jōmon period “eastern Japan was undoubtedly the ‘advanced region’ ” when compared to the areas west of the Fossa Magna.18 In short, this conference— and the research that followed in the 1980s—elevated both Jōmon in general and eastern Japan’s Jōmon-period culture in particular,

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enabling it to shed its image as the primitive, savage antithesis of truly “Japanese” Yayoi culture. Simultaneously, the 1970s was an important decade for the advancement of Okamoto Tarō’s vision of Japanese culture as a Jōmon-Yayoi hybrid. Critic Tanikawa Tetsuzō codified and developed Okamoto’s theory that Japanese culture was a mix of Jōmon and Yayoi elements. In 1971, Tanikawa adopted Okamoto’s hypothesis to explore the history of early Japanese art as a dialogue between Jōmon and Yayoi stylistic elements. He argued that pre-Buddhist material culture in Japan constituted the core of a native aesthetic, and could be best understood as the expression of these two contrasting impulses, the dark, fiery, strange, wild, and decorative Dionysian (Okamoto’s “equine”) Jōmon and the simple, straightforward, plodding Apollonian (Okamoto’s “bovine”) Yayoi. Limiting the object of his analysis to the artistic spirit expressed in practical items of daily life, Tanikawa concluded that though Yayoi elements had come to dominate Japanese culture both in fact and in perception, remnants of Jōmon could still be observed in the material culture of Japan.19 As Okamoto saw it, Jōmon was a fierce hunting culture, Yayoi a sedentary agrarian culture. Jōmon was equine, Yayoi bovine. According to this theory, the Jōmon-Yayoi transition was an alteration of the tempo and character of the culture of Jōmon—from equine to bovine—rather than the immigration of large numbers of continentals. Okamoto had suggested that the Yayoi period, like modern Japan, was characterized by an importation of foreign culture that far outstripped the scale of foreign immigration. Jōmon culture was that of the authentic, autochthonic Japanese, “our ancestors,” and Yayoi was a cultural overlay that transformed the landscape but not the people. And since the culture of Yayoi moved from southwest to northeast, even that transformation was far slower in Tōhoku.20 Okamoto’s Tōhoku-leaning Jōmonism and Yamanouchi’s Tōhoku-leaning salmon-trout thesis were inspirations to philosopher Umehara Takeshi, one of postwar Japan’s most trusted public intellectuals. In the early 1980s, Umehara integrated the works of

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Okamoto, Yamanouchi, and other influential scholars like historian Amino Yoshihiko and anthropologists Hanihara Kazurō and Sasaki Kōmei. He argued that Japanese culture was a “composite containing within it the conflict of Jōmon and Yayoi cultures,” and that “Tōhoku was the center of Japanese culture” in the Jōmon period, and therefore the cradle of Japanese national character and identity.21

Umehara Takeshi, Jōmonism, and the Apotheosis of Japanese Culture The 1980s and 1990s saw a radical transformation of Tōhoku studies and of public perceptions of the Northeast. This “late postwar Tōhoku studies” was defined by an agenda and methodology different from that which had animated the field since 1945. First, in the 1980s, Umehara Takeshi led a movement to redefine the Northeast as the fount and storehouse of Japan’s national identity. He did so by synthesizing the work of Takahashi Tomio’s generation of Tōhoku historians with the Jōmonism of Okamoto. Particularly impor­ tant was Umehara’s ability to synthesize materials from multiple academic fields, including the sciences, into a holistic popular narrative that spoke to doubts or disaffection with modern and postwar Japanese society latent in the reading public, and that offered a romantic, panacean vision based on the affirmation of an innate but suppressed Japanese culture. As discussed below, Umehara’s work was further popularized by Akasaka Norio in the 1990s in the form of a folkloristics-centered area studies discipline that he dubbed Tōhokugaku. Umehara is one of the most recognizable and popular intellectuals of postwar Japan. Like Takahashi Tomio and others of his generation, he was deeply affected by his experience of World War II. Born in 1925, he graduated Kyoto University in 1948. After the war, Umehara turned to a mix of nativism and science to address the aporiae of wartime trauma and postwar high modernity. As

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Umehara later recalled, having experienced the death of countless friends and loved ones during the war years, faced the very real prospect of their own deaths, and finally witnessed the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their aftermath, many younger Japanese were sympathetic to European existentialism as more than simply an intellectual exercise; Umehara was among those drawn to the nihilism of Nietzsche and Heidegger. As Japan rebuilt, however, individual lives were also rebuilt. When Umehara married and established himself as a scholar, he began to draw away from nihilism, feeling that he “could not continue living by staring into the void.”22 With Western philosophy offering only emptiness and uncertainty, he looked to the traditions of Japan for a life-affirming message for all mankind. Though already well known for his work on European philosophy in the 1970s, Umehara’s enormous public status owes a great deal to the corporate and governmental Japanism of the 1980s. Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro was irritated by the lack of respect accorded Japan internationally despite its economic accomplishments and his conviction of its cultural greatness; as discussed in the previous chapter, this same frustration would later animate the Japanese government’s stepped-up World Heritage inscription efforts. In the middle of the decade, while government commissions and think tanks produced a flotilla of reports and papers on Japan’s new role in the world, Umehara emerged publicly as a central figure of Nakasone’s brain trust. In 1987, the prime minister appointed Umehara to be the first director of Nichibunken, which opened the following year in Kyoto. Umehara’s averred Japanism, culturalism, and his links, both institutionally and philosophically, to the wartime Kyoto school, have led many to see the loose Japanese studies faction that formed around him—the so-called “Umehara Japanology” school—as a kind of “new Kyoto school.” Umehara’s idea of unique and superior spirituality based on the animisticshamanistic roots of “ancient Shinto” as the foundation of Japanese culture has been the subject of some scholarly derision, though this has not affected the popularity of his ideas in Japan.23

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Intellectually, Umehara’s road to the deep north was not narrow, but meandering and peripatetic. Like Takahashi Tomio, Umehara is a postwar thinker born in Tōhoku, and like so many others of his generation Umehara recalled the war years of his youth as a formative experience.24 “When I returned from the war,” he reflected in 1959, “I was dazed and absent for a while. I had thought of nothing but dying, so returning alive was miraculous and for a while I did not know how to live. . . . War deeply shook my worldview.”25 More recently, Umehara described his intellectual and emotional trajectory as a series of three rejections: the rejection of his experience of World War II, then of the Kyoto school of philosophy in which he had trained, and finally of what he saw as the inherent nihilism of Western philosophy. Umehara had chosen Kyoto because of his admiration of philosopher Nishida Kitarō, doyen of the Kyoto school, but early on, he recalled, he began to feel grave concerns with his professors’ support for war on the one hand and with the Western philosophies from which they drew their arguments on the other. According to Umehara himself, however, it was the rejection of European existentialism as unlivably dark and bottomless that most powerfully shaped his career. Umehara gave up on Western philosophy, but did not stop at denunciation and dismissal. Instead, he looked to Japanese history, culture, and thought for a “new principle of civilization to overcome that of Western philosophy” and civilization, one that rejected war, affirmed life, and—perhaps ironically given his eventual rejection of the Kyoto school—overcame Western modernity.26 In the early decades of the postwar, Shinto remained too tainted by its association with the wartime state, so after an encounter with Toynbee’s view of religion as a central and regenerative force in civilization, Umehara turned to Buddhism. In a 1976 lecture on Japanese culture, for example, he argued that Buddhism is the true core of Japanese culture. The lifework of Shinran, Dōgen, Nichiren, Kūkai, and the other great patriarchs of Japanese Buddhism shaped the core of Japanese culture far more than the beautiful but empty works of literature such as Genji monogatari, Hōjōki, or Tsurezuregusa typically considered representative of Japanese culture, he wrote.

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However, it was not long before Umehara was disillusioned by the potential of Japan’s “funerary Buddhism” to provide a life-affirming and regenerative force; ultimately, he turned back to Shinto.27 In Shinto, Umehara found an escape from the dead end of Western civilization, philosophy, and modernity. Unlike the majority of his contemporaries, Umehara associated Shinto with indigenous Jōmon culture, interpreting the “way of the kami” as the spiritual tradition of the foraging and collecting culture of Japan’s primeval forests rather than of the agrarian culture that followed. Here was Japan’s “new” value system.28 By his own account, sometime around 1980 Umehara became aware of the linkages between Jōmon, Tōhoku, and the roots of Japanese nation and culture. In 1982, he argued that “the study of Jōmon culture is necessary for the study of Japanese culture,” and that the “spiritual civilization” (seishin bunmei) of Tōhoku and of the Ainu, the descendants of and heirs to Jōmon civilization, “is tremendously significant.”29 This was the idea behind Nihon no shinsō: Jōmon-Emishi bunka o saguru, which purported to “explore EmishiJōmon culture, the deep strata of Japan.” Jōmon provided Umehara the environmentally responsible and mutualist underpinnings of “Japanese values.” It was the warp and weft of Japanese values, the horizontal (synchronic and social) principle of interpersonal responsibility and the vertical (temporal) principle of intergenerational responsibility, both of which Umehara found absent in “Western values” yet necessary to save humankind and the world from the imminent dangers of nuclear holocaust, environmental destruction, and spiritual collapse.30 All were facets of the “ills of civilization,” from the hubris of nuclear weapons—and, as Umehara amended after March 2011, nuclear power—to the myopic exploitation of the environment to the ennui and malaise born of social disintegration.31 The task for the twenty-first century, he wrote, would be to prevent each of these, and the tool would be Japanese culture. When, in the 1990s, Umehara proclaimed Japan the prime candidate to provide the universal values necessary to survive these challenges, he argued that it was because Japan’s Jōmon core survived, and that Jōmon culture was the ancient model for a postmodern

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Fig. 4  “Jōmon will save the world.” A banner from the blog “Jōmon Uzumaki,” which promotes “Jōmon thought” to the world. Courtesy of Ōtani Kōichi.

future, a position that has garnered not insignificant support, as seen in fig. 4: “Because it successfully modernized without losing its soul, Japan is perhaps better positioned than other non-Western cultures . . . to offer guidance to postmodern man.” Umehara had reached this conclusion by the mid-1980s, but he summarized his position with particular clarity in a 1990 interview: My hope now is to discover in the cultural origins of Japan not only a new value orientation, which would benefit us as we forge the values our children can live by in the 21st century but also a contribution to the whole world of humanity of a new value orientation that suits the postmodern age. . . . If Japan’s civilization has any value, it rests in the fact that it retains the strong imprint of the forest civilization of its origins, the civilization of hunting and gathering.32

Japanese culture—by which Umehara meant a fundamentally Jōmon culture—was the one-stop remedy for the evils wrought on society and the planet by a Western model of modernity. A year after this interview, he delineated his belief that “The ‘philosophy of the forest’ will save humanity” in an eponymous book, subtitled

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“The role of Japanese civilization in the twenty-first century” (“Mori no shisō” ga jinrui o sukuu: Nijūisseiki ni okeru Nihon bunmei no yakuwari). Umehara pursued this line in subsequent works, notably a 1993 book on the “revival of Jōmon philosophy.” Here, as above, the word philosophy (shisō) refers not to the academic discipline to which Umehara himself was originally attached, but to something closer to a worldview (Weltanschauung) and the social, economic, and political aspects of the lifestyle associated with it. Umehara also sought scientific support for his assertion that the people of Jōmon were in fact the authentic ancestors of the Japanese. His primary backing came from physical anthropologist Hanihara Kazurō. Hanihara is most famous for his “dual-structure model” of Japanese ethnogenesis, a hypothesis that he shared with Umehara in its formative stages.33 Hanihara received his doctorate from the University of Tokyo, where he began research on the population of the Japanese archipelago. He supported the hypothesis that Japan had been populated in waves, an idea that had been proposed in one form or another by scholars from Erwin von Bälz to Hanihara’s own mentor, Hasebe Kotondo. If anything separated Hanihara from his predecessors, it was the degree of emphasis placed on the Jōmon-era people (the “Jomonese,” as Hanihara referred to them) as the base of the Japanese population. In 1982, Hanihara shared with Umehara the basic ideas underlying what would become the dual-structure model. In their discussion of scientific perspectives on the origins of the Japanese and their implications for Japanese national identity discourse (Nihonjinron), Hanihara explained that the original “Paleo-Mongoloid” population of the archipelago had migrated over land bridges in the Pleistocene, and had remained the “root” of the modern Japanese ethnic nation despite later admixture of “Neo-Mongoloids” from the Korean Peninsula.34 A decade later, in the mature dual-structure model, Hanihara asserted that while it was clear that the Yayoi period had seen a significant influx of not just culture but also immigrants by way of the Korean Peninsula, contrary to the view advocated by the National Histories, for example, this was not a simple population

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replacement scenario in which the original inhabitants were annihilated or driven completely from their lands. Based on simulations carried out by fellow physical anthropologist Koyama Shūzō in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Hanihara surmised that there had been a precipitous drop in archipelagic population during the final centuries of the Jōmon period, most likely due to climatic adversity. Falloff was sharpest in the southwest, where conditions were assumed, as in the “affluent forager” model, to have been harsher. Hanihara’s data suggested that with Jōmon culture in decline around the time rice was first brought to southwestern Japan, conditions for the spread of agrarian Yayoi culture were far better in the southwest.35 The original Jōmon-period inhabitants of the archipelago mixed with the newcomers most thoroughly in the south and west of Japan’s main islands—the Ryūkyūs were an important exception—and least in the north and east, especially in Hokkaido. According to Hanihara, the most important characteristic of Japan’s population history was the coexistence of southern Asian (Jōmon) and northern Asian (Yayoi) lineages. The Jōmon line is that of the archipelago’s first inhabitants, who, having crossed land bridges from the continent in the Upper Paleolithic, remained relatively isolated until waves of immigration brought northern Asians in the Yayoi period, mostly by way of the Korean Peninsula. From northern Kyushu, it appears that these immigrants were involved in the establishment of agrarian polities that gradually spread in Honshu, and were likely integrated into the greater state structure that became the imperial court around the sixth century. The success of these regimes was dependent on the paddy cultivation, metal tools, and administrative skills of the immigrant groups. The agrarian Yamato state continued its process of expansion and assimilation of surrounding groups such as the Emishi and Hayato. Though the Yayoi immigrants quickly exerted significant impact on the Japanese gene pool, the process of genetic admixture is incomplete even today, he argued. The peripheries of Japan—Hokkaido, Okinawa, southern Kyushu, Shikoku, and Tōhoku—are populated more heavily by groups representing the Jōmon lineage. On the other hand, the northern Asian Yayoi lineage, which brought

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so much cultural change in addition to genetic change, is more in evidence in the west of Honshu and northern Kyushu. The Japanese isles were thus roughly divided east and west between Jōmon indigenes and a Jōmon-Yayoi hybrid that would form the main line of the present-day Japanese.36 In their search for authentic Japanese origins and culture, both Umehara and Hanihara became increasingly entangled in the study of Tōhoku during the 1980s. As a result, both scholars became directly involved with Takahashi Tomio as well. As one of the foremost experts on Tōhoku’s history and culture, Takahashi was an important source for non-historians like Umehara writing on the Northeast, and his agenda proved a critical reference for scholars to whom the affluence of eastern Jōmon, the cultural and political independence of Tōhoku until Hiraizumi, and the Emishi lineage that tied the two together were increasingly critical elements of national identity discourse. Conversely, for Takahashi, growing agitation at the directions taken by Japan in the 1970s made the project of “Tōhoku as postwar thought” even more urgent. His dual “revolt against the Wests”—not just the Japanese (south)west but also the Euro-American West—became an attempt to “overcome the modern,” a theme that Takahashi would make explicit in the 1980s and that brought him closer to Umehara’s new Kyoto school. The convergence between Umehara, Hanihara, and Takahashi was most obvious at two conferences in the early 1980s. Takahashi hosted one conference in 1982 on the history and culture of Tōhoku and one in 1984 on Hiraizumi. The former was cohosted by Umehara, and Hanihara was one of the speakers at the latter. The conferences were a watershed in the way multiple threads of Tōhoku revisionism, including Takahashi’s historiography, Umehara’s culturalism, and Hanihara’s anthropological data, were twined together. These three scholars sought, and received, mutual confirmation of their views of Japanese history and the place of the Northeast therein. This dynamic was particularly evident, for example, in the discussions that took place after Hanihara and Takahashi’s presentations in 1984.37 Together, these conferences marked a turning point in

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Tōhoku studies’ transition from a primarily history-based enterprise to one characterized by broad interdisciplinarity. This moment is captured best in Takahashi Tomio’s proposal of “Tōhokugaku,” under which label the project of Tōhoku studies was massively transformed in the 1990s. The 1982 conference was the precursor moment to this metamorphosis, which would eventually take the mainstream of Tōhoku studies from history to Umehara’s multidisciplinary synthesis. In 1982, Takahashi and Umehara assembled prominent scholars including archaeologist Serizawa Chōsuke, historian Minamoto Ryōen, Ainu scholar Fujiwara Hisakazu, cultural critic Kuwabara Takeo, and religious scholar Yamaori Tetsuo.38 The conference proceedings were given the provocative title, “The Culture of Tōhoku and Japan— Symposium: Another Japan” (Tōhoku bunka to Nihon—Shinpojiumu: Mō hitotsu no Nihon). The suggestion that Tōhoku was “another Japan” was one of Takahashi’s go-to tropes, but it had taken on a somewhat different meaning since the association of the Northeast with the origins and core of Japan’s national identity. Echoing Okamoto, Yamaori summarized the essence of the conference when he contended that “the ‘primitive heart of Tōhoku’ was also the ‘primitive heart of Japan.’ ”39 Umehara reiterated his basic argument that “the study of Jōmon culture is necessary [because] Jōmon culture is the roots and base of Japanese culture upon which Yayoi culture was added.” This concisely summarized the paradigm coalescing at the time, and also previewed Umehara’s later assertion that the sylvan culture of Jōmon could be a remedy for modernity. It took a four-part structure. First, Umehara’s “self-evident” premise was that the culture of Tōhoku had descended from Jōmon culture. Second, Emishi and Ainu culture were intimately related. Third, premodern Tōhoku and Ainu cultures were primarily hunting-fishing-gathering based, and both were heirs to Jōmon culture. Finally, as he did elsewhere, Umehara concluded that Jōmon culture was not only the base of Japanese culture, but also a culture whose contemporary global value ought to be reassessed: understanding Ainu and Tōhoku culture, he wrote, is particularly important with Western monothe-

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istic culture clearly unfit to create a positive future, and the limits and consequences of capitalist modernity clear. The corollary, to which Yamaori also alluded, was that Tōhoku, as heir to “Jōmon civilization,” likewise had greater global significance than ever before.40 Needless to say, Takahashi Tomio, who had fought for decades to prove that Tōhoku’s history was critical to any complete and balanced understanding of ancient Japan, concurred without reservation. He made explicit what Umehara had left unsaid: Tōhoku is a challenge from the ancient past of Jōmon to the modern, scientific present, and the process of understanding the Northeast will require the “overcoming of modernity” and the “revision of modern science.” By consciously evoking the Kyoto school, Takahashi chose Umehara’s side in the culture wars of the 1980s, allying himself with the new Kyoto school.41 This was probably important to Akasaka Norio when he evoked Takahashi’s authority as the father of Tōhokugaku in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Akasaka Norio, the “Jōmon Boom,” and the Emergence of Tōhokugaku At the 1982 conference, Takahashi proposed the establishment and pursuit of “Tōhokugaku,” which he described as “a unique, comprehensive science on the topic of Tōhoku’s history and culture.”42 He intended a kind of area studies model, but one elevated above the epistemological echelon suggested by the designation “Tōhoku studies” (Tōhoku kenkyū). The suffix “-gaku” is equivalent to “-logy” in English, and its choice was meant to convey status as a coherent academic field of study that the term kenkyū (“studies”) does not. This banner was taken up by Akasaka Norio in the 1990s. Akasaka, nominally a folklorist, led a multidisciplinary project that became the most visible and popular rendition of Tōhoku studies even before he founded the Tōhoku Culture Research Center

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(Tōbunken) in 1999 at Yamagata City’s Tohoku University of Arts and Design.43 The Tōhokugaku model was a crowning achievement for Takahashi, and one of his most lasting contributions to the study of Tōhoku. Akasaka put it this way in a 2003 conversation with Takahashi: The Tōhokugaku that Takahashi proposed about twenty years ago is slowly growing with the support of many people. As a result, I expect that views of the big history of the Japanese archipelago and its culture will change. In this sense, those of us following after Takahashi must keep up his initial vision of Tōhokugaku as existing to create a new image of the Japanese archipelago and a new image of history.44

But as so often happens, the passing of the torch from Takahashi to Akasaka was hardly as simple as this statement implied. Akasaka may have appropriated Takahashi’s terminology and legacy, but he had his own, distinct agenda, one closer to Umehara’s than to Takahashi’s. Locked in a positive feedback loop with changing depictions of the Northeast in popular media and entertainment— most dramatically with the “Jōmon boom” that followed excavations of the Sannai Maruyama Jōmon site in Aomori which began in 1992—public images of the Northeast were revolutionized between the late 1980s and mid-1990s.45 Akasaka built on and shaped this transformation, successfully creating a marketable paradigm under the brand name of Tōhokugaku. Like Umehara, Akasaka is a synthesist, and his Tōhokugaku brought together scholars and findings from history, physical and cultural anthropology, and archaeology, cemented by the homegrown folkloric studies called minzokugaku. As Alan Christy has noted, minzokugaku is “(perhaps) the only academic discipline ‘invented’ in Japan.” It is a syncretic discipline that attempts to address the blind spots, interstices, margins, and failings of established disciplines like history through “empirical” studies of “daily life.”46 Because it occupies a space between and overlapping with the older disciplines, minzokugaku, at least in the form associated

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with its founding father, Yanagita Kunio, has always sought interchange and interaction with neighboring disciplines, and has been relatively open to appropriation of data and results toward its own conclusions.47 Under Akasaka, Tōhokugaku continued this centripetal role with remarkable success in publications by Tōbunken and its individual researchers. This success was the result of a confluence of historical factors. In 2002, historian Kikuchi Isao, himself a Tōhokugaku contributor, credited the rising public interest in Tōhoku over the previous decade to Akasaka’s Tōhokugaku. According to Kikuchi, “Akasaka ‘Tōhokugaku’ was probably almost entirely unrelated to the northern history” movement that had coalesced at the end of the 1980s as one aspect of an increasingly politicized regional history movement. Tōhokugaku’s problematic has many commonalities with regional history’s ripostes against national history, which shifted the eyes of historians away from “Japan” and toward the diverse regional and transregional histories within the archipelago; Kawanishi Hidemichi later reflected that in the 1990s, “regional historiography was clearly intended as critique of the ‘nationstate.’ ”48 Still, convergence of Tōhokugaku and “northern history,” argued Kikuchi, was mostly a matter of delicious serendipity that arose when historians’ intellectual vectors intersected with Akasaka’s attempt to “overcome” the national minzokugaku of Yanagita Kunio.49 Whether or not Kikuchi is correct in his assessment, Akasaka was not ignorant of the regional history movement, and did engage deliberately both with Takahashi Tomio’s regional history and with the broader revisionist school of revisionist histor­ian Amino Yoshihiko. Additionally, Kikuchi failed to account for a number of other important factors contributing to changing public opinions regarding the Northeast. Most important was the “Jōmon boom” precipitated by excavation of the Sannai Maruyama Jōmon site in Aomori.50 Rescue digs at Sannai Maruyama began in the summer of 1992, at the site of a planned baseball stadium. As had been the case at Yanagi no Gosho in Hiraizumi just a few years earlier, the rich finds forced construction to be cancelled, and the site was preserved and

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transformed into a historical park amidst unprecedented public interest. This “boom,” which brought Jōmonism to the Japanese public on a large scale for the first time, was the context in which Tōhokugaku gained traction beyond academia. Sannai Maruyama is the largest Jōmon settlement yet discovered, and by 1999 had already yielded “700 pit-dwellings, approximately 20 long houses, about 100 remains of raised-floor buildings, approximately 250 adult grave pits and 800 burial jars for infants or children,” hundreds of ceramic figurines, innumerable potsherds, and more than 40,000 boxes of sundry relics and artifacts.51 The site may have been fully sedentary for over 1500 years, and at least served as a base camp for a logistically mobile population numbering in the hundreds.52 In addition, massive chestnut posts and postholes are widely believed to be evidence of a building as tall as twenty meters, which would indicate a far more advanced level of technology than previously guessed at. The oldest lacquer wares ever unearthed in Japan are an additional indicator of technical prowess and labor specialization. Sannai Maruyama also participated in networks of long-distance trade, as evidenced by the presence of jade produced over 500 kilometers away, asphalt from present-day Akita, and amber from coastal Iwate.53 Cultivated foodstuffs included millet, chestnuts, beans, and gourds. Small game was hunted in greater numbers than large animals, though fishing was more prevalent than either.54 These finds indicated social complexity far exceeding what the public and even many archaeologists had assumed, and, with the help of a media feeding frenzy, brought the idea of Jōmon affluence from the ivory tower to the living room.55 Sannai Maruyama spoke to undercurrents of anxiety about postwar Japan that persisted during economic rebuilding and the bubbly economy of the 1980s. The vision of Jōmon offered by Sannai Maruyama struck a chord with a sector of the public that had been looking for a post-economic value system. Though he overgeneralized his conclusions to “the Japanese,” journalist Kataoka Masato eloquently summed up this response, the roots of the Jōmon boom:

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tōh oku st u di es as n e o - ja pa n ism 223 Having experienced the catastrophe of defeat in World War II, [the Japanese] renounced their past values and, with great effort, pulled themselves up from utter physical and spiritual collapse. Earning a place on the world stage as an economic power, they appeared to have finally recovered their confidence. Internally, however, rapid economic growth created both physical and spiritual strains, including environmental destruction and an overly materialistic pursuit of wealth. Externally, moreover, the Japanese have been ridiculed as economic animals by other countries. Under the circumstances, they could hardly take unmitigated joy in their recovery. Not only that, but the Japanese are now beset with a feeling of crisis as they wonder whether the very economy that produced their success can survive. . . . The Japanese have finally realized that they have neglected to seek spiritual enrichment in their rush to achieve material prosperity.56

The significance of Sannai Maruyama and the Jōmon boom was to make the prehistory of Japan into Japanese prehistory. Rather than the period preceding the emergence of Japan, Jōmon became part of Japanese national history. Prior to Sannai Maruyama’s emergence in public consciousness, the discontinuity between huntergatherer Jōmon and rice-producing Japanese was so great as to defy commonsensical association in a single linear narrative of national history. As Junko Habu and Clare Fawcett have argued, Sannai Maruyama was the first Jōmon site positioned as a locus for understanding the national-cultural roots of the Japanese people. This was a remarkable change, and the geographic locus of this new-old phase of Japanese national history in the Northeast was the catalyst for a public reevaluation of the east-west, north-south axes and extent of “Japan” and “the Japanese.”57 Almost simultaneously, the late 1980s explosion of archaeological evidence from Hiraizumi led to the broadcast in 1993–94 of novelist and Hiraizumi scholar Takahashi Katsuhiko’s Homura tatsu as NHK’s annual flagship historical drama, the Taiga dorama.58 The history of Hiraizumi as told in Homura tatsu closely followed the narratives of noble independence arising from the ashes of war first advanced by Takahashi Tomio in the 1960s. The Taiga dorama series

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is unabashedly historical fiction and entertainment, but the truthy stories it tells probably have a far greater impact on public perceptions of history than do high school classes or college entrance exams. As audience studies research has shown, “the kinds of stories people remember are chronological narratives, with a clear structure, a moral point, and vivid imagery. Traditional inverted pyramid news stories, with the standard ‘who, what, where’ format, are the most difficult to remember,” and by extension, so are the dry and impersonal narratives of secondary school textbooks.59 For this reason, Homura tatsu was the culmination of the independent Hiraizumi thesis, as it finally made its way from the relatively small readership of Takahashi Tomio’s historical research to the historical fiction of Takahashi Katsuhiko’s five-part historical novel, and then into living rooms around Japan via trusted public broadcaster NHK. Over the next decade, Tōhokugaku, which embraced diverse approaches in constructing a narrative of the Northeast’s history and culture, became probably the most important voice in the discourse on Tōhoku. It was primarily the public’s discovery of independent Hiraizumi and affluent Jōmon that helped to put Tōhoku much more prominently into narratives of Japanese national history, paving the way for interest in “Tōhokugaku.” Scholars’ greater attention to the potential of regional and local histories as a counterbalance to monolithic national history was certainly important in directing the shape of research in the field during the 1990s. In this sense, it was related to the rise of Tōhokugaku. However, the importance of these professional trends lay much more in their reception by the public, and here a significant time lag can be observed. After all, the idea of “independent Hiraizumi” had been largely eclipsed in academia by the time it was popularized by Homura tatsu, and the Jōmon period’s affluence was a matter of little academic controversy long before the Sannai Maruyama settlement became a tourist destination. Akasaka Norio cleverly synthesized these currents and presented them in an accessible, consumable format. As founding director of Tōbunken, he was a prolific and poetic proponent for Tōhokugaku, a brand he made his own in the 1990s. But Akasaka did not begin

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his career as a scholar of the Northeast. Though it was his writings on Tōhoku that eventually defined Akasaka’s career, that career was really launched, as was Akasaka’s reputation as a provocative, eclectic, and creative essayist, with forays into social criticism in the 1980s. Born in Tokyo in 1953, Akasaka ran a cram school and struggled to break into the literary world as a novelist after graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1978. Akasaka’s first book was not a work of fiction, however, but rather a lengthy meditation on the boundaries of Self and Other and their incessant transgression. His concern with the role of the Outsider in defining and manifesting the boundaries and limits of the Inside was an implicit critique of the process of exclusion by which communities of identity are formed, and is an early example of his interest in the importance of heterogeneity—especially in a homogenized postwar consumer society.60 Akasaka’s second book followed up this theoretical work with applied case studies on the “phenomenology of exclusion,” arguing that the Self is threatened without an Other, and may resort to violence in order to reinstitute clear boundaries of identity. Akasaka argued that by further homogenizing public education, mandatorization of special education in 1979 had encouraged group bullying (ijime). “In other words, by excluding obviously different children, schools have become almost entirely closed off and homogenized spaces.”61 Several books followed in the late 1980s, including two on the Japanese emperor as monarch and symbol and an ethnographic expansion of his earlier work on Self-Other boundaries before Akasaka settled into his long-term project of Tōhoku studies.62 As he recalls it, Akasaka’s interest in Tōhoku was sparked by a trio of coincidences. First, his own father had been born and raised in rural Fukushima, so Tōhoku was part of his own roots and consciousness. Second, the timing of his interest in the Northeast was related to a series of encounters with Tōhoku-related people in the late 1980s. Finally, Akasaka’s interest in Yanagita Kunio was the most important impetus to his involvement with both minzokugaku and Tōhoku. His debut article on Yanagita, a 1987 piece on Yanagita’s vision of Tōhoku as privileged home to the “ordinary and abiding

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people” (jōmin), was well received; as a result, Akasaka’s work was serialized in a well-respected literary journal, Sōzō no sekai.63 Through this research, Akasaka recognized problems with Yanagita’s understanding of Tōhoku, and his own lack of knowledge on the subject. Particularly jarring was the realization that while Yanagita had, from the late 1920s, characterized the Northeast as home to the “Holy Trinity” of Japanese national identity (jōmin, a rice-based village economy and social structure, and the custom of ancestor worship), this was an egregious misrepresentation of Tōhoku’s history.64 Yanagita fixated on the rice-producing village and its people as the national identity of a “traditional,” pre-Meiji Japan, and he projected this image heavily onto the Northeast because of its apparent socioeconomic backwardness; Yanagita saw in Tōhoku a museum of Japanese national identity because the region had been passed over by Meiji modernization, but this badly distorted the past and present realities of rural Tōhoku. It was upon this “originary violence against Tōhoku” that minzokugaku was built. For example, Yanagita extended his vision of Tōhoku as Japan’s rice belt into the far northern reaches of Aomori’s Shimokita Peninsula, but not only did Shimokita produce little rice in the early twentieth century when Yanagita was writing, Tokugawa-period accounts showed that the region had produced almost no rice. The nearly riceless landscape of historical Tōhoku was to Akasaka a way to relativize the national illusion of Japan as a “land of rice” (inaho no kuni).65 Akasaka was writing, running his cram school, and working as an adjunct lecturer in Tokyo when his growing interest in Yanagita and Tōhoku caught the eye of the Tōhoku University of Arts and Design (TUAD) in Yamagata. In 1992, he was made an associate professor, and was made founding director of Tōbunken in 1999. By this time, he was already an influential writer on Tōhoku, but the institutional imprimatur of Tōbunken solidified Akasaka as an insider in the academic hierarchies and networks from which he had previously been excluded. Tōbunken’s charter was officially announced on the occasion of its establishment on April 25, 1999. The full text is translated in the

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appendix. It begins with a poetic acknowledgement of the centrality of Sannai Maruyama and the Jōmon boom to Tōhokugaku, the new Tōhoku studies movement that Tōbunken represented, and provides a glimpse into Tōbunken’s research agenda in the suggestion that Japan’s cultural roots are to be found not solely within the archipelago, but in the greater “circum-Pacific world.” The charter reads in part: From out of the darkness of a Yayoi-centric view of history, the light of Jōmon is beginning to shake the soul of Japan. For more than 10,000 years, the spirit of Jōmon has been passed down in Tōhoku. . . . Discoveries like that of Sannai Maruyama have completely overturned the established theory that the agrarian culture beginning with Yayoi is the prototype of Japanese culture, and have taught us that the roots of Japanese culture must be sought in the wide circum-Pacific world.66

Echoing Akasaka’s intellectual mentor, Umehara Takeshi, the Tōbunken charter also situated Tōhoku as a bastion against the ills of modernity. Tōhoku, claims the charter, “is a fortress in the battle to reclaim the dignity of humankind and overcome the mistakes of contemporary civilization.”67 The adoption of Umehara’s rhetoric was not accidental. Tōbunken, even in its name, appears to have been modeled on Umehara’s Nichibunken, but sought to shift the center of Japanese national gravity away from Kyoto; Akasaka wrote elsewhere that he intended to make Japanese national history duocentric, and perhaps Tōbunken was a literal expression of this.68 In fact, Umehara played a significant role in founding the university and in legitimizing the new center. As the keynote speaker at the conference commemorating Tōbunken’s opening in 1999, Umehara put his public stamp of approval on Akasaka’s project, as did invited panelists Amino Yoshihiko, Yamaori Tetsuo, and folklorist Miyata Noboru. (Notably, Amino had separately endorsed

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Akasaka’s Tōhokugaku project the prior year.)69 Umehara wholeheartedly endorsed Tōbunken’s ideas of Northeastern centrality. As he remarked in his opening address, “The most refined culture in Japan was in Tōhoku, and it remains today.”70 Umehara repeated many of his core views about the value of Tōhoku’s culture, arguing, for instance, that the Jōmon and Jōmon-influenced culture of the Northeast was one of respect for and harmony with all living things, including plant life, and therefore an antidote to the anthropocentrism that is the root cause of environmental destruction and, ironically, human suffering. Umehara added that the close connections of the living and dead in Tōhoku’s traditional culture provide a diachronic lineage of responsibility for proper custodianship of the earth. Interestingly, as had Takahashi Tomio—and suggestive of Umehara’s familiarity with Takahashi’s work—Umehara singled out Tanaka Kakuei as the dastardly, mustachio-twirling villain who had sought to spread the evils of modern civilization evenly to every corner of the archipelago. “Because its modern values come from a single source, the West, Japan destroyed both paddies and forests to build factories and golf courses. Tanaka Kakuei . . . is the consummate example of this.”71 Here it is perhaps clearer than at any other moment that the reins of Tōhoku studies passed from Takahashi Tomio to Akasaka Norio through Umehara Takeshi. This same antimodern, anti-Western stance is actually integral to the mission statement of the university, which pits the arts and Tōhoku’s Jōmon heritage and traditions against the evils of Western modernity. “This university,” it begins, “was born out of the deep soil of Jōmon, the roots of Japanese culture,” which is alive and well in Tōhoku. “Modern civilization, which began with the industrial revolution, has brought humanity to the brink of destruction at the close of the twentieth century. Contemporary society, ruled as it is by science, technology, and economic logic, faces fundamental questions about the dignity of the human spirit as it has existed throughout history, as well as about the meaning of humanity itself.” The function of the arts, it continues, is to guide society in its use of science and technology.72 Within this framework, Tōbunken was intended to “research and illuminate the rich history

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and folk customs stretching back to Jōmon that are buried in the great expanse of Tōhoku—especially belief systems and spiritual culture—and to resurrect them in the present” as a value system for the twenty-first century.73 With the opening of Tōbunken and Umehara’s blessing, Akasaka Norio completed his rise to become perhaps the most influential thinker on Tōhoku. He would remain in this position and at Tōbunken until 2011, though his methodology and stance evolved and metamorphosed dramatically during the two decades from the time he joined the TUAD faculty until when he accepted a position at Gakushūin University in Tokyo and left the Northeast months before the disaster of March 2011. At the outset, at least, he was more agitator than academic, and his work from these early years is at times as naïve as it is compelling. In subsequent years, Akasaka continued to wear his social project prominently on his sleeve, even as his writings became theoretically more sophisticated. Nevertheless, at heart Akasaka never abandoned his activist side, his desire to reform both society and academia.

Tōhokugaku and New Japanology, “New History,” Restorative Nostalgia For its contributions to rectifying national history, Akasaka heralded Takahashi’s work and his proposal of Tōhokugaku as a “new Japan­ ology” (shin Nihongaku), a field in which Akasaka fancied and fashioned himself as the successor.74 Despite his focus on Tōhoku, it would be more accurate to characterize Akasaka as a Japanologist than as a Tōhoku scholar; it is no accident that his current faculty page introduces him as a specialist in “minzokugaku and Japanese culture theory.” For Akasaka, Tōhoku was a methodology for a revision of Japanese national cultural discourse. Akasaka’s autobiographical note on the same faculty page hints at the instrumentality of Tōhoku for him: “Over the past two decades, I have made

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the Tōhoku region my field and walking, looking, and listening my work. I have used Tōhoku as the base for my project to shed light from new angles on discourses of Japanese culture; I call this project ‘Tōhokugaku.’ ”75 Akasaka had admitted that his marriage to the Northeast was one of convenience when he earlier remarked that, “Tōhoku was my field for the moment (toriaezu).”76 Akasaka shared the concern of Takahashi and Umehara that an “unconsciously Yamato-centric historical perspective (Yamato chūshin shikan) is twisting history,” and with Takahashi especially, a sense that the Northeast could provide the panacea for restoring history to its proper form.77 Takahashi, as he himself noted, “was born in Tōhoku, studied at a school in Tōhoku, and . . . studied nothing but Tōhoku.”78 Akasaka was born in Tokyo, studied at a school in Tokyo, and has returned to Tokyo. In this sense, he is more like Yanagita Kunio, whose formative influence is indispensable to grasping the project of Tōhokugaku as national history. While they both envisioned national renaissance from Tōhoku, for Takahashi the Northeast came first and for Akasaka (and Umehara) the national revival came first. Akasaka’s substitution of minzokugaku for history as the central discipline in his project effected a shift from historicity to the discovery (or manufacture) of radical continuity, one which Akasaka called, perhaps ironically, a “new history.” In its broadest outline, he referred to a novel interdisciplinary space from which to reorient Japanese national history through the study of Tōhoku. I hope to create a space where people from many fields, including minzokugaku, history, and sociology, can come together and discuss the history and culture of Tōhoku. I tentatively call this “Tōhokugaku.” Historically, Tohoku is a gradated region [bokashi no chitai] in which northern and southern cultures overlap, and because of this, much is revealed when looking at things from the perspective of the Northeast. I believe that Tōhoku holds the key to a new and open vision of Japanese culture, one not overwhelmed by the southern, rice-agrarian view of the archipelago.79

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More specifically, Akasaka proposed that this new history address four issues. First, “new” cannot be merely reactionary, as with the neoconservative nationalism of historical revisionists since the 1990s.80 Second, a new history must oppose both prewar and wartime national history (kokushi) and its postwar successor “Japanese history” (Nihonshi) because both are handicapped by the myopia of the unilateral and hermetic historiography of “singlestate history” (ikkokushi). Third, with this in mind, the history of regions within the archipelago and/or Japanese state can no longer be subordinated to a master narrative of national history. Instead, the diversity represented by regional histories must be woven into a narrative emphasizing the plurality of traditions within the modern Japanese nation-state. Finally, methodologically, the new history must include the work of neighboring and imbricated disciplines like archaeology and minzokugaku in order to overcome a fundamental bias toward and overreliance on the written word.81 Tōhokugaku, as the incarnation of this vision, was the mature form of the late postwar Tōhoku studies movement launched by Umehara. Tōbunken’s assertion of the Northeast as the home to “the light [and] spirit of Jōmon” and a privileged locus for rediscovery of the authentic and virtuous nature of the Japanese nation under layers of foreign influence deftly crystallized the episteme of the Umehara school and its popular reflection in the Jōmon boom. In Akasaka’s writings, especially in the years following Tōbunken’s founding, the hybridity of the Northeast was an important theme, though Akasaka preferred to explain hybridity in terms of chaos. This perspective was in part inherited from Akasaka’s various intellectual influences. Takahashi Tomio had placed high value on the hybridity of Hiraizumi in particular, and Umehara Takeshi and Hanihara Kazurō had, each in their own way, stressed the hybridity of Japan. Okamoto Tarō had lionized the marginalized “rustic and primitive rituals” of Tōhoku in comparison to the life of the mass of city-dwelling “citizens cut off from nature by contemporary urban life,” and found in the Northeast living traces of Japan’s “dual nature.”82 This duality was the bifurcation between the JōmonDionysian and the Yayoi-Apollonian, in which the former was

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strongest in the Northeast. Akasaka pulled these threads together in a notion of Tōhoku as doubly chaotic, of the Northeast as simultaneously a multilayered and multifaceted hybrid and also as the disruptor of Japanese national history. In the pithiest summary of this idea, Akasaka stated simply, “Tōhoku is a land of chaos. There, a multiplicity of people and cultures overlap, and the faint memory of ancient Jōmon persists.”83 “Tōhoku,” wrote an exuberant Akasaka, is metaphorically a border field where the cultures=races [bunka=shuzoku] of north and south come together.84 There, the culture=race of the south, the symbolic core of which is rice agriculture; and the culture=race of the north, the composite product of dry-field agriculture, collecting/gathering, and hunting, have repeated time and again a history of cross-fertilization and hybridization, forming multiple layers. The Tōhoku-esque is therefore the history and structure of this northsouth multilayering as etched into the land itself.”85

Neither the facile conflation of culture and race nor the reductionist cultural and ethnic geography is novel. The former is a defining characteristic of national identity discourse (in Japan, the Nihonjinron genre).86 Akasaka was ostensibly writing against the myths of national homogeneity that supported such commonsense visions of the Japanese nation, so his support of an explicitly biological, hereditary linkage with culture is surprising, and more than a bit ironic—even more so given that Emishi deracialization had been such an important pillar of early postwar Tōhoku studies. The latter, that is, leanings toward geographic determinism, had not been uncommon for Takahashi, Amino Yoshihiko, and other historians and archaeologists in previous decades. But whereas these older works referred primarily to a phenomenon of the ancient and premodern past, Akasaka, whose Tōhoku project was one of trans­ historical continuity, linked this historical geography to the present. For Tōhokugaku as Akasaka envisioned it, however, rather than the east-west divide that Takahashi and others had emphasized, it

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was the north-south divide that was truly revelatory of diversity and heterogeneity in the past and present alike. “The east-west axis links to the reaffirmation of ethnic identity; the north-south axis is limitlessly open to the chaotic circumstance of ethnic heterogeneity,” he wrote.87 Here and elsewhere, Akasaka invoked anxiety, destruction, confusion, and chaos as essentially positive inasmuch as these were the of recognizing internal difference within Japan through a shift of the gaze. That paradigm shift from east-west to north-south was to be made on the fulcrum of the Northeast. Because it was intended as broadly and catholically multidisciplinary, though Akasaka often exercised at least nominal editorial control over Tōbunken publications during his tenure, there was no single, prescribed methodology for Tōhokugaku as a whole.88 This was quite separate, of course, from the matter of Akasaka’s own praxis. Prior to the opening of Tōbunken, Akasaka laid out his philosophical platform for Tōhokugaku in a trilogy he called “Toward Tōhokugaku” (Tōhokugaku e).89 His methodological statement came later, in 2003, but is best understood in the context of his troubled relationship with his self-identified discipline of minzokugaku. Akasaka began calling himself a practitioner of minzokugaku (minzokugakusha) in the early 1990s, but he was not formally trained in this field and it was not until 1999 that he attended the annual meeting of the Folklore Society of Japan. In the wake of this first meeting, held in October at Kokugakuin University in Tokyo, Akasaka wrote a bitterly critical assessment of the field, unsparingly titled “Minzokugaku should die with the village.”90 Akasaka was contemptuous of other folklorists’ fieldwork in urban areas and in Asia. According to Akasaka, it was obvious that minzokugaku was reliant on the village, that the Japanese village was moribund, and that Japanese folklore studies had failed to overcome and break free from the legacy of Yanagita Kunio. Yanagita had been a strong advocate of “single-nation folklore” (ikkoku minzokugaku), and Akasaka argued that without a reckoning with this disciplinary history, it was impracticable, and ultimately pathetic, for Japanese minzokugakusha to attempt urban and Asian minzokugaku. Not incidentally, Akasaka predicated his own career on that reckoning.

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His field, as Yanagita’s had originally been, was Tōhoku. Part of the reason Akasaka gave for this choice was the possibilities of folklore as national history that Yanagita had missed in the Northeast. Yanagita had claimed that the folk customs of the village should not be read as a reflection of history prior to the middle of the fifteenth century, when the civil war known as Ōnin no Ran (1467–77) ushered in the so-called Warring States period. For Yanagita, this was too great a historical rupture to assume social and cultural continuity before and after. Akasaka disagreed, arguing that Yanagita was blinded by a monocentric view of Japanese history—as seen in his concentric theories of language and culture (hōgen shūkenron and bunka shūkenron, respectively)—and that “There was no great historical rupture like Ōnin no Ran . . . in eastern Japan, and especially Tōhoku.”91 Again, for Akasaka the Northeast is a site of unparalleled historical continuity, making it the ideal location for accessing the prehistoric essence of Japan. In December 1999, several months after his scathing review of the 61st annual meeting of the Folklore Society of Japan, Akasaka declared his independence from Yanagita. His article on “Overcoming one-nation folklore studies” concluded with these parting words: “This is the end of my journey in Yanagita’s philosophical footsteps. It is true that I was led by Yanagita to become a minzokugakusha, and there is no need to hide this. In time, a new minzokugaku will appear. It is my quiet wish to work toward this goal.”92 Perhaps the decision to make a break was related to his anger at the field, perhaps not. Akasaka does not comment on the matter directly. It was not, however, a sudden or complete breakaway, as Yanagita continued to serve as an important yardstick for Akasaka even as he worked toward his stated goal of a “new minzokugaku.” In the spring of the following year, Akasaka revisited his argument that minzokugaku’s “end of days” had come. Though this article bore a more optimistic title suggesting that post-Yanagita minzokugaku might be possible, his answer was limited. It is true that Yanagita was obsessed with “one Japan,” admitted Akasaka, but the future of minzokugaku would be in the pursuit of “multiple Japans,” a mantra

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for his own career that has been strongly criticized by other folklorists.93 Though Akasaka claimed to have parted ways with Yanagita, he also lavishly praised and ardently defended minzokugaku’s father figure. Akasaka referred to Yanagita as his inspiration and guru, “still a giant presence whose philosophy and knowledge remain unharmed by critiques” that Akasaka curiously rejects as both “trendy” and “well-worn,” including postcolonial critiques of Yanagita’s philosophical entanglements with Japan’s imperialist and colonial projects.94 In 2004, he returned to this argument, claiming that critiques of minzokugaku for providing ideological support for the idea of the ‘singular Japan’ of the nation-state that assisted in the rise of colonialist ideologies in Japan, were “loud but thin” ahistorical criticisms with 20/20 hindsight. If anything, continued Akasaka, minzokugaku should be proud of its heritage as a field relevant to the times in which it was born. This dismissal is consistent with Akasaka’s contempt for academic methodology, discussed below. On the other hand, the same 2004 article hinted at a rather abrupt about-face regarding the relevance of minzokugaku to the present and future. What is at stake now, he wrote, is not the modern nation-state that Yanagita had struggled with, but rather the postmodern “post-nation-state.” Recognizing the fallacy of the East Asian Coprosperity Sphere and accepting that minzokugaku, like other disciplines, was complicit in providing intellectual grounding for its ideology and practical policies, practitioners of minzokugaku ought to seek the unity of a “singular Asia” within which are contained “multiple Asias,” just as within the “singular Japan” a multiplicity of “Japans” have been discovered.95 Akasaka’s stance in 2004 was far more indicative of his stewardship at Tōbunken. Under Akasaka, Tōbunken blended and balanced multiple disciplines and genres in a variety of publications and, to a lesser extent, public events. Before 2011, the center participated in two major basic research projects sponsored by the education ministry, the first of which was an Open Research Center (ORC) project on the “culture of Japan in East Asia” in 2007.96 Tōbunken’s first project focused on shared cultural practices in East Asia, from Siberia in the north to Laos in the south, and was carried out in

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cooperation with local researchers in the areas studied. There were three major research topics: hunting practices and culture, slashand-burn cultivation practices and culture, and a shared East Asian performing arts culture centered around leonine iconography (shishi geinō). A number of minor topics were explored as well, including the possible application of Detlev Ipsen’s concept of Poetische Orte (perhaps best translated as “affective spaces”) to community building and regional vitalization in Japan. Additionally, Tōbunken created an open-access, online database of East Asian folk materials to bring together in indexed, searchable form primarily visual materials previously scattered around in paper form. This project’s transformation from a narrowly academic venture into a public outreach through popular media is illustrative of the center’s approach to research and publication under Akasaka. His executive summary for the ORC reports affirms Tōbunken’s mission to “create a theory of Tōhoku culture within East Asia” and within Japan, especially in the sense of revealing diverse “historical and cultural currents hidden by a rice-monocultural perspective.” Akasaka also revealed his preoccupation with the culture of the Jōmon period and its extant traces in the present, a constant theme in Tōbunken’s work during his tenure.97 ORC-related research, including articles on hunting, slash-and-burn cultivation, shishi geinō, affective spaces, and the digital archive, was also published in Tōbunken’s 2007 research bulletin.98 However, both the ORC reports and bulletin have a very limited readership; the inclusion of flashier, catchier versions of this research in the next two issues of the center’s flagship mass-market periodicals better exemplifies Tōbunken’s mission to shape the public discourse on Tōhoku.99 Tōhokugaku and its sister publications typically feature articles, interviews, serialized columns, photo essays, and roundtable discussions by authors and experts in fields including folklore, anthropology, archaeology, and history. The most prominent recurring themes of the Tōhokugaku periodicals are Jōmon (either as the “pre-rice” or authentic culture of Japan), Hiraizumi, overcoming national history, and preserving the villages and culture of Tōhoku as a repository of authentic national heritage. These periodicals are

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all available in major book retailers throughout Japan, constituting a small but visible piece of the popular and quotidian consumer market of ideas. Akasaka’s own work remained mostly defined by the parameters of Yanagitan minzokugaku and his own literary flair, and by his intent to create a “new history” based on the “little history” (or histories) of minzokugaku. Radical continuity is woven into the fabric of minzokugaku, and Akasaka, despite a complicated relationship with Japanese folkloristics, was bound to the discipline by his methodology and commitment to folk custom and oral testimony as “little history” to combat “big history.” The rescue of an imagined organic community from the ravages of a dystopic present dominated Akasaka’s agenda for Tōhokugaku, as it had Yanagita’s for minzokugaku. The memories Akasaka sought were held and expressed by individuals, but belonged to a deeply ingrained substrate of collective memory. For Akasaka, “big history” is the province of institutions and states that selfperpetuates through documents, and “little history” is memory, dependent entirely on narration for survival.100 Minzokugaku thus exists explicitly in opposition to the discipline of history, which, Akasaka charged, can only record “big history.” For Akasaka, “minzokugaku is neither dilettantish nor the academic disciplinization of nostalgia,” but rather an approach to the past radically different from the discipline of history. Its mission, he claimed, was to extract, concentrate, and refine the premodern in the contemporary.101 According to Akasaka, deep, unconscious shared historical memories mean that the time of the ethnographic interview is “a reversible time that, for example, goes back and forth, the kind of time in which the past already contains the future and the future often sheds light on the past.”102 Like Yanagita, Akasaka has resisted the ruptures and change of modernity by collapsing the temporal axis to link the past, present, and future, documenting and preserving these remnants and relics. Given this and his affinity with Umehara, it is not surprising that Akasaka’s minzokugaku is explicitly and reactionarily nativist. As he put it, “minzokugaku was born of an age in which native place (furusato) has been lost, and is therefore the discipline of returning home.”103

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Akasaka’s minzokugaku-cum-Tōhokugaku, not unlike Yanagita’s minzokugaku, partakes in what Svetlana Boym has called “restorative nostalgia,” a romantic longing which mistakes itself for a literal project to recover and restore history and tradition. According to Boym, nostalgia is a revolt against progress, against change, against modernity. It is a kind of utopianism directed toward the past, a “rebellion against the modern idea of time, the time of history and progress.” It is the desire for organic community and wholeness, a defensive reaction stimulated by the pace and anxieties of change in (post)modern life.104 Restorative nostalgia, as Boym describes it, is a yearning to overcome the perception of “temporal distance and displacement.” The cure it provides is illusory, however, and the result something like the torture of Tantalus. “What drives restorative nostalgia is not the sentiment of distance and longing but rather the anxiety about those who draw attention to historical incongruities between past and present and thus question the wholeness and continuity of the restored tradition.”105 Boym’s observations on nostalgia elucidate the centrality of temporal collapse to Akasaka’s ideological and methodological formations. For example, in 1998, a year before the opening of Tōbunken, Akasaka adopted sociologist Ueno Chizuko’s definition of historiography as “the constant reconstructing of the past in the present.”106 Ueno’s theorization of history was most likely attractive to Akasaka for its validation of oral testimony (“little history”) as a way to subvert and overcome the historical positivism of “big history.” Akasaka certainly took the implications of the linguistic turn to a relativist conclusion when he argued, “Narrated history has limitless variation, and neither true nor false history exists.”107 In Akasaka’s use, Ueno’s phrase took on a curious duality of meaning because he also adopted a version of Yanagita Kunio’s vision of cultural history as icicle-like. In other words, he understood the relationship of the past and present in stratigraphic terms, discerning the past hidden—but never gone—under a translucent overlay of the present, acting as the substrate upon which the present and future are created. This palimpsestic tradition has a proud history in modern Japan that includes Yanagita Kunio, as Harry Harootunian

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has noted.108 Within a similar framework, Akasaka’s minzokugaku attempted to uncover remnants of the past buried in the present, to identify temporal continuity. Despite claiming on the one hand that modernization had exterminated folk custom, which was the impetus for the discovery of folk custom, Akasaka dedicated himself to discerning traces of the past in the present.109 Akasaka hoped to reveal “fragments of the traditional lifeways of Jōmon” surviving in the customs and traditions of the Northeast by, as he put it, “continuing to walk Tōhoku and think about Tōhoku.”110 His focus on orality and the folkloric was perhaps an inevitable result of the attempt to reach back across the enormous temporal gulf from the post-bubble to the pre-rice, but if so, it was also a challenge to the limits or failures of the historical approach taken by Takahashi Tomio and others, who likewise sought to recreate the history and culture of Tōhoku across a gap of many undocumented centuries. Notably, in this context, Akasaka referred to his work as “excavation.” This is not a Foucauldian use of archaeological metaphor. Rather, it is more closely related to Akasaka’s own interest in archaeology—he once offhandedly mentioned that he could have been an archaeologist—and the sense of ontological fixity that its “relentless positivism” brings.111 Archaeologist Koji Mizoguchi has written with insight on the appeal of archaeology in contemporary Japan, and his arguments are helpful in understanding Akasaka’s attraction to the field. Mizoguchi, who sees the exceptional popularity of archaeology in Japan as a result of a pervasive sense of unease and lack of constancy, observed, “It is natural for the fragmented self to seek transcendental entities.”112 In more detail, he wrote, “The lack of fixity, stability and predictability sets the background against which, it has been argued, the unique technology of the self identification of contemporary society, described by late-/high-/post-modernity, is created: the chronic reinvention/reidentification of the self. At the same time, the stress caused by chronically reinventing/reidentifying oneself necessitates the creation of the virtual reality/narrative of a life full of fixity, stability and predictability.”113 Seen in this light, Akasaka’s fondness for archaeological terminology and radical

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cultural continuity appear as reactions against the constant flux and fragmentation of identity in contemporary society. This is one of the most important links between Akasaka and Umehara, inasmuch as both men wrote from neoconservative positions opposed to a supposed downfall of society in the present. It is also a puzzling contrast to his aversion to the alleged positivism of history.

Akasaka’s Method and Its Critiques Akasaka asserted a contrarian, anti-methodology methodology. Proclaiming that “reality has always been tormented by method,” he advocated “practice without a manual,” and claimed that it was his mission to “capture naked fact to the greatest extent possible.”114 Akasaka described his ethnographic method as kikigaki, literally “listening and writing,” or transcription of oral testimony. In an article on the topic, the term is translated into English as “dictation,” but it means more than just transcription or dictation.115 As employed by Akasaka, kikigaki is a selective, highly edited narrative technique that preserves oral testimony as evidence of the past in the present, negatively defining conflicting accounts as inauthentic. Kikigaki, Akasaka wrote, is the practice of interviewing “native informants” and recording their stories, a dialogic process requiring that the acts of listening and recording (writing) be considered equal. The practitioner of kikigaki must become “one big ear,” he added, and be “sunao.” In the positive sense in which Akasaka uses the term, sunao indicates simple, uncomplicated sincerity, but it is also naïve, non-reflexive, facile acceptance of surface truth. The entry for sunao in Kōdansha’s Encyclopedia of Japan is illuminating: “Used in the adjectival form sunao na, meaning ‘upright and compliant.’ Considered one of the most desirable personality traits in Japanese boys and girls.” One who is sunao “has a basic trust in and acceptance of authority.”116 Non-reflexivity is a hallmark of Akasaka’s kikigaki; his writings consistently fail to recognize the

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conflict therein between recording and interpretation. Because kikigaki aims not to record a description of events but rather to transform emic accounts into a grand vision of timeless identity revealed at the evanescent place of the kikigaki encounter, the interpretive process is complete before the ethnography even begins. To this extent, it is true that “the past already contains the future,” and kikigaki resonates with Richard White’s observation about the mythologies of national history: “The tellers of stories and the singers of songs had imagined the historical figures they commemorated before the heroes ever existed.”117 This is not an issue unique to Akasaka, but endemic to minzokugaku in Yanagita Kunio’s tradition. Yanagita opened his seminal 1910 Tales of Tono by explaining that he had recorded stories told by Tōno native Sasaki Kizen “as I felt them, neither adding nor subtracting a single word or phrase.”118 Leaving aside for a moment the fact that because Yanagita produced multiple drafts of Tōno monogatari, more was at work than just recording, because “as I felt them” is not the same as “neither adding nor subtracting a single word or phrase.”119 Akasaka once addressed this passage in Tōno monogatari, but only to exalt Yanagita as his own intellectual and methodological forebear and to minimize the problems of kikigaki’s “extraordinarily methodological process” of filtering and editing between testimony and kikigaki ethnography—though, as noted, Akasaka at other times disavowed method. Akasaka resoundingly rejected the possibility of electronically recording oral testimony, as this would remove the intermediate step between “listening” and “speaking,” namely, “editing.”120 As Yanagita injected “feelings” into his preface, so Akasaka added a paean to the necessity of “imagination” and “editing” in kikigaki.121 The result is less an attempt to understand the emic worldview of Akasaka’s informants than it is the reproduction of his own etic view. Akasaka’s failure to adhere to academic practices has spawned a cottage industry of Akasaka critique that approaches a subfield of minzokugaku; he has his straw men, but that goes both ways. Several of these appraisals are particularly useful in understanding his positionality and position within intellectual circles in Japan.

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First, Muroi Yasunari observed that to dehomogenize the space of Japan’s present, Akasaka often homogenized the space and time of Tōhoku. Noting that Akasaka forefronted highly tenuous connections between prehistory and the vanishing present, Muroi wrote, Akasaka “criticizes Yanagita’s ‘spatial’ bias toward the center, but is surprisingly tolerant of his own baseless ‘temporal’ violence.”122 Shimamura Takanori concurred that overemphasis on the assumption of direct continuity back to Jōmon reduced Akasaka’s work to something “more like myth than academic research,” adding that “the fact that Akasaka does not use the phrase musū no bunka (“innumerable cultures”) but instead uses the term ikutsumo no Nihon (multiple Japans) to describe cultural diversity in Japan can be criticized [because] there is a concern that repeating the word Nihon (Japan) may contribute toward reifying this concept” of the singular, knowable, organic “Japan” that thinkers like Yanagita had sought.123 Perhaps Shimamura is correct, but his demand that researchers avoid using the word “Japan” is a bit excessive—especially when made in an article titled “Cultural Diversity and Folklore Studies in Japan.” More reasonable is Kawanishi Hidemichi’s suggestion, which applies to Akasaka’s work as well as the more general context in which it was made, that the power of regional and local histories is to be found in their ability to provide answers to the questions, “How ‘homogeneous,’ ‘harmonious,’ and ‘numerous’ a majority have ‘the Japanese’ been vis-à-vis minorities?” and “How, in the process of modernization, have the non-majority histories and cultures around the archipelago formed and developed majority consciousness?”124 A particularly insightful (and delicious) excoriation of Akasaka came from Suga Yutaka of the University of Tokyo. Suga was unimpressed by Akasaka’s 2000 Sanya kakai mandara. His book review drips with thinly disguised venom punctuated by self-deprecating sarcasm. For instance, Suga delivered a backhanded compliment to Akasaka’s novel “reportage style,” which he praised as an “an enunciative mode sprinkled with indirect expression making use of informant narratives.” In a manner typifying the review in total, he then remarked offhandedly that Dan Sperber had observed the

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potential perils of indirect quotation in ethnography when he wrote, “Indirect discourse can contain elements absent from the original, and which express the comprehension or judgment of the reporter more than that of the original speaker.”125 Perhaps, continued Suga, we should be concerned with the possibility that the indirect quotations peppering Sanya kakai mandara—the product of a process Akasaka referred to elsewhere as “weaving”—say as much about Akasaka as they do his informants. This doe-eyed sarcasm gives way to more open, unadorned hostility in the penultimate section on “historical reductionism” in Akasaka’s work. For the purpose of his critique at least, Suga defined historical reductionism as “the facile extension of folkloric phenomena backward into history” to serve as proof of the continuity of historical phenomena into the present. This reductionist fallacy, concluded Suga, produced an illusion of understanding, leading in turn to “brain freeze” (shikō teishi). The coup de grâce is delivered in Suga’s final rhetorical question about Akasaka’s methodology: “Can the voices of the living, on which the author places such great import, narrate the Jōmon period?”126 Suga here struck at the heart of one of the major flaws in Akasaka’s Tōhokugaku project, and a pattern that plagues all of his work. It is closely related to the fault for which Muroi took Akasaka to task, namely, “temporal violence.” For instance, in one early essay, Akasaka implied a strong and special connection between himself and the incomprehensibly distant past, writing as if he (alone) could somehow bridge the unbridgeable temporal gap and collapse time and space to acquire privileged knowledge that would reveal the “real” Tōhoku. At the Manza stone circle in Akita, Akasaka stared into the setting sun and realized, he wrote, that “this was surely the same sunset that the builders of the stone circle had gazed upon four long millennia ago.” He continued, “A journey into Jōmon: this is yet another path to unearthing Tōhoku.”127 Even leaving aside the assumption that the culture of Jōmon reveals something about contemporary Tōhoku, an assumption Akasaka shares with many other continuity enthusiasts who study the Northeast, there is something both arrogant and sophomoric—too much of the dilettantism Akasaka proudly proclaims—in this.

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It is this aspect of Akasaka’s work with which Suga concluded his review, but in a way that reveals a great deal about the complicated relationship other folklorists have with Akasaka. With the same mix of facetiousness and wit characterizing his entire review, Suga contemplated the possibility that Akasaka deliberately chose unacademic discourses and methodologies as expedient means to make his arguments palatable to “the media, freed from the constraints of academia, and readers who do not require academic commonsense.” He “praised” Akasaka’s valorization of a romanticized past and village society as “a boldly defiant statement fearing neither the label of neoconservatism nor accusations of a lack of critical thinking.” And yet. Sanya kakai mandara may not be the best example of Akasaka’s effort to popularize minzokugaku and bring its findings and social program to the reading public and into the discourses of the mass media, but it is part of a longer oeuvre in which Akasaka has attempted to do just that. So while appalled by the contradictions, dilettantism, grandstanding, reductionism, and reactionary neoconservatism he found in Akasaka’s work, Suga in the end conceded that Akasaka should be praised as an activist even while being panned as an academic.128 Suga’s review of Akasaka thus offers a peek at the rift between Akasaka and his ostensible discipline, minzokugaku. As Suga noted, when Akasaka claimed in the book’s opening pages that minzokugaku was a lost cause, he was repeating (without crediting) Yamaori Tetsuo’s 1995 observation. Nevertheless, Akasaka averred his dedication to rejuvenating the field, playing both sides of the dying minzokugaku argument, simultaneously vowing to overcome the moribund minzokugaku of Yanagita Kunio and invoking Yanagita’s authority talismanically in his program to rejuvenate the field. At the risk of a slight detour, it is worth exploring this facet of Akasaka’s career, not least because it sheds additional light on the questions of why Akasaka chose the Northeast as his research field and what his research was intended to accomplish. When Suga criticized Akasaka for plagiarizing Yamaori Tetsuo and ridiculed Akasaka’s romantic self-image as the lone hero raging against the dying of the light, he was simultaneously attacking a

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larger tendency in Akasaka’s work toward an appeal to the dark, gothic romance of the antihero or underdog clinging doggedly to a lost, but just, cause. It is true that to a certain extent, postwar Tōhoku studies had always been a project of transforming marginalization and oppression from stigmata to badges of merit, and was inflected by a sort of ressentiment and romanticism from the outset. It is also true that this was in its own way appropriate since, in an association typical of the colonial gaze, images of Tōhoku’s ancient savagery had been paired with the romance of “Michinoku.” In the postwar, with Japan a dystopia, Tōhoku was the outsider-hero. The period from 1945 to economic recovery in the 1960s and 1970s was, Akasaka lamented, one of “homogenization.” It was a time of “the destruction of place” and thereby of community. As Takahashi Tomio and others had before him, Akasaka inscribed community as a refuge from the “massive violence” of Japan’s postwar economic growth, globalization, and “limitless homogenization,” what Umehara and others referred to as the “ills of civilization.”129 Crisis, disaffection, and primitivist millenarianism were part of Akasaka’s intellectual connection to Umehara Takeshi especially. In Yanagita, Akasaka had found that which must be overcome, and in Umehara a “rich guide” to doing so. Umehara’s work revealed, he continued, the possibilities for a deeper understanding of Japanese culture accessible only by leaving behind the commonsense disassociation of Japanese, Emishi, and Ainu cultures and peoples. Assuming the continuity of these three groups exposes, he concluded, the continuities of Japanese history, and especially the privileged role of Tōhoku therein.130 Akasaka interpreted locality and community as the continuous intersection of place and memory along a temporal axis, making “community” synonymous with or at least symbolic of heterogeneity: a remedy for the violence of globalization, economic rationalization, and the erasure of place.131 But Akasaka took this more than just a step further. Minzokugaku is dying. The village is dying. And Tōhoku, too, as that special lens upon the national past, is dying. Crisis defined the juncture into which Akasaka plunged himself. For instance, based on Yanagita Kunio’s early hypothesis that the

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“temporal deep strata of Japanese culture” could be spatially located in the mountains, Akasaka wrote that we live in a time when that “ancient Japan extant in the mountains faces an unprecedented crisis.” The threat was economic growth, which had dismantled or overwritten all aspects of archipelagic history and culture. “However,” he argued, “destruction of the culture of the mountains was dramatic, even violent,” leading to the near total destruction of the historical and cultural diversity preserved away from the ricechoked plains.132 This is why, as he had earlier proclaimed, “Above all, there is no time. It was clear that the time left to me to trace the vanishing (ushinawarete yuku) landscape of Tōhoku was extraordinarily limited.”133 How right he was.

Concluding Remarks If Tōhoku was (or is) fading away, literally in the process of “being lost,” as Akasaka put it, what does this mean for Tōhokugaku? Akasaka was participating in the reification of what Marilyn Ivy called “the vanishing,” fetishized object(s) “passing away, gone but not quite, suspended between presence and absence.” In other words, wrote Ivy, the vanishing are the “[p]ractices and discourses now situated on the edge of presence (yet continuously repositioned at the core of the national-cultural imaginary) [living] out partial destinies of spectacular recovery.”134 It is no accident that Ivy’s research took her to Tōhoku, where vanishing practices and discourses are routinely reclaimed and recuperated into privileged positions within Japan’s national historical and cultural imagin­ aries. But while Ivy is sensitive to the phantasmatic construction of social reality across unbridgeable ruptures of temporal deferral (the “afterwardness” of what Freud called Nachträglichkeit and Lacan translated as the après-coup), Akasaka is engaged in a project of restorative nostalgia that misconstrues the phantasm as the real and attempts a “spectacular recovery,” a rescue of the vanishing from

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“the edge of presence” in the relics and sites and traditions and tales of the Northeast to “the core of the national-cultural imaginary.” It is also revelatory of another aspect of what and how Tōhoku meant within the project of Tōhokugaku from the 1990s until March 2011. Takahashi Tomio had proposed, if critically, that the structural elements of Frederick Jackson Turner’s frontier thesis were applicable to the ancient history of Japanese state expansion into the Northeast. Akasaka rejected the frontier thesis as an expression not of universal historical laws, but of a view of the Northeast as a backward periphery to be conquered and exploited. He argued that Tōhokugaku ought first “to dismantle and overcome the view of Tōhoku as frontier (henkyō shikan)” that had been championed by Takahashi.135 Akasaka objected to the term “frontier” for its imperialist and colonial connotations and the innate hierarchy of its usage within Japanese history.136 Akasaka’s collaborator and admirer Kikuchi Isao similarly argued that the “center-periphery” analytical model, a version of which Takahashi had used implicitly, is a “structure of prejudice” forever confining historical Tōhoku to backwardness.137 Though Akasaka denounced the frontier model, he did so, like Takahashi, in order to recuperate the value of Tōhoku’s history and culture and rebalance Japanese national history. Despite this, in rather stark contrast to Takahashi Tomio, Akasaka was heavily dependent on the Northeast’s “backwardness.” Tōhoku could only disappear (or remain perpetually “vanishing”) if defined, as Akasaka has done, as “forgotten,” vanishing, or “being lost.”138 Akasaka opposed Takahashi’s use of the frontier because he claimed that it reified the backwardness of Tōhoku, but unlike Takahashi’s, his vision of Tōhoku is predicated on that very backwardness. Akasaka was critical of regional socioeconomic disparity within modern Japan, contrasting this with the idea of “regional character.”139 Yet for Akasaka, paradoxically, Tōhoku must remain economically and culturally backward if it is to remain different, to escape the homogenization of identity and destruction of community, the changes that economic growth brings. Prior to March 11, 2011, Akasaka, more even than Umehara, was dependent on the internal economic disparities resultant from

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Tōhoku’s subordinate place within Japanese state and society. It was, after all, by his own definition, the condition that made his research possible—though he seems not to have fully understood the implications of this situation until after the triple disaster. Akasaka’s greater dependency on the Northeast’s “backwardness” may partly reflect the changed context in which he wrote. More to the point, perhaps, Akasaka had come to Tōhoku not through history, as had Takahashi, but through the antimodernism and cultural primitivism of Yanagita Kunio and Umehara Takeshi.

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Epilogue This sounds a bit like Alice in Wonderland: if we look at Japan before the disaster, through the lens of the disasters themselves, do we see a different Japan than we would have thought we saw if the disasters had never occurred? —Theodore C. Bestor

And Then Came 3/11 More than five years on, there is a perversely comforting, almost liturgical quality to the recitations of data that have become de rigueur for speaking and writing about the triple disaster and unending aftermath. The facts and numbers are easy. As Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt wrote, “there is no shortage of facts. Quite on the contrary, the nuclear incident in particular was followed by an information tsunami and a staggering amount of non-stop international data production.”1 One scientist, in a moment of regrettable enthusiasm, described the data as “unbelievably good.”2 It is the comforting magic of positivism, perhaps, that attracts us to officially confirmed, solemnly bureaucratized numbers, as if they could possibly make the scale of devastation comprehensible. And in any case, compared to the endless hours of footage ghoulishly pornographized on YouTube and in countless documentaries and news films ranging from predatory to profound, or contrasted with the poetry of Wagō Ryōichi (“When I opened the door to the outside, radioactivity hit my face. A beautiful Fukushima night.”),

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even the crushing weight of the reality behind these numbers is somehow easier to bear.3 The objectivity, the distance that the data provide contrast sharply with the wrenching subjectivity of Wagō’s poetry or raw video shot from rooftops, and even with the carefully edited tearjerker footage splashed across the networks. The story told by the data begins at 14:46:24 local time on March 11, 2011. What would come to be known as the Great East Japan Earthquake shook Japan for a six-minute eternity. This magnitude 9.0 undersea quake, with an epicenter on the Pacific Ocean floor roughly 130 kilometers east of Sendai, was the fourth largest measured seismic event in history. The megathrust shifted the seabed fifty meters laterally and ten vertically, the largest plate movements ever recorded. It was enough to throw the earth off its orbit, shortening the day by 1.8 microseconds and adding seventeen centimeters to its wobble. It spawned a tsunami that devastated five hundred kilometers of Japanese coastline and caused destruction as far away as Chile. Entire coastal towns and villages were brutally swallowed by waves that reached nearly forty meters in places, and rolled as far as ten kilometers inland in some cases. At the time of writing, the most recent available police casualty figures list 15,894 dead, 2558 missing, and 6152 injured in the earthquake and tsunami. Another 3407 “disaster-related” deaths have been confirmed. The Reconstruction Agency counts approximately 178,000 evacuees, many of whom live in one of the more than 65,700 temporary housing units still in use. Despite the extraordinary death toll, total loss of life was far less than in natural disasters of similar scale in recent years (including the Indian Ocean–Banda Aceh tsunami of 2004 and the Sichuan earthquake of 2008), partly as a result of preparedness efforts. But the property and infrastructure damage to local, national, and international communities and economies was staggering, with combined estimates of over $220 billion.4 The story, tragically, continues. The figures above do not even begin to address, for example, the astonishingly slow pace of cleanup, economic and infrastructure reconstruction, and community rebuilding. The most egregious omission, of course, is the Level 7

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elephant in the room, “Fukushima.” It does not go without saying. But where to begin? With the multilayered ironies of Japan’s love affair with nuclear power? With the social, environmental, economic, and political effects of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, the only other “major accident” in the history of nuclear power as defined by the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES)? With microsieverts and terabecquerels of radiation, ghost towns and thyroid cancer surveys, meltdowns and cover-ups, government admonitions against “baseless rumors” (fūhyō), panicked mass migrations, campaigns for and against foods grown in Fukushima that colored the lives of so many in Japan after 3/11? With the fact that “Fukushima” has exploded in meanings and symbolism, becoming a “way of life,” a synonym for an invisibly and perhaps irreparably contaminated Tōhoku? Or with the fact that “Fukushima” is now invoked as a protean bogeyman easily and indiscriminately conflated with the Tōhoku region on the one hand, and on the other with Tepco and the problems of nuclear power, “systems of irresponsibility,” and by association with “everything that is wrong with the nation of Japan: cronyism, collusion, gentrification, corruption, weak regulation, and entropy”?5 In any case, the numbers are not “what happened.” The collected data is, or can be, one kind of story about what happened. “Fukushima” is not what happened. It is a word that has taken on innumerable meanings through popular usage, most of them at least implicitly negative. These stories are important. As I have argued of “Tōhoku,” 3/11 is not just an event or a time, it is an idea. So, too, Fukushima is more than a place, more than a disaster. And as I emphasized in the introduction, these times, places, events, and the stories told about them can bring us deeper understandings of issues both larger and smaller. With this in mind, in these final pages, I want to explore the effect of the triple disaster on the ways that Tōhoku is understood by intellectuals like Akasaka and Umehara, for Akasaka’s Tōhokugaku and for scholars of Japan and the Northeast more generally.6 After all, Tōhoku had been Akasaka’s “privileged locus of intellectual struggle” for the heart and soul of Japan itself, and Umehara’s nostrum

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for global modernity and national malaise.7 This book has been about the rethinking of Tōhoku that came as a result of and in the context of Japan’s defeat and the process of rebuilding. The trauma of 3/11, which seems to have finally and irrevocably brought down the curtain on the surprisingly robust and long-lived “postwar” era, immediately prompted the beginnings of another reevaluation of Japan and Tōhoku. “Tōhoku as postwar thought” is, I believe, an artifact of the past. It was swept away by the tsunami and buried under the rubble with the affluent postwar era itself. However, in a poignant irony, many of its key contentions about the history and character of Tōhoku, particularly vis-à-vis Japanese state and society, are more widely influential now than ever. Ironic though this may be, it is not altogether surprising. In the world of ideas, the days and months following crisis and disaster often seem little more than an opportunity for talking heads to repeat long-held beliefs or vague platitudes (louder than before, if possible) in the hope that they remain applicable and will find new ears. Old attitudes are comforting and hard to abandon; when our beliefs are shown to be ineffective or obsolete it is quite common to respond by urging that their failure is the result of insufficient application of these beliefs rather than any defect therein: “If it didn’t work, do it more until it does.” It was immediately clear that few specific, actionable ideas about rebuilding and recovery were forthcoming, a problem exacerbated by later confirmation of reactor meltdowns and radiation leaks. Faced with the enormity of the 3/11 catastrophe, many pundits and observers simply reheated pet theories and repeated old ideas. New ideas tend to come and to be accepted later if at all; neither philosophical nor discursive change occurs as fast as the pace of events. March 11, 2011, was, predictably, followed by an outpouring of old ideas. What is noteworthy is which ideas were discredited by the destruction of the physical and intellectual landscape, which survived, and which were revived.

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Kakusa and Kizuna: What Was Revealed The death in 2011 of the nuclear “safety myth” (anzen shinwa) and its associated myths of rational scientific infallibility and impartiality on the one hand and bureaucratic-technocratic state planning on the other has been much heralded.8 The win-win myth that infallible nuclear plants provided cheap, nearly limitless, nonpolluting energy had been deliberately constructed in Japanese public life by successive Tokyo administrations and the utilities (Tepco and its kin). The scale of public deception, when revealed, combined with the ludicrous irresponsibility of Tepco protestations that the nuclear “accident”—later, after much additional deception, admitted to have been a meltdown—at the Fukushima Daiichi plant had been “unpredictable” (sōteigai), shook public “faith in meliorative science and the predictability of disaster .  .  . [in] an omnipotent technocratic state,” and in many of the basic public and private institutions of Japanese life, as Jordan Sand has noted.9 A year after the disaster, Akasaka Norio warned that with recovery stalled and nobody taking moral or legal responsibility for the Fukushima reactors, “nobody will be able to believe in the state anymore.”10 Another of the casualties of March 11 was the idea of Tōhoku. Along with ideas of technocratic omnipotence, facile conceptualizations of Tōhoku (and with it, though perhaps less so, Japan) as a geographic, sociopolitical, and economic unit have been severely, perhaps irreparably, damaged. The realization that, as Ted Bestor remarked, “locality matters, and the effects of catastrophic events are infinitely variegated in scale and granularity” highlighted the internal divisions within the “affected areas,” the Northeast, and Japan. Akasaka, who, like Yanagita Kunio, Takahashi Tomio, Umehara Takeshi, and others before him, had assumed the meaningful integrity of a “Tōhoku” as the object of observation and study, saw for the first time the “net of divisions and oppositions” that lay over and made up Tōhoku.11 Okada Tomohiro, always more of a skeptic and contrarian than Akasaka, critiqued media and government blan-

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ket characterizations of “Tōhoku” as the “affected area” (hisaichi). Not only were the effects of the disaster felt in eighteen prefectures of Japan, Hawai’i, California, and even Chile (a much larger and more diverse set of areas than just Tōhoku), but also the areas in the Northeast that were affected were affected differently by each of the three disasters. Yamagata and Akita, on the western coast of Tōhoku, fared better in all three cases than, say, Ibaraki and Tochigi, Fukushima’s neighbors to the south. Tokyo was paralyzed by blackouts and millions of dollars of damage were done by the tsunami in Hawai’i, compared to relatively little in Aomori. The “heterogeneity and regionality of the social structure of damages” in the Northeast, and the extent of damage beyond the region, destabilized Tōhoku as an easy signifier of a singular region.12 Japan—as “national Thing”—has trod a different path.13 On the one hand, fissures in Japanese society and self-image were exposed and enlarged by the disasters. In the years preceding the triple disaster, Japanese public discourse had already turned increasingly around the question of socioeconomic inequities and polarization. Kakusa shakai, or “unequal society,” was the buzzword of the times, a massive shift from the “ninety-percent middle-class society” model that had underpinned the mainstream social contract of Japan since at least 1970.14 The idea of kakusa (disparity) had taken root in the core of public discourse after 2004, emerging from a popular sociological book by Yamada Masahiro arguing that disparity and despair, in large measure the result of policy failures during the post-bubble “lost decade” and the neoliberal years of Koizumi Junichirō’s time as prime minister, would tear Japan apart.15 The media quickly transformed Yamada’s idea of “hope disparity” into a constellation of inequalities: “economic disparity,” “educational disparity,” “regional disparity,” “medical disparity,” “information disparity” (the “[digital] information gap”), and so on.16 The first two in particular brought to the public eye and imagination a new, previously almost taboo, way of thinking about a nation that had prided itself on socioeconomic equality (or at least fairness) underpinned by meritocratic public education. This coincided with a damning report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2006

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pointing out, among other things, the high levels of relative child poverty in Japan and its association with increased levels of disparity and stratification.17 The effect on public morale was damaging, as policymakers, bureaucrats, intellectuals, talking heads, and the general public struggled with the realization that theirs was not the society they had envisioned or believed in. In the words of one economist, “Japanese society is now unequal not only in opportunity but also in and this view is supported by general opinion.”18 On the one hand, various forms of national collectivist solidarity have served as both emotional comfort and rallying point. In the months and now years following March 11, 2011, the fetishistic assertion of the importance of kizuna (warm, communal human “bonds”) has, of course, paradoxically exposed their weakness. A society already doubting its formerly much vaunted and cherished homogeneities (national, social, economic) was sent reeling by 3/11. Whether at the national level, between the nation at large and “Tōhoku” or the “affected areas,” or at the levels of community and family, there would be little need for the droning mantra of kizuna if those bonds were as strong as the proclamations. Much of the discourse in the months immediately following March 11 included appeals to super-individual sources of value. In the “disaster nationalism” and nationalization of all three aspects of March 11 that followed, calls came from politicians and intellectuals for national unity. Akasaka Norio looked forward to “a time of new Tōhoku unity.”19 Though some took comfort in the atavistic collectivism offered by these voices, others were reminded more of the dangerous “rhetoric of the wartime fascist state.”20 In 2011, kizuna was chosen as the kanji of the year by popular vote. Runners-up like “disaster,” “quake,” and “wave,” reflected the reality of 2011 much better.21 The choice of kizuna was as much hortative as declarative, as much a cry for the comfort of something lost and absent as the declaration of its sacrosanct presence. But disaster and the subsequent mishandling of recovery drove wedges deeper and deeper into the cracks open in the faltering myth of Japanese national unity, and drove many to reconsider their conceptions of Tōhoku’s place within that national picture.

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Kakusa remains a popular descriptor of Japanese society, with disaster-spawned new coinages like hibaku kakusa and fukkō kakusa joining the lexicon. The former describes the uneven effects of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi plant.22 It is notable for the language of radiation exposure borrowed from Hiroshima and Nagasaki (hibaku), and for its description of the internal divisions within the “affected areas,” Tōhoku, etc. The latter is the expression of anger and frustration at the relentless structural violence exposed and perpetuated by disaster and the pace and path of recovery. For intellectuals, at least, 3/11 signaled the return, mutatis mutandis, of early postwar Tōhoku studies’ emphasis on Tōhoku as Japan’s internal colony.

Tōhoku as Victim, Colony, and Frontier (Redux) “Oh, so this was a colony after all.”23 Akasaka Norio was genuinely surprised by the revelations of March 11. The “fast violence” of the earthquake and tsunami especially provided the rudest of introductions to the perpetual, crushing structural violence of Tōhoku’s peripheralization within Japan—and, it appears, to the fallacies of his own dilettantish overconfidence. Akasaka was in Tokyo when the quake hit, having left Tōbunken in Yamagata to take a position at the prestigious Gakushūin University the following month. After the disaster, he was named to the government’s newly established advisory panel on post-3/11 recovery, the Reconstruction Design Council. In April 2011, Akasaka visited the stricken areas for the first time. “I was shocked,” he later recalled, by the disaster-exposed long-term, structural impoverishment of Tōhoku that he had previously ignored or glossed over. In the face of this now-glaring internal disparity, Akasaka underwent a crisis of faith. “What was it that I recorded (kikigaki) until now?” he wondered.

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epi l o g u e 257 Tōhoku was supposed to have become sufficiently affluent (yutaka). I was careless. I had even come recently to believe that it was no longer meaningful to speak of Tōhoku’s ressentiment. When I began walking the Northeast in the early 1990s, there were still elders who recalled a cold and impoverished Tōhoku like that of Oshin. But over the intervening decades, Tōhoku had become—at least on the surface—affluent.24

In a 2013 interview, Akasaka reflected, “I had thought that [Tōhoku’s] colonial status was a thing of the past. I was wrong.” His travels in the Northeast after March 11 exposed that “an almost invisible, transparent colonialism had remained in Tōhoku even before 3/11,” or in other words, “that the colony continued to exist.”25 Each of the three disasters in turn had pitilessly revealed to Akasaka the emptiness of this affluence, and of the Tōhokugaku ideology he had built upon it. With the veneer of prosperity stripped away and the romance of primitivist cultural nationalism exposed as empty, the idea of Tōhoku as Japan’s internal colony returned with a vengeance. Since the early twentieth century at least, Northeasterners had quipped that the region’s men were made soldiers, its women prostitutes, and its peasants rice suppliers for the metropole (otoko wa heitai, onna wa jorō, hyakushō wa kome).26 In the postwar, nuclear power plants were located in Tōhoku to power the lights of Ginza and the factories of Yokohama. Historians of the Northeast had long rallied around a consensus view that Tōhoku was “colonized” by the new Meiji state in the early decades of Japan’s modernization. While Takahashi Tomio had attempted to stretch the colonial relationship into antiquity, it was the modern sacrifice of Tōhoku by Tokyo for the national good that drew attention again after 3/11. Whether in the Marxian economic critiques by Okada Tomohiro of reconstruction plans, the antinuclear citation of the “national sacrifice zone” by Kawanishi Hidemichi, or the rediscovery of parallels with Japan’s other internal colony, Okinawa, the rhetoric of Tōhoku as Japan’s subordinate victim was back.

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On June 25, 2011, the Reconstruction Design Council released a reconstruction framework that encapsulated the persistence of familiar, instantly antiquated frames of reference in the face of unprecedented, unthinkable challenges.27 It was given the provisional English title, “Towards Reconstruction: ‘Hope beyond the Disaster.’ ”28 The council’s plan, published only days after a thirdparty report alleged that Tepco had covered up the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi in response to pressure from Tokyo, was predicated on seven principles. It began with a call for both memorialization of the victims and scientific analysis of the disasters for the sake of future generations. The other six principles presented, in several variations, appeals for national solidarity, government-directed socioeconomic recovery, and a speedy resolution to the nuclear crisis. Both Umehara Takeshi and Akasaka Norio were part of this group of intellectuals and politicians hastily assembled and charged by the prime minister’s office with the task of creating the roadmap to disaster recovery. The former was appointed special advisor and honorary chairman, the latter a member. In addition to the governors of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima, the remaining members included internationally renowned architect Andō Tadao, a journalist, a priest, a writer, the vice-chair of Sony, and a number of academics. It was an eclectic group, notable for its exclusion of bureaucrats and representatives of either Tepco or the national government. Throughout, the influence of Umehara and Akasaka’s old ideas was evident, even in the flowery, poetic, and sometimes vague language of the final draft. Despite the absence of bureaucrats on the council, the proposal’s statement of principles had the feel of “Kasumigaseki literature,” the Japanese media’s sardonic label for bureaucratese à la Tokyo. The plan’s talismanic evocations of national unity and the critical importance of “disaster-stricken Tōhoku” to Japan, accused Okada Tomohiro, were mostly bathed in the rhetoric (and policies) of neoliberal national(ist) developmental “disaster capitalism” and the “shock doctrine” made famous by Naomi Klein.29 In an insubstantial variation on kizuna, the council’s plan repeatedly invoked the

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language of “linkage” (tsunagu).30 It was a key concept in its proposals for regional and community recovery, one half of the mobilization of “hard” and “soft” resources (infrastructure and people) that the report promised in its early pages.31 Mostly, though, despite explicit protestations to the contrary, the plan promised restoration (fukkyū) in the guise of reconstruction (fukkō). It did so in rhetoric combining the inspirational past of postwar recovery with barely relevant Kasumigaseki literary flourishes, the cultural (eco-)nationalism of the 1990s, and a few lines seemingly lifted directly from bargain motivational posters. Before lofty claims about how Japan would continue as a world environmental leader through “efforts to turn the Tohoku region into a sustainable, environmentally advanced region that is the first of its kind in the world,” the report waxed poetic on how the disaster would be manipulated to promote the national economy: Regardless of the aging society and the disaster, the Japanese economy, which shall rise from the ashes like a phoenix, can become a model for Asian countries that will increasingly face problems brought about by aging societies. The difference between reconstruction and [restoration] lies in the aim to revitalize the Japanese economy through such developmental strategies. There is a need to take active steps to change crisis into opportunity.32

Specific proposals—from revitalizing the primary industries “originally strong in this region” to restarting manufacturing for the express purpose of overcoming the “great influence on the Japanese economy” that 3/11 caused by disrupting the domestic and international supply chain—were, for Tōhoku, equally uninspiring plans for “hope beyond the disaster.”33 It is hardly surprising that Okada Tomohiro, an inveterate critic of Japanese developmental capitalism, complained that the Reconstruction Design Council’s plan threatened to repeat a pattern of prioritizing the “supply chain” and the neoliberal Holy Grail of deregulation over genuine community-based recovery. He worried

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that Japan was repeating a pattern established in the wake of the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake. In his multipoint critique of “creative reconstruction” (sōzōteki fukkō), the vaguely Orwellian name given to the recovery strategies after both Kobe and Tōhoku, Okada was particularly wary of the 2011 proposal’s third principle, to “tap into the region’s latent strengths” to promote technological innovation and the Northeast’s “socioeconomic potential to lead Japan in the future.” This, according to Okada, was little more than code for providing tax breaks and deregulatory incentives to national firms. In short, the proposal was nothing more than a formula for dismantling rural communities through the injection of outside capital and extraction of local labor and resources.34 It was the colonial model all over again. Okada’s explicitly Marxist focus on extractive capitalism differed in specifics from the majority of doubts raised about the recovery efforts, but his fears about the perpetuation of Tōhoku’s subordinate status as Japan’s internal colony through the perpetuation of old, exploitative ideas were widely shared. In the words of one refugee from the triple disaster who urged against repeating the mistakes of the past, “It would be completely meaningless to ‘restore’ the idiotic way things were.”35 In this sense, the comparisons frequently made between 3/11 and the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 are illustrative, if only to prove the point that for all the rhetoric about new beginnings, old ideas ruled the day in both cases. After the quake that devastated Tokyo and Yokohama, plans to remodel Tokyo as a grand new international capital were rejected and much of the city returned to its pre-quake state, touched only by the top-down logic that remade parts of central Tokyo into a capital fit for the modern Empire. “A ‘post-disaster utopia,’ if one ever existed in early September 1923, evaporated once attention focused on reconstruction.”36 “Creative reconstruction,” conservative by nature and design—re-construction, re-storation, re-vival, and re-covery are backward looking by definition—has thus far fared little better, a fate some suspected quite early on.37 After 3/11, Kawanishi borrowed the sociological concept of the “national sacrifice zone” to explain the placement of nuclear power

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plants and other dangerous or otherwise unpleasant “NIMBY” facilities in Tōhoku. “National sacrifice zone” has described regions carved out domestically in the American West and abroad in areas like the Marshall Islands to fulfill the United States’ military and industrial interests with little regard for the safety and livelihoods of local communities.38 “When in the past the myth of nuclear power as ‘safe, secure, and clean’ ” was unassailably robust in public consciousness, asked Kawanishi rhetorically, why were these facilities not constructed in the metropolises they served? The answer, he replied, is simple: the Northeast is Japan’s “nuclear power colony.”39 Kawanishi was not the first scholar to notice that Tōhoku was being sacrificed for Tokyo, nor the only one to describe this sacrifice in comparison with that of Okinawa.  The Okinawan parallel was drawn out explicitly by critic Takahashi Tetsuya in a book on the “system of sacrifice” that victimized both. On the eve of America’s 1972 return of Okinawa to Japan, historian Tōyama Hideki identified the former Ryūkyū Kingdom as a living sacrifice for Japan’s “national polity.”40 Takahashi Tetsuya, while recognizing significant differences between Okinawa and Tōhoku, nevertheless insisted on the existence of historical and geopolitical analogies and “a certain relationship of colonial control” at work in both cases. At one level, Takahashi was simply observing the existence of an exploitative core-periphery urban-rural hierarchy across Japan and its particularly stark realities in the Northeast and the Ryūkyūs. On the other hand, his willingness to employ the language of internal colonialism, calling Okinawa and Tōhoku both the victims of “de facto colonialism,” is symbolic of a larger discursive and conceptual shift after March 2011.41 Oguma Eiji was more blunt and equally representative of post-3/11 anger and episteme: Okinawa was, and is, made to bear the brunt of the American military presence; Tōhoku was, and is, made to bear the brunt of the Japanese hunger for rice, electricity, and cheap labor.42 Journalist Kang Sung neatly tied these two threads—the “national sacrifice zone” and the Okinawa analogy—into a blistering critique of modern Japan’s structural violence against its internal peripheries. Recalling an Okinawan anti-nuclear protester’s

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comment that towns with nuclear plants and towns with American military bases were identical, Kang observed that the same “benefaction theory,” that is, the idea that colonization—whether by an expansionist central regime or by a power utility—is for the good of the locals, “has been used to legitimize both nuclear plant location and colonialism.”43 Echoing Oguma, Kawanishi, and others, Kang concluded that the Northeast not only remained an economic periphery, but as Okinawa had been made to shoulder the consequences of Japan’s “subordinate independence” vis-à-vis the United States, Tōhoku had been fashioned into a dumping ground for the externalities of postwar economic growth. In short, American bases and Japanese reactors have both been justified as “job creators” in otherwise moribund local economies, a claim that ignores the mutual dependence (and mutual constitution) of colony and metropole that Takahashi Tomio had argued for decades earlier. After March 11, Oguma Eiji argued that the rhetoric of “national” disaster emanating from Tokyo media outlets owed as much to perceived threats to Tokyo’s economy and environment as to any meaningful sense of national solidarity. If a disaster of similar magnitude struck distant Okinawa, he wrote, it is hard to imagine the same furor or framework. Like Okada, Oguma also suggested that plans formulated in Tokyo to “restore” Tōhoku have more to do with preserving a comfortable urban-rural power balance and the sense of Tōhoku as Japan’s materially poor, spiritually rich homeland than with any real concern for the affected areas.44 If recovery plans had been animated by genuine concern for the livelihood of Tōhoku people, they would have seized the opportunity to update physical and economic infrastructure, to rethink and reshape society along lines defined by the equality and confraternity implied (and longed for) by kizuna rather than simply return the Northeast, and with it Japan, to the status quo ante. That previous state was little more than a self-serving colonial lie about a society created and sustained by kakusa long before most people became aware of the endemic structural disparities that have defined the modern period for Tōhoku, and so many of Japan’s other outlying rural regions.

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Coda In his period of optimism for the postwar system, which lasted into the 1970s, Takahashi Tomio expressed a commitment to effecting socioeconomic and political change through a unified Tōhoku political bloc vote. From the “spoken for” of history, the ballot box offered the Northeast its first real opportunity in centuries to create and narrate its own story. In 1973, Takahashi decried Tanaka Kakuei’s plans to “Tokyo-ify” the archipelago, paving over the diversity of Japan’s regions to remake them all on the developmental capitalist model of the great urban center. Instead of accepting or reifying the ostensible backwardness of Tōhoku, Takahashi made a counterproposal, his own program for developing the region. It was predicated on the argument that the millennium-old “culture of backwardness” of Tōhoku must be better understood and changed by a development plan that was “planned” and “principled” (administration and development of the Northeast had never been either), committed to minimum essentials, free of the scourge of rice monoculture, and underpinned by a unified regional identity expressed in the voting booth. “Tohoku has no monetary capital, but it does have adequate political capital, in other words . . . ‘capital capital.’ In a democratic system, billionaire capitalists and penniless paupers are equal. Tōhoku’s twelve million have only one venue in which their voices can be heard equally, and that is the realm of politics. The venue of politics is the greatest factory of capital production, the key industry” for remaking the Northeast. The effects on Tōhoku of Japan’s logic of imperialism, unbroken from time immemorial, had been exacerbated by Japanese self-interest and the logic of capital. The result was a massive failure to understand the distinct climate and culture (fūdo) of Tōhoku, he argued.45 Nevertheless, with the newfound voice guaranteed by postwar democracy, Takahashi was hopeful, for a time, that the Northeast would take a new and different path out of backwardness. This did not happen. Rather, the colonial relationship between center (chūō) and periphery (shūen) was perpetuated and, if

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anything, strengthened by the unipolarity of the postwar system. This occurred across many aspects of society and the economy, but in light of March 11 and the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown, surely the most pertinent example is nuclear power. After 3/11, sociologist Kainuma Hiroshi, drawing on Spivak among others, argued that throughout the postwar period, the Northeast not only remained defined by the gaze and voice from the center, but often willingly submitted to this subordination. Structural change was an impossible goal, but the jobs that the “nuclear village” brought to the countryside, for example, had tangible benefits, the “joy of having a nuclear plant” (genpatsu no aru shiawase). The “colonial” structure of the nuclear energy industry in Japan is reprehensible, perhaps, argued Kainuma, but any changes would only hurt the locals dependent on jobs, not the giant semipublic energy monopolies.46 The Reconstruction Design Council’s fifth principle of mutual regional and economic determination has been repeated like a mantra by journalists, politicians, and bureaucrats over the past five years: “Japan’s economy cannot be restored unless the disaster areas are rebuilt. The disaster areas cannot be truly rebuilt unless Japan’s economy is restored.”47 Yet the constant vacillation between “disaster areas,” “Fukushima,” and “Tōhoku” in these pronouncements is not matched by any ambiguity about national rebuilding. Prime Minister Abe Shinzō has acted as prevaricator-in-chief in this regard.48 On the one hand, there is what Tessa Morris-Suzuki described in a different context as “continuous slippage backward and forward between different levels of justification,” and on the other a clearly defined goal that has little or nothing to do with the specifics of the disasters, the Northeast, Fukushima, or the affected regions.49 Once again, it seems, Tōhoku is the subaltern. It is also, once again, a “frontier.” Given his previous allergy to the idea of Tōhoku as frontier, it is significant that Akasaka Norio has been a flag bearer for this (re)framing of the Northeast since 2011.50 “Tōhoku as postwar thought” began as the expression of hope for national renovation from, by, and through Tōhoku. “Tōhoku as post-3/11 thought,” if such a thing exists, is still too diverse and too much in flux to describe any overall pattern with confidence, let

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alone predict its future. But there is a utility in remembering the postwar rebuilding years as post-3/11 unfolds. John Dower wrote of the so-called “kyodatsu condition” of exhaustion, despair, and demoralization in the early postwar years, It is a testimony to human resilience that the great majority of Japanese transcended exhaustion and despair to refashion their lives in diverse and often imaginative ways. Some took years to do so. Some threw off the psychological prostration of kyodatsu within days. Others never succumbed to it at all.51

In part, this was possible because defeat was liberating for many Japanese. March 11 was not. Nor will it ever be. Anyone who understands the history of Tōhoku may find it hard not to believe that Tokyo cares little for the Northeast, and Tōhoku has a long and bitter historical memory. Still, if postwar history and postwar Tōhoku studies are any guide, there is little reason to doubt Akasaka Norio’s claim that “someday, Fukushima will become a place of beginnings,” and there is certainly no reason to disparage his wish to “go searching for a little hope” for the future.52 Nor is there cause to doubt the words of Yamauchi Akemi, one of the brilliant new voices emergent on the scene in the years before 2011 and now firmly established as one of the brightest young Tōhoku intellectuals. In 2012, Yamauchi, a native of Minamisanriku, one of the coastal towns worst hit by the tsunami, explained her reluctance to call the Northeast a colony. The word is too negative, too backward looking, too restrictive, too hopeless. Since the earthquake and nuclear accident, calling this region a “colony” feels distancing. So I will not call it a “colony” here. This is still a frontier. For in the peculiar topography of Tōhoku, we might well discover the key to a new society. I hope that Tōhoku can become the start of something.53

So do I.

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Charter of the Tōhoku Culture Research Center (Tōbunken) In accordance with the spirit of the University Charter, I hereby proclaim the establishment of the Tōhoku Culture Research Center. From out of the darkness of a Yayoi-centric view of history, the light of Jōmon is beginning to shake the soul of Japan. For more than 10,000 years, the spirit of Jōmon has been passed down in Tōhoku. With little more than a millennium of history, even the so-called centers of Japanese culture at Nara and Kyoto cannot match the depth of Jōmon. Discoveries like that of Sannai Maruyama have completely overturned the established theory that the agrarian culture beginning with Yayoi is the prototype of Japanese culture and have taught us that the roots of Japanese culture must be sought in the wide circum-Pacific world. An outstanding civilization based on harmony with nature existed in Tōhoku, enabled by the rich fruits of the oceans and forests. This research will not just rewrite the cultural history of Japan, but will become a turning point in humankind’s understanding of civilization. Tōhoku, more than anywhere else, is the last remaining Mother Nature in Japan.

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appendi x

It is a fortress in the battle to reclaim the dignity of humankind and overcome the mistakes of contemporary civilization. . . . It is my fervent hope that, as a first-class research institution, Tōhoku Culture Research Center will serve to unearth and develop a new vision of Japanese civilization. 25 April 1999 Chairman of the Board of Tōhoku University of Art and Design, Tokuyama Shōchoku

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Introduction 1. Prior to the disasters of 2011, Tōhoku had received some sustained attention in the English-language literature. In addition to a number of fine articles and book chapters, Christopher Thompson and John W. Traphagan’s edited volume, for instance, contains sensitive and insightful inquiries into the meanings of the Northeast in contemporary Japan. Wearing Cultural Styles in Japan. 2. Kawanishi, “Kindai Nihon keiseiki ni okeru ‘Tōhokuron’ ”; Tohoku Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry, “Economic Overview of Tohoku Region 2014.” 3. Aomori, which caps Honshu, has one peninsula in each ocean. 4. Oguma, “Maegaki.” 5. Gutman, Memory Activism. 6. Wert, Meiji Restoration Losers, 2. Wert’s use of the term “memory activist” borrows from Carol Gluck. 7. Maruyama Masao remarked that in the Japanese Empire, proximity to the imperial person and authority “was both the measure of political status and moral value,” a situation dramatically, if briefly, reversed in 1945. In postwar Europe, too, the early postwar years saw wartime resistance to the authoritarian Axis regimes glorified before the pragmatics of reconstruction and the return of the governments in exile signaled a reverse course. Dower, Embracing Defeat; Oguma, “Minshu” to “aikoku,” 86; Judt, Postwar, 64–65, 89. 8. Schivelbusch, The Culture of Defeat, 12, 29–31. 9. Takahashi Tomio, in Akasaka, Nihon saikō, 222–23. 10. Tony Judt has identified the discovery and rehabilitation of out-of-power and marginalized or heretical Marxists like Rosa Luxemburg, György Lukacs, Antonio Gramsci, and the young Marx himself, among others, as an analogous phenomenon in postwar European history, albeit a slightly later one. Postwar, 402–3.

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11. “Japan” here means the post-reform state of the late seventh century onward. 12. The idea was not altogether new. The seminal folkloristics of Yanagita Kunio in the 1910s, for instance, had also looked to Tōhoku as a storehouse of Japanese traditions to be preserved in the face of modernization and industrialization. This was folklore as national history. But Yanagita, who imagined Japan’s national past preserved in its physical margins, had seen in Tōhoku something quintessentially and inalienably Japanese—the Japanese Self, not the Emishi Other—and in any case had turned his attention quickly southward, abandoning the Northeast for Okinawa and the “southern seas.” Akasaka, Tōhoku runessansu, 245–56; Tōzai nanboku kō, 34–56; MorrisSuzuki, Re-Inventing Japan, 68–70. 13. Boym, The Future of Nostalgia, xviii, 8, 49–50. 14. Ivy, Discourses of the Vanishing, 20. 15. These seminal formulations by Arthur O. Lovejoy and George Boas are quoted in Armin W. Geertz, “Can We Move beyond Primitivism?,” 38. 16. A brief description of the paper’s origins and prewar political stance can be found in De Lange, A History of Japanese Journalism, 138–41. 17. Ichiriki, “Jo,” 1. 18. Nishimura, Sōbō no daichi, horobu. 19. Inoue, Kirikirijin. 20. Mazza, “Inoue Hisashi e il parodi būmu,” 196. 21. Robins, “Revisiting Year One of Japanese National Language,” 49. 22. Haberman, “In Japan, ‘Oshin’ Means It’s Time for a Good Cry.” 23. Mousseau, “Le carnet de notes de Jacques Mousseau,” 5. 24. Togo, “TV’s Daily Saga of ‘Oshin’ Transfixes Japan.” 25. Harvey, “Interpreting Oshin,” 87. The spectacular appeal of this story in Japan, where the yearlong drama garnered average ratings of over 50 percent in the Tokyo area, was matched internationally; in the dozen years after it aired domestically on NHK, Oshin was serialized in over fifty countries around the world, from Nepal to Iran and from Qatar to the United States. Takahashi Kazuo, “Worldwide ‘Oshin Phenomena.’ ” 26. O’Bryan, The Growth Idea, 179. 27. Paul A. S. Harvey is among those who have observed Oshin’s role as synecdoche of Japan. “Interpreting Oshin,” 76, 106–7. 28. “Dai 4-kai” 6:05. 29. Brown, “Epilogue,” 197. Brown was responding to Debra J. Occhi’s chapter in the same volume, “Heartbreak’s Destination.” 30. Volkan, “Individual and Large Group Identity,” 25. 31. Volkan, Bloodlines, 82. 32. Renan, “Qu’est-ce qu’une nation?,” 137.

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33. Wang, Never Forget National Humiliation, 27. 34. While Chinese elites as early as Liang Qichao and Sun Yat-sen had exhorted their compatriots with reminders to never forget the “shame of not being like Japan,” the conscious and concerted creation of a public culture of national humiliation is a more recent phenomenon. According to William Callahan, now “the master narrative of modern Chinese history is the discourse of the century of national humiliation.” Japan has its own library of national humiliations, including the “opening” of its ports by Commodore Matthew Perry; the unequal treaties, extraterritoriality, and Tripartite Intervention of the Meiji period; and defeat by the Americans and the mixed legacy of subordinate independence since 1945. Jansen, The Japanese and Sun Yat-Sen, 75; Callahan, “National Insecurities,” 204; Schell and Delury, Wealth and Power, 121. 35. White, “It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own,” 615–16. 36. Connor, Ethnonationalism, 93; Boym, The Future of Nostalgia, xvi. 37. Cruz, “Identity and Persuasion,” 277. 38. Gluck, “The Past in the Present,” 65. My use of the term “social imaginary” draws also on the work of Iida Yumiko. See Rethinking Identity in Modern Japan, 277, note 4. Others variously call this or similar phenomena by terms including “national imaginary” and “collective imaginary.” See, for example, Yoshimoto, Kyōdō gensōron; Steger, The Rise of the Global Imaginary. 39. Mita, Social Psychology of Modern Japan, 219.

Chapter 1 1. Kikuchi Tetsuo, “Emishi ron no keifu,” 100. 2. Yiengpruksawan, Hiraizumi, 95. The story of Korehari no Azamaro is sometimes cited as an example of endemic prejudices against, and even between, Emishi prior to the rise of Hiraizumi. Takahashi Tomio, “Kodai Emishi o kangaeru,” 220–32. 3. Shimizu Junzō, a key proponent of the Emishi-Ainu equation, argued that race and culture were “inseparable.” “Emishi shuzokuron josetsu (ge),” 382, note 3. 4. Most scholars seem to agree that Hiraizumi’s population was at least close to 100,000 at its height, though at one point speculation ran as high as 150,000. Araki et al., Ōshū Hiraizumi ōgon no seiki. 5. References from Bashō translated from the Japanese with reference to Shirane, Early Modern Japanese Literature, 221, 248–49.

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6. Yomiuri Shimbun, “Ichinosekishi dakuryū ni nomaru”; Iwate Office of Rivers and National Highways, “Kasurin, Aion taifū”; Japan Meteorological Agency, “Aion taifū”; Mainichi Newspapers Co., “Aion taifū.” 7. Mori, “Chūsonji itai no bunkenteki kōshō,” 219; Imai, “Chūsonji Konjikidō daishūri.” 8. Suzuki, “Itai no jinruigakuteki kansatsu,” 43. Sakurai Takakage attempted to determine the method of “mummification.” The Konjikidō’s bodies were neither smoked nor treated with cinnabar, lacquer, or arsenic, the most common methods for preserving corpses. Nevertheless, he argued, the bodies must have been preserved artificially. This is especially true for Hiraizumi’s founder, Kiyohira, who died in August. In the heat and humidity of summer, the body would have decomposed much more quickly and completely than it did. Nevertheless, Sakurai’s investigation proved inconclusive, “Itai no hozon shochi ni tsuite no ichi kōsatsu.” 9. Furuhata, Okashima, and Shimizu, “Fujiwara yondai no ketusekigata.” 10. Takahashi Tomio, Ezo, 78–109. 11. Rizō Takeuchi, “Rise of the Warriors,” 671. 12. Kitakamae, Kodai Emishi no kenkyū, 340. 13. Yamada, Kodai Tōhoku no furontia, 257; Delmer Brown, Ancient Japan, 1:33; Imaizumi, “Kodai Tōhoku,” 212. 14. Translated into English by Helen Craig McCullough as “A Tale of Mutsu.” 15. On the placement and self-sufficiency of Abe forts see Ōishi, “Joshō,” 10–11; Yiengpruksawan, Hiraizumi, 35–36. A concise discussion of the Kiyohara rise to power in Dewa is found in Kitakamae, Kodai Emishi no kenkyū, 346–50. The eleventh-century Mutsu waki is probably the most often cited source on this war. McCullough, “A Tale of Mutsu.” 16. Yiengpruksawan, Hiraizumi, 97. 17. Mimi Yiengpruksawan attributes governor Minomoto no Yoshiie’s choice to a calculation that the liminal Kiyohira would pose a lesser threat to his family’s ambitions in Tōhoku. Araki Shinsuke provocatively suggests that Yoshiie hoped to make Kiyohira his collaborator. Araki, Hiraizumi: Ōshū Fujiwarashi ōgon no yume, 80–95; Yiengpruksawan, Hiraizumi, 38. 18. Kiyohira successfully enlisted Yoshiie’s assistance, and together they marched on the Senpoku stronghold to which Iehira and the remaining Kiyohara leaders had fled. The Tōhoku winter once again proved the generals’ most formidable opponent, and Yoshiie and Kiyohira’s combined force turned back. Yoshiie’s petition to the court for reinforcements was denied. Unlike the Abe, the Kiyohara had continued to pay taxes and perform their official duties without signs of expansionism; the court was hesitant to intervene in an internal Kiyohara dispute without some more pressing reason. Yoshiie’s brother Yoshimitsu came to his aid, and together their armies defeated and executed the Kiyohara clan leaders. For Yoshiie, victory may have been a mixed bless-

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ing. He was removed from Tōhoku by the court as a disciplinary action against his private war, and perhaps to stymie Minamoto ambitions in the Northeast. Takeuchi, “Rise of the Warriors,” 676. 19. On shōen and the political relationships that grew up around them, see Amino, “Shōen kōryōsei no keisei to kōzō”; Hurst, Insei. 20. Takahashi Takashi, “Jōsaku eizō no ritsuryōsei,” 70–72. 21. Yiengpruksawan, Hiraizumi, 62. 22. After Napoleon defeated Egypt, Western confidence, and with it the pace of European colonial expansion, ramped up. 23. Griffis’s claim is representative of the zeitgeist of his time, even if it was made in support of the unpopular thesis that the Japanese were an Aryan race. Griffis, The Japanese Nation in Evolution, 5; see also Low, “The Japanese Nation in Evolution.” 24. It was Social Darwinism that established as social fact “the inferiority of the unfit, and the gap in civilization between sophisticated and rudimentary groups.” Bethencourt, Racisms, 459. 25. Morris-Suzuki, “Debating Racial Science in Wartime Japan,” 356–59. On the other hand, the human application of Spencerian racism, which discouraged miscegenation for fear of polluting the pure and superior (white) racial pool, was quite problematic in Japan. Spencer’s fantastic influence in Meiji Japan, which extended to politicians, intellectuals, and prominent journalists like Tokutomi Sohō, has long been recognized. See, for example, Nagai, “Herbert Spencer in Early Meiji”; Duus, “Whig History, Japanese Style”; Shigekazu Yamashita, “Herbert Spencer and Meiji Japan”; Howland, “Society Reified.” 26. Bethencourt, Racisms, 442–69. 27. A similar overlap can be seen in the use of tōi to mean both the “eastern savages” and the “savage east” in the Nihon shoki. See, for example, Aston, Nihongi, 1:203. 28. Kudō, Emishi no kodaishi, 207–41. See also Ujiie, “Emishi to Ainu.” 29. Keevak, Becoming Yellow. 30. Weiner, “Discourses of Race, Nation, and Empire in Pre-1945 Japan,” 449. 31. Bethencourt, Racisms, 542. 32. Hudson, Ruins of Identity, 31–36. 33. Mizoguchi, “Self-Identification and Archaeological Research,” 58. Ex­ amples include Tsuboi, “Korobokkuru”; Torii, Yūshi izen, 606. 34. Borsboom, “The Savage in European Social Thought.” 35. Conrad, “Enlightenment in Global History,” 1019. Salient discussions of race discourse in Meiji Japan can be found in Oguma, A Genealogy of “Japanese” Self-Images; Askew, “Debating Race in Meiji Japan”; Minami, Nihonjinron.

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36. Mizoguchi, “Self-Identification and Archaeological Research,” 58. Examples include Tsuboi, “Korobokkuru”; Torii, Yūshi izen, 606. 37. Morris-Suzuki, “Debating Racial Science in Wartime Japan,” 358–59. Social Darwinism suggested both that competition between nations and races was the natural and desirable order, and that race did not automatically constitute a fixed hierarchy. However, when faced with the question of whether non-White nations had “evolved” to readiness for first-class national citizenship, the answer was always “not yet.” Functionally, this transformed race into a permanent hierarchy. Morris-Suzuki, “Migrants, Subjects, Citizens”; Chakrabarty, “The Public Life of History,” 155. 38. Another conference, held in 1948, more explicitly emulated its 1915 predecessor but was also more strictly limited to cultural and institutional history. The most important paper presented, by Tsuda Sōkichi, was included in the report of the 1950 study. Kawanishi, “Regional History and International History,” 35. 39. Aihara, Hiraizumi jikki; Hiraizumi kyūsekishi; Hiraizumi zakki; Nihon Rekishi Chiri Gakkai, Ōu enkakushi ron. Takahira Mafuji’s 1888 Hiraizumishi was intended as a summary and compilation in one volume of Aihara’s three-volume set. 40. Duus, “Nagai Ryūtarō,” esp. 42–43; Aydin, The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia; “Japan’s Pan-Asianism”; Bethencourt, Racisms, 469, 542. See also Caprio, Japanese Assimilation Policies in Colonial Korea, 1910–1945, 83. 41. Hara’s book is infused with pride for the maturing empire of Japan, which was at a high point at the end of World War I. His confidence, as well as his interest in viewing Japan as unique but simultaneously a microcosm of world history, can be seen in such passages as: “Japan has a brilliant civilisation of which we can justly be proud.” Hara Katsurō, An Introduction to the History of Japan, iii, 1. 42. See Kawanishi, Tōhoku; Zoku Tōhoku. 43. Hara Katsurō, An Introduction to the History of Japan, 26. 44. Young, Japan’s Total Empire, 282. 45. This aspect of Hara’s historical narrative has been partially substantiated. More generally, the hypothesis that east–west movement of people, goods, and ideas is easier and therefore more frequent and usually more influential in history is the consensus view today. See, for example, Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel; Diamond and Bellwood, “Farmers and Their Languages”; Kidder, Himiko and Japan’s Elusive Chiefdom of Yamatai, 47. 46. Hara, “Nihonshijō no Ōshū.” 47. Huntington, Civilization and Climate, 1–30, 259 fig. 24; Kogita, “ ‘Tōhoku’ no tanjō.” Huntington’s third Japanese informant was Yamasaki Naomasa, a geographer at Tokyo Imperial University. 48. Kawanishi, “Regional History and International History,” 33.

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49. Hara, Nihon chūseishi no kenkyū, 889. The essay “Hokujin no tenshoku” was originally penned in 1911. 50. Kawanishi, “Regional History and International History,” 37. 51. Quoted in Grasmuck, “Ideology of Ethnoregionalism,” 484. 52. Kawanishi, “Regional History and International History,” 43. 53. Hara Katsurō, An Introduction to the History of Japan, 27. 54. Aston, Nihongi, 1:155. 55. Kita here anticipated Pierre Clastres’s work in the 1970s and its more recent application by James Scott, including Clastres, La société contre l’État; Scott, Seeing Like a State; The Art of Not Being Governed. 56. Oguma, A Genealogy of “Japanese” Self-Images, 95–103. 57. Kita offered support for the hypothesis proposed by Tsuboi Shōgorō, widely considered the father of professional anthropology in Japan, that the Ainu were not the sole Neolithic people of the archipelago. Tsuboi had argued that the dwarf-like koropukkuru of Ainu legend were a more technologically advanced people with whom the Ainu traded. The Ainu never engaged in pottery manufacture, but archaeologists had unearthed large quantities of earthenware in pre-Japanese ruins around the Japanese isles. Tsuboi and Kita proposed that the koropukkuru, not the Ainu, were responsible for the potsherds found at these sites. Kita parted with both Ainu folktales and Tsuboi’s conclusions when he suggested that the labels in fact referred to different cultural groups within a single racial lineage, one civilized and the other not. If this were true, the differences of appearance, habit, and political stance recorded by the National Histories and other historical sources for the premodern populations of the Japanese archipelago were merely differences of culture, the result of divergence. Kita, “Emishi no junzoku,” 33–34; Siddle, Race, Resistance, and the Ainu of Japan, 140. 58. Because the article and conference paper present a single view, but with slightly different emphases, strengths, and weaknesses, I have elected to treat the two works essentially as one. 59. For the sake of clarity, save where a distinction is explicitly made by the source or author referenced, herein I use the reading “Emishi” only. 60. Oguma, A Genealogy of “Japanese” Self-Images, 97. 61. Kita, “Emishi no junzoku,” 65. 62. Kita used all three terms interchangeably, though in “Azumabito kō” he used only the first. See Kita, “ ‘Yamato minzoku’ to wa nan zo ya.” 63. Kita, “Azumabito kō.” 64. Kita, “Azumabito kō,” 235–36. 65. It is perhaps surprising then that Kita was adamant that the Emishi and Ainu were identical; he famously averred, “There can be not a shadow of a doubt that the Emishi are the Ainu.” However, it was possible for the Emishi and Ainu to be identical without either being a fixed ontological concept. Quoted in Kikuchi Tetsuo, “Emishi ron no keifu,” 107.

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66. Suzuki, “Fujiwara yondai no itai,” 318. 67. Though groundbreaking in its own right, much of the work performed by these men is not relevant to the discussion here. For instance, Tarusawa oversaw radiological analysis of the bodies. Among other results, he found that morphological abnormalities suggest that Kiyohira suffered left-sided hemiplegia, perhaps from a stroke in the right hemisphere. “Rentogengakuteki ni mita Fujiwara yondai,” 79. 68. Tazawa, “Ōshū Fujiwarashi to Emishi no bunka,” 203–4. 69. Tazawa, “Ōshū Fujiwarashi to Emishi no bunka,” 207, 214. 70. Oguma, Tan’itsu minzoku shinwa no kigen; Ching, Becoming “Japanese,” 108; Lie, Multiethnic Japan, 137; McVeigh, Nationalisms of Japan, 28. 71. Nakao, “The Imperial Past of Anthropology in Japan,” 24–30. 72. Low, “Physical Anthropology in Japan,” 562. 73. Oguma, A Genealogy of “Japanese” Self-Images, 226–29. In the context of Japanese empire, Hasebe’s emphasis on these characteristics of the Japanese race must be seen as a reflection of his feeling that a strong Yamato-Japanese racial core would be needed to manage the colonies. This is reflected in his view of “miscegenation in the [colonial] territories,” which he argued would “strengthen foreign elements over the generations, causing Japaneseness to collapse and making the conduct of imperialization policy difficult.” This attitude was consistent with official wartime ideology as laid out in documents such as the 1943 Investigation of Global Policy with the Yamato Race as Nucleus, and also with pervasive attitudes in the West regarding racial origins. Dower, War Without Mercy, 262–90; Nanta, “De l’importance des savoirs coloniaux,” 110. 74. Nobayashi, “Physical Anthropology in Wartime Japan,” 147. 75. Morris-Suzuki, “Debating Racial Science in Wartime Japan,” 364. 76. Suzuki, “Changes in the Skull Features of the Japanese People”; “Microevolutional Changes”; Hone ga kataru; Nanta, “Physical Anthropology and Identity”; “Reconstruire une identité nationale.” 77. Hasebe argued that there was insufficient data to support the assumption that the Emishi and Ainu were even different names for the same people at different historical stages. The preponderance of documentary and osteological evidence suggested to Hasebe no direct linkage between Jōmon indigenes, Emishi, and Ainu. 78. Matsumoto, “Kodai Ezo ron,” 284. 79. Hasebe, “Emishi wa Ainu nari ya.” 80. Hasebe, “Emishi,” 130–39. 81. Specifically, according to Hasebe, the Emishi were what the Ruiju kokushi, a categorical chronology of events recorded in the Six National Histories compiled in 894 by Fujiwara no Michizane, refers to as fūzoku. In its categorization of non-Japanese people, Ruiju kokushi distinguishes between foreigners, immigrants, and fūzoku. The Emishi belonged to this final group, which is interpreted to mean “regional peoples” (hōmin).

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82. Hasebe, “Itai ni kansuru shomondai,” 17–23. Hasebe’s protégé Suzuki suggested that, if anything, the assimilation of Tōhoku had come centuries earlier than Hasebe was prepared to admit, and that the label was a stubborn relic of Japanese nobles’ unwillingness to acknowledge that the once inferior culture of the Northeast was no more. Suzuki, “Itai no jinruigakuteki kansatsu,” 42–43. 83. Tsuda, “Hiraizumi no bunka to Chūsonji,” 1949. 84. Tsuda had been convicted of lèse-majesté in the 1940s for questioning the National Histories. After 1945, his reputation for intellectual honesty and scrupulous, historical treatment of the textual sources was enhanced by these transgressions against the state. Tsuda’s analysis of the Kojiki and Nihon shoki led him to the dangerous conclusion that the material had been mostly conjured out of eighth-century intellectuals’ political consciousness, and did not accurately reflect historical events. In particular, he held that the first fourteen tennō were fictional, inventions to legitimize the status of the imperial house, hence the lèse-majesté charges. Takahashi Tomio, “Kōza: Nihon shigaku shisōshi kōhen,” 94–96; Sakamoto Tarō, Six National Histories, 88–89. 85. Tsuda, “Hiraizumi no bunka to Chūsonji,” 1950, 176. 86. Tsuda, “Hiraizumi no bunka to Chūsonji,” 1950, 189. 87. Tsuda, “Hiraizumi no bunka to Chūsonji,” 1950, 187. 88. Korehari no Azamaro, an Emishi provincial decorated and promoted for his military service against the Emishi of Isawa, subsequently turned around and razed the provincial headquarters and slaughtered his superiors before running off to join the Isawa Emishi; the motivation for this apparent treachery is alleged by many scholars to have been continuing discrimination against him despite his official recognition. Kudō, Hiraizumi e no michi, 41–46; Takahashi Tomio, “Kodai Emishi o kangaeru,” 220–32. 89. Tsuda, “Hiraizumi no bunka to Chūsonji,” 1950, 196. 90. Tsuda, “Hiraizumi no bunka to Chūsonji,” 1950, 199. 91. Specifically, Mori referred to the authoritative fourteenth-century genealogy, Sonpi bunmyaku. 92. Other documents, Mori noted, claim that the Abe were descendants of Abihiko, who, with his brother Nagasunehiko, fought against the emperor Jinmu’s eastern expansion. Nagasunehiko was killed and Abihiko was exiled to the far north (perhaps Tsugaru). In this version of events, Abihiko’s descendants regained strength and power by allying with the Japanese state, eventually moving into Iwate and northern Miyagi by the time of Kiyohira’s grandfather, Yoritoki. We cannot know whether Abihiko and his descendants were Ainu, but they were “rebels,” Mori wrote. It is possible that “Emishi” meant nothing more than “rebel,” and included all those who fought against early Japan and were driven north off their lands. It is also possible that it was a term designating what the Japanese elites of Nara and Kyoto saw as a “culture

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different from and inferior to that of the center,” i.e., their own. Mori, “Chūsonji itai no bunkenteki kōshō,” 226. 93. Conrad, The Quest for the Lost Nation, 22. 94. Gayle, Marxist History and Postwar Japanese Nationalism, 62–66. 95. Walker, Science and Ideology, 110. 96. Dower, “The Bombed,” 277; Zwigenberg, “Coming of a Second Sun.”

Chapter 2 1. Wang, Never Forget National Humiliation, 151. 2. David Scott, China and the International System, 1840–1949; Wang, Never Forget National Humiliation. 3. Volkan, Bloodlines; “Chosen Trauma.” 4. Renan, Qu’est-ce qu’une nation?, 27. 5. Billig, Banal Nationalism. 6. Wang, Never Forget National Humiliation, 27. 7. Richard White, “It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own,” 615. 8. On the subject of emotional plausibility, there is a rich and extensive literature, including Gellner, Nations and Nationalism; Eriksen, Ethnicity and Nationalism; Cruz, “Identity and Persuasion”; Pérez-Agote, Social Roots of Basque Nationalism. Others have preferred to speak of “resonance,” but the idea is substantively identical. Chiavacci, “Divided Society.” 9. Galtung, “Construction of National Identities,” 61. 10. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 129. 11. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 36. 12. Orr, Victim as Hero, 176. 13. Vansant, “Challenging Austria’s Victim Status,” 39. 14. Takahashi Tomio, “Mō hitotsu no Nihon,” 209. 15. Hopson, “Eastern Easts and Western Wests.” 16. Takahashi Tomio, Michinoku no sekai, 23. 17. Kawanishi, Tōhoku, 38. 18. Okada Tomohiro, “Tōhoku no chiiki kaihatsu no rekishi,” 21. 19. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 169–70. 20. Kawanishi, “ ‘Tōhoku’-shi no imi to shatei,” 93. 21. Bolitho, “Aizu,” 13. 22. Jansen, “The Meiji Restoration,” 359. 23. Van Sant, “Lost in History,” 16–17. 24. Iwamoto, Tōhoku kaihatsu hyakunijūnen, 50–53. 25. Jansen, “The Meiji Restoration,” 359.

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26. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 290–91. 27. Quoted in Shimoda, Lost and Found, 60. 28. Bolitho, “Aizu,” 4. 29. Aomori prefectural and Ministry of Finance reports, quoted in Shimoda, Lost and Found, 58–59. 30. Shimoda, Lost and Found, 42. 31. Shimoda, Lost and Found, 43. 32. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 290–91. 33. The travel diaries of Furukawa Koshōken and Tachibana Nankei are quoted in Bolitho, “Travelers’ Tales,” 499–500. 34. Takahashi Tomio, Tōhoku no fūdo to rekishi, 281–93; Iwamoto, Tōhoku kaihatsu hyakunijūnen, 18–22. 35. This was in part fallout from the Boshin War, in which Tōhoku’s chief domains allied against the Satchō “Restorationists.” Ichinohe, “Joshō”; Iwamoto, “Tōhoku kaihatsu o kangaeru,” 249; Kawanishi, “ ‘Tōhoku’-shi no imi to shatei,” 93–94. 36. Shimoda, Lost and Found, 71. 37. Okada Masukichi, Tōhoku kaihatsu yawa zoku, 316–17. See also Okada Masukichi, Tōhoku kaihatsu yawa. 38. Okada Tomohiro, “Tōhoku kaihatsu kōsō (jō),” 40. 39. Kabayama, Iwamoto, and Yoneyama, Taiwa: “Tōhoku” ron, 17. 40. Akasaka, Oguma, and Yamauchi, “Tōhoku” saisei, 126–28. 41. Nishiki, “Kita no saihakken,” 47. 42. Iwamoto, “Tōhoku kaihatsu o kangaeru,” 244–56; and see also ChaseDunn and Hall, Rise and Demise; Wallerstein, World-Systems Analysis; Wigen, Making of a Japanese Periphery. 43. Discussion below of Tōhoku as a modern toponym is based on Yonechi, Fujiwara, and Imaizumi, “Chimei ‘Tōhoku’ ”; Nanba, “Nihon kindaishi ni okeru ‘Tōhoku’ no seiritsu,” 214–19; Yonechi, Imaizumi, and Fujiwara, “Tōhoku chiikikan”; Kawanishi, “Kindai Nihon keiseiki ni okeru ‘Tōhokuron’ ”; Iwamoto, Tōhoku kaihatsu hyakunijūnen, 35. 44. Nanba, “Nihon kindaishi ni okeru ‘Tōhoku’ no seiritsu,” 214. 45. Kawanishi, “Kindai Nihon keiseiki ni okeru ‘Tōhokuron’ ”; see also Takahashi Tomio, “Sōron: Tōhoku kodaishi no ichizuke.” 46. Scidmore, “Japan Tsunami.” 47. The joint public-privately funded (“third sector”) Sanriku Railway Company serving the Iwate coast was founded in 1981. 48. Hosoi et al., Iwateken no rekishi, 284–86. 49. Miura Tamiaki, “Taishō shoki Iwateken nōson no bunseki.” 50. “Iwate, Aomori chihō no daikyōsaku.” 51. “Tōhoku kyōsaku no sanjō”; Kondō, “1993-nen no daireika,” Table 2; Ichinohe, “Joshō,” 19; Kawanishi, Tōhoku, 144.

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52. Kawanishi, Tōhoku, 145. See also Itakura, “Economy and Society in Tohoku,” 83–84; Kawanishi, Zoku Tōhoku, 29–38, 73–88. 53. Quoted in Okada Tomohiro, “Tōhoku kaihatsu kōsō (jō),” 41. 54. The TPA was originally tied closely to the Tōhoku-Kyushu Disaster Reparations Committee, founded by Shibusawa and other businessmen in 1914 to address the fallout from the eruption of Sakurajima in January of that year. Kyushu was not subjected to the same stigmatization as Tōhoku because its problems were seen as extemporaneous and temporary, while Tōhoku’s were continuous and repeating. 55. Quoted in Okada Tomohiro, “Tōhoku kaihatsu kōsō (jō),” 42–43. 56. Okada Tomohiro, “Tōhoku kaihatsu kōsō (jō),” 45–47. 57. Okada Tomohiro, “Tōhoku no chiiki kaihatsu no rekishi,” 22–23. 58. Iwamoto, “Tōhoku kaihatsu o kangaeru,” 239. 59. Tōhoku intellectual Asano Gengo founded a second TPA in 1927, immediately after the first was disbanded. Though Asano’s TPA, in deliberate contrast to Shibusawa and Masuda’s organization, was a gathering of Tōhoku men, it was no more successful in promoting regional interests. 60. Okada Tomohiro, “Tōhoku kaihatsu kōsō (ge),” 86–87. 61. Takahashi Tomio, “Kaisetsu,” 43. 62. Hangai, Shōrai no Tōhoku, 86. 63. “Primitive natives” is Mikiso Hane’s rendering of seibanjin, the comparison made by Shimomura: “I was reminded of the natives of Taiwan.” Shimomura also made reference to the “primitive” (genshiteki) lifestyle of the children in rural Iwate. Translated in Hane, Peasants, Rebels, Women, and 121. 64. Quoted in Kawanishi, Tōhoku, 38–39. 65. Kawanishi, Tōhoku, 141–43. 66. Premodern provincial administrators dispatched to Tōhoku almost universally required interpreters. Kudō, Emishi no kodaishi, 209. 67. Kawanishi, Tōhoku, 142–48. 68. Quoted in Long, On Uneven Ground, 93. Tōhoku dialects (there were and are many) remain heavily stigmatized. Kumagai, “Standard Japanese and Heteronormativity.” 69. Takahashi Tomio, “Kaisetsu,” 42. 70. Kawanishi, Zoku Tōhoku, 212. 71. Aoyama, Reading Food, 134, 137. 72. Akutagawa, Aru ren’ai shōsetsu, 119. 73. Quoted in Kawanishi, “Regional History and International History,” 45. 74. According to Ann Waswo, tenant rights movements and nōhonshugi grew out of the same three factors. First, the acquisition through public education and military service of skills, knowledge, and experience formerly the exclusive domain of the village elite. Second, these same middling farmers’

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sons returned to their villages with an increased sensitivity to economic injustices that remained unaddressed by the elite. Finally, some of these issues were covered by proliferating newspapers, journals, and other media, many of which were legible to readers with a rudimentary education. Waswo, “The Transformation of Rural Society, 1900–1950,” 559–76. 75. In response, the government promulgated the Rice Act in 1921, which gave control of rice purchasing, sales, and distribution to Tokyo. Nakamura and Odaka argue, “This created a contradiction since on the one hand, the government was seeking to improve the quantity and efficiency of production, and on the other, the government set rice prices.” Nakamura and Odaka, “The Inter-War Period: 1914–37, an Overview,” 22–23. 76. Nakamura, Takafusa, “Depression, Recovery, and War,” 123. 77. Cullen, A History of Japan, 1582–1941, 253. 78. Shimomura, “Kikin chitai o aruku.” Shimomura Chiaki’s reportage is reproduced in English as “Touring Famine-Struck Regions:
A Report on the Ghastly Conditions in the Northeastern Farm Villages” in Hane, Peasants, Rebels, Women, and 119–33. 79. Nakamura, “Depression, Recovery, and War,” 119–24, 139. 80. Allen, Short Economic History of Modern Japan, 98. 81. Metzler, Lever of Empire, 230. The poor harvest of 1931 left over 200,000 children nationwide unable to bring lunch to school the next year, according to government estimates. It is noteworthy that this phenomenon was hardly confined to the villages of the countryside, affecting many urban schoolchildren as well. Yamashita Fumio, Shōwa Tōhoku daikyōsaku, 8–11. 82. That year, the average harvest for Tōhoku’s six prefectures dropped by 15.6 percent compared to the previous two years. Yamashita Fumio, Shōwa Tōhoku daikyōsaku, 64. 83. Yamashita Fumio, Shōwa Tōhoku daikyōsaku, 79. 84. Yamashita Fumio, Shōwa Tōhoku daikyōsaku, 88. 85. For example, more than one in three farming households in Shibata County, Miyagi, had sold all of their rice by October 1933 and could not afford to buy rice back because of continued speculation-driven inflation through the fall and winter. Yamashita Fumio, Shōwa Tōhoku daikyōsaku, 159–60. 86. “Shōwa Sanriku Jishin.” 87. Kawanishi, Zoku Tōhoku, 64–65. 88. Ida, “Shōwa kyōkōka no nōson ni okeru musume miuri no jittai wa,” 62. 89. More than twelve thousand farmers in Akita lost over half of their rice to cold and blight. And Akita had been “spared” the worst of it, losing only a quarter of the annual average rice harvest. The other prefectures were not so “lucky.” Fukushima’s harvest fell 34 percent, Miyagi’s 39 percent. Aomori and Yamagata both came up 46 percent short of an average year’s yield, while Iwate was faced with a 54 percent loss. Yamashita Fumio, Shōwa Tōhoku daikyōsaku, 143–53, 181–87; see also Inomata, Kyūbō no nōson.

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90. Yamashita Fumio, Shōwa Tōhoku daikyōsaku, 81. 91. Yamashita Fumio, Shōwa Tōhoku daikyōsaku, 84–91. 92. “Kyōsakuchi o yuku.” 93. Kawanishi, Zoku Tōhoku, 66–67; Yamashita Fumio, Shōwa Tōhoku daikyōsaku, 81, 115. 94. Kikuchi Isao, “Hōhō to shite no chiiki,” 266–71. 95. Oguma, “Minshu” to “aikoku,” 311. 96. In the 1970s, Takahashi used this phrase and multiple variants as Anglophone scholars might use scare quotes to bracket “Japan.” Takahashi Tomio, Henkyō, 13; “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 2004, 129, 133. 97. Hangai, Shōrai no Tōhoku; Nitobe, “Jo,” 55. 98. Takahashi, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 2004, 127. 99. Ohnuki-Tierney, Rice as Self, esp. 4–6. 100. The after-history of rice in Tōhoku is ironic. Urbanites’ tastes began moving away from rice in the mid-1960s—a reversal from prewar consumption of domestic rice as the most important bourgeois dietary marker of “an acceptable standard of living.” Though price supports remained in place, Tōhoku was suddenly faced with falling demand for the product its economy had been staked on. The rug was pulled out, and Tōhoku was stuck with rice. While farming regions of western Japan increasingly transitioned to a valueadded economy, the Northeast “stayed with price-stabilized rice due to its poor climate.” Francks, Rural Economic Development in Japan, 125; Akasaka, Oguma, and Yamauchi, “Tōhoku” saisei, 126–28. 101. Takahashi Tomio, “Kaisetsu,” 4. 102. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 2004, 176. 103. Sudō and Kudō, “Tōhoku chihō Yayoi bunka”; Sudō Takashi, “Yayoi jidai no Tōhoku chihō.” 104. On the battle and its historical significance, see Batten, “Foreign Threat and Domestic Reform.” 105. Imaizumi, “Emishi no chōgū to kyōkyū”; “Kodai Tōhoku.” 106. Takahashi Tomio, Ezo, 78–109. 107. Takahashi Tomio, Ezo, 190–211. 108. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 2004, 4, 142. 109. Takahashi Tomio, Ezo, 91–112. 110. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku kodai no kaitaku.” 111. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 2004, 53. 112. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 2004, 133. 113. Morris-Suzuki, Re-Inventing Japan, 18. 114. Morris-Suzuki, Re-Inventing Japan, 129. 115. Takahashi Tomio, “Nihonshi no higashi to nishi,” 273. 116. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 2004, 174. 117. Okada Masukichi, Tōhoku kaihatsu yawa, 5. 118. “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 2004, 345.

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119. Tsuji, “Tōhoku kaihatsushi jo,” 5. 120. Hirata, “Tōhoku no handen nōmin,” 121–25. 121. Yamada Yasuhiko, Kodai Tōhoku no furontia, 13–42. See also Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku kodai no kaitaku,” 52–54. 122. Yamada Yasuhiko, Kodai Tōhoku no furontia, 257–58. The terminus ante quem for the use of kinohe to colonize Tōhoku is the middle of the seventh century. Itabashi, “Mutsu-Dewa Kinohe ihai henjun kō,” 1; Takahashi Takashi, “Mutsu no kuni no shoki gunsei,” 154. 123. Itabashi, “Mutsu-Dewa Kinohe ihai henjun kō,” 1, 5. It is worth noting that at the same time, assimilated or conquered Emishi were also removed in large groups from the Northeast to sites around Japanese territory—some as far as Kyushu—ostensibly to eliminate causes of potential unrest. The juxtaposition with using Tōhoku as a dumping ground for the unwanted is striking. This policy was abandoned and reversed in 897, sending most of these Emishi back to the Northeast. 124. Takahashi Tomio, Ezo, 100–105. In the ninth century, Emishi autonomy was restored piecemeal and partially by a court incapable of direct control or further military action. 125. Young, “Colonizing Manchuria,” 100; Tipton, Modern Japan, 114; McDowell, “Japan in Manchuria.” 126. Itabashi, “Kinohe kō,” 38–44. 127. Yamada Yasuhiko, “Rekishiteki furontia no tokushitsu,” 44; Kodai Tōhoku no furontia, 37–65. 128. Friday, “Pushing beyond the Pale,” 6. 129. Young, “Colonizing Manchuria,” 97. 130. Wilson, “The ‘New Paradise,’ ” 251; Cullen, A History of Japan, 1582–1941, 262. 131. Wilson, “The ‘New Paradise,’ ” 250. 132. Young, “Colonizing Manchuria,” 99. 133. McDowell, “Japan in Manchuria.” 134. On the ERC, in English see Smith, A Time of Crisis; “Building the Model Village”; “A Land of Milk and Honey.” 135. Young, “Colonizing Manchuria,” 101. 136. In a 1946 essay translated into English by Ivan Morris, Maruyama Masao described wartime Japan as “constructed like a chain, with the Emperor as the absolute value entity . . . the intensity of vertical political control varies in proportion to the distance from the Emperor.” Maruyama, Thought and Behavior, 16. 137. Orr, Victim as Hero, 4. 138. Takahashi Tomio, Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu, 1973, 129. 139. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 2004, 132. 140. My observations here on the nature and utility of myth and cognitive schema are partially derived from Snyder, Myths of Empire, 45–49; Richard White, “It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own,” 616.

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141. Though he recognized diversity within the Northeast, Takahashi was a lumper, asserting the basic unity of the region by virtue of its treatment by Japan. “For as long as Tōhoku has been Tōhoku, Tōhoku has been one.” Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 2004, 128. 142. See, for example, Catherine Hall, Civilising Subjects; Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest, esp. 18; Nandy, Intimate Enemy. 143. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku kodai no kaitaku”; Henkyō, 12–15. 144. Turner, The Frontier in American History, 11. 145. Furniss, “Imagining the Frontier,” 25. To the extent that the “frontier” was at various times the zone of contact with Native American societies, and that these native groups were often quite happy to welcome “deserters” from AngloEuropean settlements, there may well have been a strong disincentive toward overly coercive government mechanisms even in the early days of the Puritan colonies. Mann, 1491, 329–37. 146. Turner, The Frontier in American History, 1, 3–4. 147. Turner, “The Problem of the West.” 148. Oguma, “Minshu” to “aikoku,” 21. Oguma intended this observation as subtle disparagement of Maruyama Masao. 149. Furniss, “Imagining the Frontier,” 28. 150. Limerick, “Turnerians All,” 698. 151. Richard Davis, “Introduction,” 11; Furniss, “Imagining the Frontier,” 41. 152. Slotkin, Regeneration Through Violence, 20. 153. Furniss, “Imagining the Frontier,” 29–30. 154. Wieczynski, “Toward a Frontier Theory of Early Russian History,” 284. See, for example, Khodarkovsky, “From Frontier to Empire”; Sixsmith, Russia. 155. Application of the model has not prevented scholars from noting differences from American history. Eccles, The Canadian Frontier; Davis, “Introduction”; Furniss, “Imagining the Frontier,” 32–40. 156. Troen, “Frontier Myths and Their Applications in America and Israel,” 303. See also Dann, “The Frontier in Israeli History.” 157. Melbin, “Night as Frontier,” 6. 158. Melbin, “Night as Frontier,” 21. 159. Takahashi Tomio, Michinoku: fūdo to kokoro, 35. 160. Kita, “Emishi no junzoku”; Takeuchi Unpei, Tōhoku kaihatsushi. 161. Monbushō, Tōhoku dokuhon, vol. 1; Tōhoku dokuhon, vol. 2. 162. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku kodai no kaitaku,” 31–32. 163. Morris-Suzuki, “Creating the Frontier,” 1. 164. Takahashi Tomio, Henkyō, 16, 199–202. 165. Recent work has provided a nuanced picture of the empire-barbarian relationship in Europe, one relatively in line with Takahashi’s supposition of mutual influence. Heather, The Fall of the Roman Empire; Empires and Barbarians. 166. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku kodai no kaitaku.”

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167. Takahashi Tomio, Michinoku: fūdo to kokoro, 33. 168. Takahashi Tomio, Michinoku: fūdo to kokoro, 35–36. 169. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 2004, 478–83. 170. Takahashi Tomio, Tōhoku no fūdo to rekishi, 301–3. 171. Yamada Yasuhiko, Kodai Tōhoku no furontia, 18, 20. 172. Yamada Yasuhiko, “Rekishiteki furontia no tokushitsu,” 46. 173. Yamada Yasuhiko, Kodai Tōhoku no furontia, 29; Takahashi Tomio, “The Classical Polity and Its Frontier,” 129. 174. What Takahashi called the “Great East” is an aggregate of the Chūbu, Kanto, and Tōhoku regions, encompassing at least half of Honshu. Takahashi maintained that in every age the frontier occupied an identical place in state cosmology. Takahashi Tomio, Henkyō, 19. 175. Turner, The Frontier in American History, 3. 176. Takahashi Tomio, Henkyō, 21. 177. Quotations referenced by Takahashi from Turner, The Frontier in American History, 1, 4, 38. 178. Turner, The Frontier in American History, 67–68. The standard model for the conquest of Tōhoku is one of gradualism in peacetime punctuated by aggressive warfare. It is similar to Turner’s idea of multiple “fall lines” in the westward expansion of the United States. Turner, The Frontier in American History, 9; Imaizumi, “Kodai Tōhoku,” 201–7. 179. Takahashi Tomio, Henkyō, 17–20. 180. Dower, Embracing Defeat, 24. 181. James Thompson, “Modern Britain and the New Imperial History,” 459. 182. See, for example, Akasaka, Tōhoku runessansu, 254; Kudō, Emishi no kodaishi, 87. Brett Walker has made a similar critique of the use of the frontier concept in relation to Ezo-Hokkaido and the Ainu. Walker, The Conquest of Ainu Lands, 4–5. 183. This is discussed in the epilogue. 184. Iwamoto, “Tōhoku kaihatsu o kangaeru,” 244–46. 185. Quoted in Kawanishi, “Kindai Nihon keiseiki ni okeru ‘Tōhokuron.’ ”

Chapter 3 1. Chamberlain, Ko-Ji-Ki, lxxii. 2. Takashi Fujitani has remarked on Chamberlain’s acuity in observing the changing world of Meiji Japan. Fujitani, Splendid Monarchy, 1–3. 3. Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” 4. de Vos and Wagatsuma, “Introduction,” xx.

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5. Bethencourt, Racisms, 478. 6. Sleeboom, Academic Nationalism in China and Japan, 41. 7. David Howell has shown that the myth of the Ainu as a people without history remains powerful even today. “Is ‘Ainu History’ ‘Japanese History’?” 8. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku kodai no kaitaku,” 56. 9. Takahashi Tomio, Ezo, 24–25. 10. Yamauchi, “Kiga,” 255. 11. Reprinted in Nihon kodai seijishi ron, 253. 12. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku kodai no kaitaku,” 43–44. 13. Takahashi Tomio, Kodai Ezo, 12–14. Hanazaki Kōhei has argued, “The Japanese ka-i system was established in the 1630s,” but this ignores the significance of Sinocentric or Sinocentric-derived worldviews to Japanese elites from, conservatively, no later than the seventh century. Hanazaki, “Ainu Moshir and Yaponesia,” 118. 14. This observation borrows from Oguma Eiji’s backhanded compliment of Maruyama Masao in “Minshu” to “aikoku,” 21. 15. In Akasaka, Nihon saikō, 222–23. 16. Doak, A History of Nationalism in Modern Japan, 207. 17. Oguma, “Minshu” to “aikoku,” 207. 18. Quoted in Oguma, “Minshu” to “aikoku,” 74. 19. Gayle, Marxist History and Postwar Japanese Nationalism, 2–7. 20. This was still true even two years earlier, as seen in Takahashi Tomio, “Sōron: Tōhoku kodaishi no ichizuke.” 21. Takahashi Tomio, “Chihō Nihonshigaku,” 12–13; emphasis in original. 22. The self-evident cultural and political center is by no means limited to Japan. For instance, Wei-Ming Tu, writing of the history of “Chinese consciousness,” remarked, “Educated Chinese know reflexively what China proper refers to.” Wei-Ming Tu, “Cultural China,” 3. 23. Hirota, “Pandora no hako,” 17. 24. On the minshūshi movement, in English see Gluck, “The People in History.” 25. Waters, Japan’s Local Pragmatists, 17. Emphasis in original. 26. Clifford Geertz, Interpretation of Cultures, 5; Gilman, Difference and Pathology, 18, 35. 27. Edith Hall’s study of Hellenic literary construction of the Other(s) is particularly useful for understanding the development of the Other (the generic and all-purpose, protean “all-embracing genus of anti-Greeks”) in particular as a literary trope for the theater. Following Arnaldo Momigliano, Erich Gruen has recently attempted to nuance this picture of classical visions of Self and Other in the Greco-Roman world. The author makes a compelling argument that these ancient societies found and invented connections as well as disconnections, reimagining themselves and their neighbors in novel ways.

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Seen this way, “[t]he ‘Other’ takes on quite a different shape. This is not rejection, denigration, or distancing—but rather appropriation.” Edith Hall, Inventing the Barbarian, 54; Gruen, Rethinking the Other in Antiquity, 4. 28. Carhart, “Noble Savage,” 293. 29. Bowden, “The Invention of American Tradition,” 20–21; Stuart Hall, “The West and the Rest,” 310. 30. Constantine, “The Ignoble Savage, an Eighteenth Century Literary Stereotype,” 171–76. 31. McLean, “Reinventing the Savage,” 602. 32. Hayden White mobilized the Freudian fetish to explain the coexistence in European thought of such overtly contradictory views of and ways of dealing with newly encountered native peoples. “From the Renaissance to the end of the eighteenth century, Europeans tended to fetishize the native peoples with whom they came into contact by viewing them simultaneously as monstrous forms of humanity and as quintessential objects of desire. Whence the alternative impulses to exterminate and to redeem the native peoples.” White, Tropics of Discourse, 194. 33. Borsboom, “The Savage in European Social Thought,” 429. 34. Stuart Hall, “The West and the Rest,” 311. 35. Bowden, “The Invention of American Tradition,” 8. 36. Stuart Hall, “The West and the Rest,” 276. 37. Edith Hall, Inventing the Barbarian, 60–61. 38. Morris-Suzuki, Re-Inventing Japan, 14; Di Cosmo, Ancient China and Its Enemies, 103–4. 39. Di Cosmo, Ancient China and Its Enemies, 94. 40. Abramson, “Deep Eyes and High Noses,” 140. 41. Di Cosmo, Ancient China and Its Enemies, 106–8. 42. Quoted in Kennedy, “From Monsters to Manga.” 43. John Whitney Hall, Government and Local Power in Japan, 500 to 1700; Batten, “Foreign Threat and Domestic Reform”; “Provincial Administration in Early Japan”; Sakamoto Tarō, Six National Histories, xi. 44. Aston, Nihongi, 1:203. With minor alterations for orthographic consistency (i.e., “Emishi” instead of “Yemishi”) the translated passages from Nihon shoki are taken from Aston. All other translations are mine unless noted. 45. Aston, Nihongi, 1:124. 46. Scholars have long considered this toponym identical to “Kitakami,” the great north–south river flowing through the mid- to southern Iwate plains known to have been the site of the fiercest and most lasting Emishi resistance and independence. See Hasebe, “Emishi,” 130–39; Tanabe, “Kodai Emishi to Ainu,” 33–36; Kita, “Hitakami no kuni”; Takahashi Tomio, Michinoku michi no oku, 80–83. 47. Aston, Nihongi, 1:200.

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48. Takahashi Tomio, Michinoku no sekai, 42–44. 49. Race as a hierarchical, scientifically verifiable, natural phenomenon was imported in the Meiji period. See, for example, Weiner, “Discourses of Race, Nation, and Empire in Pre-1945 Japan”; Siddle, “The Ainu and the Discourse of ‘Race’ ”; Morris-Suzuki, Re-Inventing Japan, 79–109; McVeigh, “ ‘Hard’ and ‘Soft Nationalism,’ ” 25; Batten, To the Ends of Japan, 56–57; Sakano, “Jinshu, minzoku, Nihonjin.” 50. Fujitani, “Inventing, Forgetting, Remembering,” 80. 51. Takahashi Tomio, Michinoku michi no oku, 227–28. 52. Matsumoto, “Kodai Ezo ron”; “Kumaso-Hayato ron”; “Tsuchigumo ron.” 53. Matsumoto, “Kumaso-Hayato ron,” 394–95. 54. Kita, “Azumabito kō,” 236–37; Takahashi Tomio, “Kodai Emishi o kangaeru,” 54–56; Tanabe, “Kodai Emishi to Ainu,” 33. 55. Bethencourt, Racisms, 542; Weiner, “Discourses of Race, Nation, and Empire in Pre-1945 Japan,” 449. 56. Brett Walker has provided an outstanding account of the political and socioeconomic processes by which the Ainu were subordinated. The Conquest of Ainu Lands. 57. Siddle, “The Ainu and the Discourse of ‘Race,’ ” 139, 156. 58. Mizoguchi, “Self-Identification and Archaeological Research,” 58. 59. Hudson, Ruins of Identity, 32; Kudō, Nihon jinshuron, 12–23; Emishi no kodaishi, 207. 60. Quoted in Takahashi Tomio, Ezo, 5. 61. Torii, Yūshi izen, 218. 62. Takeuchi Unpei, Tōhoku kaihatsushi, 47–53. 63. Notably, archaeologist Odashima Rokurō and Hasebe Kotondo (as discussed in prior chapters) dismissed the racial view of the Emishi-Ainu. Additionally, though his comment surely reached only a handful of Japanese intellectuals, it is interesting to note that William G. Aston, English translator of Nihon shoki and a man undoubtedly well acquainted with the generality of the Greco-Roman category of barbarian, was also unimpressed by the EmishiAinu equation; in a footnote to the first appearance of “Emishi,” he wrote, “Yemishi or Yebisu is also applied to barbarous tribes generally, and this is probably its primary meaning.” Aston, Nihongi, 1:124, note 1. 64. Itō, “Kōkogakujō yori mitaru kodai Tōhoku bunka,” 1. 65. Kudō, Emishi no kodaishi, 207. 66. As late as 1957, Kusama Shun’ichi regarded Shimizu as the representative voice of the Emishi-Ainu thesis. “Nihon genshi bunka no imi,” 11. 67. Kikuchi Tetsuo, “Emishi ron no keifu,” 109. 68. Matsumoto, “Kodai Ezo ron,” 296. 69. Shimizu, “Ezo no bunka to sono shuzoku,” 395. 70. Shimizu, “ ‘Emishi’ / ‘Ezo’ no idō to ‘Emishi’—Ainu setsu,” 1–2.

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71. Oguma, “Postwar Japanese Intellectuals’ Changing Perspectives on ‘Asia’ and Modernity.” 72. Takahashi Tomio, Ezo, 5–6. 73. Kudō, Nihon jinshuron, 47–48, 55–60, and see also 81–135. 74. As noted above and discussed in detail in chapter 1, Hasebe Kotondo had seriously questioned the Emishi-Ainu thesis as early as the interwar years. Additionally, a small number of historians had begun to explore more nuanced views of the subject. The most important was Kita Sadakichi. Despite adhering to the Emishi-Ainu theory, Kita historicized early accounts of Japanese eastward expansion and the vocabulary of difference in which that history was conceptualized. He pioneered a critical, spatial reading of the National Histories, which indicated that Emishi was an ontological, not racial, label. 75. Takahashi Tomio, Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai, 38. 76. Kikuchi Tetsuo, “Emishi ron no keifu,” 102–3. 77. Tanabe, “Kodai Emishi to Ainu,” 17, 35, 54. 78. Hoshino, “Tōhoku chihō no chiikiteki seikatsu,” 59. 79. Ujiie was reacting specifically to Shimizu’s “Ezo no bunka to sono shuzoku.” The two engaged in a bitter back-and-forth that ended with Shimizu’s uninspired rebuttal, “Futatabi Ezo ni tsuite.” 80. Ujiie, “Emishi no teikō,” 63–64. 81. Clastres, Society against the State. See also James Scott, The Art of Not Being Governed. 82. Ujiie, “Emishi no teikō,” 59. 83. Hopson, “Takahashi Tomio’s Phoenix.” 84. Kikuchi Tetsuo, “Emishi ron no keifu,” 101. 85. Takahashi Tomio, “Nihonshi no higashi to nishi,” 313. 86. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku kodai no kaitaku,” 56. 87. Takahashi Tomio, Ezo, 30. 88. Tanabe, “Kodai Emishi to Ainu,” 25; Takahashi, Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai, 38. 89. Over the course of his career, Takahashi presented several, structurally identical, versions of this argument. See, for example, the iteration in Takahashi Tomio, “Kodai Emishi o kangaeru,” 213–32. 90. Takahashi Tomio, Henkyō, 205–6. 91. The complexity of the issues and the inconsistency of the readings of “Emishi,” “Ezo,” and “Ebisu” led Takahashi to return to this theme over and over again through his career. For example, as late as 1991, Takahashi once again reexamined and reformulated his views. In an article appropriately titled “Emishi, Ebisu, Ezo,” he wrote that “Ebisu,” not “Ezo,” was the new pronunciation for “Emishi” that emerged to express a new reality. In any case, Takahashi’s interpretation of the reading and identity of “Emishi” remained constant.

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92. A Department of History was established in 1871 in the Council of State, and transformed into the Office of Historiography in 1875. German historical methodology was introduced to Japan in the 1880s as a model for national history; historiography was heavily statist in both the German and Japanese cases. Mehl, “History and the Nation,” 46. See also Kadowaki, “Kangaku akademizumu.” 93. Takahashi Tomio, Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai, 2–3. 94. Robinson, Cultural Nationalism in Colonial Korea, 34. It is impossible to be certain, but Takahashi’s choice of this word may have been intended to express solidarity with Korean nationalists and with others oppressed by Japan. 95. Takahashi Tomio, “Emishi kenkyū no dōkō,” 41. 96. Kadowaki, Nihon kodai seijishi ron, 262. 97. Perdue, China Marches West, 83. 98. Takahashi Tomio, Kodai Ezo, 15–17. 99. Specifically, Batten criticized Mimi Yiengpruksawan’s use of the term in her work on Hiraizumi. Yiengpruksawan, Hiraizumi, 47; Batten, To the Ends of Japan, 279, note 65. 100. This argument can be seen as early as Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku kodai no kaitaku,” 52–54. 101. Ezo, 283–98. 102. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku kodai no kaitaku,” 52–56. Takahashi’s reading of the Roman Empire was adopted wholesale from the Marxist historian Matsumoto Shinpachirō. 103. Hasebe, “Itai ni kansuru shomondai,” 19. 104. Hasebe, “Itai ni kansuru shomondai,” 18. Emphasis added. 105. Takahashi Tomio, “Kodai Emishi no seijiteki shakai,” 262; Kudō, “Kōkogaku Kara Mita Kodai Emishi,” 129. 106. Mega, “Kodai ‘Emishi’ ”; “Kofun jidai ni okeru ‘Emishi.’ ” 107. Takahashi Takashi, Emishi, 159. 108. Takahashi Takashi, Emishi, 75. 109. Imaizumi, “Emishi no chōgū to kyōkyū,” 149–50. 110. Batten, To the Ends of Japan, 29; David C. Kang, East Asia before the West, 41. 111. Kudō, Kodai Emishi, 328; and see Hiraizumi e no michi, 31. 112. Originally, the characters for “Emishi” were “hairy people.” Kudō argued that the change in orthography from “hirsute” to “shrimplike” was roughly simultaneous to this administrative change, which heralded the beginnings of a more aggressive policy toward the uncontrolled Northeast. 113. Kudō, Emishi no kodaishi, 18–27. 114. Takahashi Tomio, Ezo, 18, 33.

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Chapter 4 1. The Committee’s decision can be found in “Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session,” 216–19. 2. Daily Yomiuri, “World Heritage Status a Boost to Recovery”; “UNESCO Designation Boosts Iwate”; Iwate Nippō, “Higan no tōroku”; “ ‘Sekai no Hiraizumi’ jōju.” 3. Morioka Times, “Sekai ga kureta fukkō e no kibō.” 4. Agency for Cultural Affairs, Cultural Properties Department, Monuments and Sites Division, “MEXT Minister’s Comments.” Emphasis added. Relevant newspaper articles, editorials, and interviews include Iwate Nippō, “Hisaichi ni jōdo no kaze o”; Nikkei, “Hiraizumi, Sekai Isan ni tōroku”; Ryūkyū Shinpo, “Sekai Isan tōroku.” 5. As Zheng Wang observed, “the collapse of [the Soviet Union] necessitated, among other things, the rewriting of history textbooks.” Never Forget National Humiliation, 27. 6. World Heritage Committee et al., Operational Guidelines, 2. 7. Suzuki, “Fujiwara yondai no itai,” 318. The first issue, which was impor­ tant in part because mortuary practices are considered an outstanding indicator of cultural affiliation, produced no conclusive results. 8. On the conflation of race and culture in mid-century Japan, see MorrisSuzuki, “Debating Racial Science in Wartime Japan,” 371. 9. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku kodai no kaitaku,” 48–54. 10. Takahashi Tomio, Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai, 4. 11. Takahashi Tomio, Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai, 5, 59, 114. 12. Takahashi Tomio, Hiraizumi no seiki. 13. Takahashi Tomio, Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai, 120. 14. Takahashi Tomio, “Mō hitotsu no Nihon,” 163–65. 15. The importance of these marriages was not fully appreciated until Kawashima Shigeru’s 2002 “Fujiwara no Kiyohira no tsumatachi.” 16. Takahashi Tomio, Michinoku michi no oku, 91, 157–59, 167. 17. Entry for the twenty-first day of the eighth month of Bunji 5 (1189). Kurosaka, Azuma kagami, 345. 18. Takahashi Tomio, “Yōyaku,” 65. 19. This argument was made most clearly only much later, but can be seen in 1958. Takahashi Tomio, Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai, 120; “Nihonshijō no Hiraizumi mondai,” 31. Takahashi’s sharp departures from Marxist orthodoxy are particularly stark when compared with Kikuchi Keiichi’s Kitaguni nōmin no monogatari, which condemns the Fujiwara as absolutist dictators exploiting the common folk. What is more, over time he became critical of the postwar historical establishment’s overly narrow concern with Marxist history

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and the resulting elision of (especially ancient) Tōhoku from historical studies as well as that establishment’s failure to read beyond the narrowly defined discipline of history, which risked recapitulation of the pandering toadyism of wartime scholarship’s support of the tennōsei ideology and the military state. Takahashi Tomio, Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai, 2, 171–72; Kikuchi Keiichi, Kitaguni nōmin no monogatari. 20. Dower, “Peace and Democracy in Two Systems,” 31; O’Bryan, The Growth Idea; Marotti, “Political Aesthetics.” 21. Gayle, Marxist History and Postwar Japanese Nationalism, 149–51; Kersten, “Intellectual Culture of Postwar Japan.” 22. See, for example, Takahashi’s editorial introduction to Hangai, Shōrai no Tōhoku. 23. Through an analogy between Europe and Japan’s respective medieval periods that in many ways typified the contemporary ethos of universalism in historiography, Ishimoda Shō identified the warrior lords of Japan’s provinces as the era’s key players. Yoshida Tomoko, “Kuroda Toshio (1926–1993) on Jōdo Shinshū,” 385. 24. Fujishima, Mōtsuji to Kanjizaiōin. Fujishima summarizes and expands this seminal work in 1995’s Hiraizumi kenchiku bunka kenkyū, 123–61, 350–52. 25. Hashiba, “Hiraizumi no dōro to toshi kōzō no hensen”; Yoshida Kan, “Shirakawa, Toba, Hiraizumi”; Isono, Dokyū, and Yamamoto, “Chūsei Hira­i­ zumi no shigaichi keisei.” 26. Itabashi, Ōshū Hiraizumi, 131–34. 27. Takahashi Tomio, Fujiwara no Kiyohira: Hiraizumi no seiki, 10–11. 28. Takahashi Tomio, Fujiwara no Kiyohira: Hiraizumi no seiki, 110. 29. In Akasaka, Nihon saikō, 222–23. 30. Simultaneously, as Hiraizumi’s destruction was brought about directly by its entanglement in “national” politics, the Ōshū Fujiwara may serve as a cautionary tale about the dangers of involvement in the Japanese state. Takahashi Tomio, Fujiwara no Kiyohira: Hiraizumi no seiki, esp. 146–55. 31. Harootunian, Things Seen and Unseen, 331. 32. Dower, Embracing Defeat, 88–123. 33. Endō, “Chūsei kokka no tōi seibaiken ni tsuite,” 11. 34. Ōishi, Ōshū Fujiwara-shi no jidai, 11; Ōishi et al., “Chihōshi kenkyū, Iwate,” 49–50. 35. Ōishi, “Chūsei no reimei,” 1–3. 36. On ōryōshi, in English see Friday, Samurai, Warfare, and the State, 37; Yiengpruksawan, Hiraizumi, 62. 37. Ōishi, “Chūsei no reimei,” 29–30. 38. Ōishi et al., “Chihōshi kenkyū, Iwate,” 50. 39. Takahashi, “Kobayashi Seiji, Ōishi Naomasa hen: ‘Chūsei Ōu no sekai,’ ” 36.

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40. Amino, Higashi to nishi no kataru Nihon no rekishi, 104–5. 41. For a complete account in English of Kiyohira’s upbringing and rise to power, see Yiengpruksawan, Hiraizumi, 21–88. 42. Amino, Higashi to nishi no kataru Nihon no rekishi, 104–7. 43. Amino, Higashi to nishi no kataru Nihon no rekishi, 108. 44. Johnston, “From Feudal Fishing Villagers to an Archipelago’s Peoples”; Eiji Sakurai, “Foreword.” 45. Kelly, “Rationalization and Nostalgia.” 46. Barshay, “Postwar Social and Political Thought,” 344; Tipton, Modern Japan, 190; Tachibanaki, “Inequality and Poverty in Japan”; Kersten, “Intellectual Culture of Postwar Japan”; Iyoda, Postwar Japanese Economy, 57–67. As Carol Gluck pointed out, John Kenneth Galbraith’s Age of Uncertainty, published in 1977, seemed for many in Japan to sum up this troubled decade. Gluck, “The Past in the Present,” 73–76. 47. Iyoda, Postwar Japanese Economy, fig. 2.1. 48. Gordon, A Modern History of Japan, 268 (fig. 14.2). 49. Ōishi uses both politically charged terms to describe the “ruled” (hishihaisha) in “Chūsei no reimei.” 50. White, “It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own,” 615. 51. White, “It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own,” 623. 52. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 476. 53. Takahashi Tomio, Hiraizumi, 1–23. 54. Takeuchi and Kadokawa Nihon Chimei Daijiten Hensan Iinkai, Iwateken, 662–63. 55. “The ‘Pacific Belt Concept’ was a nationally directed, regional development plan” for industrial location and infrastructure development through concentration announced in 1961. Protest by less developed regions like Tōhoku led to official dilution in subsequent policies, but the effects were as feared by the peripheries. Takeuchi and Kadokawa Nihon Chimei Daijiten Hensan Iinkai, Iwate-ken, 662–63. 56. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 476. 57. Hiraizumi Chōshi Hensan Iinkai, Itabashi Gen, and Sasaki Hōsei, Shiryō hen I; Sōsetsu ronsetsu hen; Shiryō hen II; Hiraizumi Chōshi Hensan Iinkai, Komatsudai, and Onodera, Shizen hen, minzoku hen I. 58. Takahashi Tomio, “Sōron: Tōhoku kodaishi no ichizuke,” 5. 59. Takahashi Tomio, “Nihonshijō no Hiraizumi mondai,” 49. 60. For a chronology of Yanagi no Gosho excavations up to 1995, see Fujishima, Hiraizumi kenchiku bunka kenkyū, 361–73. 61. Iwate Board of Education, “Hakkutsu chōsa nenpyō.” 62. On earlier postwar archaeological digs, see Fujishima, Hiraizumi kenchiku bunka kenkyū, 3.

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63. Ōishi’s paper is contained in the representative work of these years, the edited volume Nihonshi no naka no Yanagi no Gosho ato. 64. Ōishi, “Joshō.” Other historians analyzing the early Yanagi no Gosho excavations, including Irumada Nobuo, agreed with Ōishi. Irumada, “Oshiki bokusho”; Miura Ken’ichi, “Yanagi no Gosho shutsudo no oshiki bokusho.” 65. Yabe, “Sekai kara mita Yanagi no Gosho.” 66. Pearson, “The Nature of Japanese Archaeology”; Tsude, “Archaeological Theory in Japan.” 67. Pearson, “The Nature of Japanese Archaeology.” 68. Kaner, “Beyond Ethnicity and Emergence in Japanese Archaeology,” 47; Hudson, “Pots Not People,” 411–13. 69. Mizoguchi, “The Protection of the Site,” 237. 70. This tendency is evident most spectacularly at sites like Toro in the immediate postwar and Sannai Maruyama in the 1990s, but has not been absent in the case of Yanagi no Gosho. Edwards, “Buried Discourse,” 18–21; Hudson, “Sannai Maruyama”; Ruins of Identity, 44–46; Habu and Fawcett, “Science or Narratives?” 71. An estimate of 150,000 was made famous by Araki Shinsuke, but has been revised down in most later work. However, most scholars seem to agree that Hiraizumi’s population was at least close to 100,000 at its height. Araki et al., Ōshū Hiraizumi ōgon no seiki. 72. Saitō, “Hiraizumi bunka kenkyū.” 73. Saitō, Hiraizumi, 26–47. 74. Saitō, Hiraizumi, 182–220. 75. In this context, I distinguish “international” from “transnational” roughly as the difference between state relationships and the transgression of state boundaries by non-state actors. 76. See, for example, Kokuritsu Rekishi Minzoku Hakubutsukan, Chūsei toshi Tosaminato to Andōshi. 77. Maekawa, “Hiraizumi no enchi.” For more on Genyue, see Hargett, “Huizong’s Magic Marchmount.” 78. Iwabuchi, “Complicit Exoticism”; McCormack, “Kokusaika,” esp. 274–75. 79. Details on the inscription process can be found at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre website, “World Heritage Nominations.” 80. On agenda setting and issue framing, see Scheufele and Tewksbury, “Framing, Agenda Setting, and Priming.” 81. Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, “Operational Guidelines,” 1. B. para. 9. 82. Labadi, “World Heritage, Authenticity and Post-Authenticity,” 69. 83. Second International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments, “Nara Document,” para. 13. 84. Sand, “Japan’s Monument Problem,” 145.

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85. “Bunka shingikai bunkazai bunkakai Sekai Bunka Isan tokubetsu iinkai (dai-11 kai) giji shidai.” 86. Iwabuchi, “Complicit Exoticism.” Dick Stegewerns has also commented on the “complementary character of nationalism and internationalism” in the context of Japan’s internationalist interwar period—though it perhaps bears noting that there is nothing uniquely Japanese about this—as have Frederick Dickinson and others. Stegewerns, “Dilemma of Nationalism and Inter­ nationalism,” 4; Dickinson, Triumph of a New Japan, esp. 82–83. 87. Motonaka, “Sekai Isan Iinkai de katarareteiru koto,” 21; Iwate Prefecture, “International Experts’ Symposium on the Cultural Heritage of Hiraizumi.” 88. Some representative opinion pieces about Inpaku include japan.internet .com Henshūbu, “Ato ikkagetsu de shūryō”; Isowa, “Inpaku no ‘shippai’ o sōkatsu”; Nakamori, “ ‘Inpaku’ wa dō natta no ka.” 89. Iwate Prefectural Board of Education, “The Exposition of Golden Culture.” 90. Hotate, “Nitto mitabi”; Kanno Seikan, “Chūsonji ‘Sōhan Issaikyō’ no hakusai”; Irumada, “Hiraizumi Fujiwara ni yoru kenji / zōbutsu no kokusaiteki igi”; Nakamura Kazumoto, “Konjikidō ‘goitai’ to Jōdo toshi no shisō”; Oka, “Chūsei toshi Hiraizumi ni ikita hitobito”; Yaegashi, “Higashi Ajia no Hiraizumi,” 2007. 91. Yaegashi, “Higashi Ajia no Hiraizumi,” 2002, 101. 92. Takahashi Tomio, Michinoku no sekai, 155. 93. Kanno Fumio, “Hiraizumi kenkyū no genzai.” 94. The definition of OUV is contained in “World Heritage Convention,” esp. Article 1. The need for a clear definition of Hiraizumi’s OUV had been driven home during a 2006 international experts’ symposium and was reinforced the following year with the inscription of the Iwami Ginzan silver mine site in Shimane. At the symposium, representatives from UNESCO advisory organizations debated with representatives from Hiraizumi and Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs about the relative merits of Hiraizumi’s nomination, and the issue of proving the universality of Hiraizumi’s OUV was a constant topic of discussion and apprehension on the Japanese side. Because Iwami Ginzan and Hiraizumi were seen to be of relatively equal stature in the eyes of many domestic observers, anxiety in Hiraizumi was heightened when UNESCO asked the silver mine representatives to provide additional evidence of its OUV. Iwate Prefecture, “International Experts’ Symposium on the Cultural Heritage of Hiraizumi”; NHK, “Jiron kōron ‘Sekai Isan no yukue’ ”; San-in Chūō Shinpo, “Sekai Isan tōroku ni tsuika ronshō.” Iwami Ginzan was inscribed without a hitch, but Hiraizumi supporters’ fears were confirmed when its inscription was deferred in 2008. Asahi Shimbun Company, “Ōshū Hiraizumi, 2011 o mezasu.”

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95. Takahashi Tomio, Hiraizumi no seiki; Maekawa, “Hiraizumi no enchi.” This concept is boiled down to its simplest form in the Iwate prefectural website’s (now altered) presentation on Hiraizumi: “The [Hiraizumi] Fujiwara utopian plan centered on Hiraizumi but extended to the adjacent environment as well. The lords of Hiraizumi buried sutras at the tops of the surrounding mountains for protection, and .  .  . sought the realization of a peaceful Buddhist paradise on earth.” Iwate Lifelong Learning and Culture Division, “Cultural Heritage of Hiraizumi.” 96. Irumada, “Tōhoku no rekishi to bunkazai,” 90; Kanno Seikan, “Chūsonji ‘Sōhan Issaikyō’ no hakusai,” 121. 97. Cho, “Chūgoku bunka no Nihon e no madoguchi—Ninpō”; Lin, “Sōdai Meishū to Nihon Hiraizumi no yūkō ōrai,” 2007; Yang, “Ninpō to kaijō shiruku rōdo.” Lin had presented a nearly identical paper the year before. Lin, “Sōdai Meishū to Nihon Hiraizumi no yūkō ōrai,” 2006. 98. In addition to OUV, “integrity” and “authenticity” are the other two philosophical criteria for World Heritage inscription. In particular, the “authenticity” of rebuilt and repaired extant structures like the Konjikidō and the “integrity” of Hiraizumi’s archaeological sites were contentiously debated. 99. Iwate Nippō, “Suisen shisan wa minaosazu.” 100. Akasaka et al., “Hiraizumi no rekishi to bunka.” In fact, the Japanese draft made no attempt to explain Pure Land Buddhism. This observation is based on my personal experience as the translator of the documents in question. 101. Ishima and Takahashi Ryōko, “Hiraizumi no Sekai Isan tōroku kettei.” 102. Translated from Hiraizumi Chōshi Hensan Iinkai, Itabashi Gen, and Sasaki Hōsei, Shiryō hen I, 59. 103. Takahashi Tomio, Hiraizumi no seiki, 33. 104. Given that Azuma kagami was actually compiled in subsequent centuries, its accuracy should not be accepted as facilely as it has been by most Japanese scholars. 105. For earlier consideration of the issue, see, for example, Itabashi, “Den ‘Chūsonji konryū kuyō ganmon.’ ” 106. Sudō and Iwasa, Chūsonji to Mōtsūji, 29–50; and see Fujishima, Hiraizumi kenchiku bunka kenkyū. 107. Araki, “Ōshū Fujiwarashi zōei jiin o meguru shomondai”; Hiraizumi: Ōshū Fujiwarashi ōgon no yume. 108. Sasaki Hōsei, Hiraizumi Chūsonji, 83–86; Kanno Seikan, “Hiraizumi no shūkyō to bunka”; Oikawa, “Chūsonji Ōike ato.” 109. Sudō and Iwasa, Chūsonji to Mōtsūji, 49; Yiengpruksawan, Hiraizumi, 75–76. 110. Saitō has labeled this area Hiraizumi’s “main street,” and his claim is echoed and enforced by a growing body of archeological evidence. Saitō, Hiraizumi, 81–88; see also Tomishima, “Hiraizumi no toshi kūkan to Bukkyō kenchiku.”

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111. Sudō and Iwasa, Chūsonji to Mōtsūji, 40. 112. Yiengpruksawan, Hiraizumi, 205. 113. Omland, “The Ethics of the World Heritage Concept,” 273. 114. Burgess, “Soft Power.” 115. Hopson, “Takahashi Tomio’s Phoenix.”

Chapter 5 1. Pyle, “In Pursuit of a Grand Design,” 243–44. 2. Nakasone and Umehara, “Shōwa rokujūichinen o mukaete,” 298. 3. See, for example, Nakazawa, Nihon no daitenkan; Umehara and Azuma, “Kusaki no seiki suru kuni.” 4. Okamoto, Nihon no dentō, 38; Akasaka, Okamoto Tarō no mita Nihon, 69. 5. Ōkubo, “Primitivisme in Japanese Modern Art”; Lockyer, “Logic of Spectacle,” 578–79. 6. Okamoto, “Jōmon doki ron,” 3, 10. 7. Okamoto, “Jōmon doki ron,” 4–5. 8. Okamoto, Nihon no dentō, 37–38; Sasaki Masaru, “Okamoto Tarō to sono shūhen.” 9. Okamoto, “Oshira no tamashii,” (unpaginated). 10. Okamoto, “Jōmon doki ron,” 5. 11. Quoted in Matsui, “Archaeological Investigations of Anadromous Salmonid Fishing in Japan,” 447. Emphasis added. 12. Thomas and Koyama, Affluent Foragers. 13. Habu et al., “Introduction,” 2. On affluent foragers, see also Habu et al., Hunter-Gatherers of the North Pacific Rim. Agriculture requires an enormous investment of individual labor, and the return is often more easily measured in vulnerability to crop failure and exploitation by bandits elite and otherwise. Clastres, La société contre l’État; Hudson, “Rice, Bronze, and Chieftains,” 144; and see Scott, The Art of Not Being Governed. 14. Lee and DeVore, Man the Hunter; Sahlins, Stone Age Economics. 15. Hangai, Shōrai no Tōhoku. 16. Amino, Higashi to nishi, 57; Takahashi Tomio, “Nihonshi no higashi to nishi,” 265. 17. Ohnuki-Tierney, Rice as Self; Amino, Higashi to nishi no kataru Nihon no rekishi, 52–53; “Emperor, Rice, and Commoners”; Barnes, State Formation in Japan. 18. Amino, Higashi to nishi no kataru Nihon no rekishi, 50. 19. Tanikawa, Jōmonteki genkei to Yayoiteki genkei, 20–24. 20. Okamoto, “Iwate: Nihon geijutsu fudoki (5).”

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21. Umehara, “Nihon to wa nan na no ka,” 12; Nihon no shinsō, 1994, 11. 22. Umehara, “Ancient Postmodernism,” 41. 23. Inken, “The Spiritual World,” 274. 24. Okamoto explored his own deeply unpleasant war experience in Shissō suru jigazō. Perhaps his most famous message about war is Ashita no shinwa (“The myth of tomorrow”), a massive mural decrying the use of nuclear weapons. Originally designed for a Mexican hotel, it was lost, rediscovered, restored, and now hangs—mostly unnoticed—in Shibuya Station, Tokyo. Wood and Takahashi, “ ‘The Myth of Tomorrow.’ ” 25. Umehara, “Kyōto gakuha to no kōshō shishi,” 35. 26. Umehara, in Umehara and Azuma, “Kusaki no seiki suru kuni,” 305. Some scholars have expressed concern about Umehara’s stated aim of “overcoming the modern” (kindai no chōkoku), which echoes that of the wartime Kyoto school in which he studied. Fujii, “Internationalizing Japan,” 162. 27. Umehara, Nihon bunkaron, 42–46. 28. Umehara, “Mori no shisō” ga jinrui o sukuu; Umehara and Itō, Mori no bunmei, junkan no shisō; Sōgen no shisō, mori no tetsugaku. 29. Umehara, “Nihon bunka no naka no Tōhoku bunka,” 195, 198. 30. Umehara and Itō, Sōgen no shisō, mori no tetsugaku, 147–79. 31. Umehara, “ ‘Bunmeisai’ o norikoe.” 32. Umehara, “Ancient Postmodernism.” 33. Umehara and Hanihara, Ainu wa gen Nihonjin ka. 34. Umehara and Hanihara, Ainu wa gen Nihonjin ka, 77–78, 116, 155–56. 35. Koyama, “Jomon Subsistence and Population”; Sasaki, Kōmei, “Keynote Address,” 15; Koyama and Sugito, “A Study of Jomon Population.” 36. Hanihara, “Dual Structure Model”; “Nihonjin no rūtsu”; “Nijū kōzō moderu.” The dual-structure model and Tōhoku’s intermediate population characteristics have been mostly affirmed by numerous subsequent studies. DNA (especially mDNA) research has cast doubts on the origins of the two primary population groups (Jōmon and Yayoi), but has done so without overturning the basic dual-structure assumption. See, for example, Omoto and Saitou, “Genetic Origins of the Japanese”; Ossenberg et al., “Ethnogenesis and Craniofacial Change”; Yamaguchi-Kabata et al., “Japanese Population Structure.” 37. Hanihara, “Mīra kara mita Fujiwara yondai.” 38. Kuwabara and Yamaori are particularly noteworthy because both are associated with Umehara’s Nichibunken and new Kyoto school. 39. Yamaori, “Tōhoku genshi no kokoro to Nihon,” 244. 40. Umehara, “Nihon bunka no naka no Tōhoku bunka,” 166, 171, 194–98. 41. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku bunka no rekishiteki seikaku,” 23. 42. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku bunka no rekishiteki seikaku,” 47–49. 43. The homophonous (and older) Tōbunken in Tokyo (the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties) is unrelated.

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44. Akasaka, Nihon saikō, 268. 45. Habu and Fawcett, “Jomon Archaeology,” 592. 46. Christy, “Representing the Rural,” 41–42. 47. Fukuma, “Minzokuchi no seidoka.” Alan Christy has brought into question the relationship between fieldwork and writing in minzokugaku. “Representing the Rural,” 226–27. On the dubious (and nearly universal) representation of Yanagita as the father of minzokugaku, see Muroi, “Tōno monogatari o meguru ‘shinwa,’ ” 101. 48. Kawanishi, “Chiikishi no shiten to tenbō,” 7. 49. Kikuchi Isao, “Hōhō to shite no chiiki,” 259–61. 50. Hudson, “Foragers as Fetish,” 266. 51. Barnes and Okita, “Japanese Archaeology in the 1990s,” 361; Habu and Fawcett, “Jomon Archaeology,” 587–88. 52. Habu et al., Hunter-Gatherers of the North Pacific Rim, 1–2. 53. The Kuji area of Iwate remains Japan’s number one producer of amber. Watanabe, “Tōhoku no kōryūshi,” 9–10; Tamura, “Jōmon jidai kara kinsei made,” 98. 54. A detailed list of foods known from archaeological evidence (middens, etc.) to have been consumed at Sannai Maruyama can be found in Habu, “Sannai Maruyama iseki no ‘raifu hisutorī,’ ” 165–68. The most complete work on Sannai Maruyama’s foodways may be Katayama, “Fishing and Early Jomon Foodways at Sannai Maruyama.” 55. Hudson, “Sannai Maruyama”; Habu and Fawcett, “Jomon Archaeology,” 587–88. 56. Kataoka, “Hunting and Gathering the Past,” 39. 57. Habu and Fawcett, “Jomon Archaeology,” 591. 58. Homura tatsu was one of three series crammed into the 1993–1994 season, running from July 1993 to March 1994, meaning that instead of the usual fifty, its run was only thirty-five episodes. All three of the Taiga dorama crammed into those two seasons fared poorly in the ratings, and NHK has not repeated this experiment since. In addition to the unusual brevity of these dramas, both Homura tatsu and the story of the Ryūkyū Kingdom that preceded it (Ryūkyū no kaze) were less popular in part because they treated unfamiliar peripheries of Japanese history that neither high school textbooks nor other costume dramas deigned to touch on. Nevertheless, Homura tatsu’s viewership averaged over 17 percent in the Kantō area. Ratings data from Video Research, “NHK Taiga Dorama.” 59. Bird, Audience in Everyday Life, 23. 60. Akasaka, Ijinron josetsu. 61. Akasaka, Shinpen haijo no genshōgaku, 21–23, 54. 62. Akasaka’s early career, including his writings on the imperial institution (Ō to tennō and Shōchō tennō to iu monogatari) is largely unrelated to his work

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on Tōhoku and is omitted herein. In Kyōkai no hassei, Akasaka examined physical manifestations of boundaries and borders such as the seven kiridōshi (passes) into Kamakura, transgressive wanderers such as the Biwa hōshi, and the relationship of such transgression to the concept of ritual impurity (kegare). 63. Jōmin was Yanagita’s catchall coinage for the rice-growing, emperor- and ancestor-worshipping peasants he situated as the core of Japanese identity. “Ordinary and abiding people” is a felicitous translation borrowed from Harootunian, “Disciplinizing Native Knowledge and Producing Place,” 106. These articles, later republished as collections, represent Akasaka’s foundational work on the father of minzokugaku, and his gateway to the study of Tōhoku. Akasaka, Yama no seishinshi; Hyōhaku no seishinshi. 64. Akasaka located this change in 1928’s “Yukiguni no haru.” 65. Akasaka, Wasurerareta Tōhoku, 13. 66. Tohoku Culture Research Center, “Setsuritsu sengen.” 67. Tohoku Culture Research Center, “Setsuritsu sengen.” 68. Akasaka, Tōhoku runessansu, 177. 69. Akasaka and Amino, “Tōhokugaku no miryoku to kanōsei,” 109. 70. Umehara, “Nihon no shinsō,” 1999, 7. 71. Umehara, “Nihon no shinsō,” 1999, 10. 72. The mission statement is quoted in several sources, including Tokuyama, “Tōhoku Geijutsu Kōka Daigaku no chikai,” 2. 73. Chitose, “Kaichō no aisatsu,” 3. 74. Akasaka, Nihon saikō, 230–31. 75. “Professor Akasaka Norio.” http://www.gakushuin.ac.jp/univ/let/jpn/ staff/staff15.html. 76. Akasaka, “Yanagita igo no minzokugaku no tame ni,” 271. Emphasis added. 77. Akasaka, Nihon saikō, 240. 78. Takahashi Tomio, “Nihonshijō no Hiraizumi mondai,” 8. 79. Akasaka and Amino, “Tōhokugaku no miryoku to kanōsei,” 109. 80. Akasaka referred specifically to the infamous Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, on which see Ivy, “Revenge and Recapitation.” 81. Akasaka, “Maegaki.” 82. Okamoto, “Oshira no tamashii,” 189, 196, 217. 83. Akasaka, Tōzai nanboku kō, 164. 84. Akasaka cryptically glosses the term “market” with the phonetic reading for the English word “field,” suggesting that he means field in the sense of fieldwork. 85. Akasaka, Wasurerareta Tōhoku, 274. 86. Mouer and Sugimoto, Images of Japanese Society; Befu, “Nationalism and Nihonjinron”; Hegemony of Homogeneity; Doak, “What Is a Nation and Who Belongs?”; Yoshino, “The Discourse on Blood and Racial Identity in

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Contemporary Japan”; Sugimoto, “Making Sense of Nihonjinron”; Burgess, “The ‘Illusion’ of Homogeneous Japan.” 87. Akasaka, Tōzai nanboku kō, ii. 88. Akasaka’s extensive role as an editor for Tōhokugaku is an interesting connection with Yanagita Kunio, who spent enormous time and energy making minzokugaku into “a viable publishing enterprise” because he realized that “ultimately it was by occupying space on bookshelves that the field would establish a presence.” Christy, A Discipline on Foot, 154. 89. The first book, Mō hitotsu no Tōhoku kara, is a combination ethnographic record and diaristic impression of Akasaka’s seminal encounters with Tōhoku in the early 1990s. Kikigaki: Mogami ni ikiru focuses more on Akasaka’s fieldwork in the Mogami Valley area of Yamagata after he settled there in 1992. The last book, Tōhoku runessansu, is ostensibly a methodological treatise. 90. Akasaka, “Minzokugaku wa mura to shinjū sureba ii.” 91. Akasaka, “Minzokugaku wa mura to shinjū sureba ii, 12. 92. Akasaka, “Ikkoku minzokugaku o koete,” 50. 93. Akasaka, “Yanagita igo no minzokugaku no tame ni,” 271. 94. Akasaka, “Yanagita igo no minzokugaku no tame ni,” 270. 95. Akasaka, “Hōhō to shite no chiiki,” 80. 96. These centers were designed to promote research production and dissemination by Japan’s private universities. 97. Akasaka, “Kenkyū seika no gaiyō,” 3. 98. Iida Kyōko, “Sankanbu chiiki”; Kishimoto, “Tōbunken ākaibusu”; Kikuchi Kazuhiro, “Tōhoku chihō no shishi odori”; Muguruma, “Yakihata”; Taguchi, “Wanaryō.” 99. Issues 11 and 12 (both 2007) of Kikan Tōhokugaku, the name under which Tōhokugaku was published from fall 2004 through winter 2012, were respectively dedicated to slash-and-burn cultivation and shishi geinō. 100. Akasaka, “Kikigaki,” 87. 101. Akasaka, Tōhoku runessansu, 9. 102. Akasaka, “Kikigaki,” 88. 103. Akasaka, Tōhoku runessansu, 9, 177–79. 104. Boym, The Future of Nostalgia, xv. 105. Boym, The Future of Nostalgia, 44–45. 106. Ueno, Nationalism and Gender, 3; translated from Nashonarizumu to jendā = Engendering Nationalism, 11; Akasaka, Tōhoku runessansu, 258. This argument has its roots in Ueno’s attempt to give voice to the so-called “comfort women” (jūgun ianfu) in historical narrative, and was developed in a series of articles leading up to the monograph quoted above. Ueno, Nationalism and Gender, 3; translated from Nashonarizumu to jendā = Engendering Nationalism, 11; Akasaka, Tōhoku runessansu, 258. The latter article was translated as Ueno, “Kokumin kokka to jendā”; Ueno, “Kioku no seijigaku.”

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107. Akasaka, “Kikigaki,” 88. 108. Philosopher Watsuji Tetsurō “envisioned history as a spatial stockpiling of strategic epochs in the itinerary of the spirit, each laying [sic] on top of each other yet somehow transparent. Yanagita appealed to the trope of a nonlinear history of custom by employing the vivid imagery of a stalactitic formation that grows unobserved into the shape of a large icicle.” Harootunian, Overcome by Modernity, 31. 109. For similar insight into the production and perception of “traditional” phenomena, see Karatani, Origins of Modern Japanese Literature, esp. 20–34. 110. Akasaka, Tōhoku runessansu, 202. 111. Akasaka, Mō hitotsu no Tōhoku kara, 72. 112. Mizoguchi, “Self-Identification and Archaeological Research,” 70. 113. Mizoguchi, Archaeology, Society, and Identity, 153. 114. Akasaka, “Kikigaki,” 88–89; Wasurerareta Tōhoku, 8–10. 115. The title and abstract of “Kikigaki” are appended in English, the former as “Writing down people’s Dictation [sic].” The article does not indicate whether Akasaka translated either himself. 116. Reproduced in Kodansha International, Keys to the Japanese Heart and Soul, 109–11. 117. White, “It’s Your Misfortune and None of My Own,” 623. 118. Yanagita, Tōno monogatari, 5. 119. Interestingly, Ronald Morse glosses over this issue in his translation: “I have written the stories down as I understood them, without adding a word or phrase.” The Legends of Tono, 5. 120. Akasaka, “Bungaku to minzokugaku no aida,” 29–30. 121. Akasaka, “Kikigaki,” 84. 122. “Tōno monogatari o meguru ‘shinwa,’ ” 105. 123. Shimamura, “Cultural Diversity and Folklore Studies in Japan,” 208. 124. Kawanishi, Kindai Nihon no chiiki shisō, 7. 125. Quoted in Suga, “Shohyō,” 167. My translation is from Sperber, “L’Interprétation en anthropologie,” 76–77. 126. Suga, “Shohyō,” 169. 127. Akasaka, Mō hitotsu no Tōhoku kara, 79. 128. Suga, “Shohyō,” 170–71. 129. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” esp. 478–83. 130. Akasaka, “Kaisetsu.” 131. Akasaka, “Kikigaki,” 89–90. 132. Akasaka, “Yama no isō,” 175–76. 133. Akasaka, Wasurerareta Tōhoku, 22. 134. Ivy, Discourses of the Vanishing, 20. 135. Akasaka, Tōhoku runessansu, 253–54. 136. Akasaka adopted a modified version of archaeologist Fujimoto Tsuyoshi’s

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concept of the “gradated” region (bokashi no chitai) to explain the existence of a separate northern cultural sphere. Fujimoto described the archipelago as divided into three cultural zones, separated by two contact zones of hybridity and liquidity—three frontiers. Fujimoto’s Central zone stretches from southern Kyushu to southern Hokkaido. The Southern zone is essentially the Ryūkyūs, and the Northern zone comprises the rest of Hokkaido. Akasaka, perhaps influenced by Takahashi and Amino, inserted a third bokashi area around the Fossa Magna to divide the archipelago into four cultural zones. Akasaka, Tōzai nanboku kō, 165; Fujimoto, “Bokashi no chiiki,” 63–73. 137. Kikuchi Isao, “Hōhō to shite no chiiki,” 271. 138. The idea of the “forgotten” appears frequently in Akasaka’s work, as when he argued, “Excavating a forgotten, another Tōhoku—that is the road to Tōhoku as a peculiar locus of inquiry.” Akasaka, Mō hitotsu no Tōhoku kara, 245. At one level, this concept is an homage to Miyamoto Tsuneichi’s The Forgotten Japanese. It is fitting, then, that the 1996 collection of essays from which this quote is taken was republished in 2009 as “Forgotten Tōhoku” (Wasurerareta Tōhoku). 139. Akasaka, “Hōhō to shite no chiiki,” 77.

Epilogue 1. Iwata-Weickgenannt, “Precarity beyond 3/11 or ‘Living Fukushima,’ ” 187. 2. Quoted in Lovett, “Japan Earthquake Shortened Days.” 3. Quoted in Iwata-Weickgenannt, “Precarity beyond 3/11 or ‘Living Fukushima,’ ” 195. 4. Data compiled from the following sources: Lovett, “Japan Earthquake Shortened Days”; “Japan Quake Lifted Seabed 16 Stories”; Bestor, “Disasters, Natural and Unnatural”; Iwata-Weickgenannt, “Precarity beyond 3/11 or ‘Living Fukushima’  ”; “March 11, 2011, Japan Earthquake and Tsunami”; “Damage Situation and Police Countermeasures.” 5. Adelstein and Nakajima, “TEPCO”; Akasaka, 3.11 kara kangaeru “kono kuni no katachi”; Dudden, “The Ongoing Disaster,” 348; Hopson, “Systems of Irresponsibility”; Iwata-Weickgenannt, “Precarity beyond 3/11 or ‘Living Fukushima,’ ” 197. 6. For those who are interested, many lifetimes’ worth of material has been written on seemingly all aspects of the disasters themselves—and on “Fukushima” in all its polysemy—since 2011. According to one count, in Japan alone eight thousand books appeared on the subject in the first year alone. Kainuma, Fukushima no seigi, 15.

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7. Akasaka, Wasurerareta Tōhoku, ii. 8. See, for example, Noe, “3.11 igo no kagaku gijutsu to ningen,” 8. 9. Sand, “Living with Uncertainty,” 314–15. The predictability of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown was a major point of emphasis in the final report of the independent commission charged with investigating the nuclear accident. The report’s summary of findings bluntly observes that “TEPCO and the regulators were aware of the risk from such natural disasters,” but took no steps to address the obvious, known risks. Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, “Executive Summary,” 26; see also Hopson, “Systems of Irresponsibility.” 10. Akasaka, 3.11 kara kangaeru “kono kuni no katachi.” 11. Akasaka, “Yagate,” 164. 12. Okada Tomohiro, “Nōsan gyōson no fukkyū / fukkō no arikata,” 355. 13. The term is Žižek’s: “The national Thing exists as long as members of the community believe in it; it is literally an effect of this belief in itself.” “Eastern Europe’s Republics of Gilead,” 53. 14. By the end of the 1960s, Japan was home to a “well-off majority” increasingly willing to pursue economic growth and to stay out of politics. In exchange for depoliticizing society, middle-class Japanese were promised economic wealth and fast, stable growth. By the end of the millennium, the disintegration of the “bubble economy” and Japan’s persistent failure to rekindle economic growth had eroded confidence in this model. In the previous three decades, the strength of the post-1970 social contract that Oguma Eiji calls the “1970 paradigm,” was based on the existence (fictional or actual) of a stable, well-off middle class. The oft-cited polls indicating that nine of ten Japanese considered themselves “middle class” during subsequent decades were a key condition for the paradigm’s success. Chiavacci, “Divided Society,” 5; Oguma, 1968; see also O’Bryan, The Growth Idea. 15. Yamada argued that Japan had entered a phase of social polarity, with society divided into the hopeful and hopeless, and that this “disparity of hope” would deeply harm Japan’s social fabric and future. Kibō kakusa shakai, 6. 16. This list of various “kakusa” borrows from Iwata-Weickgenannt, “Precarity beyond 3/11 or ‘Living Fukushima,’ ” 190. 17. OECD, “OECD Economic Surveys: Japan,” 115. 18. Tachibanaki, “Inequality and Poverty in Japan,” 12. 19. Akasaka, “Akasaka Norio-san ‘Atarashii Tōhoku kessoku no toki.’ ” 20. Sand, “Living with Uncertainty,” 316. On the nationalization of the 2011 triple disaster, see Dudden, “The Ongoing Disaster,” 348; Hopson, “Systems of Irresponsibility.” The pattern is neither new nor limited to Japan. Charles Schencking has argued that a similar path was trod in the wake of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Schencking, “Catastrophe, Opportunism, Contestation.”

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21. “Kotoshi no kanji wa ‘kizuna.’ ” 22. Iwata-Weickgenannt, “Precarity beyond 3/11 or ‘Living Fukushima,’ ” 190. 23. Akasaka, “Yagate,” 162. 24. Akasaka, “Chīsana kibō.” 25. Akasaka interviewed by Gotō Masafumi in Akasaka and Gotō, “Tōhoku kara ‘50-nen go no Nihon.’ ” 26. Akasaka and Gotō, “Tōhoku kara ‘50-nen go no Nihon.’ ” 27. Tepco first used the word “meltdown” over two months after the tsunami, on May 15. Nagata, “Tepco Chief Likely Banned Use of ‘Meltdown’ Under Government Pressure”; “TEPCO Admits Cover-Up.” 28. “Fukkō e no teigen.” The provisional English translation is “Towards Reconstruction.” 29. Okada Tomohiro, “Nōsan gyōson no fukkyū / fukkō no arikata,” 356. Okada explicitly cited Klein’s ideas of “disaster capitalism” and the “shock doctrine” from her eponymous The Shock Doctrine. 30. In the Japanese original, I count twenty-one uses of the word in brackets for emphasis as a special term, and thirty-five times in total. The English provisional translation employs “linkage” twenty-nine times. “Fukkō e no teigen”; “Towards Reconstruction.” 31. “Fukkō e no teigen,” 2, 4. 32. “Towards Reconstruction,” 41–42. 33. “Fukkō e no teigen,” 17–18. 34. Okada, “Sōzōteki fukkō,” 148. 35. Quoted in Sakurai and Akasaka, “Datsu ‘shokuminchi Tōhoku.’ ” 36. Schencking, “Catastrophe, Opportunism, Contestation,” 870. 37. Onishi, “Japan Revives Kamaishi Breakwater.” 38. Mike Davis, “The Dead West”; Kuletz, The Tainted Desert; Threet, “Testing the Bomb”; Limerick, “Fencing in the Past.” 39. Kawanishi, Tōhoku o yomu, 20. Kawanishi draws from the work of Ishiyama Noriko, including “Genshiryoku hatsuden to sabetsu no saiseisan.” 40. Tōyama, “Okinawa no ichi,” March 1972; “Okinawa no ichi,” 1992. 41. Takahashi Tetsuo, Gisei no shisutemu, 2012, 195–96; see also “Gisei no shisutemu,” August 19, 2011; “Genpatsu jiko o meguru ikutsuka no ronten ni tsuite.” 42. Oguma Eiji, in Akasaka, Oguma, and Yamauchi, “Tōhoku” saisei, 63, 91, 126–28. 43. Kang Sung, “Mainoriti to hangenpatsu 3,” 312–13. 44. In Akasaka, Oguma, and Yamauchi, “Tōhoku” saisei, 78, 90. 45. Takahashi Tomio, “Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu,” 476. Throughout his career, Takahashi often referenced Watsuji Tetsurō’s determinist ideas of climate and culture laid out in Fūdo. (Translated as Climate and Culture.) The

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influence of Watsuji’s 1935 classic is overt in several of Takahashi’s book titles, and can be found in the contents of several more. See, for example, Michinoku: fūdo to kokoro; Tōhoku no fūdo to rekishi. 46. Kainuma, “ ‘Fukushima’ ron o megutte,” 33, 35; see also “Fukushima” ron. 47. “Towards Reconstruction,” 2. 48. Though he is certainly not alone, it is most conspicuous that the prime minister’s pronouncements have tended to use the three terms interchangeably, even indiscriminately, as seen in Cabinet Public Relations Office, Cabinet Secretariat, “Higashi Nihon Daishinsai Sanshūnen Kisha Kaiken”; Sankei Shimbun, “Abe shusō kaiken saihō.” 49. Morris-Suzuki, Re-Inventing Japan, 87. 50. Akasaka, “Chīsana kibō”; Akasaka and Oguma, “Henkyō” kara hajimaru. 51. Dower, Embracing Defeat, 121. 52. Akasaka, “Chīsana kibō”; “Yagate.” 53. Yamauchi, “Tōhoku,” 90.

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Index Abe clan, 36, 58, 186, 198, 277n92; and autonomy of Hiraizumi, 92, 145, 147, 159–62, 172–74; fall of, 34–35 Abe no Yoritoki, 35, 277n92 Abe Shinzō, 264 Affluent Foragers: Pacific Coasts East and West, 207 Africa, 26, 94, 125, 126, 192 African-Americans, 39, 133 Agency for Cultural Affairs, 184, 189, 295n94 Aihara Tomonao, 42 Ainu, 203, 245; culture of, 53, 73; and Hiraizumi, 23, 120; in Hokkaido, 39, 48; as Ignoble Savages, 133–34; and Jōmon culture, 213, 218; National Histories on, 130, 136, 138, 140–41, 275n57, 289n74; and Ōshū Fujiwara, 53–54; race of, 39, 41, 52, 61, 118–19, 134–35, 288n63; and Social Darwinism, 134–35. See also EmishiAinu thesis Aizu domain, 70–73, 74 Akasaka Norio: career of, 225–26, 299n62; critiques of, 240–46; and historiography, 229–40; and Jōmonism, 20, 210; kikigaki method of, 240–41, 256; and March 11, 251–53, 255–58, 264, 265; and temporal violence, 242, 243–44; and Tōhokugaku, 11, 16, 110, 202, 219–29, 243–45 Akita Prefecture, 2, 3, 34, 174, 222; natural disasters in, 84–85, 254; rice production in, 83, 281n89; TPA in, 79 Akita Ujaku, 81

Akita Sakigake Shimbun (newspaper), 85 Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, 82 Allen, G. C., 83 Amino Yoshihiko, 200, 208, 210; and autonomy of Hiraizumi, 173–76, 178, 179; and Tōhokugaku, 221, 227–28, 232 Andō Tadao, 258 Andō clan, 187 Anpo (Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan), 163, 168, 176 anthropology: and Emishi–non-Ainu thesis, 52–54, 55, 120, 136–38; on Jōmon culture, 215, 217, 220; and national identity, 9, 20, 22; and Tōhokugaku, 203, 236 Aomori Prefecture, 2, 11, 72, 143; economy of, 78, 226, 281n89; in fiction, 13; human trafficking in, 85; natural disasters in, 84, 254; TPA in, 79. See also Sannai Maruyama site Arai Hakuseki, 39, 135 Araki Shinsuke, 197, 198, 272n17, 294n71 archaeology: and Emishi–non-Ainu thesis, 50, 52, 136–38; of Hiraizumi, 154, 156, 164–65, 178, 181–87, 188, 192, 200; of Jōmon culture, 206, 208, 220, 223; and national identity, 5, 9, 20, 22, 70; and Tōhokugaku, 203, 231, 236, 239–40; and World Heritage, 195. See also Chūsonji; Sannai Maruyama site; Yanagi no Gosho site Asahina Teiichi, 52

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Asahi Shimbun Company, 30 Asama Sansō, 176 Asano Gengo, 280n59 Asanuma Inejirō, 163 Ashita no shinwa (mural; Okamoto Tarō), 298n24 Asia: China as “Sick Man” of, 64–65; European imperialism in, 94; and Hiraizumi, 186, 188, 192; Japanese colonialism in, 42–43, 44, 54, 63, 67, 119; Noble vs. Ignoble Savage in, 127–28 assimilation: and colonization, 32, 48, 49, 90–91, 134; of Emishi, 34, 49, 95, 141, 145–47, 159–60, 171–78; of Hiraizumi, 42, 43, 56; and race, 40, 49, 56–57, 58, 134 Aston, William G., 288n63 Atlantic Monthly, 103 Australia, 106 Austria, 67 Azuma, 76, 142 Azuma kagami, 42, 162, 192, 197–98, 296n104 Bälz, Erwin von, 215 “barbarians ruling barbarians” policy, 34, 35, 92, 145 Bashō, 27, 28, 45 Bataille, Georges, 204 Batten, Bruce, 146 Battle of Paekchon (663), 90 Bestor, Theodore C., 249, 253 Billig, Michael, 65 Bolitho, Harold, 72 Borsboom, Ad, 126 Boshin War (1868), 69, 71, 101, 279n35 Bourdieu, Pierre, 132 Boym, Svetlana, 10, 18, 238 Brown, L. Keith, 16 Buddhism, 60, 97, 204; in Hiraizumi, 28, 152, 167, 169, 187, 191–97; and Jōmonism, 212–13; Pure Land, 187, 191–97 bullet train (shinkansen), 4, 168, 176 Bungei shunjū (journal), 202

Bushido, the Soul of Japan (Nitobe Inazō), 82 Callahan, William, 271n34 Canada, 106 capitalism: developmental, 74, 259, 263; disaster, 258, 305n29; discontent with, 9, 11, 122, 168, 176, 219; extractive, 92, 114, 260; and Takahashi Tomio, 176, 179; and Tōhoku’s economy, 69, 75, 79 Celts, 116, 128 Chamberlain, Basil Hall, 116, 117, 119 Childe, Gordon, 185 Chile, 250, 254 China, 18, 38, 271n34, 286n13; center vs. periphery in, 118; and Hiraizumi, 23, 186, 187–88, 191, 192–93, 194; and Manchuria, 95, 98, 99; Noble vs. Ignoble Savage in, 34, 127–29, 131–34, 142, 144–45; as “Sick Man of Asia,” 64–65; and Sino-Japanese War, 64, 131; and World Heritage, 189 China, People’s Republic of (PRC), 65 Cho Jinshu, 194 Chōgen, 191 Chōshū domain, 71. See also Satchō alliance Christianity, 125 Christy, Alan, 220 Chūō kōron (journal), 205 Chūsei Ōu no sekai, 171, 172 Chūsonji (temple; Hiraizumi), 27–32, 165, 175, 182; dedication pledge for, 152, 171, 173, 195–99; 1915 seminar at, 32, 41–51, 61, 274n38; 1950 exhumations at, 19, 21–24, 30, 41, 51–61, 138, 139, 156, 158, 166. See also Konjikidō hall Chūsonji to Fujiwara yondai, 22, 42, 53, 60 Civilization and Climate (Huntington), 45 class: and autonomy of Hiraizumi, 173, 177; in Hiraizumi, 59, 60, 172, 182, 183; and March 11, 254–56; Marxism

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on, 123, 162, 173; in postwar Japan, 15, 176–77, 254, 304n14; and race, 37, 49, 134; and rice production, 89. See also elites, Japanese Clastres, Pierre, 141, 275n55 colonization: and assimilation, 32, 48, 49, 50, 90–91, 134; center vs. periphery in, 147, 263–64; as civilizing influence, 8, 12, 21, 40–41, 44, 47, 51, 66, 81, 93–94, 107, 109, 111, 129–30, 133, 134, 141, 144; of frontier, 101–15; and national sacrifice zones, 260–61; and nuclear power, 257–58, 262, 264; and race, 37–38, 40, 41, 276n73; of time, 106; Western, 75, 92, 93–94, 126, 190, 262, 273n22 colonization, Japanese: ancient vs. modern, 70, 74, 94–97, 216, 257; armed, 32, 90, 91; and armed settlers (kinohe), 95–98, 150, 283n122; in Asia, 42–43, 44, 54, 63, 67, 119; and economic development, 74–75, 80; of Emishi, 7–8, 31, 50, 61–62, 63, 91, 97, 119, 133, 135, 140–41, 145, 148–49; and Hiraizumi, 31, 32–34, 36, 41, 42, 167– 69, 178; of Hitakami, 48, 50–51, 132; and Japanese elites, 94, 95, 274n41; and Japanese influence, 44–45, 47, 50, 60; and military force, 32, 80, 90, 91, 96–97, 142, 145; of Okinawa, 257, 261; parallels to, 92–94, 100; in postwar period, 124, 263–64; and postwar Tōhoku studies, 21, 63, 115, 256; by proxy, 32, 34, 90, 91–92, 145, 150, 171, 174; and race, 21, 37–41, 54, 61–62, 134; resistance to, 7–8, 37, 50, 63, 66–68, 100–101, 118, 119, 141, 147, 149, 150; and rice production, 75, 89; Takahashi Tomio on, 63, 69–70, 90, 91, 257, 262; of Tōhoku, 7–8, 12, 13, 19, 44–47, 60, 64–115, 150, 256–62, 265; Tōhoku as first victim of, 8, 19, 67–68, 90–93; and Tōhokugaku, 235, 247 Community Emigration Program, 99 Confucianism, 54, 130

Connor, Walker, 18 Conquest of Granada, The (Dryden), 125 Conrad, Sebastian, 61 Constantine, J. Robert, 126 creative reconstruction (sōzōteki fukkō), 260 culture: of Ainu, 53, 73; American, 103; center vs. periphery in, 286n22; vs. class, 173; and economy, 85, 89; of Emishi, 52, 93, 118, 138–39, 141; and geography, 305n45; of Hiraizumi, 42, 57–60, 62, 154, 156, 199; and language, 234; and nationalism, 2, 11, 257; and postwar thought, 122; and race, 24, 37, 47, 50, 52, 57, 59–60, 61, 120, 132–33, 158, 232, 271n3; of resistance (teikō no fūdo), 64–115, 180; of Tōhoku, 5–7, 66, 117, 150; transplantation of, 57–60, 62; and value, 117, 160, 247; Western, 103, 156, 202. See also popular culture culture, Japanese: diversity of, 242, 246; hybridity of, 59–60, 209–10, 231–32; and Jōmonism, 205, 209–10, 213–14, 223; vs. modernity, 9, 11, 17, 219, 245; and postwar Tōhoku studies, 11–12, 20; superiority of, 94, 201–3, 211; and Tōhoku, 5–7, 44–45, 46, 156, 199; and Tōhokugaku, 203, 228, 229; traditional, 6–12, 17, 20; transplantation of, 57–59; vs. Western, 189–90, 202, 218–19; and World Heritage, 200 “Culture of Tōhoku and Japan— Symposium: Another Japan” (Tōhoku bunka to Nihon— Shinpojiumu: Mō hitotsu no Nihon; conference, 1982), 218, 219 Daoism, 187 Darwin, Charles, 38 Dewa Province, 36, 45 dialects, Tōhoku, 4, 14, 50, 81, 280n68 Di Cosmo, Nicola, 127, 128 Dōgen, 212 Dower, John, 113, 265

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Dryden, John, 125 Du Fu, 27 earthquakes, 77, 81, 83, 84, 250, 260. See also March 11, 2011 Easterners (Azumabito), 49–50 Ebisu (Ezo), 48–49, 116, 142, 143, 289n91. See also Emishi economic development: of Asia, 80, 94; center vs. periphery in, 73–80, 92, 93, 98, 102, 114–15, 261–62, 264; and culture, 50, 85, 89, 228; and internationalism, 189–90; and loss of diversity, 15, 245–48; and science, 62, 228 economy, Japanese: center vs. periphery in, 92, 114–15, 264; and colonization, 110, 113; disparities in, 254–56, 280n74; east vs. west in, 208–9; and Hiraizumi, 173, 176, 178, 179–80; and Hokkaido, 76, 80, 95; and March 11, 250–51, 257–60, 262, 264; in Meiji period, 72–80; postwar, 9, 87, 89, 94, 95, 154, 163–64, 168–69, 176, 178, 211, 222, 245–48, 262, 304n14; urban vs. rural, 2–3, 4, 9, 15–16, 82, 83, 86, 98–99, 114, 260–62, 280n74 economy, of Tōhoku, 2–4, 5, 8–9; collapse of, 82–87; and Emishi, 141, 145; in fiction, 14–15; and fishing industry, 78; foragers in, 207–10; in Hiraizumi, 26, 42, 161–64, 183, 191; and Japanese colonization, 44, 69, 74–75, 80; and Jōmon culture, 206–7, 216, 217, 222, 224; in Meiji period, 73–80; and rice, 3, 9, 11, 20, 78, 82– 90, 226, 263, 281nn85–89, 282n100; and silk industry, 79, 82–83. See also trade elites, Japanese: and China, 286n13; and colonization, 94, 95, 274n41; and Emishi, 119, 120, 132, 133, 143, 144, 149, 150; and race, 39, 41, 134; and Tōhoku, 42, 69; urban vs. rural, 280n74 Emishi: assimilation of, 34, 49, 91, 95, 141, 145–47, 159–60, 171–78;

backwardness of, 37, 81, 117, 132; culture of, 52, 93, 118, 138–39, 141; diversity among, 57–58; economy of, 141, 145; and Emishi-Japanese thesis, 148; and frontier thesis, 107; and geography, 143, 149, 151; and Hiraizumi, 37, 154, 166–69, 171–72, 179, 187; in Hokkaido, 39, 40, 48, 135–36, 140; Japanese colonization of, 7–8, 31, 50, 61–62, 63, 91, 97, 119, 133, 135, 140–41, 145, 148–49; and Japanese elites, 69, 119, 120, 132, 133, 143, 144, 149, 150; and Jōmon culture, 39, 137, 217, 218, 276n77; Kita Sadakichi on, 47–51; meanings of term, 48, 56, 57, 119–20, 138–39, 141, 142, 148, 149–50, 151, 289n91, 290n112; in Meiji period, 107, 132, 138, 140; National Histories on, 48–49, 50, 116, 117, 119, 129, 130, 132, 133, 142; national identity of, 145–47, 148, 149; as Noble/Ignoble Savages, 16, 116–51; and postwar Japan, 176–77; in postwar Tōhoku studies, 117, 119, 129, 202; pre-Meiji relations with, 23, 24, 32–33, 53, 56, 69, 70, 91, 107, 118, 133, 141, 143, 145, 147, 149, 216; resettlement of, 283n123; resistance by, 7–8, 50, 63, 66–68, 100–101, 118, 119, 141, 147, 149, 150; Takahashi Tomio on, 120, 138–39, 142–47, 151, 181; and Tōhokugaku, 203, 232, 245; as victims, 12, 17, 114; and the West, 93, 143 Emishi-Ainu thesis, 31, 47–62, 66, 275n65, 276n77; vs. Emishi–nonAinu, 47–51, 52–56, 120, 136–42, 150, 289n74; and racial theory, 24, 37–41, 43, 48, 49, 52–57, 117–20, 132, 133–50, 148, 151, 158, 288n63 Emishi consciousness, 69, 75, 81 Endō Iwao, 170, 171, 173, 174, 177 eugenics, 38, 45, 54 Europe, 5, 43, 45, 269n7, 292n23; and barbarians, 116, 128, 284n165, 287n32; and frontier thesis, 103, 106, 108, 112; imperialism of, 75, 92, 93–94,

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273n22; vs. Japanese culture, 202; Noble vs. Ignoble Savage in, 40, 125– 28; parallels with, 93–94; philosophy in, 211, 212; postwar, 269nn7–10; racial theories in, 37–39, 116–17, 133– 34; and World Heritage, 189, 200. See also Germany; Western influence Ezo, 135–36, 137, 143, 150, 289n91. See also Emishi Ezo (edited volume), 139 Ezo (Takahashi Tomio), 139 famines, 64, 78, 79, 81–87 Farm, Mountain, and Fishing Village Economic Revitalization Campaign (ERC), 99 Fawcett, Clare, 223 fiction, Tōhoku in, 6, 13, 42, 81–82, 156; in TV drama, 14–16, 257 Folklore Society of Japan, 233–34 folklore studies (minzokugaku), 11, 301n88; critiques of, 241, 244; and Jōmonism, 210, 220–21; as national history, 16, 234, 270n12; on radical continuity, 230, 232, 234, 237–40, 242, 243, 345; and Tōhokugaku, 203, 219, 225–26, 229–39 Former Nine-Year War, 35, 92 Franklin, Benjamin, 102 Freud, Sigmund, 246, 287n32 Friday, Karl, 97, 110 frontier polity (henkyō kokka), 108, 147, 154, 159 frontier thesis, 101–15, 285n178; and American West, 102–6, 108, 110, 111, 112–13, 177, 284n145; critiques of, 104–5; and Emishi, 107; emotional plausibility of, 103–4, 105; and Europe, 103, 106, 108, 112; and Manchuria, 99; and modern Tōhoku, 264, 265; and national identity, 102–3; and popular culture, 104–5; and Takahashi Tomio, 66, 68, 92, 101–2, 107–15, 178, 180, 285n174; and Tōhokugaku, 247; and universalism, 112, 113 Fujimoto Tsuyoshi, 303n136

Fujishima Gaijirō, 197 Fujiwara Hisakazu, 218 Fujiwara no Hidehira, 23, 29, 161, 164, 172, 191 Fujiwara no Iehira, 35 Fujiwara no Kiyohira, 29, 35–37, 58, 160–61, 272nn17–18; and autonomy of Hiraizumi, 172, 174, 175, 194; Buddhist canon of, 192; and China, 193–94; crossing of Koromo River by, 36–37; and dedication pledge, 196, 197, 198; mummified remains of, 272n8, 276n67; Takahashi Tomio on, 165–66, 168, 169, 171, 177, 178 Fujiwara no Kiyohira: Hiraizumi no seiki (Takahashi Tomio), 165–66, 168, 177, 178 Fujiwara no Michinaga, 23 Fujiwara no Morozane, 35 Fujiwara no Motohira, 29 Fujiwara no Tsunekiyo, 35, 160 Fujiwara no Yasuhira, 30, 192 Fujiwara clan, 23, 161, 169, 172, 173. See also Ōshū Fujiwara clan “Fukushima,” meanings of, 251–52 Fukushima Daiichi plant, 253, 256, 258, 264, 304n9 Fukushima Prefecture, 2–3, 32, 72, 153, 225; economy of, 74, 78, 79, 281n89; and March 11, 4, 254, 258 Fukuzawa Yukichi, 121 Furuhata Tanemoto, 55 Furukawa Koshōken, 279n33 furusato (national home, native place), 16, 237 fushū (assimilated Emishi), 34, 36, 145–47, 159–60, 171–79. See also Ōshū Fujiwara clan “Ganmon” (dedication pledge), 152, 171, 173, 195–99 Geertz, Clifford, 124 Genji monogatari (Tale of Genji), 212 geography, 4, 305n45; and east-west vs. north-south, 232–33, 274n45; and Emishi-Ainu, 45, 48, 135, 143, 149, 151 Germany, 55, 62, 119, 125, 147, 290n92

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Gilman, Sander, 124 Gluck, Carol, 19 gold, 142, 145, 161, 162, 190–91; discovery of, 32, 91, 97 Great Depression, 83, 85 Greece, ancient, 125, 127, 286n27, 288n63 Griffis, W. E., 37 group identity, 17–19, 65–66, 67 Gutman, Yifat, 5 Gyokuyō, 42 Habu, Junko, 223 Hall, Stuart, 126, 127 Hanazaki Kōhei, 286n13 Hangai Seiju, 64, 80, 88 Hanihara Kazurō, 179, 180–81, 210, 216, 217, 231; dual-structure model of, 215, 298n36 Hara Katsurō, 41, 42–43, 43–47 Hara Takashi, 78 Harootunian, Harry, 238 Hasebe Kotondo, 143, 215, 276n73; on Emishi-Ainu thesis, 52, 53, 55–57, 120, 138, 148, 276n77, 288n63, 289n74 Hashida Sugako, 15 Hawai’i, 254 Hayato, 48, 216 Heian period, 69, 94; Emishi in, 53, 107, 133, 143; Hiraizumi in, 160, 167, 170, 178, 181, 194, 198–99 Heidegger, Martin, 211 Henkyō: Mō hitotsu no Nihonshi (Frontier: Another Japanese History; Takahashi Tomio), 109, 111 Higashi Ajia no Hiraizumi, 191, 193 Hiraizumi, 152–200; and Ainu, 23, 120; archaeology of, 154, 156, 164–65, 178, 181–87, 188, 191, 192, 200, 221; and Asia, 186, 188, 192; assimilation of, 42, 43, 56; autonomy of, 7, 20, 36, 62, 150–51, 156, 158–78, 194, 199, 224; Buddhism in, 28, 152, 167, 169, 187, 191–97; and China, 23, 186, 187–88, 191, 192–93, 194; class in, 59, 60, 172, 182, 183; culture of, 42, 57–60, 62, 154, 156, 199; documentary sources

on, 181, 182, 183; economy of, 26, 42, 161–64, 173, 176, 178, 179–80, 183, 191; elites of, 59, 60, 172, 183; and Emishi, 37, 154, 166–69, 171–72, 179, 187; fall of (1189), 23, 27, 58, 154; founder of, 35–36; in Heian period, 160, 167, 170, 178, 181, 194, 198–99; history of, 23, 31–37; hybridity of, 7, 59–60, 160, 166, 168, 169, 186, 194, 231; in Japanese history, 21–24; Japanese relations with, 31, 32–34, 36–37, 41, 42, 167–69, 178; and Jōmon culture, 217, 223, 224; and Kamakura shogunate, 160, 162, 167, 178, 181, 194; as model, 66–67, 150–51, 170; natural disasters in, 29, 155; official town history of, 180; population of, 26, 294n71; in postwar period, 24–31, 66–67, 154–55, 159, 166, 168–69, 175–80; in postwar Tōhoku studies, 62–63, 100, 114, 153–56, 158, 202; and race, 22–24, 41, 158, 160; resistance of, 63, 180; taxes from, 36, 161, 199; and Tōhokugaku, 236; tourism in, 26, 27, 28; trade of, 23, 26, 161, 191, 192–93, 194; transnationality of, 187–88, 192, 194; as transplanted culture, 57–59; universal value of, 153, 155, 160, 166, 168, 191, 193, 194–95, 196; and value of Tōhoku, 153–54; as World Heritage site, 20, 28, 152–53, 156, 199–200. See also Chūsonji; Konjikidō hall; Mōtsūji; Ōshū Fujiwara clan Hiraizumi Cultural Forum (2001), 188 Hiraizumi: Ōshū Fujiwara yondai (Takahashi Tomio), 178 “Hiraizumi trilogy” (Hiraizumi jikki, Hiraizumi kyūseki shi, Hiraizumi zakkai; Aihara Tomonao), 42 Hiraizumi: Yomigaeru chūsei toshi (Saitō Toshio), 185–86 Hirota Tamaki, 123 historiography: and archaeology, 181– 87; center vs. periphery in, 122–23, 247; on continuity, 55–56, 70, 92, 168, 185, 223, 230, 232, 234, 237–40, 242,

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243, 245, 345; of Emishi, 48–49, 50, 116, 117, 119, 129–33, 136, 138, 140–45, 289n74; emotional plausibility in, 17, 19, 66, 103–4, 114, 278n8; German, 290n92; and government agencies, 200; of Hiraizumi, 21–24, 31–37, 154, 155, 158, 180; Marxist, 62, 68, 162, 173, 175–76, 257, 260, 290n102, 291n19; New Western, 104–5; official, 107, 180; positivistic, 21, 61, 154, 238, 239, 240; in postwar period, 61–63, 121– 24, 252; regionalism in, 6, 122–23, 124, 221, 224, 231, 242; universalist, 6–7, 68, 92, 101, 102, 112, 113, 158, 292n23; world, 62, 92, 101, 105–6, 108, 158, 191, 274n41. See also National Histories; Tōhokugaku; Tōhoku studies, postwar Hitachi fudoki (gazetteer), 132 Hitachi Province, 51 Hitakami, 48, 50–51, 132 Hofstadter, Richard, 104 Hōjōki, 212 Hokkaido, 113, 216; economy of, 76, 80, 84, 88, 95; and Emishi-Ainu, 39, 40, 48, 135–36, 140; Ezo in, 39, 143 Homura tatsu (NHK drama), 223–24, 299n58 Honshu, 2 Hoshino Teruo, 140 Hotate Michihisa, 191 Huntington, Ellsworth, 45 Ibaraki Prefecture, 254 Ichiriki Kazuo, 12, 17 Ichiriki Kenjirō, 12 Ignoble Savage. See Noble vs. Ignoble Savages Imaizumi Takao, 149 “independent polity theory” (dokuritsu kokka setsu), 156, 158, 159, 165–66, 170, 174 Inner Mongolia, 95 Inoue Hisashi, 13–14 Inoue Mitsusada, 139 Inpaku (Internet Fair 2001 Japan), 190

internationalism, 20, 155, 189–90, 294n75, 295n86 internationalization (kokusaika), 187–90 Introduction to the History of Japan (Hara Katsurō), 44 Ipsen, Detlev, 236 Irokawa Daikichi, 123, 124 Irumada Nobuo, 173, 191, 193, 195, 196 Ishida Mosaku, 52 Ishii Susumu, 200 Ishimoda Shō, 114, 164, 292n23 Israel, 106 Itabashi Gen, 97, 164–65 Itō Nobuo, 136 Itō Teiji, 180 Ivy, Marilyn, 10, 246 Iwabuchi, Koichi, 189, 190 Iwamoto Yoshiteru, 74, 75, 76, 80, 140 Iwasaki Hisaya, 79 Iwata-Weickgenannt, Kristina, 249 Iwate Nippō (newspaper), 153 Iwate Prefecture, 2, 34, 43, 50, 190, 222, 277n92; in fiction, 13; natural disasters in, 3–4, 29, 77–79, 84–85, 258; rice production in, 281n89 Jansen, Marius, 71 Japaneseness (Nihonjinron), 10 Japanese people: as Jōmon-Yayoi hybrid, 216–17; vs. non-Japanese, 57–58; origins of, 40, 54–55; race of, 54–57, 148, 276n73 Japanization (Nihonjinka), 49 Japanology, new (shin Nihongaku), 229 Japan World Exposition (Osaka, 1970; Banpaku), 176 Jefferson, Thomas, 102 Jinmu, Emperor, 130, 132, 277n92 Jōmon boom, 206–7, 220–24, 227, 231 Jōmon culture, 202–43; and Ainu, 137, 213, 218, 276n77; archaeology of, 206, 208, 220, 223; and Buddhism, 212–13; continuity of, 242, 243; and dualstructure model, 298n36; economy of, 88, 206–7, 216, 217, 222, 224; and

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Jōmon culture (continued) Emishi, 39, 137, 217, 218, 276n77; and folklore studies, 210, 220–21; global value of, 218–19; and Japanese culture, 11, 205, 209–10, 213–14, 223; and Japanese people, 55, 216–17; and Jōmonism, 20, 203, 209, 210, 222; vs. modernity, 206, 212–15, 217, 218; and national identity, 206, 210, 213, 215, 217; and neoconservatism, 202–3; population of, 216; and postwar Tōhoku studies, 11, 20, 202–3, 210, 217–19; pottery of, 204–5; and Tōbunken, 267; and Tōhoku, 205–6, 207, 209, 210, 213, 232; and Tōhokugaku, 203, 210, 227, 228, 229, 231, 236, 239; and Umehara Takeshi, 210–19; and Yayoi culture, 209–10, 216–17, 218, 231 Jōmon-Ezo-Ainu theory, 39 “Jōmon Uzumaki” (blog), 214 Judt, Tony, 269n10 Kadokawa Shoten, 179 Kadowaki Teiji, 144 Kahoku Shinpō (newspaper), 12, 75 Kainuma Hiroshi, 264 kakusa (disparity), 254–56, 262; hibaku (radiation), 256 Kamakura shogunate, 27, 42, 56, 94, 143; and Hiraizumi, 160, 162, 167, 178, 181, 194 Kang Sung, 261–62 Kanjizaiōin (temple), 164, 165 Kanno Fumio, 192–93, 194 Kanno Seikan, 192 Kano Masanao, 123, 124 Kataoka Masato, 222–23 Katō Kanji, 99 Kawamura Keiichirō, 81 Kawanishi Hidemichi, 46, 86, 140, 221, 242, 257, 260–62; on Emishi consciousness, 69, 75, 81 Keene, Donald, 180 Keikō, Emperor, 129–30, 132 kikigaki (listening and writing; method of Akasaka Norio), 240–41, 256

Kikuchi Isao, 221, 247 Kikuchi Keiichi, 291n19 Kikuchi Tetsuo, 21, 142 Kindaichi Kyōsuke, 135–36 kinohe (armed settlers), 95–98, 150, 283n122 Kipling, Rudyard, 177 Kirikirijin (Inoue Hisashi), 13–14 Kita Sadakichi, 41, 42–43, 54, 58, 111, 149; Emishi–non-Ainu thesis of, 47–51, 56, 120, 138, 289n74 Kitakamae Yasuo, 34 Kiyohara clan, 34–36, 58, 92, 145, 272n18; and autonomy of Hiraizumi, 159, 160–61, 173–74 Kiyono Kenji, 55 kizuna (warm, communal human bonds), 255–56, 258, 262 Klein, Naomi, 258, 305n29 Kobayashi Seiji, 171 Koizumi Junichirō, 254 Koji Mizoguchi, 185, 239 Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters), 116, 129, 277n84 Konjaku monogatari, 42 Konjikidō hall (Hiraizumi), 27–31, 51–52, 53, 60, 192, 198, 296n98 Korea, 54, 81, 90, 133, 144, 290n94; economy of, 80, 94, 98; prehistoric immigrants from, 11, 55, 215, 216 Korehari no Azamaro, 271n2, 277n88 koropukkuru people, 275n57 Koyama Shūzō, 216 Kudō Masaki, 136, 149 Kuidōraku (novel), 81–82 Kūkai, 212 Kumaso, 48 Kurile Islands, 26, 53 Kuwabara Takeo, 218 Kyoto school, 211, 212, 298n26; new, 217, 219 Lacan, Jacques, 246 Latter Three-Year War, 35, 92 Liang Qichao, 64, 271n34 Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), 163 Limerick, Patricia Nelson, 105

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Lin Shimin, 194 Loria, Achille, 102 Low, Morris, 55 MacGregor, Neil, 116, 128 Maekawa Kayo, 187–88, 193 Management Guidelines for World Cultural Heritage Sites, 188–89 Manchuria, 92, 95–100 manga, 13 Manifest Destiny, 111 Manza stone circle (Akita), 243 March 11, 2011 (Great East Japan Earthquake), 1, 3–4, 249–60; “affected areas” (hisaichi) in, 253–54; aftermath of, 250–56; and frontier thesis, 113–14; and Japanese economy, 250–51, 257–60, 262, 264; and postwar Tōhoku studies, 213, 229, 247, 251–52, 258, 265; and radiation exposure, 251–52, 256; and World Heritage, 152, 155, 195 Marco Polo Bridge Incident (1937), 99 Maruyama Masao, 121, 269n7, 283n136 Marxism, 269n10; and autonomy of Hiraizumi, 162, 173, 175–76; in historiography, 62, 68, 162, 173, 175– 76, 257, 260, 290n102, 291n19; state vs. people in, 122, 123, 124 Masuda Takashi, 79–80, 280n59 Matsudaira Katamori, 71 Matsumoto Shinpachirō, 96, 138, 290n102 Matsumoto Yoshio, 136 Mauss, Marcel, 204 Meiji period: and Aizu domain, 72–73; colonization in, 257; economy in, 72–80; Emishi in, 107, 132, 138, 140; famines in, 78, 79, 81–87; historiography in, 144; modernization in, 121, 226; in postwar thought, 5, 121, 122; race in, 8, 134, 273n25, 288n49; Social Darwinism in, 273nn24–25; Tōhoku in, 46, 69–73, 114; Western influence in, 11, 71, 271n34, 273n25

Meiji Restoration Losers (Wert), 5 Melbin, Murray, 106 memory, national, 5, 133, 168, 237, 245; and chosen traumas, 18, 19, 65–66 Michinoku (eastern Tōhoku), 45, 68–69, 76, 101, 119, 178–79, 245 Michinoku pacification headquarters, 32 Michinoku Province, 51 middle class, Japanese, 15, 176, 254, 304n14 Mikiso Hane, 280n63 military, Japanese, 67, 100, 101; and colonization, 32, 80, 90, 91, 96–97, 142, 145 Minamoto no Yoritomo, 27, 30, 58, 162, 163, 167, 172, 192, 197 Minamoto no Yoriyoshi, 160 Minamoto no Yoshiie, 272nn17–18 Minamoto no Yoshimitsu, 272n18 Minamoto Ryōen, 218 Minamoto clan, 35, 167, 174 Minister Ōtori Escorts the Korean King into the Castle (Ōtori kōshi Taiinkun o yōgo nyūjō no zu; woodblock print), 131 minzoku (ethnic nation), 49–50, 57, 122, 124, 140, 162. See also folklore studies Mita Munesuke, 19 Mitsubishi zaibatsu, 79 Mitsui zaibatsu, 79 Miyagi Prefecture, 2, 32, 277n92; discovery of gold in, 91; economy of, 3, 78, 281n85, 281n89; natural disasters in, 77, 78, 79, 258 Miyamoto Tsuneichi, 208 Miyata Noboru, 227 Miyazaki Hayao, 16, 17 Mizue (journal), 204 modernity: and archaeology, 185; and fiction, 16; vs. Japanese culture, 9, 11, 17, 219, 245; vs. Jōmon culture, 206, 212–15, 217, 218; and nostalgia, 238; and postwar Tōhoku studies, 6–7, 20, 203, 210–11, 227, 228, 235, 237–39, 242, 245, 252; and racial theories, 134; Western, 93

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modernization, 137, 270n12; in Meiji period, 121, 226; postwar, 109–10; in postwar thought, 123, 124; vs. Tōhoku’s backwardness, 45, 69–70, 75 Monōjō (fortress), 91 Mori Hachirō, 52 Mori Kahei, 52, 53, 59–60, 139 Mōri Noboru, 52 “Mori no shisō” ga jinrui o sukuu: Nijūisseiki ni okeru Nihon bunmei no yakuwari (Umehara Takeshi), 215 Morioka Times, 153 Morris-Suzuki, Tessa, 38, 107, 264 Moscow Declaration (1943), 67 Motoori Norinaga, 39, 116, 135 Mōtsūji (temple; Hiraizumi), 26–27, 164, 165, 197–99 Murai Shōsuke, 200 Muroi Yasunari, 242, 243 Mushanokōji Minoru, 180 Mutsu Prefecture, 35, 36 myths, 101, 104, 127, 177, 241, 242; and frontier thesis, 112; and group identity, 18–19; of Japanese unity, 255–56; of nuclear safety, 253, 261 Nagahara Keiji, 164 Nakamura Kazumoto, 191, 193 Nakasone Yasuhiro, 201–3, 211 Nara Conference on Authenticity, 189 Nara period, 69, 204; colonization in, 95–96, 97; Emishi in, 107, 118, 133, 141, 145, 147, 149 nation, concept of, 146, 148. See also minzoku National Histories (Kiki), 66, 68, 276n81, 277n84; on Ainu, 39, 136, 138, 275n57; on Emishi, 47–49, 50, 116, 117, 119, 129, 130, 132, 133, 142; and Emishi-Ainu thesis, 41, 61, 136, 138, 140–41, 289n74; on Japanese people, 56, 215; as source, 43, 44, 47. See also Kojiki; Nihon shoki national identity: and archaeology, 5, 9, 20, 22, 70; of Emishi, 146–47, 148,

149; in fiction, 15, 16; and frontier thesis, 102–3; and group identity, 17–19, 65–66, 67; and Hiraizumi, 156, 158; and Jōmon culture, 206, 210, 213, 215, 217; and March 11, 1–2, 253–56, 258–59; and postwar Tōhoku studies, 1–2, 5, 6, 10, 24, 121, 200, 203, 210, 218, 232, 246–47; and race, 60, 61, 122; and rice, 89, 226 nationalism, 5, 65; agrarian (nōhonshugi), 82, 280n74; Chinese, 18; cultural, 2, 11, 257; “disaster,” 255, 258; and frontier thesis, 112; vs. internationalism, 155, 189–90, 295n86; Korean, 290n94; and shame, 44, 46 nationalism, Japanese: and Hiraizumi, 155, 156; and March 11, 259; and nostalgia, 115; in postwar thought, 61, 121, 122, 231; romance of, 257; satire of, 13–14; and Tōhoku, 43, 44, 46 National Treasures, 31 Native Americans, 17, 111, 146; as Noble vs. Ignoble Savages, 40, 125–26, 127; of Pacific Northwest, 208; victimization of, 8, 12, 13 nativism, 203, 210, 237 natural disasters, 3–4, 26, 29, 77–79, 83–85, 155, 250, 254, 258. See also earthquakes; March 11, 2011 neoconservatism, 2, 6, 163, 200, 201, 202; and Tōhokugaku, 231, 240, 244 neo-Japanism, 201–48 New Western history, 104–5 NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), 13, 14, 16, 223–24 Nichibunken (International Research Center for Japanese Studies), 20, 201, 203, 211, 227 Nichiren, 212 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 211 Nihon no shinsō: Jōmon-Emishi bunka o saguru (Umehara Takeshi), 213 Nihon rettō kaizō ron (Tanaka Kakuei), 93, 109

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Nihon shoki, 81, 94, 114, 277n84; on Emishi, 129, 130, 133, 141, 142 Niigata Prefecture, 3 Ningbo (China), 191, 193, 194 Nishida Kitarō, 212 Nishimura Toshiyuki, 13 Nitobe Inazō, 27, 45, 82, 88, 114 Nixon, Richard, 176 Noble vs. Ignoble Savages: Ainu as, 53– 54; in China, 34, 127–29, 131–34, 142, 144–45; and colonization, 93, 117, 119, 126, 134, 135, 140–41, 144, 150; Emishi as, 117–20, 124, 128–41; in Europe, 40, 125–28; Native Americans as, 40, 125–26, 127; in postwar Tōhoku studies, 7–13, 16, 17, 117, 142–47 Northern Alliance (Hokubu Dōmei), 71, 73 nostalgia, 7, 9–11, 16, 20, 115, 237; and fiction, 15; restorative, 10, 238, 246 nuclear power, 251; and colonization, 257–58, 262, 264; myth of, 253, 261; and national sacrifice zones, 260–61; protests against, 298n24. See also March 11 Odashima Rokurō, 288n63 OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), 254 Ōga Ichirō, 52 Oguma Eiji, 4, 49, 55, 75, 87, 261, 262, 304n14 Ohnuki-Tierney, Emiko, 89 Ōishi Naomasa, 170–77, 182–83 Oka Yōichirō, 191, 192, 193 Okabe Seiichi, 41 Okada Masukichi, 75, 94 Okada Tomohiro, 69, 75, 79, 253–54, 257, 258, 259–60, 262 Okamoto Tarō, 203–7, 209, 210, 231, 298n24 Okinawa, 74, 257, 261, 270n12 Ōkubo Toshimichi, 73–74 Olympics, 176 Omland, Atle, 199 Ōmori Kingorō, 41

Ōnin no Ran (1467–77), 234 Ōno Susumu, 208 Open Research Center (ORC), 235–36 oral testimony, 237–41 Origin of Kiyomizu Temple (Kiyomizudera engi emaki; scroll), 131 Orr, James, 64, 100 Osaragi Jirō, 52 Oshin (TV drama), 14–16, 257, 270n25 Ōshū Fujiwara clan: and archaeology, 181, 182, 185, 186, 187; and autonomy of Hiraizumi, 145, 156, 160–63, 170, 171–77; Buddhism of, 191–92; and Heian state, 23, 36, 199; mummified remains of, 21, 30–31, 52, 53–54, 61, 148, 158, 272n8, 276n67; race of, 24, 42, 52, 59, 60, 120, 138, 139 Ōshū Fujiwara-shi yondai (Four Generations of the Ōshū Fujiwara; Takahashi Tomio), 139, 156, 158, 178 Ōshū Hiraizumi (Itabashi Gen), 164–65 Ōtsuka Hisao, 121 Ōtsuki Torao, 52 Ōu enkakushi ron (On the historical records of Ōu), 41–43, 47, 51 (burakumin, eta), 48 OUV (Outstanding Universal Value), 193, 196, 295n94, 296n98 Ōya Sōichi, 85 Pacific Belt Concept, 179, 293n55 Pearson, Richard, 184 people’s history (minshūshi) movement, 123, 124 Perdue, Peter, 144–45 Perry, Matthew, 71, 271n34 Persians, 125 Picasso, Pablo, 204 popular culture: and archaeology, 182–85, 186; and autonomy of Hiraizumi, 156, 159, 175; and frontier thesis, 104–5; “Fukushima” in, 251; Jōmon boom in, 220–21, 223, 224; and myth of nuclear power, 261; and socioeconomic disparities, 254–56;

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popular culture (c0ntinued) and Tōhokugaku, 221, 224, 236–37, 239, 244; Tōhoku in, 12–19, 85–86 population: of frontier, 103; of Hiraizumi, 26, 185, 294n71; of Jōmon culture, 208, 216, 222; of Tōhoku, 3–4, 44, 98 postwar period: alienated youth in, 87–88; American occupation in, 29; anxiety in, 9, 222, 265; class in, 15, 176–77, 254, 304n14; colonization in, 124, 263–64; and dedication pledge, 197; Emishi-Ainu thesis in, 136–37; Emishi in, 8, 176–77; Hiraizumi as model for, 66–67, 170; Hiraizumi in, 24–31, 66–67, 154–55, 159, 166, 168–69, 175–80; historiography in, 61–63, 121– 24, 252; Japanese economy in, 9, 87, 89, 94, 95, 154, 163–64, 168–69, 176, 178, 211, 222, 245–48, 262, 280n74, 304n14; Manchuria in, 99–100; Meiji in, 5, 121, 122; modernization in, 109, 123, 124; nationalism in, 61, 121, 122, 231; Okamoto Tarō’s art in, 203–7; science in, 61–63; Tōhoku as idea in, 2, 5–7, 217, 252, 264; values in, 63, 222, 225. See also Tōhoku studies, postwar primitivism, 7, 9, 10–11, 20, 245, 248, 257; in art, 203–4, 205 Princess Mononoke (animated film), 16–17 Progressive Historians, The (Hofstadter), 104 race: of Ainu, 39, 41, 52, 61, 118–19, 134–35, 288n63; and archaeology, 185; and assimilation, 40, 49, 56–57, 58, 134; and class, 37, 49, 134; and colonization, 21, 37–41, 54, 61–62, 134, 276n73; and continuity, 55–56; and culture, 24, 37, 47, 50, 52, 57, 59–60, 61, 120, 132–33, 158, 232, 271n3; of Emishi, 48, 49, 117–20, 132, 143, 148, 150, 151; and Emishi-Ainu thesis, 24, 37–41, 43, 48, 49, 52–57, 117–20,

132, 133–50, 151, 158, 288n63; and Emishi–non-Ainu thesis, 47–51, 56, 120, 138–41, 289n74; in Europe, 37–39, 116–17, 133–34; hierarchy of, 19, 38, 41, 53, 57–58, 61, 117, 119, 138, 141, 144, 150, 151, 288n49; and Hiraizumi, 22–24, 41, 158, 160; and hybridity, 59–60; of Japanese people, 54–57, 148, 276n73; in Meiji period, 8, 134, 273n25, 288n49; of Ōshū Fujiwara, 24, 42, 52, 59, 60, 120, 138, 139; and Western influence, 24, 37–39, 40–41, 49, 53, 56, 116, 134, 135, 143, 276n73, 288n49 racism, “scientific,” 37–41 railroads, 74, 76, 77, 114, 279n47 Ranke, Leopold von, 144 Reagan, Ronald, 15, 201 Reconstruction Design Council, 256, 258–59, 264 Red Cross, 85 regionalism, 5, 37, 100, 180, 263; and autonomy, 7–8; in historiography, 6, 122–23, 124, 221, 224, 231, 242 Rekishi chiri (journal), 48 Renan, Ernest, 18, 65 Rice Act (1921), 281n75 rice production: and Japanese colonization, 75, 89, 101; and Jōmon culture, 208, 223; monoculture of, 79, 83, 88, 236, 263; and national identity, 89, 226; and Tōhoku economy, 3, 9, 11, 20, 78, 82–90, 226, 232, 236, 263, 281n85, 281n89, 282n100; and Yayoi culture, 216 Rice Riots (1918), 89 Rich Green Land, Devastated (Sōbō no daichi, horobu; Nishimura Toshiyuki), 13, 14 Riess, Ludwig, 144 Robins, Christopher, 13 Robinson, Michael, 144 Roma, 39, 133 Rome, ancient, 96, 108, 125, 127, 147, 286n27, 288n63, 290n102 Ruiju kokushi, 276n81 Russia, 105. See also Soviet Union

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Russo-Japanese War, 42 Ryūkyū Islands, 216, 261, 299n58, 303n136. See also Okinawa Sahlins, Marshall, 208 Saitō Toshio, 185–86 Sakaiya Taichi, 190 Sakamoto Tarō, 139 Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, 32, 91, 145, 166, 178 Sakurai Takakage, 52 Sakuteiki, 26 “salmon-trout” thesis (sake-masu ron), 206–7, 209 Sand, Jordan, 189, 253 Sannai Maruyama site (Aomori), 11, 206, 224, 227, 267, 294n70, 299n54; and Jōmon boom, 220, 221–22, 223 Sanya kakai mandara (Akasaka Norio), 242–43, 244 Sasaki Jikkō, 29, 30 Sasaki Kizen, 241 Sasaki Kōmei, 210 Satchō alliance, 71, 279n35 Satsuma domain, 71. See also Satchō alliance Satsuma Rebellion (1877), 74 Schivelbusch, Wolfgang, 5 science: and economic development, 62, 228; and Emishi-Ainu thesis, 137, 138, 139, 141; and historiography, 61–62, 144; and Japanese culture, 202; at Konjikidō, 52, 120; and March 11, 253, 258; and Marxism, 162; positivistic, 158, 249; and postwar Tōhoku studies, 21–22, 31, 210–11, 228; and racial theories, 37–41, 119, 133, 134–35, 273n24, 274n37. See also anthropology; archaeology Scotland, 46 Scott, David, 64–65 Sendai (Miyagi), 3–4 Sendai domain, 71, 72 Serizawa Chōsuke, 218 Shiba Gorō, 72 Shibusawa Eiichi, 74, 78–79, 280n54, 280n59

Shimamura Takanori, 242 Shimizu Junzō, 136, 137, 138, 139, 141, 271n3 Shimoda, Hiraku, 72 Shimomura Chiaki, 83, 84, 85, 280n63 Shinpojiumu Hiraizumi: Ōshū Fujiwara yondai no eiga (conference, 1984), 180 Shinran, 212 Shinto, 211–12, 213 Shirane, Haruo, 28 Shōnai domain, 71 Siddle, Richard, 133–34 Siebold, Heinrich Philipp von, 138 Siebold, Philipp Franz Balthasar von, 138 “Significance of the Frontier in American History, The” (Turner), 103 silk industry, 79, 82–83 Sino-Japanese War, 64, 131 Sleeboom, Margaret, 118 Slotkin, Richard, 105 Social Darwinism, 37–41, 119, 134–35, 273n24, 274n37 Sōma Kokkō, 81 Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.), 13, 98 Sōzō no sekai (journal), 226 Spencer, Herbert, 38, 273n25 Sperber, Dan, 242 Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, 264 Stone Age Economics (Sahlins), 208 Sudō Hirotoshi, 197 Suga Yutaka, 242–43, 244 Sugiura Yuzuru, 73 Sugiyama Ryūkō, 81 Sun Yat-sen, 271n34 Suruga Province, 51 Suzuki Hisashi, 52, 53, 55, 56, 139 Tachibana Nankei, 73, 279n33 Taguchi Ukichi, 81 Taiga dorama (annual NHK historical drama series), 223–24, 299n58 Taika Reforms (645), 23, 90, 129, 145, 150 Taira clan, 23, 161, 167, 169, 172, 191, 193 Taiwan, 54, 80, 83, 94, 280n63

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Takahashi Katsuhiko, 223–24 Takahashi Takashi, 149 Takahashi Tetsuya, 261 Takahashi Tomio, 116–51; and archaeology, 183; on center vs. region, 122–23; critiques of, 170–77; and dedication pledge, 197; on Emishi, 120, 138–39, 142–47, 151, 181; and Emishi–non-Ainu thesis, 138, 139; on Europe, 93–94; and frontier thesis, 66, 68, 92, 101–2, 107–15, 178, 180, 247, 285n174; on Fujiwara no Kiyohira, 165–66, 168, 169, 171, 177, 178; on Hiraizumi, 156, 158–70, 178, 193, 194, 200; influence of, 177–81; on Japanese colonization, 63, 69–70, 90, 91, 257, 262; and Jōmon culture, 210, 212, 217, 218, 219, 223, 224; on Manchuria, 95–100; parallelisms of, 92–100; and postwar Tōhoku studies, 6, 8, 11, 12, 57, 110, 121–24, 166, 202, 205, 245, 248, 253; on rice production, 87–90; and Tōhokugaku, 220, 221, 228, 229, 230, 232, 239, 247, 248; on Tōhoku’s victimhood, 17, 66–68, 72 Takashi Fujitani, 132 Takechi no Sukune, 130, 132 Takeuchi Unpei, 95, 136 Tale of Mutsu (Mutsu waki), 34 Tales of Tono (Tōno monogatari; Yanagita Kunio), 241 Tanaami Hiroshi, 143 Tanabe Hiroshi, 139, 140, 143 Tanaka Kakuei, 93, 102, 109, 170, 228, 263 Taniguchi Symposium, Third (1979), 207, 208 Tanikawa Tetsuzō, 209 Tarusawa Sannosuke, 52, 276n67 taxes, 34, 36, 145, 161, 199 Tazawa Kingo, 52–53, 54 television dramas, 6, 14–15 temples, 23, 29, 164, 165, 167; Law for the Preservation of Ancient Shrines and, 188. See also Chūsonji; Mōtsūji

Tepco (also “TEPCO”; Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc.), 1, 251, 253, 258, 304n9 Thompson, Christopher, 269n1 Three Development Laws, 163–64 Tōbunken (Tōhoku Culture Research Center), 20, 203, 219–20, 256; charter of, 226–27, 267–68; research projects of, 235–36; and Tōhokugaku, 221, 224, 231, 233, 238; and Umehara Takeshi, 220, 227–31 Tochigi Prefecture, 254 Tōhoku (the Northeast), 1–5; backwardness of, 2, 7–9, 24, 37, 39, 43–47, 66, 69–70, 75, 77–79, 81, 85, 89, 93–94, 117, 226, 247, 248; diversity within, 3–4, 253–54, 255–56, 284n141; east-west divide in, 232–33, 274n45; future of, 263–65; hybridity of, 231– 32, 303n136; as idea, 2, 4–7, 17, 217, 251, 252, 253, 257, 264; meanings of terms for, 68–69, 76–77, 78; modern, 66, 68–70; public image of, 81–82, 85; universal value of, 193, 196, 219, 295n94, 296n98; “vanishing” of, 10, 246, 247; as victim, 1, 7, 8, 12, 13, 19, 67–68, 70, 90–93, 100, 113, 114, 117, 150, 256–62 Tōhokugaku (journal), 236 Tōhokugaku (Tōhokuology): and Akasaka Norio, 11, 16, 110, 202, 219–29, 243–45; and archaeology, 203, 231, 236, 239–40; and folklore studies, 203, 219, 225–26, 229–39; and historiography, 229–40, 242; and Jōmon culture, 20, 203, 210, 218, 227–29, 231, 236, 239; and March 11, 251–52; and national history, 230–31; and neoconservatism, 231, 240, 244; and popular culture, 221, 224, 236–37, 239, 244; and Takahashi Tomio, 220, 221, 228–30, 232, 239, 247, 248; and Umehara Takeshi, 11, 20, 220, 227–31, 237, 240, 247, 248; and Yanagita Kunio, 225–26, 230, 235, 237, 238, 248

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Tōhokugaku e (Toward Tōhokugaku; Akasaka Norio), 233 Tōhoku no rekishi to kaihatsu (Takahashi Tomio), 93 Tōhoku Promotion Association (TPA), 78–80, 280n54, 280n59 Tōhoku studies, postwar, 5–12; beginning of, 21–63; early, 19–20, 232; and government agencies, 200; vs. Hiraizumi studies, 155–56; later stages in, 110, 156, 158, 170, 210, 231; vs. mainstream views, 69–70; and March 11, 251, 265; multidisciplinary, 22, 210, 218, 219, 233; and neoJapanism, 201–48; and postwar thought, 121–24; romanticism in, 175, 210, 238, 244–45 Tokugawa shogunate, 70, 116, 123, 226; and Aizu domain, 71, 72–73; and Emishi-Ainu thesis, 132, 135, 138; Tōhoku in, 39, 44 Tokutomi Sohō, 273n25 Tokuyama Shōchoku, 268 Tōkyō Nichinichi Shinbun (newspaper), 86 Tonami domain, 72 Torii Ryūzō, 136 Tosaminato (Tsugaru, Aomori), 187 tourism, 4, 26, 27, 28 “Tower of the Sun” (World Exposition, Osaka; 1970), 203, 205 Tōyama Hideki, 261 Toynbee, Arnold, 68, 102, 108, 147, 212 Toyotomi Hideyoshi, 100 TPA. See Tōhoku Promotion Association trade, 34, 108, 145, 185, 222; and Hiraizumi, 23, 26, 161, 191, 192–93, 194 Traphagan, John W., 269n1 traumas vs. glories, chosen, 17–18, 65–66, 67 Troen, S. Ilan, 106 Tsuboi Hirofumi, 208 Tsuboi Shōgorō, 275n57 Tsuchigumo, 48

Tsuda Sōkichi, 52, 53, 57–59, 60, 174, 274n38, 277n84 Tsuji Zennosuke, 41 Tsurezuregusa, 212 Turner, Frederick Jackson, 68, 92, 101, 178, 247, 285n178 Ueno Chizuko, 238, 301n106 Ujiie Kazunori, 141, 145, 149 Umehara Takeshi, 17, 201–3, 207, 209; and Hiraizumi, 175, 179–81; on Jōmon culture, 210–19; and March 11, 213, 251–52, 253, 258; on modernity, 110, 210–11, 245; and nostalgia, 9–11, 16; and Tōbunken, 220, 227–31; and Tōhokugaku, 11, 20, 220, 227–31, 237, 240, 247, 248 United States (U.S.), 13, 254; imperialism of, 75, 94, 262; and national sacrifice zones, 260–61; and postwar Japan, 62, 163, 169; racial theories in, 134. See also frontier thesis urban areas, 109, 187, 231, 233; and archaeology, 185–86; vs. rural, 2–3, 4, 9, 15–16, 82, 83, 86, 98–99, 114, 260–62, 280n74 utamakura (poetic toponymies), 69 victimization, 18, 141, 154; and culture of resistance, 100–101; of Emishi, 12, 17, 114; of Japan, 64, 67, 100; of Native Americans, 8, 12, 13; of Tōhoku, 1, 7, 8, 12, 13, 19, 67–68, 70, 90–93, 100, 113, 114, 117, 150, 256–62 Volkan, Vamik D., 17–18, 65 Wagō Ryōichi, 249–50 Walker, Mark, 62 Wallerstein, Immanuel, 75, 80 Wang Shenzhi, 193–94 Waswo, Ann, 280n74 Waters, Neil, 124 Watsuji Tetsurō, 302n108, 305n45 Wert, Michael, 5 Western influence, 44, 217; and colonization, 75, 92, 93–94, 126, 190,

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Western influence (continued) 262, 273n22; and Japanese culture, 189–90, 202, 218–19; in Meiji period, 11, 71, 271n34, 273n25; in philosophy, 211, 212; and race, 24, 40–41, 49, 53, 56, 116, 134, 135, 143, 276n73, 288n49; and racism, 37–38, 39; and Tōhokugaku, 228, 231 White, Hayden, 287n32 White, Richard, 18, 65, 177, 241 Wieczynski, Joseph, 105–6 women, 14–16, 85–86, 301n106 World Heritage List (UNESCO): and authenticity issue, 188–89, 296n98; and dedication pledge, 195–99; and Hiraizumi, 20, 28, 152–55, 156, 182, 187–200, 211; and March 11, 195 World War I (Great War), 43, 83 World War II, 1, 5–6, 19, 22, 29, 66, 210–12, 223 Yabe Yoshiaki, 183, 186 Yaegashi Tadao, 192, 195, 196 Yamada Masahiro, 254 Yamada Yasuhiko, 96, 97, 102, 111 Yamagata Prefecture, 2, 3, 15, 32, 79, 85, 254, 281n89

Yamanouchi Sugao, 206–7, 208, 210 Yamaori Tetsuo, 218, 219, 227, 244 Yamato Takeru, 107, 129–30 Yamato state, 39, 97, 107, 140, 216, 230 Yamauchi Akemi, 119, 265 Yanagi no Gosho site (Hiraizumi), 165, 181–87, 191, 221 Yanagita Kunio, 4, 9, 124, 221, 253, 270n12, 302n108; and Akasaka Norio, 233–34, 301n88; critiques of, 241–42, 244; and Tōhokugaku, 225–26, 230, 235, 237, 238, 248. See also folklore studies Yang Jianhua, 194 Yasuda Yoshinori, 208 Yasukuni Shrine, 201 Yasumaru Yoshio, 123 Yayoi culture, 20, 55, 215, 267, 298n36; and Jōmon, 209–10, 216–17, 218, 231; and Tōhokugaku, 203, 227 Yiengpruksawan, Mimi, 36, 199, 272n17 Yoshiaki Takaki, 153 Yōshū Chikanobu, 131 Youth Brigades, 99 Zheng Wang, 64

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Harvard East Asian Monographs (most recent titles)

314. Jacob Eyferth, Eating Rice from Bamboo Roots: The Social History of a Community of Handicraft Papermakers in Rural Sichuan, 1920–2000 315. David Johnson, Spectacle and Sacrifice: The Ritual Foundations of Village Life in North China 316. James Robson, Power of Place: The Religious Landscape of the Southern Sacred Peak (Nanyue 南嶽) in Medieval China 317. Lori Watt, When Empire Comes Home: Repatriation and Reintegration in Postwar Japan 318. James Dorsey, Critical Aesthetics: Kobayashi Hideo, Modernity, and Wartime Japan 319. Christopher Bolton, Sublime Voices: The Fictional Science and Scientific Fiction of Abe Kōbō 320. Si-yen Fei, Negotiating Urban Space: Urbanization and Late Ming Nanjing 321. Christopher Gerteis, Gender Struggles: Wage-Earning Women and Male-Dominated Unions in Postwar Japan 322. Rebecca Nedostup, Superstitious Regimes: Religion and the Politics of Chinese Modernity 323. Lucien Bianco, Wretched Rebels: Rural Disturbances on the Eve of the Chinese Revolution 324. Cathryn H. Clayton, Sovereignty at the Edge: Macau and the Question of Chineseness 325. Micah S. Muscolino, Fishing Wars and Environmental Change in Late Imperial and Modern China 326. Robert I. Hellyer, Defining Engagement: Japan and Global Contexts, 1750–1868 327. Robert Ashmore, The Transport of Reading: Text and Understanding in the World of Tao Qian (365–427) 328. Mark A. Jones, Children as Treasures: Childhood and the Middle Class in Early Twentieth Century Japan 329. Miryam Sas, Experimental Arts in Postwar Japan: Moments of Encounter, Engagement, and Imagined Return 330. H. Mack Horton, Traversing the Frontier: The Man’yōshū Account of a Japanese Mission to Silla in 736–737 331. Dennis J. Frost, Seeing Stars: Sports Celebrity, Identity, and Body Culture in Modern Japan 332. Marnie S. Anderson, A Place in Public: Women’s Rights in Meiji Japan

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333. Peter Mauch, Sailor Diplomat: Nomura Kichisaburō and the Japanese-American War 334. Ethan Isaac Segal, Coins, Trade, and the State: Economic Growth in Early Medieval Japan 335. David B. Lurie, Realms of Literacy: Early Japan and the History of Writing 336. Lillian Lan-ying Tseng, Picturing Heaven in Early China 337. Jun Uchida, Brokers of Empire: Japanese Settler Colonialism in Korea, 1876–1945 338. Patricia L. Maclachlan, The People’s Post Office: The History and Politics of the Japanese Postal System, 1871–2010 339. Michael Schiltz, The Money Doctors from Japan: Finance, Imperialism, and the Building of the Yen Bloc, 1895–1937 340. Daqing Yang, Jie Liu, Hiroshi Mitani, and Andrew Gordon, eds., Toward a History beyond Borders: Contentious Issues in Sino-Japanese Relations 341. Sonia Ryang, Reading North Korea: An Ethnological Inquiry 342. Shih-shan Susan Huang, Picturing the True Form: Daoist Visual Culture in Traditional China 343. Barbara Mittler, A Continuous Revolution: Making Sense of Cultural Revolution Culture 344. Hwansoo Ilmee Kim, Empire of the Dharma: Korean and Japanese Buddhism, 1877–1912 345. Satoru Saito, Detective Fiction and the Rise of the Japanese Novel, 1880–1930 346. Jung-Sun N. Han, An Imperial Path to Modernity: Yoshino Sakuzō and a New Liberal Order in East Asia, 1905–1937 347. Atsuko Hirai, Government by Mourning: Death and Political Integration in Japan, 1603–1912 348. Darryl E. Flaherty, Public Law, Private Practice: Politics, Profit, and the Legal Profession in Nineteenth-Century Japan 349. Jeffrey Paul Bayliss, On the Margins of Empire: Buraku and Korean Identity in Prewar and Wartime Japan 350. Barry Eichengreen, Dwight H. Perkins, and Kwanho Shin, From Miracle to Maturity: The Growth of the Korean Economy 351. Michel Mohr, Buddhism, Unitarianism, and the Meiji Competition for Universality 352. J. Keith Vincent, Two-Timing Modernity: Homosocial Narrative in Modern Japanese Fiction 354. Chong-Bum An and Barry Bosworth, Income Inequality in Korea: An Analysis of Trends, Causes, and Answers 355. Jamie L. Newhard, Knowing the Amorous Man: A History of Scholarship on Tales of Ise 356. Sho Konishi, Anarchist Modernity: Cooperatism and Japanese-Russian Intellectual Relations in Modern Japan 357. Christopher P. Hanscom, The Real Modern: Literary Modernism and the Crisis of Representation in Colonial Korea 358. Michael Wert, Meiji Restoration Losers: Memory and Tokugawa Supporters in Modern Japan

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359. Garret P. S. Olberding, ed., Facing the Monarch: Modes of Advice in the Early Chinese Court 360. Xiaojue Wang, Modernity with a Cold War Face: Reimagining the Nation in Chinese Literature Across the 1949 Divide 361. David Spafford, A Sense of Place: The Political Landscape in Late Medieval Japan 362. Jongryn Mo and Barry Weingast, Korean Political and Economic Development: Crisis, Security, and Economic Rebalancing 363. Melek Ortabasi, The Undiscovered Country: Text, Translation, and Modernity in the Work of Yanagita Kunio 364. Hiraku Shimoda, Lost and Found: Recovering Regional Identity in Imperial Japan 365. Trent E. Maxey, The “Greatest Problem”: Religion and State Formation in Meiji Japan 366. Gina Cogan, The Princess Nun: Bunchi, Buddhist Reform, and Gender in Early Edo Japan 367. Eric C. Han, Rise of a Japanese Chinatown: Yokohama, 1894–1972 368. Natasha Heller, Illusory Abiding: The Cultural Construction of the Chan Monk Zhongfeng Mingben 369. Paize Keulemans, Sound Rising from the Paper: Nineteenth-Century Martial Arts Fiction and the Chinese Acoustic Imagination 370. Simon James Bytheway, Investing Japan: Foreign Capital, Monetary Standards, and Economic Development, 1859–2011 371. Sukhee Lee, Negotiated Power: The State, Elites, and Local Governance in TwelfthFourteenth China 372. Foong Ping, The Efficacious Landscape: On the Authorities of Painting at the Northern Song Court 373. Catherine L. Phipps, Empires on the Waterfront: Japan’s Ports and Power, 1858–1899 374. Sunyoung Park, The Proletarian Wave: Literature and Leftist Culture in Colonial Korea, 1910–1945 375. Barry Eichengreen, Wonhyuk Lim, Yung Chul Park, and Dwight H. Perkins, The Korean Economy: From a Miraculous Past to a Sustainable Future 376. Heather Blair, Real and Imagined: The Peak of Gold in Heian Japan 377. Emer O’Dwyer, Significant Soil: Settler Colonialism and Japan’s Urban Empire in Manchuria 378. Martina Deuchler, Under the Ancestors’ Eyes: Kinship, Status, and Locality in Premodern Korea 379. Joseph R. Dennis, Writing, Publishing, and Reading Local Gazetteers in Imperial China, 1100–1700 380. Catherine Vance Yeh, The Chinese Political Novel: Migration of a World Genre 381. Noell Wilson, Defensive Positions: The Politics of Maritime Security in Tokugawa Japan 382. Miri Nakamura, Monstrous Bodies: The Rise of the Uncanny in Modern Japan 383. Nara Dillon, Radical Inequalities: China’s Revolutionary Welfare State in Comparative Perspective

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384. Ma Zhao, Runaway Wives, Urban Crimes, and Survival Tactics in Wartime Beijing, 1937-1949 385. Mingwei Song, Young China: National Rejuvenation and the Bildungsroman, 1900-1959 386. Christopher Bondy, Voice, Silence, and Self: Negotiations of Buraku Identity in Contemporary Japan 387. Seth Jacobowitz, Writing Technology in Meiji Japan: A Media History of Modern Japanese Literature and Visual Culture 388. Hilde De Weerdt, Information, Territory, and Networks: The Crisis and Maintenance of Empire in Song China 389. Elizabeth Kindall, Geo-Narratives of a Filial Son: The Paintings and Travel Diaries of Huang Xiangjian (1609–1673) 390. Matthew Fraleigh, Plucking Chrysanthemums: Narushima Ryūhoku and Sinitic Literary Traditions in Modern Japan 391. Hu Ying, Burying Autumn: Poetry, Friendship, and Loss 392. Mark E. Byington, The Ancient State of Puyŏ in Northeast Asia: Archaeology and Historical Memory 393. Timothy J. Van Compernolle, Struggling Upward: Worldly Success and the Japanese Novel 394. Heekyoung Cho, Translation’s Forgotten History: Russian Literature, Japanese Mediation, and the Formation of Modern Korean Literature 395. Terry Kawashima, Itineraries of Power: Texts and Traversals in Heian and Medieval Japan 396. Anna Andreeva, Assembling Shinto: Buddhist Approaches to Kami Worship in Medieval Japan 397. Felix Boecking, No Great Wall: Trade, Tariffs, and Nationalism in Republican China, 1927–1945 398. Chien-Hsin Tsai, A Passage to China: Literature, Loyalism, and Colonial Taiwan 399. W. Puck Brecher, Honored and Dishonored Guests: Westerners in Wartime Japan 400. Miya Elise Mizuta Lippit, Aesthetic Life: Beauty and Art in Modern Japan 401. Brian Steininger, Chinese Literary Form in Heian Japan: Poetics and Practice 402. Lisa Yoshikawa, Making History Matter: Kuroita Katsumi and the Construction of Imperial Japan 403. Michael P. Cronin, Osaka Modern: The City in the Japanese Imaginary 404. Soyoung Suh, Naming the Local: Medicine, Language, and Identity in Korea since the 15th Century 405. Yoon Sun Yang, From Domestic Women to Sensitive Young Men: Translating the Individual in Early Colonial Korea 406. Michal Daliot-Bul and Nissim Otmazgin, The Anime Boom in the United States: Lessons for Global Creative Industries 407. Nathan Hopson, Ennobling the Savage Northeast: Tōhoku as Japanese Postwar Thought, 1945–2011 408. Michael Fuller, An Introduction to Chinese Poetry: From the Canon of Poetry to the Lyrics of the Song Dynasty

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409. Tie Xiao, Revolutionary Waves: The Crowd in Modern China 410. Anne Reinhardt, Navigating Semi-colonialism: Shipping, Sovereignity, and Nation Building in China, 1860–1937 411. Jennifer E. Altehenger, Legal Lessons: Popularizing Laws in the People’s Republic of China, 1949–1989 412. Halle O’Neal, Word Embodied: The Jeweled Pagoda Mandalas in Japanese Buddhist Art 413. Maren A. Ehlers, Give and Take: Poverty and the Status Order in Early Modern Japan

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