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Gazing at the South Pacific: 1960s’ travelogues by Japanese travellers. Ryota Nishino Division of History The University of the South Pacific Nishino_r@usp.ac.fj. What travel-writing tells us. How travellers try to make sense of journey. Self-reflection or ethnography. Fact or fiction?

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gazing at the south pacific 1960s travelogues by japanese travellers

Gazing at the South Pacific:1960s’ travelogues by Japanese travellers

Ryota Nishino

Division of History

The University of the South Pacific

Nishino_r@usp.ac.fj

what travel writing tells us
What travel-writing tells us
  • How travellers try to make sense of journey.
  • Self-reflection or ethnography.
  • Fact or fiction?
  • Does travel-writing re-produce or challenge existing stereotypes?
  • How ‘close’ should we analyse?
what and how do they look at
What and how do they look at?
  • Objects of the gaze.
  • How do depictions reveal writers’ views on:
    • colonialism, ethnicity and civilisation.
    • Motives of travel
    • Gendered ways of looking
    • Power-relations: enduring colonialism
travel writing in japan
Travel-writing in Japan
  • Kikôbun: a well-established and well-respected literary form.
  • C20 travel-writing:‘under’ studied (?)
  • ‘Dual’ Orientalism: On the Japanese and others.
slide5
“The Pacific has been a site used in Japanese writing to dramatize the fears and desires that arose from Japan’s imperialist expansion and its concern over the activities of other powers in the Pacific region”, Naoto Sudo, Nanyô Orientalism (2010, p.2)
slide6
Kang Sang Jung - ‘Japanese orientalism’ simultaneous deployment of double desires. Avoiding colonialism by the West, and impose Japanese hegemonic power over Asia Pacific.
  • Earl Miner: travel-writing as “a portrait of a personality, the projected personality of the author”. (1996, p. 215)
chronology of travel writing on the south pacific 1880s onwards
Chronology of travel-writing on the South Pacific, 1880s onwards.
  • Phase 1: General education
  • 1887. Shiga Shigetaka. NanypJijyo.
  • 1888. Hattori Toru. Nihon no Nanyo.
  • 1942. Nanposangyochosakai (ed.) Oceania Minami taiheiyoshoto.
  • 1944. Yoshimura Isao. Daitoa no sangyo to jyumin.
phase 2 take off
Phase 2: ‘Take-off’
  • Phase 2: Inspiring postwar youths and business people.
  • 1959 – 1991. Kanetaka Kaoru. Hopping Around The World (television broadcast,).
  • 1962. Kanetaka Kaoru. Sekai no tabi: Oceania [Travel around the world: Oceania]
  • 1960. Kita Morio. Dokutorumambôkôkaiki [Doctor Mambo’s Chronicle of Voyage]
  • 1962. Kita Morio. Minami taiheiyohirunetabi [The South Pacific: A journey of naps]
phase 3 diversification
Phase 3: Diversification
  • 1972. Narusawa Reiko. Fiji to nimeke o motomete [Looking for meke in Fiji]
  • 1980. Muro Kenji. Kaeranaitabi: Spain, Morocco and Fiji [A never-ending journey]
  • 1983. Walker, Yuriko. Taaroa-gôMinamitaiheiyô o yuku [The Taaroa sailing across the Pacific]
phase 4 paradise reformulated
Phase 4: Paradise reformulated
  • 1995. ToiJyûgetsu. Fiji: Minaminoshima no momogatari [Fiji: Stories from the South Pacific]
  • 2000. Hasegawa Mariko. Minami taiheiyô: Burattotabi, Fiji Samoa [South Pacific: Hopping to Fiji and Samoa]
  • 2007 Îida Yuko and Yamaguchi Yumi. Fiji no mahô [Fiji’s magic]
  • 2009. Wada Tetsurô. Fiji: Minami taiheiyô no Juijiro de iyasareru [Fiji: Getting healed at the crossroad of the South Pacific]
travelogues by two authors
Travelogues by two authors
  • Kita Morio (1927-2011)
  • Kanetaka Kaoru (b. 1928)
  • Solid middle-class with high levels of education and prior foreign travel.
  • Travelled South Pacific 1961 and 1962
  • Kita: Hawai’i, Tahiti, Fiji, N. Caledonia, Am. Samoa and W. Samoa.
  • Kanetaka: Fiji, N. Hebrides, N. Caledonia, PNG
contexts
Contexts
  • Both Fiji and Japan found themselves in:
  • Political turbulence
  • Upbeat economy
  • March of modernity
  • Interest in travel and in tourism
both agree on
Both agree on
  • Beauty of Polynesian-mixed women, esp. with Japanese.
  • Ethnic tension between ethnic Fijians and Indo-Fijians.
  • Evaluations of Fijians and Indians.
  • Sophistication of the Club Hotel: incongruent colonial refinement.
cont d
Cont’d
  • Kerekere and sevusevu can be troublesome.
  • Foreign educated ratu as potential leaders in Fiji.
  • Wartime memory still fresh amongst ethnic Fijians.
differences
Differences
  • Styles of travel.
  • Projected personalities.
  • Views on colonialism.
  • Views on Fijian society in comparison to Melanesia and Polynesia.
  • Reporting cultural differences.
  • Reporting disturbing experience.
what do kanetaka and kita tell us
What do Kanetaka and Kita tell us?
  • Largely ethnographic
  • Mirrors the 1950s and 60s Japanese intellectual currents.
  • Stereotypes and prejudice reproduced, but not challenged openly.
slide17
Negation of racism; judged by civilisation.
  • Wartime memory too fresh to explore.
  • Fijians achieved transition from cannibalism
  • Fiji is a ‘modern’ country that Japan could do business. Strange and not perfect, but not too much.
future agenda
Future agenda
  • Comparison with earlier and later travel-writing or accounts of the South Pacific.
  • Comparison with English-speaking travelogues.
  • Kanetaka’s TV programmes.
  • Kita’s essays.