Abstract

This article examines the ways in which two scholars of Japanese descent, Okakura Kakuzo (1862-1913) and Kojiro Tomita (1890-1976), defined the bourgeois fascination for East Asia in early twentieth-century United States. Fashioning multi-layered, transnational identities for themselves as authoritative cultural intermediaries, they occupied privileged positions within American social and intellectual circles and became active participants in debates regarding the impacts of modernization and Westernization on Asia and its aesthetics. In the process, Okakura and Tomita constructed and disseminated discourses of race, nationalism, and culture that served to decenter the nation-state and to underscore the complexities of the immigrant experience amidst socio-economic and political transformations taking place on both sides of the Pacific.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1096-8598
Print ISSN
1097-2129
Pages
pp. 215-242
Launched on MUSE
2006-11-02
Open Access
No
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