There are three sections in "Travel and Tabibanashi in the Early Modern Period: Forming Japanese Geographic Identity." The first is about travel in the Edo period (1600-1868). In this section travel and the important role it played in forming the foundations of Japanese identity are presented. The second section is about tabibanashi (travel stories), a subgenre of rakugo, a form of comic storytelling that was especially popular in early modern Japan. The author's contention is that geographical and cultural information presented in tabibanashi served to educate the common people about travel and social values of the world in which they lived. In the third section a brief summary of tabibanashi and the information that it conveys to its listeners is given. This article presents the initial findings of research that suggest that tabibanashi and rakugo played a much bigger part in helping shape the foundations of Japanese identity than has been thought to be the case until now.