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The Tourist Library Series: Defining a Collective Japanese Nation for Foreigners in the 1930's

Radziminski, Andrea (2020) The Tourist Library Series: Defining a Collective Japanese Nation for Foreigners in the 1930's. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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As the idea of empires and colonization grew increasingly unwelcome within the international community, Japanese government officials strove to present Japan as an equal among imperial powers in the years leading up to WWII. To promote this image, the Japanese government increasingly focused on making Japan an attractive site for international tourism. And so, in 1935 the government’s Board of Tourist Industry created Tourist Library Series (TLS) (1935-1942) to explain and advertise Japan to foreigners. Unlike other tourist literature that focused on presenting Japan as an attractive and interesting tourist destination, TLS focused on providing its readers with an adequate understanding of Japan’s unique culture. The series, authored by recognized authorities, ranged in topic from stamps and tea ceremony to architecture and religion, to explain the “essence” and defining principles that made up a “Japanese national culture”. In doing so, the series departs from the general trend in tourist literature to focus on what can be experienced or purchased by foreign visitors to Japan. Rather, the TLS describes a Japan that transcends time and place. I contend that TLS demonstrates a unique approach, but one very much in concert with other efforts by the Japanese government and its representatives, to place Japan as an equal among imperial nation's leading up to WWII. Furthermore, by examining TLS I hold that invaluable insight can be acquired on how tourism’s potential to represent Japan could be successfully maximized through the narrative format.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Radziminski, AndreaAMR191@pitt.eduAMR191
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee MemberNara,
Committee MemberCrawford,
Committee ChairOyler,
Date: 8 June 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 April 2020
Approval Date: 8 June 2020
Submission Date: 10 April 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 72
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > East Asian Studies
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Japan Tourism 1930's 1940's World War II Board of Tourist Industry Japanese National Railways Second World War National Identity Global Politics Identity Memory Fascist Japan Tourist Library Series Guidebooks International Exhibitions Showa Era World's Fairs 1930’s tourism 国際観光委員会 日本国有鉄道 観光 昭和 ナショナル・アイデンティティ 1930年代 1940年代 1930年代の観光産業 観光産業 国際観光協会 ガイドブック 案内書
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2020 14:53
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2020 14:53


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