By Gregory Clancey
Accelerating seismic task in overdue Meiji Japan climaxed within the mythical nice Nobi Earthquake of 1891, which rocked the most island from Tokyo to Osaka, killing millions. paradoxically, the earthquake introduced down many "modern" constructions equipped at the suggestion of international architects and engineers, whereas leaving definite conventional, wood ones status. This ebook, the 1st English-language historical past of contemporary jap earthquakes and earthquake technological know-how, considers the cultural and political ramifications of this and different catastrophic occasions on Japan's dating with the West, with glossy technological know-how, and with itself. Gregory Clancey argues that seismicity used to be either the Achilles' heel of Japan's nation-building project--revealing the state's western-style infrastructure to be strangely fragile--and a brand new concentration for nativizing discourses which credited conventional eastern structure with certain talents to trip out seismic waves. Tracing his topic from the Meiji recovery to the good Kant Earthquake of 1923 (which destroyed Tokyo), Clancey indicates earthquakes to were a continuing although mercurial agent in Japan's self-fashioning; a catastrophic undercurrent to eastern modernity. This leading edge and soaking up examine not just strikes earthquakes closer the heart of contemporary Japan change--both materially and symbolically--but indicates how essentially Japan formed the worldwide paintings, technology, and tradition of usual catastrophe.
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Extra info for Earthquake Nation: The Cultural Politics of Japanese Seismicity, 1868-1930
Even stone came to be more deeply inscribed with “science” at Ko¯budaigakko¯ than in the pages of Viollet-le-Duc. Though zo¯ka students might have come to understand the “weight of history” that Europeans had invested in the concept “stone,” texts foundational to an understanding of monumentality, such as John Ruskin’s Stones of Venice, were not part of the curriculum. The technoscientific bias of Ko¯budaigakko¯ and the mining centeredness of the new industrial economy it served tended to make its professors and students favor geological descriptions of stone over ones more obviously cultural-laden.
87 While some daiku made the transition to the rituals and tools of capitalism (a capitalism constructed by daiku rituals and tools), others became officials in the Meiji state. When Conder arrived to teach at Ko¯budaigakko¯, daiku already held positions of authority in the Ko¯busho¯ itself. Some of these men had worked in a similar capacity under the Tokugawa regime, which had long reserved certain bureaucratic offices for daiku. The ministry’s Eizen-ryo (Construction Bureau) was initially staffed by former daiku Asakura Seiichi and Tachikawa Tomokata, who had worked on the construction of the French-engineered Yokosuka Navy Yard and Iron Works under the Tokugawa regime.
Architects are introduced to “crusting and transverse strength” of stone, after the manner of mining engineers. 69 , . Inscribing “science” across the breadth of the new Meiji object-world would have important, long-term consequences in how certain Western roles were performed in Japan, as opposed to anywhere in the West itself. Zo¯kagaku-shi competed with one another to be skilful in truss calculation, for example, at the very time when British and American architects were retreating from mathematics and material science under the slogan “fine art,” and through ever greater indulgence in the practice of drawing.