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Bachelor JapanistsJapanese Aesthetics and Western Masculinities$
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Christopher Reed

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231175753

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231175753.001.0001

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On the End of Japanism

(p.291) Conclusion
Bachelor Japanists

Christopher Reed

Columbia University Press

By 1965, the very visible realities of imperialism, immigration, World War, and Cold War diminished Japanism’s viability as a mode of what, in the introduction, I call an “unlearning” of the West. Of course, this did not happen all at once or completely.1 As with the nineteenth-century shift from the kinds of stylistically conventional depictions of Japan exemplified by Mortimer Menpes’s paintings to Japanist subversions of Western representational conventions, new and old paradigms can coexist, especially where there is a taste for the old-fashioned. But change has come, and that cannot be regretted. Notwithstanding the brilliance of Wilde or Barthes, the appeal of the houses and museums that constituted spaces of Japanism in the West, the sublimations enabled by Western practices of art or spirituality that drew from Zen Buddhism, or the opportunities created for individual Japanese like Okakura by dynamics termed ...

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