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When global and local culture meet: Esperanto in 1920s rural Japan

Rapley, Ian ORCID: 2013. When global and local culture meet: Esperanto in 1920s rural Japan. Language Problems and Language Planning 37 (2) , pp. 179-196. 10.1075/lplp.37.2.04rap

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In the 1920s Aomori prefecture, a rural part of northern Japan, a group of Esperanto clubs emerged as a sub-part of a “local arts movement”. This movement was an attempt to counter a perception of underdevelopment through the cultivation of local arts and culture together with a simultaneous engagement with global and transnational ideas such as Esperanto. By studying this unexpected manifestation of internationalism (as well as debates regarding the local/global relationship) it is argued that Esperanto represented a cosmopolitan world view that retained explicit respect for local and cultural differences, a “rooted cosmopolitanism”. This enabled the residents of Aomori to imagine an alternative to the process of modern nation building in which their local identity was seen as a remnant of an undesirable past. Keywords: transnational history, cultural internationalism, local history, language problems, Japan, Esperanto

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
P Language and Literature > PM Hyperborean, Indian, and Artificial languages
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
ISSN: 0272-2690
Funders: AHRC
Related URLs:
Date of Acceptance: 2012
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 09:38

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