Anne Giblin GedachtJul 11, 2023
Regional Identity and the Mobile Subject in Prewar Japan
Anne Giblin Gedacht’s Tōhoku Unbounded: Regional Identity and the Mobile Subject in Prewar Japan (Brill, 2022) centers cross-border mobility in its narrative of the history of Japan’s Tōhoku region in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The book is a challenge to the stereotypical image of the Northeast as static and isolated. Focusing on Pacific migration―to Asia, North America, and the Philippines―Gedacht pieces together an account of how mobility and movement were instrumental in creating modern Tōhoku regional identities, and how this process was integral to Japan’s modern self-image. In this sense, Tōhoku Unbounded contributes to a growing body of literature exploring factors such as mobility and region in the construction of the modern world of nation-states.
Nathan Hopson is an associate professor of Japanese language and history in the University of Bergen's Department of Foreign Languages.