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Punishment and Power in the Making of Modern Japan

Author: Daniel V Botsman
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [2007] ©2007
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : Government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The kinds of punishment used in a society have long been considered an important criterion in judging whether a society is civilized or barbaric, advanced or backward, modern or premodern. Focusing on Japan, and the dramatic revolution in punishments that occurred after the Meiji Restoration, Daniel Botsman asks how such distinctions have affected our understanding of the past and contributed, in turn, to the  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Document, Government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Daniel V Botsman
ISBN: 9781400849291 1400849292
OCLC Number: 1013938098
Language Note: In English.
Description: 1 online resource (312 pages) : illustrations
Contents: Frontmatter --
Contents --
Illustrations --
Acknowledgments --
Abbreviations --
Introduction --
CHAPTER 1. Signs of Order: Punishment and Power in the Shogun's Capital --
CHAPTER 2. Bloody Benevolence: Punishment, Ideology, and Outcasts --
CHAPTER 3. The Power of Status: Kodenmachō Jailhouse and the Structures of Tokugawa Society --
CHAPTER 4. Discourse, Dynamism, and Disorder: The Historical Significance of the Edo Stockade for Laborers --
CHAPTER 5. Punishment and the Politics of Civilization in Bakumatsu Japan --
CHAPTER 6. Restoration and Reform: The Birth of the Prison in Japan --
CHAPTER 7. Punishment and Prisons in the Era of Enlightenment --
Conclusion --
Notes --
Bibliography --
Index.
Responsibility: Daniel V. Botsman.
More information:

Abstract:

The kinds of punishment used in a society have long been considered an important criterion in judging whether a society is civilized or barbaric, advanced or backward, modern or premodern. Focusing on Japan, and the dramatic revolution in punishments that occurred after the Meiji Restoration, Daniel Botsman asks how such distinctions have affected our understanding of the past and contributed, in turn, to the proliferation of new kinds of barbarity in the modern world. While there is no denying the ferocity of many of the penal practices in use during the Tokugawa period (1600-1868), this book begins by showing that these formed part of a sophisticated system of order that did have its limits. Botsman then demonstrates that although significant innovations occurred later in the period, they did not fit smoothly into the "modernization" process. Instead, he argues, the Western powers forced a break with the past by using the specter of Oriental barbarism to justify their own aggressive expansion into East Asia. The ensuing changes were not simply imposed from outside, however. The Meiji regime soon realized that the modern prison could serve not only as a symbol of Japan's international progress but also as a powerful domestic tool. The first English-language study of the history of punishment in Japan, the book concludes by examining how modern ideas about progress and civilization shaped penal practices in Japan's own colonial empire.

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