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Japanese theory from the perspective of creative traditionalism

  • Journal of Japanese Culture
  • 2019, (83), pp.395-413
  • DOI : 10.21481/jbunka..83.201911.395
  • Publisher : The Japanese Culture Association Of Korea (Jcak)
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Received : October 13, 2019
  • Accepted : November 6, 2019
  • Published : November 30, 2019

Lee, Jin-Ho 1

1원광대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Today, there are many theories on Japan and Japanese people. However, there is no theory that can explain globally unprecedented elements and macroscopic cultural phenomena or systems that exist in Japan today, including the emperor system of the unbroken imperial line existent since ancient times, the Japanese calendar system since the Taika, the number of the world’s best old stores, or the Nō, which is still performed with the same lines since more than 600 years ago. Thus, this paper presents creative traditionalism as a source of such elements and as a universal ideology of another Japan and the Japanese. However, considering the background related to the origin of traditionalism, Japan being a country that actively imported cultures, the main subject of cultural propagation is the voluntary importation of cultures by the upper class and therefore has vitality. This could in turn lead to traditionalism. In addition, Japan has past geopolitical conditions such as being an island country bordered by the Straits of Korea and being a stop-culture or a site of culture associated with the Western winds blowing through Northeast Asia or the seasonal winds. Furthermore, traditionalism retains creativity mainly due to the Japanization of foreign cultures that occurred during the process of focusing on tradition, and it can be said that this creative traditionalism has greatly influenced the establishment of Japan’s status today.

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